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?
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?
The gap between rich and poor is huge and growing…legislative stalemate paralyzes the country…corporations fight federal regulations…the influence of money in politics is greater than ever…new inventions speed the pace of daily life.
Sound familiar? Those headlines from the early 1900s set the scene for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s new book The Bully Pulpit-a history of the first decade of the Progressive era – a time when courageous journalists and an ambitious president took on the Robber Barons – the 1% of their day – and won.
Goodwin tells the tale through the long friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft – a relationship that serves both until it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that cripples the progressive wing of the Republican Party and helps elect Woodrow Wilson.
Getting equal billing in her account is the golden age of journalism led by the muckraking press at McClure’s magazine. Together a bold and progressive press and a strong and progressive president served the people of the US rather than the super wealthy and the corporations. What lessons can we learn to help us turn this country around a century later?
JON KABAT-ZINN, Ph.D. is Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was founder of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and founding Director of its world-renowned Stress Reduction Clinic. In 1993, his work in the Stress Reduction Clinic was featured in Bill Moyer's PBS Special, Healing and the Mind. He's the author of Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness; Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life; Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness.
Dr. Kabat-Zinn's work has contributed to a growing movement of mindfulness within mainstream institutions in medicine, law, education, business, corrections, and sports. Over 200 medical centers and clinics nationwide and abroad now use his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Jon was a guest a couple of times before on this show. On one of those occasions, he was joined by his wife Myla Kabat Zinn, and we talked about mindful parenting and the book they wrote together, Everyday Blessings, which I highly recommend. By the way, the Zinn in both their names is her maiden name. Myla's father is the late historian and activist, Howard Zinn.
TRUCY GOODMAN, Ph.D., has trained and practiced in two fields for over 25 years: meditation and psychotherapy. She studied developmental psychology with Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Carol Gilligan, and trained with psychiatrist/psychoanalyst Richard Chasin, MD. For 20 years, Trudy worked with children, teenagers, couples and individuals in a full psychotherapy practice. Since 1974, Trudy devoted much of her life to practicing Buddhist meditation. She taught mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn in the early days of the MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) clinic at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.
REBECCA SOLNIT is the author by my count of 10 books, and a co-author of at least 15 more. She is a journalist, essayist, environmentalist, historian, and art critic; a contributing editor to Harper's, a columnist for Orion, and a regular contributor to Tomdispatch.com and the Nation.
She appeals to a wide spectrum of readers. As evidence, RIVER OF SHADOWS: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West - her 2003 book on the history of photography, the dawn of the cinematic West, and the annihilation of space and time-won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, a prize from the Society for the History of Technology, and WIRED Magazine's Rave Award for Book of the Year.
Her latest books are STORMING THE GATES OF PARADISE: Landscapes for Politics; A PARADISE BUILT IN HELL: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster; and THE BATTLE OF THE STORY OF THE BATTLE OF SEATTLE, with her brother David.