As a New York Times staff reporter for the last decade, Sarah Maslin Nir has seen a lot. She covered the escape of two inmates from the Clinton Correctional Facility; camped out overnight at Zuccotti Park with Occupy Wall Street protesters; attended 25 parties over five days; and conducted a sweeping investigation into New York City’s nail salon industry, for which she was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Maslin Nir’s latest project is Horse Crazy: The Story of a Woman and a World in Love with an Animal, a new book that traces her lifelong obsession with horses and provides a window into the lesser-known corners of the equestrian world.
Throughout her career, Maslin Nir has carried the stories of her family with her—including her father, Yehuda Nir, who survived the Holocaust in Poland and became a prominent psychiatrist who specialized in treating trauma among New York City’s Hasidic Jews.
This program explores Maslin Nir’s family background, fascinating career, and identity as the descendant of Holocaust survivors. She’s interviewed by Stephanie Butnick, Tablet Magazine Deputy Editor and co-host of the leading Jewish podcast “Unorthodox.”
Watch the program below.
This program’s original recording transcript is below. This transcription was created automatically during a live program so may contain inaccurate transcriptions of some words.
Ari Goldstein: i'm Ari Goldstein Senior Public programs producer at the Museum of Jewish heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust and it's a pleasure to welcome you to today's program force crazy and the Holocaust, but Sarah has a linear and our wonderful moderator stephanie button and.
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Ari Goldstein: Sarah Muslim near has been in New York Times reporter staff reporter, for the last decade.
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Ari Goldstein: she's covered a lot of interesting stories in her career, many of which those who, in the audience probably have read.
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Ari Goldstein: Including a sweeping investigations in New York city's nail salon industry, for which she was a 2016 pulitzer prize finalist.
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Ari Goldstein: It says new book is horse crazy the story of a woman in a world in love with an animal which traces her lifelong obsession with horses and offers a window into the lesser known corners of the equestrian world.
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Ari Goldstein: If you've read the book, then we know that it also explores in depth sarah's Jewish identity and family background in the Holocaust, which is totally interconnected with her love of horses, hence our title for this evenings Program.
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Ari Goldstein: You can order the book at the link in the zoom chat it's from sarah's local retailer here in New York so every copy they sell is personally signed.
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Ari Goldstein: we're glad that you guys are here with us to explore her background and story.
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Ari Goldstein: Our host this evening is the wonderful stephanie buttoning who's a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors herself, in addition to being deputy editor of tablet magazine and host of the leading Jewish podcast unorthodox.
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Ari Goldstein: While Sarah and stephanie chat this evening, please feel free to share questions in the zoom Q amp a box before they begin their discussion, we will play a brief.
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Ari Goldstein: Video clip to introduce us to Sarah and to her horse so i'll put it up on the screen in just a moment and then, when the video is done stephanie feel free to dive into the discussion welcome everyone, and thanks again for being here.
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Stephanie Butnick: My name is Sarah maslin near and i'm the author of course crazy, this is stellar maslin near and we are going to read a little bit from my upcoming book, I hope you enjoy.
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In the decade i've worked for the New York Times i've reported across the country and around the world, and as soon as I file each story I do one thing, before I had home I searched for the horses.
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The writer, and he wants to gaze at them stroke them gallop with them, but the reporter, and he has only one goal to know their stories.
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And so I found myself notebook in hand interviewing the keepers of the street horses of Senegal West Africa as the animal slept in corrals have parked cars.
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i've traced the Viking history of the katie Norwegian fjord horse who extracted us, both from a peatbog and the Scottish Highlands.
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And i've quizzed Indian soldiers about the indigenous battle horses I charge through quality in Rochester for my entire life i've sought out horses endlessly.
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Even in the urban world in which I grew up as a girl, I found them on the upper West side in a barn disguised as an old town house.
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I found them underneath the triborough bridge in Harlem and stampeding through central park and yet all this time I never asked myself why.
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Why do I love horses that's because the answer is always been because horses.
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Its response that anybody has ever felt the ineluctable tug of their big amber eyes, in which you see something much more than your own reflection, or who knows the piece of their shattering wildness immediately understands because horses answer enough.
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But while to me horses feel like an inevitability a part of my body and my life in a way, I don't question, any more than I would the rise and fall of my own chest is still.
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In fact, why is the sum total of my job description as a journalist, so it was only a matter of time before I turn the query on myself.
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That quest became this book and it expanded far beyond just me because i'm not alone, as I sought out the horses, I found their humans.
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The two teen sisters who bought a wild pony only to set a forever free the executive, who left corporate America for life patrolling central park as a mounted ranger.
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The Pennsylvania man who ran an echoing version of the FBI and the fox hunter who galloped away from a crumbling marriage and the diplomats daughter, who wanted forbidden horses so badly she smuggled their semen across the sea horses lend themselves to stories I want.
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Ari Goldstein: Courses.
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Ari Goldstein: All right, welcome stephanie and Sarah.
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Stephanie Butnick: Thanks so much Ari and wow Sarah that was quite an entrance I like that whole special video just for us.
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Stephanie Butnick: So i'm so glad to be here tonight and to be here with you, the title of tonight's talk is a great title it's horse crazy and the Holocaust, which, I imagine, is what drew all of our attendees in tonight, they said.
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Stephanie Butnick: Wait what what what does that mean, so this is, of course, about your wonderful memoir and reporting book horse crazy but it's also a surprisingly perfect encapsulation of.
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Stephanie Butnick: Not just the book but but also your life, so I want to sort of jump right in we saw.
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Stephanie Butnick: You on screen you saw your love of horses we're going to get to all of that, I want to sort of start at the beginning.
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Stephanie Butnick: You grew up between what seems like two realities you lived on the upper East side you ended up you attended, you know upper crust all girls private school there's the House in the hamptons the horse.
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Stephanie Butnick: riding horses it all seems very genteel on and then at home, you have your father, who is you who to near this.
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Stephanie Butnick: accented immigrant from Poland who didn't understand baseball when you were growing up, who evaded hitler's a nine year old channeled his enormous childhood trauma into a renowned career as a psychiatrist in New York City so.
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Stephanie Butnick: start with you just telling us a little bit about both of those worlds, which both seem pretty intense in their own ways and how you navigated between them, you know the privilege, on one hand and what must have felt like this looming sense of trauma at home.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Well, first of all stephanie I thank you for such a deep read of the book, I often say that when.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Of course people get this book they're going to be like, why is there, so much gentler in this book about horses and I feel sort of self consciousness about that.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: But you know braided together those are the threads that form the tapestry of my life, so thank you for your deep breathe and that great question.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Believe it or not, so crisply is trauma as molded through generations that in our pristine ivory tower life in on park avenue, and this world you describe, I felt like we were still in hiding those were the emotions that my father's.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Death defying survival imbued me with my father actually hit in plain sight as a nine year old boy.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: until the age of 14 he hit with a false baptismal certificate that denied his Jewish identity his name actually originally was a Julius grunfeld.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: And he became eventually yehuda near but in between he had many different identities.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: On his baptismal certificate forged by a family friend and so in this posh life, I felt like I was living with my own forged identity and that's something that I unpack in the book really the book was a.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Deep look at trying to understand obsession passion Why am I so obsessed with this elite world of horses, that is really um you know hyper wasabi this is Jackie Onassis is you know Jackie kennedy's world and.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: cashmere and john first, and I think a large part of my desire to penetrate and belong in that world was to pass.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: I really completed these blonde haired and for reddit pony tails girls in the pony ring with me as an area actually areas that were part of this boogeyman that my father had escaped i'm talking about these.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: You know not fully formed principles that I had as a child, but I knew them I knew them in my heart of hearts and, of course, my parents are psychologists and psychiatrists so the book had to you know take take a deep look at how Michigan they made me.
