June 5, 2015 – Are Human Beings Free?

My guest on this program is John Gray, author of many critically acclaimed books. He is a former professor of politics at Oxford, a visiting professor at Harvard and Yale, and a professor of European thought at the London School of Economics. We’re going to be talking about his most recent book, The Soul of the Marionette: A Short Inquiry into Human Freedom, in which he draws together the religious, philosophic, and fantastical traditions Continue reading

May 8, 2015 – Media and Progressive Politics

My guest on this program is Robert McChesney, Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois. He specializes in the history and political economy of communication, and the role media play in democratic and capitalist societies. He co-founded Free Press, a national media reform organization. Author of numerous books, we’ll be talking today about his most recent, Blowing the Roof off the 21st Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy. Continue reading

December 6, 2013 – Environmental Activism

Bill McKibben is Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College, and the author of more than a dozen books, including The End of Nature, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet and most recently Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist.. He is also the founder of 350.org, the global climate campaign that has been actively involved in the fight against climate change, including taking action against the oil companies, the Keystone XL pipeline, and hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. He is also a fellow of the Continue reading

May 10, 2013 – The Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling

My guest on this program is Jal Mehta, Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research explores the underlying structures which shape American schooling, the cultural assumptions which underpin these approaches to education, and the consequences of decisions based on those assumptions for schools, teachers and students. He is interested in the policy and politics of closing the achievement gap that separates economically disadvantaged students and students of color from less disadvantaged students, and creating high quality schooling. His recent book is The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations, and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling.

Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings
The Futures of School Reform

March 15, 2013 – Privacy

Body scans at the airport, candid pictures on Facebook, and a surveillance camera on every street corner: What happens to our privacy when we cannot escape public scrutiny? In the face of such a threat, how do we sustain a society with “liberty and justice for all”? My guest Garret Keizer is the author of seven books, most recently Privacy. He is also a Continue reading

February 15, 2013 – Sonja Lyubomirsky on Happiness; Thomas Edsall on Politics

On this program we’ll talk with two authors. In the first half-hour, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., professor of psychology at UC, Riverside, will be talking with us about her most recent book, The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t; What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but Does. Professor Lyubomirsky’s training is in Social Psychology (Stanford, 1994), and her research career has focused on the scientific study of happiness.

In the second half-hour, Thomas Edsall, professor at the Columbia School of Journalism, talks about his recent book, The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics. He writes an online opinion column for The New York Times, is a correspondent Continue reading

October 12, 2012 – Progressive Politics, A Conversation with George Lakoff

I’ll be talking with George Lakoff, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Lakoff has written numerous books on American politics, including his most recent The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic (with Elisabeth Wehling). “Voters cast their ballots for what they believe is right, for the things that make moral sense. Yet Democrats have too often failed to use language linking their moral values with Continue reading

September 28, 2012 – Conservatism & the Right in American Politics; Tracking Campaign Contributions

In the first half-hour of this program, my guest is Thomas Frank, author of Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right, and What’s the Matter with Kansas? In Pity the Billionaire, Mr. Frank responds to the question, “How is it possible that the disastrous collapse of the free market economy in 2008 could have heralded a popular revival—of the right?” The conclusion he reaches is both surprising and profound.

In the second half-hour, we’ll talk with an editor of The Center for Responsive Politics. Through their website, OpenSecrets.org, they track money in politics. Their mission: Continue reading

July 6, 2012 – Politics in the Media

My guests on this edition of “Consider This” are Brooks Jackson, Director of FactCheck.org, and Angie Drobnic Holan, Deputy Editor of PolitiFact.org, and Editor of PolitiFact Florida. These two organizations aim to reduce the level of deception and confusion—and help us find the truth—in American politics. FactCheck.org (About) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer advocate for voters, & PolitiFact (About)—winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2009—publishes their Truth-O-Meter to rate the accuracy of political claims. Continue reading