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Society & Culture
History

Conversations with History (Audio)

Updated about 1 month ago

Society & Culture
History
Read more

In these lively and unedited interviews, distinguished men and women from all over the world talk about their lives and their work. Interviews span the globe and include discussion of political, economic, military, legal, cultural, and social issues shaping our world.

Read more

In these lively and unedited interviews, distinguished men and women from all over the world talk about their lives and their work. Interviews span the globe and include discussion of political, economic, military, legal, cultural, and social issues shaping our world.

iTunes Ratings

19 Ratings
Average Ratings
16
1
0
1
1

An astounding archive of influential thought

By filisbogartus - May 25 2018
Read more
I have listened to hundreds of these over several years and remain amazed at how many are fascinating and useful to my own areas if interest.

Excellent!

By Draffa - Mar 30 2011
Read more
Great subjects and VERY eye opening!

iTunes Ratings

19 Ratings
Average Ratings
16
1
0
1
1

An astounding archive of influential thought

By filisbogartus - May 25 2018
Read more
I have listened to hundreds of these over several years and remain amazed at how many are fascinating and useful to my own areas if interest.

Excellent!

By Draffa - Mar 30 2011
Read more
Great subjects and VERY eye opening!
Cover image of Conversations with History (Audio)

Conversations with History (Audio)

Latest release on Nov 15, 2019

Read more

In these lively and unedited interviews, distinguished men and women from all over the world talk about their lives and their work. Interviews span the globe and include discussion of political, economic, military, legal, cultural, and social issues shaping our world.

Rank #1: World Order: Brexit Populism and Kissinger with Niall Ferguson - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes historian Niall Ferguson of the Hoover Institution who is the 2016 Underhill Lecturer at Berkeley. After discussing the importance of Anglo-American Studies and the wave of populism sweeping the West, including Brexit and the Trump phenomena, the conversation turns to an in depth look at Ferguson’s recent book, “Kissinger, 1923-1969, The Idealist.” Ferguson details the evolution of Kissinger’s thinking about international affairs up until the time he assumes the position of national security advisor to President Nixon. He chronicles the influence of mentors (Kraemer and Elliot), the impact of experience (service in military intelligence and Harvard education) and the evidence of Kissinger’s writings on international order and on nuclear weapons. The conversation concludes by highlighting the themes that emerge from Kissinger’s intellectual evolution in the period before he assumes power. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 31595]

Dec 19 2016

57mins

Play

Rank #2: Thomas Jefferson Sally Hemings and the Burden of Slavery with Annette Gordon-Reed - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Harvard Professor Annette Gordon-Reed for a discussion of her work as a lawyer/historian focusing on the contradictions in the life of Thomas Jefferson. Topics covered in the conversation include how her training as a lawyer empowered her to overturn the conventional historical view of the relationship between Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Professor Gordon-Reed highlights the racism embedded in Jeffersonian historiography; ignoring, for example, factual evidence, which confirmed that Jefferson was the father of Sally Heming’s children. In examining the evolution of Jefferson’s ideas on slavery, Professor Gordon-Reed emphasizes how Jefferson’s theory of slavery evolved as he adapted to the reality of American social and political life. She concludes with an the implications of her work for understanding the present turmoil over black/ white relations in the U.S. today. Series: "Conversations with History" [Humanities] [Show ID: 31519]

Nov 14 2016

54mins

Play

Rank #3: Identity Politics and the Decline of American Institutions with George Packer - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes New Yorker staff writer George Packer for a discussion of the US political landscape. Packer recounts the insights he derived in researching and writing The Unwinding, his 2013 book about the US in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse. In the conversation, he traces the rise of the white working class, the failure of the Democratic Party to address their interests, and the emergence of Trump as a representative of enraged voters in the 2016 election. He identifies the 4 narratives that define the divisions in the US today. Packer concludes with an analysis of leadership and ideas that might change America in the future. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 33175]

