2 Burst results for "Herman Brown Brown"

Robert Caro on How He Does It

The Book Review

09:47 min | 9 months ago

Robert Caro on How He Does It

"Robert Carroll joins us now he is the Pulitzer Prize. Winning author of many books. New Book is called working researching interviewing and writing. He's also the author of the years of Lyndon Johnson four volumes of them thus far and the powerbroker Robert Moses and the fall of New York Bob. Thanks so much for being here. Pleasure to be here all right so everyone has been greatly anticipating a volume five of the years of Johnson. But instead you have written this other book working researching interviewing writing. Why did you decide to do this? Ever since the powerbroker I kept myself out of the book. I don't think the word I appears in there many times. If soon as the book came out people started asking me. What was it like ten of you Robert Moses and I realized that I should have put in something to tell people what that was like so for like forty five years. I've been hearing that question and people ask me what it's like to work in presidential libraries were. Can you find out from interviews? This isn't the adviced anybody but it's sort of. I said we'll I WANNA give people some glimpses into how I work so. I took time out to do this book now. I'm back doing the volume. I mean it's an interesting question about interviewing Robert Moses because you had read five sessions which women seven sessions with him. Which was very different from the Johnson. Biography where he was dead already for several years. Before you could get started and I'm curious you write about it a bit in working what the difference was like for you. Writing the book writing a biography of a person who was still alive versus writing a biography of someone who was already gone in one sense. It's great to write about someone who's still alive because you get to meet Moses. Didn't talk to me for the first couple of years of the book. Then we had seven interviews. Soon as I started asking questions. Pamela the interviews were over but they will long sessions and I really got to look at him with Johnson. You felt okay. I came along just too late. He had died just three years before was great about him was that he died so young he would have been only sixty seven when I started. He darted sixty four that everyone was still alive. He had I think twelve people in Johnson City High School. When he was there they were all there to be viewed. But you can't make up for not meeting and talking to the person writing about you just can't do feel that absence and working on the Johnson. Yes you do everything you can to overcome that you know you interview the people closest to him over and over and over again constantly asking them what was he like. If I was standing next to you what would I see him doing? So you try to get a feeling of him now. We have these telephone transcripts where you hear him talking hundreds and hundreds of hours you can listen to him talking and see how he deals with people and how he gets what he wants from people. That's always amazing to me. Has that changed the way that you've been doing your research having access to those types a change the writing of history in general like on the Gulf of Tonkin incident which has been sort of mystery. What really happened there. How many attacks were there? On our destroyers. You know that led Johnson to launch these launch bombing attacks on North Vietnam. Now you actually hear the communications between Robert McNamara. The Secretary of Defense Cincpac the admiral at Honolulu and the commander of the fleet. That's an in Viet Nam. You hear this and what was really going on in real time the other aspect of your interviewing that. I thought was so interesting that you write about in this new book working is the delicacy of interviews and especially when you get to touchy subjects. And they'll you didn't interview Johnson for the book did Interview Lady Bird and tell the story about how you and when you approached the subject of Johnson's longtime affair with Alice Marsh. Well when Johnson is in the Pacific during World War. Two year allowed easing Australia. You're allowed one telephone. Call the senator from Texas. Just Johnson has to decide whether to run again for the House of Representatives or to run for senator. I'm going through all the correspondents and suddenly in the middle of it. There is a telegram from someone sewing. Alice I've never