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Stephanie Butnick: I know the combination of two parents, both in the biz one you know with all costs background, but you know what was so interesting to me is.
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Stephanie Butnick: Your father's psychiatric practice also presented its own sort of duality you know the upper East side elites that you write about the future, you don't write about them, but that that idea that that was part of his practice but also these hasidic Jews of brooklyn and so.
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Stephanie Butnick: I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about that, and whether he thought about these patients as being different are facing different issues and how you sort of solve those two worlds in your own your own upbringing oh.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: It was really fascinating you're exactly right he had a practice at 93 park avenue on 79th and park and he also had really the picture from a couple different hasidic.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: dimensions that he was the psychiatrist you are allowed to see outside of the fold he spoke seven languages so he was able to counsel patients India dish in Ukrainian in German in Polish in Hebrew and.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: He had this yeah the heck show to see them so actually a lot of them, he would see for free and he actually buy them metro cards and subway tokens to come see him one.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: thing I should really say is that he didn't treat them differently, and I mean treat capital T as a clinician.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: The problems that are in there very insular world have parallels in the mainstream world as well in the secular world.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: And he had a big watch word stephanie which was mastery he felt everybody was seeking to master themselves to master the world, and when you're from a very close perhaps anachronistic.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: religious group you read many, particularly women, is when a patient struggled with finding a sense of mastery what does it mean to master the world when your radio or is it.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: And yet he felt that they had a exact parallel experiences just in their own insular world, as did his secular patients, because what we were all looking for including me was mastery and where I found a sense of mastery was in penetrating the horse world.
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Stephanie Butnick: yeah I mean, I think this idea of belonging really does thread itself so nicely throughout your book throughout the stories and.
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Stephanie Butnick: So you know, for you, as you say, horses, where you belong, and you discovered that at a young age, and so.
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Stephanie Butnick: we've talked a little bit about this in the video, but you know I know we have some people here who are also horse crazy have some people here who may have like seen a horse in person, a few times.
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Stephanie Butnick: Can you tell us about that sort of electric connection, you have with horses What was it, what is it that captivated you both as a young child and, to this day.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: yeah I want to push back on one thing you said stephanie though because.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: I didn't find that I belonged in horses, I found that I was compelled to belong, and I think part of why I felt so compelled to belong is because I did it is because I had the dad with the funny accent I had you know the.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: damp masa wrapped and clingfilm that I brought to the horror shows you know, I was compelled to belong, and I would often say that you know dad.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: This isn't our world like I am an outsider here, this is Ralph lauren's world, you know that he dressed in Kashmir and jodhpurs and dad would say no seta not Ralph lauren Ralph lifshitz.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Ralph lauren's real name is Ralph lifshitz and he's a Jew from New York, just like me and that to me spoke that identity that belonging is what you make it that it is a construct and.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: you're allowed to define it yourself and Ralph lauren defined was culture Ralph elections, and so I will just the correct you on on that that small note.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: In terms of the electric connection with courses in the book I begin I say when ever anyone asked me why do I love them, I would say, because horses.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: And it's a tautology that's an absolutely satisfying answer for a horse lover there's something about how they move how they look how they feel and yet.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: You know, when you look at a dog or a cat.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: You think oh how cute right, but when you look at, of course, you feel something it's a little bit more akin to looking at a mountain range or the sea rolling in.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: There is something deeper packed into them, and particularly in America if come to symbolize American spirit they've come to symbolize our our.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: invulnerability or are going it alone kind of nature, and so they come loaded on their backs and in their bodies with a lot more than just being fuzzy was he an adorable.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: And that connection ISM is deeply powerful there's one other way that you connect with them that you don't connect with.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Other animals is your body snatch them but becoming one with the horse is not uniting to have it is to fusing you're being.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: into it and controlling it completely and in that way they lend you their power on my own two legs i'm just Sarah you lent for more i'm formidable I have 30 elite boots I have power.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: that's not accessible to a mere mortal and in that way horses let you touch something closer to the infinite.
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Stephanie Butnick: love that I mean you do you write a lot about writing with the ashley's and the charlotte's with their blond hair and they are the ponies that they had themselves and their fancy writing guarantee.
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Stephanie Butnick: you describe yourself as sort of the upstart kid of immigrant Jews and i'm and i'm wondering me.
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Stephanie Butnick: How much of that as a as a child of you know, several you know thinkers in this way, I mean.
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Stephanie Butnick: How much of that I won't do that send a sense of otherness last I mean Do you still feel that I mean to me there's a difference of like the connection with the horses and then like the wider horse world which, as you described.
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Stephanie Butnick: is rather elite, and so did you outgrow it, how much of it was sort of like in your head i'm so curious how you look back, particularly on your young self and the insecurities you felt about your your status versus everyone else's.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Well, first of all it's important to identify that it's patently false I come from, tremendous privilege, you know my my parents both had.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: devastating beginnings in this world my grandfather was murdered by the German so.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: My father was almost murdered, as he would say he was a nine year old boy you out with it 80 million Germans trying to murder him so he viewed his life as a tremendous victory lap my mother was abandoned at birth she's adopted and.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: I didn't have any of that I did live on park avenue I did summer in the hamptons but what I was feeling was intergenerational trauma and that lack of belonging, you know externally I looked at every bit the part and it didn't occur to me, you know, but I.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: I don't know if you ever get over it right and a good, healthy dose of imposter syndrome is what makes you work real hard.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: You know, it will make see is what makes you wedged yourself into a career at the New York Times, because you know it's another victory lap against the Nazis, I once was telling a friend, we were at pace.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: And I was telling him about some success of having some book and something, and he turned to me said, Sarah I know the name of your future memoir if you ever write it, I was like what is it, he said hitler's worst nightmare.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: You know, he said that's what you are, you know and, and so I was loaded with intergenerational trauma that it doesn't really matter what reality is it's it's a perception issue.
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Stephanie Butnick: that's that's that's fascinating um.
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Stephanie Butnick: there's a lot in this book obviously about the horses with in your life and stories that you've reported from India to she can T, which is a word I did not actually know how to pronounce before tonight.
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Stephanie Butnick: But there's a lot in here, as you say about about that your family and about particular your dad and so.