Jan 15 2018

56mins

Play

Rank #4: Identity Values and the Conduct of US Foreign Policy with Elliot Abrams - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Elliot Abrams former deputy National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush for a conversation on the values and interests that define U.S. foreign policy. Reflecting on his formative experiences, he recalls the influence of his parents, his education, and his work experiences under Senators Jackson and Moynihan. After discussing the skills and temperament necessary for the work of foreign policy, he analyzes the challenges of navigating the tensions between security and human rights. Reflecting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he offers his assessment of the preconditions for its resolution. He also discusses his analysis of Jewish support for Israel in the United States, and concludes with advice for students preparing for a future in international affairs. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 32358]

Jun 12 2017

59mins

Play

Rank #5: Anger and Mourning on the American Right with Arlie Hochschild - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor Arlie Hochschild for a discussion of her book "Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right." Hochschild discusses formative influences shaping her intellectual journey, describes her pioneering work on the sociology of emotions, and traces the evolution of her methodology. She then explains the decision to pursue her study of the American right in Louisiana beginning in 2011; how she undertook an empathetic engagement with citizens devastated by pollution but committed to the oil and gas industry; and how she developed a deep story to explain the emotions motivating her subjects to support right wing perspectives despite the devastation of the environment which they appreciated and loved. She also discusses their attraction to the Trump phenomena. She concludes with the lessons learned and their implications for mending the divide that is tearing the country apart. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Humanities] [Show ID: 32994]

Dec 11 2017

55mins

Play

Rank #6: Food and Politics with Marion Nestle - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Marion Nestle, Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition at New York University. Professor Nestle reflects on the evolution of her thinking on the interplay between nutrition studies and the politics of food. She discusses the environment of the food industry producing in a highly competitive environment where profits are paramount and public health is not a priority. Advertising and lobbying are important tools at their service as they confront food activists focused on public health, environment, and social justice. Professor Nestle also analyzes the role of government in choosing between re-enforcing the status quo or changing the landscape of food production through funding, regulation, and education. Finally, she offers advice to students preparing for the future. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 32225]

May 15 2017

56mins

Play

Rank #7: Political Activism and Constitutional Law with David Cole - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes David Cole, National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union for a discussion of two of his ten books-- his first book, No Equal Justice, and his most recent, Engines of Liberty. The conversation begins with his reflections on his formative years and the skill set and temperament appropriate for a constitutional lawyer. It then turns to the work of the ACLU and his role as national legal director. On the issue of criminal justice, Cole emphasizes how the structure of the criminal justice system reinforces inequality and sacrifices justice. On the Bill of Rights, Cole analyzes the role of political activism in shaping constitutional law, referencing the establishment of gun rights and gay marriage rights. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the implications of the changing political landscape - with its emphasis on libertarian ideology, nationalism, and the importance of social media - for constitutional law. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 33467]

Apr 23 2018

56mins

Play

Rank #8: A Linguist’s Intellectual Journey with Deborah Tannen - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Deborah Tannen, University Professor, Georgetown University, for a discussion of her intellectual odyssey. Topics covered include: formative experiences; the concept of conversational style; the skills and temperament desirable for work in linguistics; the examples of applying concepts in her work in understanding communication between men and women and in her work in understanding the erosion of civic discourse; and using linguistics to understand the 2016 Presidential campaign. Series: "Conversations with History" [Humanities] [Show ID: 33090]

Dec 04 2017

55mins

Play

Rank #9: Defending Science with Eugenie C. Scott - Conversations with History

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Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Eugenie C. Scott, Founding Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, for a discussion of the attack on science especially in the debate on teaching evolution in public schools. Reflecting on the trajectory of her career, she discusses the work of the National Center and its role in supporting the teaching of science through mobilizing supporters in local communities and defending scientific curricula in the courts. She then compares the assumptions of scientists and creationists. The conversation includes her reflections on lessons to be learned from the Scopes trial and its aftermath and the importance of myth and social history in understanding public debates on issues affecting science and implicating religion. Series: "Conversations with History" [Science] [Show ID: 34156]