heard of Alice. She appears in no book and it says Lyndon everyone else that happened to me in the White House. Everyone else thinks you should run for the Senate. I think you should run for the house. Please try to cool love Alice. I said WHO is Alice. Who was the person that he makes the only one telephone call? And who's giving political advice which he follows shortly after that? So that's you know. An example of going through the papers by luck her sister and best friend show up at the Johnson Library and ask to see me and I go down to see them and they say you know we wanna tell you about a woman named Alice Marsh. We don't want to portray to some Bimbo. She was really very important in Johnson's life. And they told me the whole story of this Lauren and significant relationship and his life. So how do you then? Ask Lady Bird. You know panel. That's the only interview I ever had in my life where I couldn't bring myself to look at the person I was interviewing. Alice was a small town girl. She turned herself into the brilliant Washington. Hostess Brilliant Brilliant Salons and she came from a little town called Morlin. Now no one would go to the mall. And unless they were looking for inflammation analysis a little town in the middle of nowhere and I never know I went up there and we learned about her. And how remarkable she was but all of a sudden we have a mutual friend. Who lived in Morlin? Who calls me in a panic and says the bird in Texas? Everybody Calls Lady Bird Bird. Bird and always. You've been in Marlin. So she knows you know about Al. Assad said well that had to be if it doesn't concern me but her secretary then shows up at my desk in the reading room says Mrs Johnson would like to see you out at the ranch this weekend. We had been meeting in her office so we sit down at the dining table. She's at the head of the table. I might her right. Hand my stenographer's notebook like like the one you use is is down on my right hand taking notes and without preamble. She starts to talk about Alice Quiz. How elegance she was how sophisticated she was how she taught. Linden things and everything that she taught him. He followed the rest of his life. You don't hear these lawn when she met him. He was this new congressman very awkward with Lorne Gang Leo Arms. She said turn them into an asset. Always wear shirts with French. Cuffs and very nice cufflinks. So when people's attention is cool to them it's called in in a in a good way. She told him. We're kind of Necktie to favor. Countess Myers Tie. But most of all at crucial elements in life. It was her advice that he followed an in a number of cases one in particular. It's not exaggerating. Very much to say she saved. His career is takes a moment to tell. But it's it's interesting his early careers financed by a very fierce huge Texas contractor. Herman Brown Brown and Root and Herman was prepared to keep financing his Roy and in return Johnson was getting huge contracts for Brown and root when all of a sudden they had a falling out Lyndon Johnson was getting them authorization to build a dam which they wanted but Linden wandered low. Rent Housing Project built in Boston in what was a very poor Mexican American neighborhood. The houses in that neighborhood were owned by Herman Brown. The tenants were paying rent to him. They were very profitable and he was enraged at Linden wanted to condemn them for his housing project and his chief lobbyist and his chief lawyer talked. Instead you know Herman was about to turn on Linden and when Herman turned on you he never turned back when Alice here is about this and invites them both down to Greatest Stadium Virginia. She sits down at her table. And says why don't you just compromise give Herman the damaging winds and the land and all of a sudden everything was okay. So Lady Bird starts talking not only about her elegance. She says the quotes are in the book. She was so sophisticated so beautiful. I remember her neck succession of wonderful beautiful dresses and me in well not so wonderful. And and then she said you know Lyndon Basically Linden always followed Alice's vice during that whole interview I have to say my head. Just stay down and I took notes. I couldn't look at her so that was done. The next week we went back to ordinary interview she just launched into it without you. Even though I you know I sometimes think I know something about politics. I'm really glad I don't have to write about. Women never understood why she did

