FREE FORUM

 

“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.

 

  • ARLIE HOCHSCHILD-Strangers in Their Own Land-She’s been talking with “Trumpers” since 2011 – and since election day

    I last spoke with Berkeley sociologist ARLIE HOCHSCHILD in 2018 about her book, STRANGERS IN THEIR OWN LAND: Anger & Mourning on the American Right, in which she shares what she learned in five years talking to Tea Partiers turned Trumpers in Southern Louisiana. Turns out she’s continued to talk with the folks she met researching her book. I call on her again to try to make some sense of my fellow Americans and find a path back from the chaos and breakdown that seems possible in the days and weeks ahead.

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  • THOMAS HOMER-DIXON – for the new year – COMMANDING HOPE: The Power to Renew a World in Peril

    THOMAS HOMER-DIXON correctly predicted a lot of the crises we face. But, as we leave 2020 behind and give birth to 2021, i talk with him about his new book, COMMANDING HOPE: The Power We Have to Renew a World in Peril. Sample “To keep our hope from being vague and naive, it must have a clear vision of a positive future. Then, to keep it from being false, we must avoid wishful thinking about the likelihood of that future.” Learn more at commandinghope.com

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  • SAM MYERS, PLANETARY HEALTH: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves – Exhibit A: the pandemic

    Planetary health is by definition big picture, but it’s made immediate by the pandemic. I see our environmental goals as an effective reckoning with climate change and a healthy relationship with the rest of nature. I’ll talk about that relationship with SAM MYERS, Research Scientist at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health and the Founding Director of the Planetary Health Alliance (planetaryhealthalliance.org). Myers is one of the editors of PLANETARY HEALTH: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves, which explores the impacts of environmental change on human health and offers solutions by reimagining our cities, our food and energy systems, and even our economics and ethics.

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  • REBECCA HENDERSON, REIMAGINING CAPITALISM In a World on Fire

    Today we face several crises that have either grown out of the distortion of our economy and our politics or are unsolvable because of them – including inequality, climate change, social division, crippled government, and endangered democracy. In her book, REIMAGINING CAPITALISM, REBECCA HENDERSON calls for us to abandon two ideas from the 1970s at the root of our troubles: First, that business should dominate politics and write its own rules; and second, that the sole purpose of corporate behavior is to enhance shareholder value. You can learn more at reimaginingcapitalism.org

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  • ELIE MYSTAL of The Nation on Trump’s legal options, How Biden reverses Trump’s orders, and the Supreme Court

    I talk with ELIE MYSTAL, Justice Correspondent at The Nation magazine. We look through a legal lens at Trump’s fraud claims and his obstruction of an effective transition, at the question of what it will take for Biden to reverse Trump’s executive orders and rules, and finally we talk about the Supreme Court. You can learn more at thenation.com

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  • MILTON BENNETT-The Cult of Trump -72M Americans voted for four more years

    More than 72 million Americans voted for Donald Trump. 72 million voted for his incompetence, racism, ignorance, cruelty, criminality, and for his disastrous handling of the pandemic. Here’s my 2018 conversation with MILTON BENNETT, an expert on culting behavior. He spells out the methods Trump uses – consciously or unconsciously – to turn his followers into a cult, impervious to contrary influence and united in defense of their aims and their leader.

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  • ROB JOHNSON-Relief – but no congratulations. Dems must be bolder.

    It looks as if Joe Biden will win a very tight electoral college victory against arguably the worst president in history in the midst of a deadly pandemic and crippled economy the incumbent has bungled disastrously. How could this election even be close? ROB JOHNSON, Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), and I talk about how we got here and what it’s going to take to move forward. As long as both parties depend on Wall Street and the 1% for funding, our real challenges – climate change, restoring the middle class, healthcare, systemic racism, etc.- will never truly be dealt with.

    https://www.ineteconomics.org/

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  • CHICAGO CONSPIRACY TRIAL – JON WIENER -What does it have to tell us?

    JON WIENER’S 2006 book, Conspiracy in the Streets: the Extraordinary Trial of the Chicago Eight has been re-released to sync with release of the film, The Trial of the Chicago Seven. Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, its ensemble includes Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman, Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, and Frank Langella as Judge Julius Hoffman. Jon and I will talk about the film. We’ll talk about the Trial. We’ll talk about the attitudes and excesses of Mayor Daley and the Nixon administration and the parallels with 2020. With mass protests and brutal retaliation. A compromised justice department doing the President’s bidding. We will talk about this moment – how different and how similar is it to the 60s? What did we learn? What can we do better?

    https://jonwiener.com/

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  • ALEX KEYSSAR-Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?

    The US hold only one national popular vote – for President and Vice President – and The Republican party has won that national vote only once since 1988, that’s 32 years. Yet they’ve held the presidency 12 of those years. Under the two most recent popular vote losers / electoral college winners, we’ve suffered 9/11, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 2008 recession, the monstrously failed response to the pandemic, and a devastated economy. I believe that minority rule sickens democracy. The electoral college is anti-democratic. I talk with ALEX KEYSAR about his new book, WHY DO WE STILL HAVE THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE?

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  • JON WIENER, Set the Night on Fire: L.A. in the Sixties

    Even folks who live here, as I have since 1975, may have little idea of the central role Los Angeles played in the culture and politics of the 1960s. Too often LA is portrayed as surfing, Hollywood, and gogo dancing – think Gidget, Beach Boys, 77 Sunset Strip. Wiener and co-author, Mike Davis (City of Quartz) offer a “movement history” featuring early Black Power, the Watts uprising, the Chicano Moratorium, and LA’s star turn as a locus of the anti-war, gay lib, and women’s movements, as well as a driving force of much of 60’s counterculture. Wiener and I both arrived here for the first time in 1969 and this conversation is a lot of fun.

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