Oct 29 2018

55mins

Play

Intellectual Journey from Reform to Activism with Paul Butler - Conversations with History

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Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor Paul Butler, Albert Brick Professor Law at Georgetown, for a discussion of the law and blacks. Topics covered include formative experiences including influence of his parents, his upbringing in Chicago, his education, and his work as a prosecutor. Emphasis is on how and why his ideas about reform and activism evolved as he came to understand black confrontation with the law. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 35257]

Nov 15 2019

44mins

Play

The Moral Economy with Samuel Bowles - Conversations with History

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Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Samuel Bowles, Research Professor and Director of the Behavioral Sciences Program at the Santa Fe Institute, for a discussion of his intellectual odyssey and his most recent book The Moral Economy. Topics covered include the influence of parents, his encounters with Nehru and Martin Luther King, and his education. He addresses the necessary changes in the agenda of economics as it grapples with the limits of incentives and the opportunities for bringing in a focus on community and altruism in order to confront global problems. He also offers advice to students entering the discipline of economics. Finally, he discusses his involvement in an online global effort to reform the economics curriculum through the creation of an online textbook, curriculum, and a community of economists from around the globe focusing on the economics of inequality, innovation, environmental sustainability and more. https://www.core-econ.org Series: "Conversations with History" [Business] [Show ID: 34594]

Apr 18 2019

57mins

Play

Unraveling CRISPR-Cas9 with Jennifer Doudna - Conversations with History

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Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor Jennifer Doudna of UC Berkeley for a discussion of her intellectual odyssey that led to the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9, a revolutionary tool for gene editing. In the conversation, they explore the implications of CRISPR-Cas9 for agriculture, biotechnology and biomedicine. They also discuss how education and public advocacy can broaden insight into the ethical and policy dimensions of the biological revolution that is upon us. Series: "Conversations with History" [Science] [Show ID: 34595]

Apr 03 2019

41mins

Play

Identity in a Cyber World with Sherry Turkle - Conversations with History

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Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Sherry Turkle, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT for a discussion of her intellectual odyssey. In the conversation topics covered included her formative experiences, her education, and the evolution of her thinking about the impact of the objects of the cyber world--computers, internet, cell phones, and robots--on the essential elements of identity formation--solitude, conversation, and empathy. Series: "Conversations with History" [Humanities] [Science] [Show ID: 34497]

Feb 26 2019

55mins

Play

Leadership and Change with Jennifer Granholm - Conversations with History

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Harry Kreisler welcomes former Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm for a discussion of lessons learned from her political career. She recalls her formative experiences, analyzes the essential qualities of leadership, and recounts the cascade of crises she confronted as a governor because of the failure of Michigan to recognize and adapt to challenges posed by international economic competitiveness and technological innovation. Leading at a time of structural manufacturing decline, she had to navigate transition to a new economy. Granholm concludes with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the two parties in meeting these challenges. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 34345]

Dec 27 2018

51mins

Play

Defending Science with Eugenie C. Scott - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Eugenie C. Scott, Founding Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, for a discussion of the attack on science especially in the debate on teaching evolution in public schools. Reflecting on the trajectory of her career, she discusses the work of the National Center and its role in supporting the teaching of science through mobilizing supporters in local communities and defending scientific curricula in the courts. She then compares the assumptions of scientists and creationists. The conversation includes her reflections on lessons to be learned from the Scopes trial and its aftermath and the importance of myth and social history in understanding public debates on issues affecting science and implicating religion. Series: "Conversations with History" [Science] [Show ID: 34156]

