Politics And Society
Monday, December 20, 2010
David Garland discusses why capital punishment continues in dozens of American states despite the abolition of the death penalty elsewhere in the Western world. Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition looks at its uneven application, legal challenges, and the uncertainty surrounding it don’t seem conducive to effective crime control or criminal justice.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Edmund Morris discusses the final book of his trilogy on Theodore Roosevelt, which recounts the last decade of perhaps one of the most fascinating individuals in American history. Colonel Roosevelt recounts his personal life as well as his political life, covering Roosevelt’s safari in East Africa, his nature writing, his famous “New Nationalism” speech, and his role as the guiding spirit of the Progressive movement.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Historian Ellen Schrecker discusses the current battles over higher education, the challenges to academic freedom, and the rapidly changing structure of American Universities. Her book The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on Academic Freedom, and the End of the American University looks at the effects of ideological assaults on academic freedom and decades of eroding higher education budgets.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Global talks on climate change have been underway in Cancun, Mexico for days now. New York Times columnist Andy Revkin tells the latest on what’s happening and why expectations have been so low this year.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
David Eisenhower, grandson of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and his wife Julie Nixon Eisenhower, daughter of Richard Nixon, give an intimate account of the final years of Dwight D. Eisenhower: one of the giants of the twentieth century. Going Home To Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969 depicts Dwight Eisenhower as both a beloved and forbidding figure. As the tumultuous 1960s dawned with assassinations, riots, and the divisive war in Vietnam, the former president tried to chart the correct course for himself, his party, and the country.
Monday, December 06, 2010
New Yorker staff writer Peter J. Boyer discusses John Boehner, the newly appointed speaker of the House of Representatives, the most important Republican in the country. Boyer spoke with Boehner, his article “House Rule,” in the December 13 issue of The New Yorker, looks at the challenges he faces in his new role, including the influence of the Tea Party.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Duane Baughman, director and producer of “Bhutto,” and producer Mark Siegel, an intimate friend of Benazir Bhutto who helped her write her autobiography, Daughter of Destiny, discuss the politics of Pakistan and the life and assassination of the first female prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. “Bhutto” opens December 3 at Cinema Village.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill that would overhaul the nation’s food safety system. On this week’s Backstory, Time staff writer Bryan Walsh explains what’s in the Food Safety and Modernization Act, how it aims to improve food safety and minimize recalls, and how it compares to food safety systems in other countries.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Veteran Middle East correspondent Thanassis Cambanis discusses the cross section of people that make up Hezbollah—part standing army, part political party, and part theological movement. A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah's Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel looks at the organization and the people it includes, and Cambanis follows a few Hezbollah families through the 2006 war with Israel in order to get a fuller understanding of the ideological and religious roots of the conflict in the Middle East.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Walter Mondale shares insights from his five decades in public life, his role in creating the modern vice presidency, and the parallels he sees between the Carter years and the Obama years. In The Good Fight: A Life in Politics, he describes his evolution from a young Minnesota attorney general, to a U.S. senator, to vice president and a presidential candidate. He spells out the principles required to restore the United States as a model of progressive government.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Director Doug Liman, discusses his film “Fair Game,” starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. It’s a glimpse into the dark corridors of political power, based on the real-life undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame. Her career was destroyed and her marriage strained when her covert identity was exposed by a politically motivated press leak. “Fair Game” is playing at the Angelika and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Senior fellow at The Nation Institute Chris Hedges examines the failure of the liberal class to confront the rise of the corporate state. In The Death of the Liberal Class he argues that the five pillars of the liberal establishment – the press, liberal religious institutions, labor unions, universities, and the Democratic Party— have become more concerned with status and privilege than justice and progress.
Friday, November 19, 2010
President Obama's health care reform has been seen as too much intervention by some and not enough of an overhaul by others, but few people know exactly what the new law includes and how it changes health care and health insurance in this country. On this week's Please Explain, Washington Post correspondent T. R. Reid explains the ins and outs, the costs and the savings, of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He's the author of The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel talk about the influential Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, champion of free speech and public access to information. Justice Brennan granted Wermiel access to a trove of personal and court materials, and Wermiel also conducted more than 60 hours of interviews with Brennan over the course of six years. Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion makes Brennan’s case histories public for the first time, as well as records of the strategizing behind all the major battles of the past half century, including: Roe v. Wade, affirmative action, the death penalty, obscenity law, and the constitutional right to privacy.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Journalist and political analyst Richard Wolffe tells the dramatic inside story of the defining period of the Obama White House. Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House is an epic tale that follows the president and his inner circle, and paints a portrait of a White House at work under exceptional strain across a sweeping set of challenges: from health care reform to a struggling economy, from two wars to terrorism.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Legendary talk show host Dick Cavett host of The Dick Cavett Show, which aired on ABC from 1968 to 1975 and on PBS from 1977 to 1982, discusses the great figures he has known and shares his thoughts on culture and politics today. In Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets, he tells his best tales and he recounts great moments with the legendary entertainers who crossed his path.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
From the American Revolution to the end of World War II, the United States spent 19 years at war against other nations. But since 1950, it has spent 22 years and counting. Noted scholar Richard E. Rubenstein explores the rhetoric that sells war to the American public and the underlying cultural and social factors that make it so effective. In Reasons to Kill: Why Americans Choose War, he offers new ways to think about issues of war and peace.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
As the meeting of the world’s 20 richest economies gets under way in Seoul, Gillian Tett, the U.S. managing editor and an assistant editor for the Financial Times, describes what leaders hope to accomplish at the G-20 summit. Plus, a look at the global reaction to last week’s announcement that the Federal Reserve would buy $600 billion in Treasury Bonds.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
For the final installment of our election series The Big Picture, contributing editor for Rolling Stone Matt Taibbi and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore discuss the results of Election Day—what happened at the polls, who won and who lost, and the state of the country. Taibbi’s new book Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America, unravels the story of financial crisis. Lepore’s new book The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle over American History looks at American history according to the far right.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010