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Stephanie Butnick: In a funny way the horse thing wasn't entirely foreign to him, and there was a really great passage I was hoping that you might read just give us a sense, first of all about the book sounds like but also have you know your particular family story.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Sure, so I really, really wanted a horsey pedigree right like it talks about belonging I I wanted one and my daddy's tell this story about.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: That, yes, we had horses in the family, Sarah we had a subversive like World War one era polak in the family who would gather up.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: courses that were abandoned by the Polish cavalry and he would collect them from the woods when they were broken up and discarded and then he would bring it back to his farm.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: and send a runner out to where the cavalry was stationed and he was anti war so.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: i'll explain that, in a second and tell them about fresh horses for you come to this farm and buy fresh cavalry mounts and right before they got there, he would put.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: pepper into the horses aliases and they would prance and buck and freak out because, obviously, I mean who wouldn't and the Polish cavalry be very impressed and buy back their own decrepit horses thinking, they were full of fire that kind of work.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: That is not the genteel horse heritage that I wanted I have investigated it in my family I have learned to just patently false and it's just a story my dad made up, however.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: In the pursuit of the book, there is a dubious and revolting practice of doing that, so the fact that my dad even knew that was a thing, and it does happen it's called spiriting a horse up and it's in certain very despicable disciplines in the United States still and elsewhere.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Maybe makes me think there's a grain of truth but absent that horsey heritage that I wanted, and with that discussing one that I, I feel like i'm going to deny, however, Jews were in fact.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: horse dealers in the old country they were forced out of many other jobs but being forced dealers, is when they could have actually until about World War Two when they were edicts removing them from the marketplaces.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: But my dad had an interesting connection to horses that was much more real.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: And he had been impressed into hard Labor on a Polish farm the family believed that he and his mother and sister were Polish refugees not Jewish and so.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Basically conscripted them as my dad is private it was slave Labor and the family actually.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: asked to be inducted into Yad Vashem after saying that they have protected choose and my father controversially at the time, fought against it said.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: They didn't protect Jews, they felt we were pulled and they had free slave Labor from us and didn't deserve to be in it, but that's a whole nother story, however.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: The last day of the war was spent at that, far from my father.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: to him as to me horses were freedom on April 28 1945 my father was 15.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Is tattered family had been impressed into hard Labor on a German farm by Nazi sympathizer and farmers who believed they were harboring Polish refugees not Jews.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Suddenly, on a bridge were Russian soldiers, the war was over.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: My father his mother his sister rode away from the farm to freedom in a briscoe a four wheeled carriage pulled by as my father wrote in his book, the last child to.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: quote the only horse left in the stable a two year old mayor that hadn't been trained yet to pull a carriage and therefore it had been left behind by the Russians.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: We were all happy, except for the horse, who was having a hard time adjusting to her first job and so throughout his life, the scent, of course, is considered freedom.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: full of relief, full of peace inside deeply into my hair when he hugged me after a long day of mucking stalls and grooming horses brought the barn home with me.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: And i'm 59th street of fifth avenue among the central park carriage horses and the scent of his remembered liberation when he drove to the stables to pick me up from doing chores or riding horses, my father would roll down the window and close his eyes.
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Stephanie Butnick: I love that and to me there's something so much more magnificent about your family's horse connection right when your dad says war horse people he's up being a little facetious but not really right there was something about first of all pulling one over.
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Stephanie Butnick: You know, as as Jews and the first door apocryphal family story, and then you know, to actually have horses lead you to freedom and that's so much better, I feel like them like a granddad had a great horse, and so did I yeah.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: No that's a great way of thinking and i'll tell you one other story, and maybe i'm jumping ahead to a question to ask, but it feels appropriate.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: So when I was about 16 I was in a very prestigious competition, called the Hampton classic and I, given what i've been telling you about that.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: sense of being out of place an outsider in a world that didn't belong to her, I was convinced I couldn't possibly compete, this is the best.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: junior riders in the world, and I did my round my course of jumps and I put my horse away and I went to go find some funnel cake right because that's what i'm here for not the competition, the funnel cake and.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: My father, however, knowing nothing about horses, we did all day at the side of the ring his bald head crisping in the sun.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: and out of 60 riders I actually came in second and when they collect the ribbons each rider walks in and on on their horse and you know, places the ribbon on its head and does a little victory lap and so in this line of.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: Victory laughing horses I wasn't anywhere to be seen, so my father went in, and you know elderly even then he had me quite late in life.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: trundled in and he took that second place ribbon from the judge and put it on his chest and turned to him and raised up his hands and said I defeated Hitler.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: And that's the story, I told at my father's funeral directly to his pine casket and.
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Sarah Maslin Nir: There are two lessons in that right what courses meant what living well meant.
00:23:39.300 --> 00:23:55.290
Sarah Maslin Nir: What being able to live meant to my father, but also in just a father's love for a daughter, I was convinced I hadn't won and my dad was convinced, I had without knowing anything about these animals and so that to me encapsulates what horses became to my family.
00:23:56.010 --> 00:24:01.020
Stephanie Butnick: I love that story, and the first thing that I was thinking when I read it was you must have been so mortified as a.
00:24:04.800 --> 00:24:05.340
Sarah Maslin Nir: Bear.
00:24:05.580 --> 00:24:06.990
Sarah Maslin Nir: yeah he.
00:24:07.080 --> 00:24:21.480
Sarah Maslin Nir: isn't that interesting I wasn't there I didn't belong and and even even and that's the fiction of identity right that identity is a construct here, I was not only was I there, I was the best of the best and I disappeared, because I didn't believe it.
00:24:22.800 --> 00:24:33.510
Stephanie Butnick: And and it's funny because to me it seems like you felt, so much the outsider but he relish shouldn't be right, like who, who mentioned Hitler on the at the Hampton classic he did right so there's really.
00:24:34.200 --> 00:24:39.930
Stephanie Butnick: A SIP of this again this like subversive connection to this genteel world right.
00:24:40.140 --> 00:24:52.470
Sarah Maslin Nir: What was fascinating about my dad's approach to anti semitism was to turn the tropes us against our people on its head right so that cousin who is duping the soldiers.
00:24:52.770 --> 00:25:07.800
Sarah Maslin Nir: He took the trope of the greedy Shylock and made him into a subversive war hero right he's a he's a peace activists and my father described himself as very cunning the Germans couldn't kill me could murder me because I was too cunning.
00:25:08.220 --> 00:25:17.190
Sarah Maslin Nir: And that was his reclaiming of those the shifty narrative of the Jew as shifty yes, I feel like a motherfucker pardon my French.
00:25:18.450 --> 00:25:31.080
Stephanie Butnick: that's so funny I mean, I still wonder how that how that was to grow up with, because I feel like there's this age where you're a young girl you're growing up and all you want to do is fit in with the ashley's and the charlotte's.
00:25:31.140 --> 00:25:31.530
Stephanie Butnick: And then.
00:25:32.580 --> 00:25:41.490
Stephanie Butnick: The side of being like no we're cutting and that's great and we're different and that's power, I mean, how did you sort of reconcile that was that something that you should have came to appreciate more as you grew up.
00:25:42.870 --> 00:25:47.220
Sarah Maslin Nir: yeah I mean the words let's bow right like that's like the the.
00:25:48.300 --> 00:25:55.260
Sarah Maslin Nir: Jewish if we were X men, you know that's our that's our superpower my dad has a really fascinating story.
00:25:56.250 --> 00:26:06.900
Sarah Maslin Nir: When after the war he had really a fifth grade education, because he spent the whole time hiding in plain sight with various jobs, he got a high school equivalency degree.
00:26:07.590 --> 00:26:13.860
Sarah Maslin Nir: In Israel, after linked Israel post war and he ended up.
00:26:14.640 --> 00:26:16.230
Sarah Maslin Nir: Getting college credits and whatnot.
00:26:16.530 --> 00:26:26.280
Sarah Maslin Nir: And he couldn't get a job as a Barbie stuff he was getting rejected from like every wrestler because, like he doesn't have a resume right like you're on the run hiding from the Nazis you can't you don't know how to make a cappuccino.
00:26:26.820 --> 00:26:32.820
Sarah Maslin Nir: So he's coming back from getting rejected from like yet another parties to job, this is like 1948 ish and.
00:26:33.300 --> 00:26:43.950
Sarah Maslin Nir: He runs into a girl he knows, and he says, where she says, where you're coming from and he says, you know another job rejections, where you coming from she says the Bank, you know they're giving loans to go to Medical School in Vienna.
00:26:44.430 --> 00:26:54.510
Sarah Maslin Nir: or outside the country because at the time you couldn't operate on cadavers within the confines of the State of Israel or it wasn't an answer with state and my dad goes congratulations.
00:26:55.230 --> 00:27:09.990
Sarah Maslin Nir: On on applying and she goes me I wouldn't apply What do you mean it and apply and my dad says, and these are immortal words that have become my mantra he said, let them say no, first, before I tell myself, no.
00:27:10.650 --> 00:27:19.620
Sarah Maslin Nir: And he walked to the bank after getting rejected from the berries to job applied for the loan got it went to Medical School in Vienna and being a doctor on park avenue for the rest of his life.
00:27:20.010 --> 00:27:31.530
Sarah Maslin Nir: And so the the pushing this of the Jews don't let them say no first have been tropes of my journalism career and every every moment of my waking life.
00:27:32.550 --> 00:27:35.880
Stephanie Butnick: I like that that embrace of something that we could feel shame about.
00:27:36.090 --> 00:27:36.270
00:27:37.380 --> 00:27:45.240
Stephanie Butnick: To reverse it right to subvert it exactly so, can you tell the story of how your parents man, I found it so delightful interesting.
00:27:45.330 --> 00:27:52.890
Sarah Maslin Nir: yeah I think my mom is on this call, so my mom is 17 years older than my dad and she was a.
00:27:54.330 --> 00:28:02.880
Sarah Maslin Nir: School psychiatrist excuse me a school psychologist and my brother, my father was brought in, because there was a student of hers who.
00:28:03.390 --> 00:28:09.390
Sarah Maslin Nir: had been refusing insulin and I sometimes a complete a couple of these stories so she i'm sure she's going to correct me in the in the chat.
00:28:10.290 --> 00:28:16.980
Sarah Maslin Nir: But at one point, the relationship he figured out that his student wasn't refusing insulin because he had a death wish it's because he.
00:28:17.490 --> 00:28:26.400
Sarah Maslin Nir: absorbed the messaging from his family of druggies use needles to well and he was afraid to be seen as a druggie for using his insulin.
00:28:26.610 --> 00:28:37.410
Sarah Maslin Nir: And so my mom was deeply impressed with my dad's figuring this out, you know he'd been called in, for what they thought was a suicidal child and he sorted out, and she heard this you know seven times little bit accent.
00:28:38.160 --> 00:28:50.550
Sarah Maslin Nir: And she wanted to impress them, so my 26 year old mom with her wasteland blonde hair runs after my you know bald 40 year old soon what future dad yelling.
00:28:50.880 --> 00:28:59.910
Sarah Maslin Nir: I don't me I don't need, which is her Hebrew school Hebrew what she thinks means you know, Sir, Sir, it means a little something closer, as we know, to my leads.
00:29:01.230 --> 00:29:07.710
Sarah Maslin Nir: it's very, very formal my dad's or looks up the stairs and he was like that lady just called me Lord.
00:29:09.300 --> 00:29:12.990
Sarah Maslin Nir: And that became how they met, but for my mother being adopted.
00:29:13.440 --> 00:29:24.660
Sarah Maslin Nir: Being able to connect with someone over Jewish identity was so important right my mom has long blonde hair green eyes she's ethnically Irish and but what brought her to my dad was their jewishness.
00:29:24.870 --> 00:29:35.430
Sarah Maslin Nir: And so, those are just really interesting interplay as well, their connection was over his Hebrew accent, and the fact that you would never think that this woman could understand it.
00:29:36.210 --> 00:29:41.850
Stephanie Butnick: it's so interesting because there's so many just different stories of identity and how we see ourselves how we worry or.
00:29:42.690 --> 00:29:51.120
Stephanie Butnick: Think other people see us versus how have how we kind of get like some version, this is, that is the word I feel like the night because.
00:29:51.780 --> 00:30:05.190
Stephanie Butnick: it's so true, it seems like she had to shift her own perspective about I mean she's here so she can speak for itself, but you know this idea, like you saw yourself as a certain way, and actually then turned out to actually be completely false right it didn't need to be that way.
00:30:05.370 --> 00:30:14.490
Sarah Maslin Nir: You know what's really funny and we're kosher Jews from New York City and my mom is like really Julie and then every once a while and I tell someone she's adopted they're like wait that doesn't make sense they go look at my mom.
00:30:14.700 --> 00:30:25.500
Sarah Maslin Nir: Take a look at her, she looks like the you know Las Vegas last but they don't see it, because they feel her jewishness right the gestalt and so you know we all put on different identities and.
00:30:26.040 --> 00:30:40.590
Sarah Maslin Nir: My my mom walks in two worlds, but if I walk in 20 you walk in 30 but it's just so funny that no it no one ever But then when I stopped that my go go look Come on, and they're like oh yeah, of course, you know.
00:30:41.850 --> 00:30:50.520
Sarah Maslin Nir: But you know identity is what you make it and I want to speak to something that I found a real parallel in other equestrian stories into.
00:30:51.150 --> 00:31:02.670
Sarah Maslin Nir: Our people story, so you know our people were almost literally erased from this planet annihilated and there have been erasers from the equestrian story that are not.
00:31:03.870 --> 00:31:13.320
Sarah Maslin Nir: life and limb, but of identity, so I worked actually in Harlem for a black cowboy and I had never even known, there was a thing as a black cowboy.
00:31:13.650 --> 00:31:22.950
Sarah Maslin Nir: turns out one in four cowboys in the pioneer era era were black and the the West was actually integrated because life was just too damn hard.
00:31:23.580 --> 00:31:29.790
Sarah Maslin Nir: On the other side of the mountains for to have these structures that existed east of them and black people have.
00:31:30.150 --> 00:31:44.100
Sarah Maslin Nir: been entirely removed from the American equestrian story, and that means they're removed from American identity right because that pioneer era i'm the daughter of an immigrant, but it still feels like my birthright as an American you know the cowboy heritage of the cowboy narrative.
00:31:45.240 --> 00:31:53.010
Sarah Maslin Nir: And so, in the book I ended up writing with the black cowboys across Texas, and a post man has spent his life savings to create the Museum of the black cowboy.
00:31:53.280 --> 00:32:08.550
Sarah Maslin Nir: Really, because of that, parallel narrative of a ratio, and that is the same paralleling and and commonality that you know, or why the Jews walk with Dr king and why they were a part of the civil rights movement, and I saw.
00:32:09.090 --> 00:32:15.960
Sarah Maslin Nir: A real connection to that in both groups or ratio from the equestrian story.
00:32:16.770 --> 00:32:22.440
Stephanie Butnick: it's so interesting because when you think about it, like the West and the cowboy and the horse really is like.
00:32:22.680 --> 00:32:30.450
Stephanie Butnick: This deeply rooted America sense of Americana right like that's what you sort of typifies the American experience and it is interesting, the way in which.
00:32:30.990 --> 00:32:41.310
Stephanie Butnick: There were other groups involved before the the Ralph lauren you know models that you know of course rafi lifshitz models, but like this world didn't always look this way necessarily.
00:32:41.340 --> 00:32:47.190
Sarah Maslin Nir: Well, one up you stephanie that it's bs that a horse is part of America, you know I often think how.
00:32:48.570 --> 00:32:58.590
Sarah Maslin Nir: T is part of England right no tea grows on English shores it's an Indian plant, you know it's it's a sub continental plant yet it's so English well horses are the same way.