Oct 29 2018

55mins

Play

Reflections on War with Sir Lawrence Freedman - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
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Conversations host welcomes Sir Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King's College, London, for a discussion of his new book, The Future of War, A History. Sir Lawrence reflects on the historical perspective he brings to topics such as strategy and war. Emphasizing the importance of understanding patterns and context through the study of history, Sir Lawrence analyzes what we can learn through a focus on ideas that shape thinking about war. What are the origins of these ideas? How do these ideas hold up in the face of the flexibility of adversaries to develop new responses and the uncertain consequences of human decision-making—the unpredictable factors that shape the trajectory of war. Especially important are the lessons learned from previous wars that distort the images of future wars. There is also a focus in the conversation on the limits of technology to address the contingencies of war. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Humanities] [Show ID: 33597]

May 22 2018

55mins

Play

Publics and Counterpublics with Michael Warner - Conversations with History

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Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Michael Warner, the Seymour H. Knox Professor of English and American Studies, at Yale University, and the 2018 Tanner Lecturer at Berkeley. The conversation focuses on Professor Warner’s intellectual odyssey from a Pentecostal upbringing to an Ivy League professorship of American literature. The conversation includes discussion of his scholarship on the reciprocal influence of colonial printing and the development and assertion of democratic values; his advocacy on issues surrounding gay marriage; and his theoretical insights on publics and counter public as they apply to contemporary political dialogue. Series: "Conversations with History" [Humanities] [Show ID: 33587]

May 07 2018

53mins

Play

Political Activism and Constitutional Law with David Cole - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes David Cole, National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union for a discussion of two of his ten books-- his first book, No Equal Justice, and his most recent, Engines of Liberty. The conversation begins with his reflections on his formative years and the skill set and temperament appropriate for a constitutional lawyer. It then turns to the work of the ACLU and his role as national legal director. On the issue of criminal justice, Cole emphasizes how the structure of the criminal justice system reinforces inequality and sacrifices justice. On the Bill of Rights, Cole analyzes the role of political activism in shaping constitutional law, referencing the establishment of gun rights and gay marriage rights. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the implications of the changing political landscape - with its emphasis on libertarian ideology, nationalism, and the importance of social media - for constitutional law. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 33467]

Apr 23 2018

56mins

Play

Identity Politics and the Decline of American Institutions with George Packer - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes New Yorker staff writer George Packer for a discussion of the US political landscape. Packer recounts the insights he derived in researching and writing The Unwinding, his 2013 book about the US in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse. In the conversation, he traces the rise of the white working class, the failure of the Democratic Party to address their interests, and the emergence of Trump as a representative of enraged voters in the 2016 election. He identifies the 4 narratives that define the divisions in the US today. Packer concludes with an analysis of leadership and ideas that might change America in the future. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 33175]

Jan 15 2018

56mins

Play

Anger and Mourning on the American Right with Arlie Hochschild - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor Arlie Hochschild for a discussion of her book "Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right." Hochschild discusses formative influences shaping her intellectual journey, describes her pioneering work on the sociology of emotions, and traces the evolution of her methodology. She then explains the decision to pursue her study of the American right in Louisiana beginning in 2011; how she undertook an empathetic engagement with citizens devastated by pollution but committed to the oil and gas industry; and how she developed a deep story to explain the emotions motivating her subjects to support right wing perspectives despite the devastation of the environment which they appreciated and loved. She also discusses their attraction to the Trump phenomena. She concludes with the lessons learned and their implications for mending the divide that is tearing the country apart. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Humanities] [Show ID: 32994]

Dec 11 2017

55mins

Play

A Linguist’s Intellectual Journey with Deborah Tannen - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Deborah Tannen, University Professor, Georgetown University, for a discussion of her intellectual odyssey. Topics covered include: formative experiences; the concept of conversational style; the skills and temperament desirable for work in linguistics; the examples of applying concepts in her work in understanding communication between men and women and in her work in understanding the erosion of civic discourse; and using linguistics to understand the 2016 Presidential campaign. Series: "Conversations with History" [Humanities] [Show ID: 33090]

