Joshua Rubenstein discusses his book "Tangled Loyalties: The Life and Times of Ilya Ehrenburg" and the importance of Ehrenburg during the Stalin regime.
Geoffrey Bridson and his wife Joyce, discuss his book "Prospero and Ariel: The rise and fall of radio a personal recollection.", as well as his life and career as a producer/broadcaster for BBC radio. The interview is interspersed with several excerpts from recordings: Excerpt of conversation at the home of Bridsons in England 1962. He talks about the play "Aarons field" and the sequel "Aarons Fallout shelter". Excerpt from Joyce Bridson backstage after the play "Oh what a lovely war" in New York.
Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, psychiatrist and psycho-historian, discusses the acceptance and embrace of nuclear disaster, doctors' opposition to nuclear weapons, difference in Americans' and Europeans' opposition to nuclear weapons, psychological impact of nuclear bombings in Japan, and the mental disconnect experienced by those who build atomic weapons who then see the bombs' effects.
Dr. Erich Fromm explains how he believes the Cold War was a moment of change for humanity where it would either bring about a "renaissance of humanism or immense bloodshed and barbarism for decades to come." Using his study into humanism, Dr. Fromm warns about how the love of death can overtake the love of life as nationalism and group narcissism takes hold in different countries. He goes on to explain that humanity has to decide that they have a right to demand independence and freedom.
Presenting a rebuttal to editorials opposing the nuclear arms freeze with Dr. Jack Geiger, Dr. George Kistiakowsky, Dr. Herbert (Peter) Schoville and Dr. Kosta Tsipis of MIT.
David Halberstam, writer and historian, talks about his book, "The Fifties." The conversation includes Brown v. Board of Education, atomic weapons, the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, consumerism, birth control, suburbs, television and the start of the counterculture. Halberstam reads several passages from his book.
Daniel Yergin, author and economic historian, discusses his book, "Shattered Peace: The Origins of the Cold War and the National Security State." He explains the key players in the Cold War and his thoughts on the Yalta and Riga Axioms. Yergin also explores the end of World War II and other events that led to the tensions between US and the Soviet Union.
Evolution and the future of the human race are among topics in Carl Sagan's and Ann Druyan's book, "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are." Included is an excerpt of the astronomer Harlow Shapley speaking at the beginning. Carl Sagan also reads an excerpt from the book at the end.