“Terrence McNally consistently goes for the long ball.”

Robert Wright, The Moral Animal; The Politics of God.

“…Grounds for hope, rays of light, and a damn fine hour of radio.”

Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence; Ecological Intelligence.


Free Forum explores the lives, work and ideas of individuals I suspect hold pieces of the puzzle of a world that just might work. We look at new, innovative and provocative approaches to business, environment, health, science, politics, media, and culture – all based on the fact that I believe we can do better and I want to find out how. Guests include Michael Lewis, Atul Gawande, Temple Grandin, Nicholas Kristof, Cornel West, Arianna Huffington, Craig Venter, and Father Greg Boyle. Recorded from 1996-2014, Progressive Voices streams the most memorable interviews weekly. Podcast are, of course, available any time.


You can browse podcasts below, search by name of guest in the Search window at the top of the site, or check the alphabetical list of guests here.


  • Are Antibiotics Doomed? DAVID HYUN & ERIN DUFFY on the Crisis No One Talks About
    In 2019, about 1.27M people died directly due to antimicrobial resistance – significantly more than from Covid in two years. When we lose antibiotics, we will be in a different world. Joint and organ replacement and many other surgeries will be a thing of the past. I talk about the growing dangers of antibiotic resistance and the lack of new drugs with DAVID HYUN, MD, who directs the Antibiotic Resistance Project at the Pew Charitable Trust, and ERIN DUFFY, Chief of R&D at CARB-X, the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator. You can learn more at and

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  • LINDA GREENHOUSE (2021) – JUSTICE ON THE BRINK – 12 Months that Transformed the Supreme Court
    I realize this conversation with LINDA GREENHOUSE first posted only 6 months ago, but there’s no bigger domestic story right now than the rightwing Supreme Court majority’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade and do away with a woman’s right to an abortion. GREENHOUSE begins her book, JUSTICE ON THE BRINK, shortly before Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, covers McConnell’s cynical and unethical rush to confirm Amy Coney Barrett, and then reports on the Court through the end of its term in June 2021 – providing history and context, gathered in her 30 years covering the Court for the New York Times

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  • BILL McKIBBEN-THIRD ACT-New Movement to Mobilize Boomers vs Climate Change

    I’m excited to replay for you my late 2021 conversation with BILL McKIBBEN, author, and co-founder of the global climate campaign In it which he  introduces Third Act, the new activist organization he’s founded. While millions of young people are effectively engaging to confront climate change, those over 60 are not yet delivering what the crisis demands, and Third Act is dedicated to changing that.

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  • ELIE MYSTAL, ALLOW ME TO RETORT: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution

    ELIE MYSTAL, Justice Correspondent for The Nation magazine and a contributor to MSNBC, opens his first book, ALLOW ME TO RETORT: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution, with the following words: “Our Constitution is not good. It is a document designed to create a society of enduring white male dominance, hastily edited in the margins to allow for what basic political rights white men could be convinced to share.” The starting point is that far from perfect, this document of compromises necessary to win ratification from slaveowners is unworthy of the veneration promoted by the Right and accepted by too many on the Left. Once we get over that, perhaps we can roll up our sleeves and get to work to bring some of its underlying ideals to fuller realization in the real world.

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  • Can the press or international law influence Putin? MARIA ARMOUDIAN, REPORTING FROM THE DANGER ZONE; LAWYERS BEYOND BORDERS

    As we confront Russia’s war on Ukraine – What is the role of the press or international law? How can either stand up to those who defy and ignore them? MARIA ARMOUDIAN has written three books on the possibilities and limitations of “soft power”: KILL THE MESSENGER: The Media’s Role in the Fate of the World; REPORTING FROM THE DANGER ZONE, and LAWYERS BEYOND BORDERS: Advancing International Human Rights through Local Laws and Courts. She is also host/producer of the syndicated radio program, The Scholars’ Circle. You can learn more at

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  • Will Putin use nukes? JOE CIRINCIONE, author, BOMB SCARE and NUCLEAR NIGHTMARES


    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may be failing, but it is also devastating and cruel. The US is unwilling to impose a No Fly zone because Putin has nuclear weapons and no one is certain that he won’t use them. How did we get here? Who else has nukes? Why haven’t we taken steps toward nuclear sanity? I turn to JOSEPH CIRINCIONE, Distinguished Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and former head of the Ploughshares Fund. His books include BOMB SCARE: THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS; and NUCLEAR NIGHTMARES: SECURING THE WORLD BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

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  • DAVE PELL writes the excellent daily newsletter, NEXT DRAFT, and now a pandemic book, PLEASE SCREAM INSIDE YOUR HEART


    DAVE PELL, the “Internet’s Managing Editor,”  has been writing about news, technology, and media since 1999. He just released his first book, PLEASE SCREAM INSIDE YOUR HEART: Breaking News and Nervous Breakdowns in the Year that Wouldn’t End, a rollercoaster ride through 2020, leavened with humor and a good dose of perspective taken from the experience of his parents, who survived the Holocaust. You can learn more at or

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  • LARRY KOPALD, The Carbon Underground – We can reverse climate change and restore the soil with regenerative agriculture.

    LARRY KOPALD, Co-Founder and President of The Carbon Underground, wants you to know that to successfully confront the climate crisis, it’s not enough to reduce or even halt carbon emissions. We also need to draw down accumulated carbon from the atmosphere. Nothing does that better or more simply than Regenerative Agriculture, by rebuilding soil organic matter. I don’t like talking about “theenvironment” as some separate entity out there. Our deepest goals in life must include a healthy relationship with the rest of nature and an effective response to the climate crisis. Regenerative Agriculture and the work of The Carbon Underground offer a pathway to both.

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  • Are stories dangerous? JONATHAN GOTTSCHALL, THE STORY PARADOX: How Our Love of Storytelling Builds Societies and Tears Them Down

    “Change the story to change the world.” If story actually has that power – and I believe it does – then it can change for better or worse. In his new book, THE STORY PARADOX, JONATHAN GOTTSCHALL declares storytelling the best method we’ve ever devised for manipulating each other by circumventing rational thought. As new technologies amplify the effects of disinformation campaigns, conspiracy theories, and fake news, he calls on us to stop asking, “How can we change the world through stories?” and start asking – before it’s too late – “How can we save the world from stories?”

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  • TIM JACKSON, Imagining a just sustainable future-POST GROWTH: Life After Capitalism

    In the words of today’s guest, TIM JACKSON, Director of the UK’s Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, “The finite planet we call home is being altered perhaps irreversibly by the massive human activity that parades under the seductive banner of progress.” But how do we replace the current model of not just commerce – but almost of reality – with a new one that is at least as inviting and more effective at fulfilling human and planetary needs? And how do we do it in time? Jackson’s new book, POST GROWTH: Life After Capitalism, lays out the problem and envisions a way of life beyond our addiction to material growth.

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