Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Aging:

With Drs. David Brauner, John Hauser and Jay Olshansky

Well, maybe not everything but, in this spirited conversation with two physicians and one psychologist–all specialists on aging– we get around to almost everything including: longevity and its extension, modes of decline, methods of cognitive maintenance and, more broadly, the joys as well as the burdens of aging. My three fine guests on this program from 2005 are all now (mirabale dictu) ten years older.


The Great Eastland Disaster

With Jay Bonansinga

Over eight hundred people died in the middle of the Chicago River on an early morning  at dockside one sunny day in July of 1915. Matching the tragedy of the Titanic it is now lost in memory except for the tales still told in Chicago. Here is a striking account by Jay Bonansinga who did the definitive history and discussed it with us one night in 2004. Of equal interest are the phone calls from descendants of some of the survivors.


Fascism Then and Now

With Stanley Payne and Peter Frische

Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, Horthy, Antonescu all led fascist states in 20th century Europe. And, of course , the two first listed led their nations against us in World War II. How did fascism arise? What were its central ideas and intentions? Was war essential to the fascist program? How and why did the populations of Germany, Italy, Hungary, Spain and Romania support their fascist regimes? Why and how does fascism persist in contemporary political life. These are some of he questions addressed, in 2006,  by our two guests both of whom rank very high among the modern historians of the fascist states.


Was There an Historical Moses?

With James Kugel

The Old Testament (that is the Hebrew Bible or Tanach) combines myth, allegory and, particularly in the later books, historical events. Modern biblical scholarship has worked for over a hundred years to decode the text so as to reveal the “true story” of the group that became the Jews. James Kugel is one of the leading contributors to that effort. Now at Bar Ilan University in Israel he taught before that at Harvard  where his undergraduate course in the Hebrew Bible usually drew eight or nine hundred registered students. He joined us in this program about the hidden meanings of the biblical text in a memorable discussion in 2007. Here is that discussion.


The Terrorist Bombing of London, July, 2005

With Lady Phyllis James

Fifty-Seven London bus and subway passengers were killed that day in a Jihadist terror bombing. The next day we talked with a dear London friend, the mystery novelist P.D. James who had a few years earlier been elevated to the peerage and thus was a member of the House of Lords. Lady James gave us a chilling account of what had just happened and a most insightful interpretation of this early chapter in the terrorist assault upon the West. Here is a crucial portion of that conversation.