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charlesfrith's MyC-SPAN

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    Russia's Participation in the U.S. Civil War

    Historian Webster Griffin Tarpley talked about the contribution of Russian Tsar Alexander II to a northern victory in the U.S. Civil War. He said that the Imperial Russian government had issued an ultimatum to Britain and France specifying that if those powers should intervene on the side of the Confederate States of America they would immediately find themselves at war with the Russian Empire. Mr. Tarpley marked the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Russian Baltic Fleet in New York City on September 24, 1863, and of the Russian Pacific Squadron in San Francisco on October 12, 1863. He argued that it was the presence of those fleets that provided the final deterrence. Russia was the only country to extend direct military support to the Lincoln government.

    “Commemorating the Russian Fleets of Autumn 1863” was an event of the McClendon Group, held in the Zenger Room of the National Press Club.

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    Gore Vidal on Writing

    Gore Vidal discussed his writing life with Jay Parini. Among the topics they discussed were his book on Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Americans' unfamiliarity with their past. Mr. Vidal responded to questions from audience members. Gore Vidal is the author of more than twenty books, including Lincoln, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, and Palimpsest: A Memoir. He has also written five plays, numerous screenplays, and two hundred essays. He won the 1993 National Book Award for United States: Essays, 1952 - 1992.
    Gore Vidal: Writer Against The Grain was edited by Jay Parini. “Writer Against the Grain” was a session of the 2009 Key West Literary Seminar, held at the San Carlos Institute.

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    9/11, False Flags, and Black Ops: An Evening of Debate

    A debate was held on conspiracy theories, specifically the truth behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The participants were Jonathan Kay, author of Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground, and Webster Tarpley, self-described 9/11 Truth Scholar and one of the people featured in Mr. Kay’s book. Mr. Tarpley’s view of the September 2001 attacks appears in his book 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA. The debate was moderated David Frum, who was a special assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002. Each author made a presentation, during which Mr. Taprley included video, and then they responded to questions from members of the audience.
    This International Spy Museum program was titled “9/11, False Flags, and Black Ops: An Evening of Debate with David Frum, Jonathan Kay, and Webster Tarpley.”

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    Abraham Lincoln

    Former Senator George McGovern talked about his book Abraham Lincoln (Times Books; December 23, 2008). He detailed the former president’s political career and focused on President Lincoln’s legislative decisions throughout the course of the Civil War. After his presentation he responded to questions from members of the audience. Ambassador McGovern was introduced by author and critic Gore Vidal. The event at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California, on August 26, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. PT was co-sponsored by the Nixon Foundation.

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    2009 National Book Awards

    The 60th annual National Book Awards ceremony was held at Cipriani in New York City with Andy Borowitz as the host. The National Book Foundation presented a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to Gore Vidal and a Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community to Dave Eggers. Then authors spoke after their awards were announced. The 2009 Young People’s Literature Award went to Phillip Hoose for Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). The 2009 Poetry Award went to Keith Waldrop for Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy (University of California Press). The 2009 Nonfiction Award went to T. J. Stiles for The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt (Alfred A. Knopf). The 2009 Fiction Award went to Colum McCann for Let the Great World Spin (Random House).
    The program contains language that some may find offensive.

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    Gore Vidal Interview

    Gore Vidal was interviewed while at the 60th annual National Book Awards ceremony at Cipriani in New York City where he would be presented with a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Topics included his current work and what he was reading.

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    Conservatives Without Conscience

    John Dean talked about his book Conservatives Without Conscience, published by Viking. He argued that conservative politics in the U.S. has moved perilously close to authoritarianism. Former White House counsel John Dean, who was a prominent figure in the Watergate scandal who testified against his former boss, then-President Richard Nixon, further distanced himself from his Republican roots with criticisms of the current Republican leadership, claiming it had sullied the principles of conservatism with radical right-wing policies and Machiavellian tactics. Mr. Dean was joined by author Gore Vidal to discuss his book and political issues. After their presentations both men responded to audience members' questions.

    This event, held at the home of Teddi Winograd, was Number 6 in the Great Mind Series of the Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles.

    Video quality is poor due to inadequate lighting at the event.

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    September 11th Terrorist Attacks

    Panelists talked about the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Among the issues they addressed were various theories concerning the origins of the attacks, charges of a government and media cover-up of key facts, the results of investigations into the attacks, and public perceptions of the events of that day. Participants also called on citizens to question official versions of the terrorist attacks, examine independent sources of information, and conduct grassroots education campaigns to change public opinion. Following their presentations they answered questions from the audience.

    Mr. Tarpley is the author of 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA, published by Progressive Press.

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    Gore Vidal Interview

    Gore Vidal was interviewed about his life and work. Topics included growing older, the media, writing as a profession, presidents and politics, and his grandfather who was blind.

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    Gore Vidal Booksigning

    Mr. Vidal signed copies of his book The Golden Age at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.