Inauguration Countdown

Studs was very interested in politics at all levels, from the grassroots movements in a neighborhood all the way up to the White House.  This is reflected in the archives’ interviews with organizers, city councilmen, and authors and journalists writing about our presidents.  As our nation prepares for our 58th inauguration ceremony for an American president, we’ve looked through the archives to find interviews about previous presidents and campaigns.

The faces of Mount Rushmore: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

In 1970, he spoke with Doris Kearns Goodwin about her time in the White House with Lyndon Johnson and the resulting book Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream.  In 1981, author David McCullough spoke to Studs about his book on Theodore Roosevelt, Mornings on Horseback.  Studs spoke to multiple guests about Richard Nixon during his campaigns and terms, including Joe McGinniss, author of the The Selling of the President, 1968; and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein about breaking the Watergate story, and their follow-up book, All The President’s Men

Be sure to check back later this week as we gear up for the Women’s March with programs on the ongoing struggle to pass the ERA.

Photo credit: By Dean Franklin – 06.04.03 Mount Rushmore Monument. (Resized by User:ComputerHotline, 20:17, 12. Mai 2007.), CC BY 2.0,

Presidents and a farewell

A belated happy Super Tuesday to you, readers.

When we vote, who do we vote for?  How can we really know what a candidate is all about?  We visit their websites, look over the literature we get in the mail, but most of our understanding of what a candidate stands for comes through print media, radio, and TV.

Lincoln Douglas debates commemorative stamp, 1958

For this post, we bring you two interviews with writers talking about their presidential subjects.  We start with Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward talking to Studs shortly after the publication of All the President’s Men. They give Studs the details of some of the more exciting and suspenseful moments of their work, and even if you’ve seen the movie or read the book, it’s a jolt to hear it in their own unrehearsed voices.

Next up is Doris Kearns Goodwin talking about her book Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream.  She talks a great deal about how Johnson’s personal life and childhood experiences affected his professional and political life, and how, in her observation, as the world changed he struggled to change with it.  Through her eyes, he becomes a very human figure: “All we saw was this extraordinary powerful character… What I found underneath was an incredibly vulnerable, sad, interesting, terrified man.”

Looking for more?  Check out the post featuring Hunter S. Thompson talking about his book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.

Earlier this week, we learned of the death of Chicago doctor Quentin Young.  In addition to his important work at Michael Reese Hospital and Cook County Hospital, Dr. Young was a fervent activist.  He joined Martin Luther King, Jr. on his march from Selma to Montgomery (and also treated him when he was in Chicago), registered black voters in Mississippi, and in 2001, at 77, he participated in a 167-mile march for universal healthcare.  Dr. Young was both friend and doctor to Studs.

Dr. Young at a rally in San Francisco for single-payer healthcare, 2007.

Dr. Young at a rally in San Francisco for single-payer healthcare, 2007.

At the time of this interview, Dr. Young (who appeared on the show sixteen times!) was Director of Medicine at Cook County Hospital, and he had recently released a memo banning the prescription of sleep aids and other potentially addicting drugs by clinic doctors.  He and Studs talk about the factors that led to this decision, including the financially-driven relationship between pharmaceutical companies and doctors, and the fact that doctors were giving out prescriptions as a substitute for spending time with patients.  Does this sound familiar?  It was 1974.

Photo credits: Lincoln/Douglas: By US Post Office [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.  Quentin Young: Flickr user rstephemi CC BY-SA 2.0.

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