Dec 04 2017

55mins

Play

A Moment in Time: The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and the End of the Cold War with Harold Smith - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Harold Smith, Distinguished Scholar at the IGS at Berkeley. Reflecting on his odyssey from university professor to Washington where he served as defense consultant and assistant Secretary of Defense 1993-1998), Smith explains the what, how and why of the implementation of the Nunn Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program. He concludes with reflections on lessons learned and advice to students preparing for a future in defense and foreign policy careers. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 32520]

Jul 10 2017

55mins

Play

Identity Values and the Conduct of US Foreign Policy with Elliot Abrams - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Elliot Abrams former deputy National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush for a conversation on the values and interests that define U.S. foreign policy. Reflecting on his formative experiences, he recalls the influence of his parents, his education, and his work experiences under Senators Jackson and Moynihan. After discussing the skills and temperament necessary for the work of foreign policy, he analyzes the challenges of navigating the tensions between security and human rights. Reflecting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he offers his assessment of the preconditions for its resolution. He also discusses his analysis of Jewish support for Israel in the United States, and concludes with advice for students preparing for a future in international affairs. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 32358]

Jun 12 2017

59mins

Play

Food and Politics with Marion Nestle - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Marion Nestle, Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition at New York University. Professor Nestle reflects on the evolution of her thinking on the interplay between nutrition studies and the politics of food. She discusses the environment of the food industry producing in a highly competitive environment where profits are paramount and public health is not a priority. Advertising and lobbying are important tools at their service as they confront food activists focused on public health, environment, and social justice. Professor Nestle also analyzes the role of government in choosing between re-enforcing the status quo or changing the landscape of food production through funding, regulation, and education. Finally, she offers advice to students preparing for the future. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 32225]

May 15 2017

56mins

Play

World Order: Brexit Populism and Kissinger with Niall Ferguson - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes historian Niall Ferguson of the Hoover Institution who is the 2016 Underhill Lecturer at Berkeley. After discussing the importance of Anglo-American Studies and the wave of populism sweeping the West, including Brexit and the Trump phenomena, the conversation turns to an in depth look at Ferguson’s recent book, “Kissinger, 1923-1969, The Idealist.” Ferguson details the evolution of Kissinger’s thinking about international affairs up until the time he assumes the position of national security advisor to President Nixon. He chronicles the influence of mentors (Kraemer and Elliot), the impact of experience (service in military intelligence and Harvard education) and the evidence of Kissinger’s writings on international order and on nuclear weapons. The conversation concludes by highlighting the themes that emerge from Kissinger’s intellectual evolution in the period before he assumes power. Series: "Conversations with History" [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 31595]

Dec 19 2016

57mins

Play

Thomas Jefferson Sally Hemings and the Burden of Slavery with Annette Gordon-Reed - Conversations with History

Podcast cover
Read more
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Harvard Professor Annette Gordon-Reed for a discussion of her work as a lawyer/historian focusing on the contradictions in the life of Thomas Jefferson. Topics covered in the conversation include how her training as a lawyer empowered her to overturn the conventional historical view of the relationship between Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Professor Gordon-Reed highlights the racism embedded in Jeffersonian historiography; ignoring, for example, factual evidence, which confirmed that Jefferson was the father of Sally Heming’s children. In examining the evolution of Jefferson’s ideas on slavery, Professor Gordon-Reed emphasizes how Jefferson’s theory of slavery evolved as he adapted to the reality of American social and political life. She concludes with an the implications of her work for understanding the present turmoil over black/ white relations in the U.S. today. Series: "Conversations with History" [Humanities] [Show ID: 31519]

Nov 14 2016

54mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

19 Ratings
Average Ratings
16
1
0
1
1

An astounding archive of influential thought

By filisbogartus - May 25 2018
Read more
I have listened to hundreds of these over several years and remain amazed at how many are fascinating and useful to my own areas if interest.

Excellent!

By Draffa - Mar 30 2011
Read more
Great subjects and VERY eye opening!