Lyndon Johnson Alice Marsh Lady Bird Robert Moses Texas Johnson City High School Herman Brown Brown Johnson Library Pulitzer Prize Robert Carroll Robert Mcnamara Secretary Brilliant Brilliant Salons Gulf Of Tonkin Australia Linden New York Viet Nam
"herman brown brown" Discussed on The Book Review

The Book Review

13:07 min | 1 year ago

"herman brown brown" Discussed on The Book Review

"Book review is supported by Henry Holt publisher of the new novel by Susan Choi trust exercise, a story about the enduring aftermath of the events of adolescence and about the complexities of consent and coercion among teenagers in adults through a narrative twist trust exercise raises questions about the reliability of memory. And the accuracy of the stories we tell and considers the consequences of our memories and our stories across time trust exercise by Susan Choi is available wherever books are sold. We've only one guest on this week's podcast, but a great one Robert Caro Pulitzer prize winning biographer of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson joins us to talk about both of these men his work as a journalist and a bag refer and his new book working to celebrate an honor national poetry month. We'll have a special reading by special poet Alexander alter will give us an update from the literary world. Plus, we'll talk about what we and the wider world are reading this is the book review podcast from the New York Times. I'm Pamela, Paul. Robert Carroll joins us. Now, he is the Pulitzer prize winning author of many books is new book is called working researching interviewing and writing he's also the author of the years of Lyndon. Johnson four volumes of them, thus far and the power broker, Robert Moses and the fall of New York fob, thanks so much for being here. Pleasure to be here. All right. So everyone has been greatly anticipating volume five of the years of Johnson. But instead you have written this other book working researching interviewing writing, why did you decide to do this over since the powerbroker a kept myself out of the book? I don't think the word I appears in there many times as soon as the book came out people started asking me, what was it like ten of you, Robert Moses. And I realized that I should have put in something to tell people what that was like. So for like forty five years, I've been hearing that question and people ask me what it's like to work in presidential libraries. What can you find out from interviews? This isn't advice to anybody. But it's sort of. I said, well, I wanna give people some glimpses into how I work. So I took time out to do this book. Now, I'm back doing this. If valium. I mean, it's an interesting question about interviewing Robert Moses because you had five sessions which seven sessions with him, which was very different from the Johnson biography where he was dead already for several years before you could get started. And I'm curious you write about it a bit in working would it. The difference was like for you writing the book writing a biography of a person who was still alive versus writing a biography of someone who was already gone in one sense. It's great to write about someone who still alive because you get to meeting that Moses didn't talk to me for the first couple of years of the book. Then we had seven interviews soon. As I started asking questions, Pamela the interviews were over, but they will long sessions, and I really got a look at him with Johnson. You felt okay. I came on just too late. He just three years before what was great about him was that he died so young he would have been only sixty seven when I started. He started. Sixty four that everyone was still alive. He had. I think twelve people in Johnson city high school when he was there. They were all there to be reviewed, but you can't make up for not meeting and talking to the person you're writing about you just can't do feel that absence in working on that Johnson Johnson. Yes, you do everything you can't overcome that. You know, you interview people closest to him over and over and over again constantly asking them. What was he like if I was standing next to you? What would I see him doing? So you try to get a feeling of him. Now, we have these telephone transcripts where you hear him talking hundreds and hundreds of hours, you can listen to him talking and see how he deals with people. And how he gets what he wants from people. That's what's always amazing tonight changed the way that you've been doing your research having access to those types. I think it should change the writing of history in general. Like on the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which has been sort of a mystery what really happened there how many attacks were there on our destroyers. You know that then Johnson to launch these launch bombing attacks with the nam. Now you actually hear the communications between Robert McNamara. The secretary of defense cincpac the Admiral at Honolulu and the commander of the fleet. That's had an invalid name you hear this in. What was really going on in real time? The other aspect of your interviewing that I that was so interesting that you write about in this new book working is the delicacy of interviews. And especially when you get to touchy subjects, and they'll you didn't interview Johnson for the book, you did interview lady bird. And I tell the story about how you and when you approached the subject of Johnson's longtime affair with Alice Marsh. Well, when Johnson is in the Pacific during World War Two you're allowed easing or stralia. You're allowed one telephone call. The Senator from Texas has just died Johnson has to decide whether to run again for the house of representatives to run for Senator. I'm going through all the correspondents. And suddenly in the middle of it. There is a telegram from someone sewing Alice. I've never heard of Alice he appears in no book, and it says Lyndon everyone else that happened to me in the White House. Everyone else thinks you should run for the Senate. I think you should run for the house. Please try to call a love Alice. I said who is Alice who is the person that he makes the only one telephone call and who's giving him political