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Northwestern University professor of Slavic languages and literatures Irwin Weil discusses Russian literature, poetry, and theater. Weil discusses the strong interest students have at Northwestern University for the subject he teaches, and attempts to answer why that is. