The preface to World War II was, of course, the Spanish Civil War. What caused it, how it was fought and the ultimate consequences of the fascist victory are discussed here by Stanley Payne, that war’s most notable historian.
Baseball did not begin in Cooperstown N.Y. Nor was it invented by Abner Doubleday. The real history of the game and its further evolution are colorfully recounted here by one of its leading scholars.
A good politician knows how to deliver a speech that pulls at the heartstrings. An effective politician knows how to work in a joke or some clever wordplay to put the people at ease. And then there’s the political gaffe, which can sink a campaign or make a mockery of one’s rule.
Rich Rubino is a fine political reporter, pundit and author who has given us a great collection of odd and obscure political facts in a previous work. He has just published a collection of humorous political quotations that is great fun. He joined Milt to share some of his favorites.
Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic magazine, takes on and sees through some of the major realms of pseudoscience and the higher forms of fakery. Among his targets are: Deepak Chopra, “intelligent design,” mind reading and the deceits of Sigmund Freud.
…..who was Winston S. Churchill, Member of Parliament and editor of a major volume of his Grandfather’s speeches. We hear many excerpts from the great war-time speeches and, with the younger Churchill, discuss the many persisting problems not solved by the war. And, of course, of equal fascination are the grandson’s memories of what Churchill looked like to the boy who was his favored grandson.
The basic unanswered (unanswerable?) question is how did language originate. Are we uniquely structured (larynx, throat, tongue, etc.) and intelligent (brain) so that we are the only linguistic animals? And, if not, what is the nature and extent of the “languages” of other species? For that matter, does thinking require language itself? We are joined by three professors of linguistics in this vivid discussion from fifteen years ago.
In this comparatively early venture in pessimism about the moral strength pf the West, two leading historians of the classical world voice their doubts about whether Europe can (or will) resist the second coming of Islam. They are Victor Davis Hanson and Bruce Thornton who joined us in this prescient discussion in 2008.
Two gigantic men try to push each other out of small sand pit. That’s Sumo wrestling, the distinctive sport of Japan. The way those wrestlers cheat and similar subjects helped to suggest some of the basic insights of Freakonomics. Here’s the account provided by economics professor Steven D. Levitt shortly after the publication of his first book on the Freakonomics.of everyday life.
Israel’s Six Days War with Egypt, Jordan, Syria, etc. established its present borders and delivered solid, territory-loss to its hostile neighbors. It was brilliantly recounted by Michael Oren, an American-born Israeli in his book which was subtitled, “June 1967 and the making of the modern middle east.” Here is our full conversation with Oren who went on, later, to be Israel’s ambassador to Washington and now is a leading member of the Knesset.
…..may well be Venice which may ultimately go fully underwater. But a thousand strange Venetian tales (all true) will persist. Of its many aberrant inhabitants was Ezra Pound the American poet and traitor who broadcast anti-American and anti-Semitic programs from Rome during the second world war. Released from a psychiatric hospital after seven years, he settled in Venice with the most loyal of his mistresses and some very rich supporters. The tale is told by John Berendt in a book published in 2005 and discussed with Berendt later that year on Extension 720.