Today's Show

An Anatomy of Snobbery

Guest: Joe Epstein and John Anderson

Joe Epstein, having already done books on most of the negative virtues, did another masterwork back in 2002. It was a hilarious analysis of how we try to lord it over one another by faking superior wisdom, importance and influence. Here he joins,us. together with John Anderson of the Tribune, …

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The Greatest Scientist…

Guest: James Gleick

.....so far in human history was--most relevant judges would agree--Sir Isaac Newton who wrote down. in a mathematical mode of his own invention (calculus!) some equations which described and predicted accurately how all of the known physical universe works. James Gleick did the great modern biography of Newton and here…

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The Father of “Soft Power”…..

Guest: Joseph Nye

.....as a basic plan for how to direct American foreign policy is Joseph Nye. Here he is in a conversation  some nine years ago talking with us about how "Hard Power" (i.e. military force) often backfires and undermines American foreign policy intentions. As a man in and out of government and…

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Bowling Alone or Together?

Guest: Robert Putnam

Robert Putnam did the book (yes, "Bowling Alone") which argued that we were losing our "connectedness" to one another and becoming isolated and selfish individuals. But then, in 2003, he discovered that we were reconnecting in new ways. Here, with a colleague, he explains why and how. Inevitably, one wonders…

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chicagoprotests

Touring the Muddled, Troubled, Domestic and International Horizons

Guest: Joe Morris, Mary Hartigan, and Richard Baehr

The travelers on this excursion are a former U.S. Assistant Attorney General (Joe Morris), a lawyer and broadcaster focused on "strategic" issues (Mary Hartigan) and the co-founder and Political Editor of The American Thinker (Richard Baehr). Liberal versus Conservative is the way you classify this sort of discussion but it…

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Judaism Then and Now

Guest: Daniel Matt, Arthur Green, and Rabbi Yechiel Poupko

The beginning of modern Judaism can be traced to the crisis of 70 AD when the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem. This was the point of transition from Priestly to Rabbinic Judaism. But, as our three truly expert guests explain, the persisting duality between mysticism and rationalism can be found…

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The Man who Knew Everything

Guest: Alan Jacobs

Or, at least, tried to acquire all important knowledge by reading every word of the Encyclopedia Britannica. This ambitious young fellow, Alan Jacobs, then wrote an amusing book about his project and, in 2004,  discussed  what he had learned while the proprietor challenged the limits of his and the EB's knowledge.…

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The Education of a Statesman

Guest: Barbara Leaming

That was the rather surprising subtitle of a brilliant biography of John Kennedy published in 2006. The author, Barbara Leaming, was and remains one of our best biographers and in this conversation was fully conversant with--and dismayed by--JFK's "private life" but found grounds for admiration of the achievements of the…

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