When Franklin Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in the 1932 election, they represented not only different political parties but vastly different approaches to the question of the day: How could the nation recover from the Great Depression? Professor Eric Rauchway join us to talk about the months before the hundred days, FDR and Hoover battled over … Continued
Letters and Politics
10:00 AM Pacific Time: Monday-Thursday
Letters & Politics seeks to explore the history behind today’s major global and national news stories. Hosted by Mitch Jeserich.
Congress has never been so divided than it is now but there’s a long history of fierce division in Capitol Hill. Today we talk about the decades leading to the civil war. Guest: Joanne B. Freeman, is a professor of history and American studies at Yale University, is a leading authority on early national politics and … Continued
The common notions of the beginning of civilizations is that it was remarkably better than a nomadic hunter and gather type of existence. Anthropologist James C. Scott argues that early cities an cities throughout the history were so miserable that these early states went to war in order to capture slaves to keep the cities … Continued
The Gay Revolution begins in the 1950s, when gays and lesbians were criminals, psychiatrists saw them as mentally ill, churches saw them as sinners, and society victimized them with hatred. Against this dark backdrop, a few brave people began to fight back, paving the way for the revolutionary changes of the 1960s and beyond. Today, we … Continued
Ancient Greece first coined the concept of “democracy”, yet almost every major ancient Greek thinker-from Plato and Aristotle onwards- was ambivalent towards or even hostile to democracy in any form. The explanation for this is quite simple: the elite perceived majority power as tantamount to a dictatorship of the proletariat. Paul Cartledge talks about the … Continued
The literary character Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s classic To Kill A Mocking Bird, has influenced scores of young people to pursue legal careers. Atticus Finch, who defends a wrongly accused black man of raping a white woman in the deep south, became an iconic symbol for the person with a strong moral compass. So it … Continued
A conversation with historian of science Naomi Oreskes, co-author of the book The Collapse of Western Civilization. The book is a work of science-based fiction that presents a deeply disturbing account of how the political and economic elites of the so-called advanced industrial societies failed to act, and brought the collapse of Western civilization by climate change. Naomi Oreskes is … Continued
A conversation with Bart D. Ehrman, renowned religious scholar and author of the book The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World. We learn how Christianity spread throughout the Western world, and how the Roman Empire went from being a polytheistic pagan society, to a Christian society that persecuted non-Christians. Guest: Bart D. Ehrman is a Distinguished Professor … Continued
A conversation with historian Katharine Gerbner about how religion has influenced our ideas about race, authority and freedom. Guest: Katharine Gerbner is a professor of history at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World.
A conversation about the Reign of Nur Jahan over the Islamic Mughal Empire in the seventeenth century and the role of women leaders throughout history with guest Ruby Lal. Guest: Ruby Lal is professor of South Asian history at Emory University. She is the author of Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World, Coming of Age … Continued