James M. McPherson

October 6, 2014 - James M. McPherson 10/06/2014 Views: 19,740

"Embattled Rebel" author James M. McPherson talks about Confederate President Jefferson Davis and weighs in on why the North won the Civil War. (5:42)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> STEPHEN: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY!

MY GUEST TONIGHT HAS A NEW BOOKABOUT CONFEDERATE PRESIDENT

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

I WILL CLAIM THE INTERVIEW ISABOUT SOMETHING OTHER THAN

SLAVERY.

PLEASE WELCOME JAMESMCPHERSON!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)THANK YOU SO MUCH!

THANKS FOR BEING HERE!

YOU ARE A PROFESSOR AT PRINCETONUNIVERSITY.

WELL, LA TEE DA!

SOMEBODY"S PRETTY SMART.

YOU'RE CONSIDERED AN EXPERT ONTHE CIVIL WAR AND AUTHOR OF MANY

BOOKS INCLUDING PULITZER PRIZEBATTLE CRY FREEDOM AND YOUR

LATEST "EMBATTLED REBEL: JEFFERSON DAVIS AS

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF."

ARE YOU FROM THE SOUTH?

>> NO.

>> STEPHEN: WHERE ARE YOUFROM?

>> NORTH DAKOTA.

>> STEPHEN: YOU GOT NO DOG INTHIS FIGHT!

WHAT INTERESTS YOU IN THE SOUTH,BEING FROM NORTH DAKOTA?

THAT'S AS FAR AWAY FROM THESOUTH AS NORTH CAN BE

>> I GREW UP IN MINNESOTA AFTERBORN IN NORTH DAKOTA.

>> STEPHEN: OKAY.

THE SOUTH WAS A MYSTERIOUS,STRANGE LAND TO ME AND I DECIDED

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT IT.

>> STEPHEN: I BET THE SOUTHFELT PRETTY GOOD ABOUT MID

FEBRUARY.

>> BEING FROM MINNESOTA, THAT'SQUITE TRUE, YES.

>> STEPHEN: WELL, I'M FROMCHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA,

WHERE WE LIKE TO SAY ALL ROADSLEAD NORTH FROM HERE, AND THERE

ARE PEOPLE IN MY HOME STATE WHOSTILL GET TEARY WHEN YOU START

TO TALK ABOUT ROBERT E. LEE, BUTNOBODY GIVES A DAMN ABOUT

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

(LAUGHTER)HE WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE

CONFEDERACY.

I'M NOT SAYING ANYTHING ABOUTYOUR BOOK, IT'S A GREAT SUBJECT,

BUT WHY DON'T WE LOVE DAVIS?

>> WELL, DAVIS WAS AT THE TOP OFTHE CHAIN.

SOMEBODY HAS TO BE BLAMED FORDEFEAT, AND THE BUCK STOPPED AT

THE PRESIDENT'S DESK.

>> STEPHEN: HE SAID THAT,ORIGINALLY, DIDN'T HE?

THE BUCK STOPS HERE.

>> HARRY TRUMAN SAID THAT.

>> STEPHEN: HE WAS THE HARRYTRUMAN OF THE CONFEDERACY.

>> THAT'S CORRECT.

(LAUGHTER)>> STEPHEN: QUESTION ABOUT

DAVIS, GREAT CONFEDERATE OR THEGREATEST CONFEDERATE PRESIDENT?

>> HE WAS THE ONLY.

>> STEPHEN: I'LL PUT YOU DOWNFOR GREATEST, BECAUSE I ONLY

HAVE GREATER-GREATEST HERE.

GROWING UP IN SOUTH CAROLINA, IKNOW THE CIVIL WAR WASN'T

PRIMARILY ABOUT SLAVERY.

>> MM-HMM.

>> STEPHEN: WHY DID DAVIS FEELTHEY HAD TO SECEDE?

>> BECAUSE THE CIVIL WAR WASABOUT SLAVERY.

>> STEPHEN: ECONOMIC ISSUES,STATES' RIGHTS BUT NOT SLAVERY.

>> MM-HMM(LAUGHTER)

DAVIS SAID LINCOLN'S ELECTIONREPRESENTED A THREAT TO

$3 BILLION WORTH OF PROPERTY.

SOME OF THAT PROPERTY WASACTUALLY JEFFERSON DAVIS'

HIMSELF.