00:32:59.160 --> 00:33:06.810
Sarah Maslin Nir: Horses went extinct in the American continent about 10,000 years ago and they were reintroduced.
00:33:07.200 --> 00:33:14.400
Sarah Maslin Nir: On in the belly of a Spanish galleon by Spanish copies to doors, and yet they became completely adopted by Native Americans, and we think of them.
00:33:14.670 --> 00:33:21.030
Sarah Maslin Nir: As intrinsically American and yet Native Americans only learned to ride them and 15th century so it's.
00:33:21.450 --> 00:33:31.710
Sarah Maslin Nir: You know, to me that says identity is pretend, and what that does is allow you access to so much more world so many more worlds and so much more of yourself.
00:33:32.250 --> 00:33:39.780
Sarah Maslin Nir: The great horse whisperer I profile in this book Monte Roberts of the movie the horse whisperer is based on him says for system, and one thing.
00:33:40.110 --> 00:33:50.010
Sarah Maslin Nir: Of of humans, which is that we are there, safe place to be, and in that way courses or democratic they only demand that of people and everybody can be that for them.
00:33:51.030 --> 00:33:57.060
Stephanie Butnick: I love that I also livia says, this is a very fascinating presentation in the chat I also want to encourage everyone who is here.
00:33:57.510 --> 00:33:58.080
Sarah Maslin Nir: To read.
00:33:58.800 --> 00:34:07.230
Stephanie Butnick: In the Q amp a because i'm going to ask Sarah a few more but i'm going to turn it over to all of you and ask your you don't ask yourself i'll ask them to turn your camera on or anything but.
00:34:07.800 --> 00:34:14.730
Stephanie Butnick: we'll get to your questions as well, I know you probably have a lot of them, you know I want to get back to the intergenerational trauma if you don't mind.
00:34:15.990 --> 00:34:29.640
Sarah Maslin Nir: I have a joke in my family that the that you can't end a meal, unless you say the H word so by the end of the meals nobody's mentioned the Holocaust dessert someone will go Holocaust and then we can all leave yeah.
00:34:29.790 --> 00:34:39.750
Stephanie Butnick: For sure I love that I mean, I think that that was something that I was really attuned to while I was reading the story, and so you are the child of Holocaust survivor i'm the grandchild we're not that.
00:34:40.680 --> 00:34:46.140
Stephanie Butnick: we're pretty close in age, you and I, so you, but you have a much closer connection obviously to your father's story.
00:34:47.310 --> 00:34:53.220
Stephanie Butnick: And I guess I sort of want to talk about this, one thing that comes up very, very briefly, in the book where.
00:34:54.660 --> 00:35:01.200
Stephanie Butnick: You sort of, say, to your father, at one point, like that you haven't been through yourself what he had been through and you sort of you know, or a little bit.
00:35:02.400 --> 00:35:11.580
Stephanie Butnick: Just feeling like it, I don't know you could describe how you feel, but his his response he was never envy me my wounds I envy you are spared your own So could you tell me a little bit about.
00:35:12.480 --> 00:35:19.560
Stephanie Butnick: What it's like as a child to feel that what your father went through with such a young age, I mean, how do you sort of deal with that weight.
00:35:20.190 --> 00:35:28.470
Stephanie Butnick: As you're living your happy life that he wanted for you right the life that he worked hard and your mother with her to create for you, because that was the sign of a winning right.
00:35:28.770 --> 00:35:35.520
Sarah Maslin Nir: yeah so I I write about that self consciousness, because even as I sat down to write this first of all, as a reporter.
00:35:35.910 --> 00:35:44.460
Sarah Maslin Nir: For the New York Times you don't write the word I, or we ever so this was a struggle to tell my story that actually initially in a.
00:35:45.000 --> 00:35:54.660
Sarah Maslin Nir: Initial iteration book I didn't include it, I wanted to be an almanac of course crazies and Simon and Schuster said no, we think it's your story too so so that was a challenge.
00:35:55.740 --> 00:35:56.220
Sarah Maslin Nir: But.
00:35:57.600 --> 00:36:02.460
Sarah Maslin Nir: I felt self conscious putting these things to paper, as I say, in the book.
00:36:03.480 --> 00:36:14.910
Sarah Maslin Nir: By comparison, I don't feel like a real person that someone who wasn't forged in the fires of war, who didn't have needs as Adam mystic is survival.
00:36:15.570 --> 00:36:32.340
Sarah Maslin Nir: How could I possibly be real and how could I have the right to not only any happiness, but any suffering when you know even a sunny day can feel like something undeserved when you haven't been through what your dearest family member has.
00:36:33.600 --> 00:36:45.330
Sarah Maslin Nir: And I think my father specialty of post traumatic stress disorder in his practice, he was a pioneer of post traumatic stress disorder now it's a watchword, but when he was starting it wasn't the thing.
00:36:46.800 --> 00:36:48.030
Sarah Maslin Nir: He never.
00:36:49.530 --> 00:37:01.680
Sarah Maslin Nir: In treating his patients who had that disorder judge them as it being lesser and then his own, and so I think there was something special about my father's ability to treat post traumatic stress and others.
00:37:02.340 --> 00:37:08.160
Sarah Maslin Nir: Not from a place of privilege and he's owned a ptsd and suffering, but as a place of compassion for them.
00:37:09.270 --> 00:37:09.630
Sarah Maslin Nir: and
00:37:11.340 --> 00:37:23.250
Sarah Maslin Nir: Although it made me perhaps feel inferior insecure about my own place in the world, I think it also made me compassionate having that legacy and my family.
00:37:24.030 --> 00:37:31.020
Stephanie Butnick: You think that's new that's really, really fascinating I want to shift a little bit before I completely turn turn turn over to the audience but.
00:37:31.650 --> 00:37:40.530
Stephanie Butnick: you're a reporter for the New York Times, if you mentioned the story right that people who are here will definitely know them one amazing one was on garnish which was your big series on.
00:37:41.610 --> 00:37:48.150
Stephanie Butnick: The Labor abuses in within the nail salon world and, more recently, which was a pulitzer prize finalist.
00:37:48.870 --> 00:37:54.240
Stephanie Butnick: More recently, you were really on the front lines of a coven last year, and so I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about.
00:37:54.630 --> 00:38:05.250
Stephanie Butnick: The stories, you were reporting from new Rochelle or obviously like if you're in a bit out from that, but you were really, really in the mix um, can you tell us a little bit about that experience.
00:38:05.310 --> 00:38:16.200
Sarah Maslin Nir: yeah I was the first reporter on the ground in new Rochelle the night that Larry garber's a lawyer became the first documented case of coronavirus in New York, excuse me, the second.
00:38:16.890 --> 00:38:27.180
Sarah Maslin Nir: About at the same time as a person who got it from foreign travel, but he was the first case of Community spread and it actually there's a Jewish angle there right all new this Jewish.
00:38:28.050 --> 00:38:34.500
Sarah Maslin Nir: That he's synagogue was the first place, that in America that experienced a lockdown and that community.
00:38:35.160 --> 00:38:43.020
Sarah Maslin Nir: was a now lockdowns are sort of normal to us, but that was a brave new world I covered it pretty.
00:38:43.560 --> 00:39:03.750
Sarah Maslin Nir: constantly on the ground in new Rochelle when the National Guard came in and when they instituted this cordoned off area which we now notice silly it was everywhere already and I got a coronavirus very swiftly from being there was really one of the first people to really to get it.
00:39:05.250 --> 00:39:08.700
Sarah Maslin Nir: To get it to excuse me documented and diagnose.
00:39:09.960 --> 00:39:19.320
Sarah Maslin Nir: But it really was astounding experience um I think something i've been saying throughout my coverage of coronavirus is that there are no grownups in the room.
00:39:19.800 --> 00:39:27.270
Sarah Maslin Nir: Because it's not possible because we've it's unprecedented and historic and we've never been here before, and so I have a very.
00:39:28.170 --> 00:39:36.840
Sarah Maslin Nir: Interesting response to when we have these bubbles of outrage on different fronts throughout coronavirus i'm not sure anybody knows.
00:39:37.320 --> 00:39:46.590
Sarah Maslin Nir: what's right and it was very much feeling our wind dark and the classic example of how much in the dark, we were is that I went right into a coronavirus zone and.
00:39:47.550 --> 00:39:55.620
Sarah Maslin Nir: got real sick real quick, I mean how foolish now looking back, but it was a fascinating experience and another thing i've been on the forefront of this year.
00:39:56.070 --> 00:40:08.160
Sarah Maslin Nir: Is a lot of the coverage of the deaths of black men at police hands in which has been a really eye opening and profound test to cover these stories.
00:40:09.090 --> 00:40:16.710
Sarah Maslin Nir: That are so explosive that are so volatile that send people in the streets when they read them, you have to get it really right, and you have to be.
00:40:17.250 --> 00:40:26.970
Sarah Maslin Nir: Really really sobering your coverage so it's been a fascinating year to report from the Center of the storm which on both fronts, which has been New York City.
00:40:27.930 --> 00:40:34.140
Stephanie Butnick: So this brings us to our first audience question, which is a nice and they said we how did you become a reporter, and why the New York Times.
00:40:35.280 --> 00:40:41.400
Sarah Maslin Nir: So I became a reporter, because I was born a reporter in that.
00:40:42.690 --> 00:40:55.920
Sarah Maslin Nir: Body I love asking people their you know their business and it's such a treat to get to do this for a living, I had a colleague say in his retirement after 29 years a lovely man, he said.
00:40:56.970 --> 00:40:57.270
Sarah Maslin Nir: I.
00:40:58.380 --> 00:41:05.160
Sarah Maslin Nir: I have a secret that for 29 years i've been doing you've been paying me for what I would have done for free and that's how I feel.
00:41:05.610 --> 00:41:12.480
Sarah Maslin Nir: But I really beg borrow and steal my way in I have this magical little device which actually all of us have.
00:41:13.050 --> 00:41:25.080
Sarah Maslin Nir: it's called a phone and, believe it or not, a rings and you can call people you don't have to text people you listen, can you believe it you don't have to tweet at them or email them when you want to work somewhere.
00:41:25.800 --> 00:41:33.750
Sarah Maslin Nir: Still, maybe not work from home era, but soon back will be back at our desks and next to everyone at their desk is a landline phone.
00:41:34.320 --> 00:41:49.500
Sarah Maslin Nir: And I called and called and called and called and pitched and pitched him pitch and finally broke through with a couple stories and that led to my being called do more and more and more, and eventually a staff job at the times, all from this guy he's still rings.
00:41:50.700 --> 00:41:51.150
Sarah Maslin Nir: row.
00:41:51.660 --> 00:41:58.500
Stephanie Butnick: Excuse me, then the phone rings now i'm like am I in trouble and much like I was like what's what's going to be, but sometimes it's just human contact.
00:41:58.590 --> 00:42:00.990
Sarah Maslin Nir: it's human contact yeah yeah it still works.
00:42:01.350 --> 00:42:06.870
Stephanie Butnick: So here's a question that I don't quite understand, but I think you will, are you still showing and where's your barn yeah.
00:42:07.080 --> 00:42:09.750
Sarah Maslin Nir: that's a worse or nerd like me thanks, though.
00:42:11.280 --> 00:42:19.530
Sarah Maslin Nir: So showing is a writing competitively and, yes, I am a competitive amateur equestrian I ride out in New Jersey, I have three horses.
00:42:20.310 --> 00:42:36.600
Sarah Maslin Nir: They are in the dedication of the book in the front page of it bravo trendsetter excuse me, I just sold bro but to a friend stellar trendsetter and sell core and I compete it for the real cognoscenti in the amateur owner hunters.
00:42:38.340 --> 00:42:46.560
Stephanie Butnick: So someone was asking if you heard the story about the Cossacks and how they select their horses, they take the hurt into a dangerously wild river and force them across.
00:42:46.830 --> 00:42:56.280
Stephanie Butnick: Many don't make it, but those that do are exhausted in your death over those are not the ones the highest officer select they wait for the various courses that will go back and help save one another that's ready.
00:42:57.390 --> 00:43:05.820
Sarah Maslin Nir: hey I wish i'd included this in my book, it sounds amazing, but it does bring me to a topic that I address in the book, I will pivot on what I do know about that.
00:43:06.270 --> 00:43:19.710
Sarah Maslin Nir: Which is a brutality to these animals, and it is very, very easy to do a cruelty to these creatures and I wrestle with the the nature of the sport which is dominating another creature for my pleasure.
00:43:20.190 --> 00:43:28.950
Sarah Maslin Nir: In the book and address it head on and i'm not sure where I come down on you know I don't believe that riding horses as a dance.
00:43:29.340 --> 00:43:43.560
Sarah Maslin Nir: That, too, with two willing participants, but I believe it's a conversation with a creature that's been bred for millennia, to have to be that conversationalist with us, but I think we owe them a tremendous ethic of care and just stories like that there are.
00:43:45.450 --> 00:44:01.920
Sarah Maslin Nir: Endless around the horse world both past and present, have a tremendous brutality exacted on these animals and it's easy to do it is easy to be selfish with a horse, because they are here at our at our will and at our leisure.
00:44:02.940 --> 00:44:03.960
Stephanie Butnick: You know, reminds me of.
00:44:05.040 --> 00:44:14.580
Stephanie Butnick: The story on the book about how you should have your horse tripped and then you fail, and then they can you just sort of, say, because that to me was like oh horses are people basically.
00:44:15.120 --> 00:44:21.900
Sarah Maslin Nir: yeah so uh i've, of course, called trendsetter that actually really, really associate with my father, because I found him the week.
00:44:22.590 --> 00:44:35.760
Sarah Maslin Nir: The day my father ship and just when I found him and he's very, very special to me and he's very disinclined to expend energy I call him a ficus he's like a potted plant of a horse that's what he wants to stay still.
00:44:36.420 --> 00:44:44.850
Sarah Maslin Nir: And so it should make sense that, when we're doing nothing more than trotting around in a circle and a competition transmitter tripped in this sort of sticky dirt.
00:44:45.270 --> 00:44:59.070
Sarah Maslin Nir: and proceeded to do a full somersault at speed and, as we were both coming down, he was falling to the Left and I fell to the Left and I just braced for 1200 pounds of course flesh to end me.
00:44:59.550 --> 00:45:11.220
Sarah Maslin Nir: And it never happened and I stood up, you know that his hind quarters, I saw them above me and they didn't come down on me and I look at trendy was still lying on the ground upside down and forces.
00:45:11.970 --> 00:45:18.330
Sarah Maslin Nir: They don't sleep standing up, but they do spend most of their life standing up and it's, certainly when they go down the jump up, so I thought he had died.
00:45:19.080 --> 00:45:26.970
Sarah Maslin Nir: But it turns out, he was what's called cast cast if you don't have opposable thumbs it's easy to get stuck upside down against an object.
00:45:27.330 --> 00:45:36.120
Sarah Maslin Nir: So here's trendy these are his little legs here is a flower pot and his legs were wrapped around it, and he couldn't scramble them and flip himself over and get up.
00:45:36.840 --> 00:45:46.320
Sarah Maslin Nir: And so, somebody realized that at the show grounds and people came running because they thought he die and we put a rope around his ankle and flip them over, on the other side, and he got right up.
00:45:46.920 --> 00:45:58.470
Sarah Maslin Nir: and afterwards been checked up by an emt and I had actually ended up crashing vertebrae but I was still able to walk but just from the back to the fall and a woman came up to me and she said.
00:45:59.730 --> 00:46:01.380
Sarah Maslin Nir: I just watched your horse save your life.
00:46:02.700 --> 00:46:13.050
Sarah Maslin Nir: She said I was directly behind you when he flipped and he was only coming down on top of you, he felt on the left and you felt the left and he was only coming down on top of you.
00:46:13.440 --> 00:46:22.560
Sarah Maslin Nir: At the last second he talked his body and threw himself to the right into this giant barrel, which has been a flower pot and into this fence, which is how he got stuck.
00:46:24.180 --> 00:46:30.750
Sarah Maslin Nir: And she said no, and I have known it I had seen it we had locked eyes, as we fell and I knew it.
00:46:31.170 --> 00:46:40.710
Sarah Maslin Nir: And I often shy away from what I call the cat lady typo horsemanship you know he loves me and he's my buddy and I play with him.
00:46:41.220 --> 00:46:48.570
Sarah Maslin Nir: Because I don't want to be taken as soft I want to be seen as disciplined and, but there is something that transpires between two bodies that are connected.
00:46:49.320 --> 00:47:05.340
Sarah Maslin Nir: like this and and I realized that I am trendies heard and justin the way, as he wouldn't hurt another member of his herd he had taken pains to avoid me and I was being too too staunch in my desire to not see that and, as she walked away, she said.
00:47:06.720 --> 00:47:11.040
Sarah Maslin Nir: You better thank that horse for saving your life, and I said I did, and I do.
00:47:12.390 --> 00:47:18.240
Stephanie Butnick: love that um take us to our next question, which is how do you feel about the horse racing industry.
00:47:18.720 --> 00:47:19.080
00:47:20.250 --> 00:47:37.230
Sarah Maslin Nir: Well we're going to talk about a couple angles, so one thing I didn't include in my book, that is, become deeply important to me and actually maybe I could ask Ari if you might search the words cheryl white and my name and then just throw the link up in the chat the story just came out.
00:47:38.370 --> 00:47:41.580
Sarah Maslin Nir: So a horse racing while we unpack.
00:47:43.110 --> 00:47:49.110
Sarah Maslin Nir: plantations and we know that plantations and the tobacco industry and cotton was built on slave Labor you can't escape that right.
00:47:49.440 --> 00:47:56.520
Sarah Maslin Nir: So it was American horse racing, and that is a legacy that they have, thank you are, that they have never reckoned with.
00:47:57.450 --> 00:48:03.570
Sarah Maslin Nir: The first, winner of the first ever conducted Derby was a black man and the trainer of that horse was and emancipated slaves.
00:48:03.930 --> 00:48:16.110
Sarah Maslin Nir: And in the early days American horse racing people ran the horses, they owned with the humans, they owned on their backs, and that is how it was done, they purchase leads from West Africa and save people from West Africa for their horsemanship skills.
00:48:16.740 --> 00:48:26.490
Sarah Maslin Nir: And that is a really something I wish i'd included in the book, I only learned it later and one of the lenses, to which I tell that story and the times recently was cheryl white.
00:48:27.600 --> 00:48:39.930
Sarah Maslin Nir: She was pioneering black jockey the first female black jockey in 1971 and she did it as a 17 year old girl and she's just such a badass and I wish I met her and I recently wrote about her.
00:48:40.530 --> 00:48:55.290
Sarah Maslin Nir: But second obviously we can talk about horse racing without talking about drugs and in American horse race and I think there's an average of 22 to 24 horses race horses die a week in America guess how many die in Europe in the same span a week.
00:48:56.820 --> 00:48:57.510
Stephanie Butnick: I don't know.
00:48:57.930 --> 00:49:06.630
Sarah Maslin Nir: None they don't have catastrophic breakdown in Europe, because they have much more stringent drugging rules, and we have crazy.
00:49:07.290 --> 00:49:18.960
Sarah Maslin Nir: promote a culture of permissiveness in this country, and so there is something deeply wrong with American horse racing that use these animals as expendable and the pots worth their lives that has to be course corrected.
00:49:20.220 --> 00:49:20.640
Sarah Maslin Nir: deeply.
00:49:22.920 --> 00:49:30.840
Stephanie Butnick: wow someone is asking an interesting question, which is what do you make of the fact that there are so many images of Nazis on horseback I did not know that is that a thing.
00:49:31.020 --> 00:49:42.240
Sarah Maslin Nir: yeah That was a really fascinating book called the perfect Taurus, which is about actually a Nazi initiative to steal the lip is on horses.
00:49:42.720 --> 00:49:55.800
Sarah Maslin Nir: Basically, in the same parallel to creating the perfect person right the perfect race they had a conception of the perfect course and there was a Herculean effort multi country effort.
00:49:56.520 --> 00:50:09.990
Sarah Maslin Nir: To prevent them from taking these stealing these bloodlines of lipizzaner horses so that's a really fascinating book but look horses our time tied to a military might.
00:50:10.890 --> 00:50:15.180
Sarah Maslin Nir: They are in the same way that they are extensions of the human body they're also.
00:50:16.020 --> 00:50:26.760
Sarah Maslin Nir: Viewed throughout history and art is extensions of the phallus and the way that you dominate people it is for aeons been on horseback so it makes a lot of sense.
00:50:27.300 --> 00:50:37.740
Sarah Maslin Nir: That their connection to the right also I was a mounted parks enforcement officer, you can call me officer near riding in central Park, and let me tell you.
00:50:38.010 --> 00:50:48.180
Sarah Maslin Nir: I had no weapons, I had almost no skills, because those horses are barely trained, but I could command an army on top of that horse in central park if I wanted a dog Walker to put their horse on the leash.
00:50:48.450 --> 00:50:58.320
Sarah Maslin Nir: They would leash excuse me put their dog on the leash they would leash that dog just because I was walking up to them on a horse so horses are a great weapon of intimidation and have always been.
00:50:58.860 --> 00:51:01.350
Stephanie Butnick: And you were like 16 when that happened record high school.
00:51:02.400 --> 00:51:06.690
Sarah Maslin Nir: I was a high school truant on my days off and then I was chasing trends on horseback.
00:51:07.710 --> 00:51:08.790
Sarah Maslin Nir: And my days on.
00:51:09.270 --> 00:51:16.290
Stephanie Butnick: I love that this is a great next question, which is that you mentioned that you know you look for the horses wherever you go across the world, with your reporting.
00:51:16.740 --> 00:51:25.230
Stephanie Butnick: Where is like the craziest place you found a horse with one of the more memorable stories of finding courses, while you're doing completely separate reporting.
