I talk with historian DAVID KAISER about two books. His own A LIFE IN HISTORY talks about how the study of history has changed. Fields like African-American History and Women’s History deal with evidence nobody had bothered to look at before. But as these focused areas have developed, Kaiser says we look less today at history’s broader sweep. Might this increase our tendency to repeat the past? THE FOURTH TURNING: An American Prophesy (Straus & Howe) holds that history is not linear, but cyclical, and that every 80 years or so, a crisis disrupts society, the old order crumbles, and a new order emerges. No surprise – we’re in the midst of such a crisis. Will we emerge broken or renewed?
In Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World, BRANKO MILANOVIC says we’re all capitalists now. Liberal capitalism delivers rampant inequality and capitalist excess as it fights for hearts and minds with political capitalism, as practiced by China. Milanovic asks – What are the prospects for a fairer world now that capitalism is the only game in town? And what can we do to make that more likely?
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter and author of THE MAKING OF DONALD TRUMP, has been covering Trump since the late ‘80s. While most of the media focuses on tweets and White House intrigue, he co-founded DCReport.org to keep track of what they’re not telling you. Johnston joins me to talk about the revelations in his #2 NYTimes best-seller, IT’S EVEN WORSE THAN YOU THINK: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America.
I turn to constitutional scholar ERWIN CHEMERINSKY to talk about legal issues raised by the Trump administration. How far is this Supreme Court going to go in weakening the separation between church and state? Is Trump violating the law by making money – including taxpayer’s money – from his businesses and properties? Who’s going to enforce that law? How bad is it that he belittles and scapegoats the judiciary? Is it too early to think about impeachment? We’ve only got a half hour, but we cover a lot.