Featured

  • The Power of Poetry with Maggie Smith

    Air Dates: July 22-28, 2019 Poems provide readers with frames of reference, a lens through which to see the world. Maggie Smith shares the inspiration, personal experience, and context behind her award-winning poems, including her most-recent collection, Good Bones, which was published to critical acclaim.  Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (2015); and Lamp of … Read More

  • The Opportunity Costs of Today’s Politics

    I like Ike.  On April 16, 1953, five weeks after the death of Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, Eisenhower delivered the “Chance for Peace” speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors.  It is a classic of cold war political warfare with the Soviet Union—but it’s also a beautiful exposition of the concept of “opportunity cost.” Eisenhower described in the most human terms how the arms race between the Soviet Union … Read More

  • Editorial Cartoons with Adam Zyglis

    Air Dates: July 15-21, 2019 Editorial cartoonists occupy the space between writing and drawing—capturing truth and big ideas with seemingly simple illustration and an economy of words.  Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Adam Zyglis uses evocative images to connect with readers while conveying layers of meaning in a few words. Zyglis has produced cartoons for The Buffalo News since 2004. His cartoons are internationally syndicated and have appeared in many publications … Read More

  • We are Americans, First

    I saw a Tweet this week that made me laugh a little.  Someone had shared a video of the flooding in downtown DC on Monday when that deluge of rain came through.  The National Archives had tweeted the footage and pointed out that you could see their building beyond the waves of the flood waters.  An historian at Georgetown said he hoped the Constitution had been kept dry because “we … Read More

  • Living with Neurological Disease with Lisa Genova

    Air Dates: July 8-14, 2019 An estimated 5.6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s today. Another 100,000 are living with ALS—or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Lisa Genova is a brain scientist whose best-selling novels describe not what it’s like to die from these diseases, but what it means to live with them.  Dr. Genova is a Harvard trained neuroscientist who broke into the public’s consciousness with her novel, Still Alice. Likened to … Read More

  • Native American History with Philip Deloria

    Air Dates: July 1-7, 2019 The British colonies in the New World, and later the United States, were built on land taken from native populations. Philip Deloria explores the interplay of Native Americans and the development of America’s national identity. Deloria is the first tenured professor of Native American history in the long history of Harvard University. His first book, Playing Indian (1998), explores the tradition of white Americans dressing … Read More

  • The Impact of Technology on Modern Relationships with Helen Schulman

    Air Dates: June 24-30, 2019 It is almost taken for granted that technology is changing America.  Whether we’re talking about job losses, election meddling, or the role of big-data in healthcare, technology is everywhere.  Helen Schulman, through her remarkable fiction, warns that technology is changing our personal relationships and our families, too.  Schulman, a novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and non-fiction author, is the chair of Fiction for the MFA Creative … Read More

  • Democracy is America’s Most Potent Asset

    The next American president should get back to celebrating the moral power of democracy.  This was standard fare for President Ronald Reagan—in fact it was pretty standard throughout the Cold War.  The fact that democracy promotion is little more than a slogan and not a centerpiece of American foreign policy is a mistake. We are leaving our most powerful asset unused in the global competition that will shape the 21st … Read More

  • Mikhail Gorbachev and the End of the Cold War with William Taubman

    Air Dates: June 17-23, 2019 Mikhail Gorbachev is one of the most important figures of the 20th century.  A child of the Soviet Union, and a fast rising star in the Communist Party, Gorbachev was also a democratizer whose reforms led to the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.  William Taubman has authored the definitive biography of the last Soviet leader.  William Taubman is … Read More

  • Immigration and America’s Dairy Farms with Julie Keller

    Air Dates: June 10-16, 2019 The super-heated rhetoric over immigration and border security in the United States today is part of a long tradition of anti-immigration hysteria.  Julie Keller puts our recent panic in a sociological context—exploring changes in who works on American dairy farms, and how they traveled from Latin America to farms in the upper-Mid-West.  Julie C. Keller is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of … Read More