HE OWNED 113 SLAVES, AND IFSLAVERY DISAPPEARED, HE WOULD

HAVE HAD TO GO ON UNEMPLOYMENT.

>> STEPHEN: DID THEY HAVETHAT?

THE CONFEDERATE STATES?

>> WELL, A LOT OF PEOPLE WHOOWNED SLAVES WERE NOT EMPLOYED

BECAUSE THE SLAVES DID ALL THEWORK.

>> STEPHEN: HOW WAS HE AS ACOMMANDER-IN-CHIEF?

DID HE HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIPWITH LEE?

>> A VERY GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITHLEA, IT WAS A CREATIVE

PARTNERSHIP.

>> STEPHEN: WHAT DO YOUMEAN BY CREATIVE PARTNERSHIP?

THAT SOUNDS LIKE THEY WORKED INA DANCE TROUPE.

>> WELL, IN A WAY THEY DID.

>> STEPHEN: IN WAY, THEY WEREIN A DANCE TROUPE.

I WANT TO BE CLEAR ON WHAT YOUJUST SAID, OKAY?

(LAUGHTER)(APPLAUSE)

WHO'S LEADING IN THIS DANCE?

(LAUGHTER)>> DAVIS IS LEADING.

LEE IS ACTUALLY MANIPULATING HIMTO LEAD IN A CERTAIN WAY.

>> STEPHEN: WHY DID THE SOUTHLOSE THE CIVIL WAR?

>> I THINK THE BETTER WAY TO ASKTHAT QUESTION IS WHY DID THE

NORTH WIN THE CIVIL WAR.

>> STEPHEN: LET ME ASK ITAGAIN.

WHY DID THE SOUTH LOSE THE CIVILWAR?

(APPLAUSE)MY SHOW, MY QUESTION.

(LAUGHTER)WHY DID THE NORTH WIN?

>> THE NORTH WON BECAUSE ITDEVELOPED A BETTER LEADERSHIP BY

THE LATTER TWO YEARS OF THE WARTHAT COULD MAKE USE OF THE

NORTH'S SUPERIOR RESOURCES.

THE NORTH HAD MORE PEOPLE, ASTRONGER ECONOMY, MORE GUNS,

MORE BUTTER, BUT AT FIRST THEYDIDN'T EMPLOY THIS ADVANTAGE

VERY SUCCESSFULLY, BUT BY THELAST YEAR OR TWO OF THE WAR,

LINCOLN HAD PUT TOGETHER AWINNING TEAM OF GRANT AND

SHERMAN AND SHERIDAN AND THOMASAND LINCOLN'S OWN POLITICAL

LEADERSHIP, AND THAT EVENTUALLYCARRIED THROUGH TO A VICTORY.

>> STEPHEN: CAN I POINT OUTSOMETHING?

CAN WE HAVE A CLOSE SHOT OFTHIS?

THERE'S THE COVER.

THERE'S JEFFERSON DAVIS RIGHTTHERE.

I WANT TO POINT OUT SOMETHING TOYOU.

IF I DO THIS AND THIS, IF I DOTHIS, OKAY --

(LAUGHTER)-- IF I DO THIS, OKAY, AND

THIS --(LAUGHTER)

-- AND THIS, AND LIKE THAT,LIKE THAT, OKAY --

(LAUGHTER)(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

IS THERE ANY CHANCE -- IS THEREANY CHANCE THAT JEFFERSON DAVIS

AND LINCOLN WERE THE SAME MAN?

DID ANYONE EVER SEE THEM IN THESAME ROOM TOGETHER?

>> NO ONE EVER DID.

>> STEPHEN: NO ONE EVER SAWTHEM?

SO THEY COULD HAVE BEEN THE SAMEPERSON AND JUST SAID MARY TODD

WAS CRAZY TO PROTECT LINCOLN'SSECRET IDENTITY AND THAT'S WHY

LINCOLN HAD TO BE ASSASSINATEDBECAUSE ONLY ONE OF THEM COULD

SURVIVE THE WAR.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> STEPHEN: THAT'S YOUR NEXTBOOK.

>> THAT'S MY NEXT BOOK.

>> STEPHEN: THANK YOU SO MUCH!

(APPLAUSE)>> STEPHEN: JAMES MCPHERSON,

"EMBATTLED REBEL". AND THEN GOGET A SHARPIE.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.