00:51:25.590 --> 00:51:34.560
Sarah Maslin Nir: I love this question and it's great because I was going to try to find a funky segue to this and, just like wing it but i'm going to use this one for it so on the cover of my book.
00:51:35.190 --> 00:51:45.300
Sarah Maslin Nir: which you can purchase in the chat says at bravo's book nook all of those are autographed and if you send them a message I will also personalize it to you, but on the cover of this book is.
00:51:46.710 --> 00:51:57.540
Sarah Maslin Nir: A rare Indian horse it's called Mr worry and they're wonderful little horses they're just like other horses, except for one key feature they have curlicue ears that meet at a heart and the top of their head.
00:51:57.930 --> 00:52:04.020
Sarah Maslin Nir: And stephanie we both know everything Pearl is better right a pigtail is better than pointy tail curly Fries better than a French right.
00:52:04.620 --> 00:52:07.770
Sarah Maslin Nir: So I needed one of these when I got back I had.
00:52:08.550 --> 00:52:19.530
Sarah Maslin Nir: Believe it or not, I had a job as a spa reviewer briefly, I know, tough work if you can get it, and I was reviewing a spot in Rajasthan when I wrote these horses I snuck away to write these horses, with a capital remember.
00:52:20.220 --> 00:52:35.850
Sarah Maslin Nir: And I came back to America was like I need a curlicue eared horse, but you can't get them in America they're actually considered a rare commodity by the precious natural resource, but the Indian Government will ban the export I think around 2000 tanner's a little bit before.
00:52:37.110 --> 00:52:46.170
Sarah Maslin Nir: And yet there was one lady who had a dozen of them in martha's vineyard and so for the book, I called her up and I was like, how do you have.
00:52:46.560 --> 00:52:54.840
Sarah Maslin Nir: These horses and she's very posh English woman and she said why don't you come see come for the weekend, like no questions asked so I show up at her farm.
00:52:55.230 --> 00:53:01.560
Sarah Maslin Nir: and her name is Francesca Kelly, and she has been since ever since she went to 1985 on a ride.
00:53:02.040 --> 00:53:08.220
Sarah Maslin Nir: safari ride with her husband across India, she has become obsessed with these horses and she's been to India for 20 years.
00:53:08.820 --> 00:53:22.860
Sarah Maslin Nir: Multiple times a year to steward the breed to try to create a breed registry to elevate it in this country to export some and she got a couple hours before the band, and yet we're standing after swimming with these horses is actually for horse on the cover.
00:53:24.810 --> 00:53:32.610
Sarah Maslin Nir: There was a two year old in the field and a four year old and I said Francesca you know Bam is decades old how, how do you have these horses.
00:53:33.480 --> 00:53:45.000
Sarah Maslin Nir: turns out, she has been smuggling rare Indian semen, in her pockets on Air India flights for years and creating this illicit heard in martha's vineyard.
00:53:45.900 --> 00:53:54.510
Sarah Maslin Nir: And you know as a journalist, you know this, the sum total of our job description is the word fly that's it so here Francesca told me.
00:53:55.110 --> 00:54:08.100
Sarah Maslin Nir: The how you know the semen smuggling, the what the more worried horses, but she didn't give me the why why Francesca Kelly and English socialite become the steward in her mind if these animals and and traveled endlessly back to India, and she said to me.
00:54:09.000 --> 00:54:17.220
Sarah Maslin Nir: she's sitting on her floor in her mentioned that she looks up at me he goes you'll come up with tremendous adventure when you engage in tremendous duplicity.
00:54:17.880 --> 00:54:24.330
Sarah Maslin Nir: I was like What do you mean and it turns out, yes she's been going back to do all this stuff with the horses and smoke philistinism.
00:54:24.750 --> 00:54:34.890
Sarah Maslin Nir: But she's actually going been going back to stop that first safari died that she met in 1995 having a love affair that's broke both their marriages and spanned decades.
00:54:35.610 --> 00:54:47.400
Sarah Maslin Nir: And then, she said to me the immortal words, which I think are my personal motto, and perhaps the surface book, she said yes, Sarah horses are the story, but are they ever the whole story.
00:54:49.860 --> 00:55:03.120
Stephanie Butnick: Well, Sir Muslim near I cannot think of a better note to end that on horses are they the real story, you can find out the real story in horse crazy the story of a woman and a world in love with an animal, thank you for being here tonight with me.
00:55:03.390 --> 00:55:08.430
Sarah Maslin Nir: Thank you for your wonderful questions I love how your mind went and thank you for your deep engagement with the book.
00:55:09.720 --> 00:55:15.270
Stephanie Butnick: And already, thank you for having us both here tonight, and to the Museum of Jewish heritage, always a pleasure to be part of your programming.
00:55:15.840 --> 00:55:21.570
Ari Goldstein: This was awesome thank you both so much, and I will reduce a little surprised not always just we have a.
00:55:22.140 --> 00:55:30.210
Ari Goldstein: lot of our museum is 40,000 objects in our collection, a lot of them are not digitized and some of them are so I did a quick search for the word horse in our online collections.
00:55:30.540 --> 00:55:36.960
Ari Goldstein: database to while I was listening to you guys and kind of couple interesting objects i'm just going to throw up on the screen in advance.
00:55:38.310 --> 00:55:47.190
Ari Goldstein: But this is a beautiful watercolor by this young check Jewish boy Peter lowenstein who was deported to terrorising was 22 and.
00:55:47.580 --> 00:55:52.410
Ari Goldstein: He painted a really impressive collection of work while he was in terrorising.
00:55:52.800 --> 00:55:56.460
Ari Goldstein: ended up being deported to our show to He was killed he entrusted his body work to.
00:55:56.700 --> 00:56:08.850
Ari Goldstein: His family members who later donated to the museum, so I think it sort of beautiful beautiful that he chose to paint this course in plowed field and midst really you know heroin circumstances, maybe he was drawn to them, I don't know in a small way to use their.
00:56:09.360 --> 00:56:17.670
Sarah Maslin Nir: Beautiful beautiful well, I actually write about in the book about being in the Holocaust Museum and for live.
00:56:18.120 --> 00:56:30.600
Sarah Maslin Nir: And having a stunning revelation that I saw an etching from the 1800s it's called the horse dealer and it is a man selling horses, to a very posh German crowd and he has payout.
00:56:31.140 --> 00:56:41.820
Sarah Maslin Nir: And it was such a startling moment for me and maybe we'll end with this that maybe my father's story had a little bit of truth, maybe we were horse people.
00:56:43.170 --> 00:56:44.250
Sarah Maslin Nir: awesome well.
00:56:45.060 --> 00:56:53.190
Ari Goldstein: Thank you, both again, thank you to our audience and you can order the sarah's book at the link in the zoom chat we love to support local bookstores here in New York.
00:56:53.910 --> 00:57:03.270
Ari Goldstein: We hope all of you will stay involved in the museum and join us for upcoming programs and events or events calendar is also in the zoom chat and, of course.
00:57:03.690 --> 00:57:19.350
Ari Goldstein: If you're able we hope you'll donate to support the museum's work everything that we do is made possible through the generous support of our Community Members like you guys, so a great thanks to everyone, and we wish you a safe and wonderful evening take care guys.
00:57:19.770 --> 00:57:20.820
Sarah Maslin Nir: Thank you so much.
00:57:20.880 --> 00:57:21.990
Ari Goldstein: by Sarah by stephanie.
00:57:22.140 --> 00:57:22.590
00:57:23.880 --> 00:57:24.390
Stephanie Butnick: Right