advice, which he follows shortly after that. So that's you know, an example of going through the papers by sheer luck. Her sister and best friend show up at the Johnson library. And they asked to see me, and I go down to see them. And they say, you know, we want to tell you about a woman named Alice Marsh, we don't want to portray to some Bimbo. She was really very important in Johnson's life. And they told me the whole story of this Lorn and significant relationship in his life. So how do you then ask lady bird, you know, Pamela? That's the only interview I ever had in my life where I couldn't bring myself to look at the person, I was interviewing Alice was a small town girl at she turned herself into the brilliant, Washington hostess, brilliant, meaning brilliant salons, and she came from a little town called Morlin now, no one would go to mall, and unless they were looking for inflammation on Alicea little town in the middle of nowhere. And I never know. I went up there, and we learned about her. And how remarkable she was. But all of a sudden, we have a mutual. You'll friend who lived in Morlin who calls me in panic and says bird in Texas, everybody cools lady bird bird bird, and always you've been in Molin. So she knows you know, about Assad said well that had to be that doesn't concern me. But her secretary then shows up at my desk and the reading room says MRs Johnson would like to see you out at the ranch this weekend we had been meeting in her office. So we sit down at the dining table. She's at the head of the table. I might right hand. And my stenographer's notebook like like the one you use is is down on my right hand, taking notes and without preamble. She starts to talk about Alice glass, how elegance she was how sophisticated she was how she taught Linden things and everything that she taught him. He followed the rest of his life. You know, he these lawn when she met him. He was this new congressman very awkward with Lorne gang, Leo arms. She said turn them into an asset always wear shirts with French cuffs. And very nice cufflinks. So when people. When they were attention is called to them. It's called in in a in a good way. She told him what kind of necktie to favor Countess Myers tie, but most of all at crucial elements in his life. It was her advice that he followed an in a number of cases, one in particular. It's not exaggerating very much to say she saves his career. This takes a moment to tell. But it's it's interesting his early careers financed by a very fierce us, Texas contractor Herman Brown, Brown and root and Herman was prepared to keep financing his ROY. And in return Johnson was getting used contracts for Brown and root. When all of a sudden, they had a falling out Lyndon. Johnson was getting them with recession to build a dam which they wanted. But Linden wandered a low rent housing project built in Austin in what was very poor Mexican American neighborhood the houses in that neighbor. Hood were owned by Herman Brown. The tenants were paying rent to him. They were very profitable. And he was enraged at Linden wanted to condemn them for his housing project and his chief lobbyist and his chief lawyer talked to and says, you know, Herman was about to turn on land. And when Herman turned on you he never turned back. When Alice here is about this and invites them both down to her greatest state in Virginia. She sits down at her table and says, why don't you just compromise give Herman the dam and in the land? And all of a sudden, everything was okay. So lady bird starts talking. Not only about her elegance. She says the quotes are in the book. She was so sophisticated so beautiful. I remember her in Mexico session of wonderful beautiful dresses and me in well, not so wonderful. And and then she said, you know, Lyndon, basically, Linden always follow. Alice's vice during that whole interview I have to say my head just stay down. And I took notes I couldn't look at her. So that was done then the next week. We went back to ordinary interviews launched into it without without a word of preamble. Yeah. I, you know, I sometimes think I know something about politics. I'm really glad I don't have to write about women. I never understood why she did that. Presumably thinking, how am I going to bring this up? Yes. And then you never I didn't have to she talked. She answered all my questions without a word out of you right in working about the use of silence interviews, and I love you to talk about that for a minute. And then talk about the opposite. Where you have to actually ask uncomfortable, and sometimes aggressive questions, the silence thing is is interesting. If you look in my books where tech notes on into you'd find the letters s you written very big sometimes they mean shut up because I tend to talk too much, and the thing is if you're interviewing somebody silence can be a real weapon for you. Because as a human seems to be a union need to fill a silence. So if you ask the question, if there's a silence, he's not answering it if you can just shut up long enough, an amazingly large percentage of that time, he has the talk, and we'll give you the information. You. You want? You're dealing often with people who are master politicians who presumably also know the sometimes the use of silence serious with someone like Moses where you say, you know, he was a monologue guest, and he talked and he talked it he ever used silence. Didn't have through with Moses with Moses few AS to question. He might answer it for an hour or an hour and a half the thing about it was you didn't want to interrupt when I start an interview I was young reporter. I had one. A couple will of mine I mean, really minor journalistic awards, but when you're young, and you win anything you think, you know, everything I thought I really knew how political power from the minute. Robert Moses started talking to me I knew that I knew nothing compared to him. I mean, it was like I had never even dreamed of this level

Johnson Johnson Alice Robert Moses Lyndon Linden Alice Marsh Texas Johnson city high school Pulitzer prize Herman Brown Susan Choi New York Times Johnson library Robert Caro Pulitzer Pamela Robert Carroll Alice glass Robert McNamara secretary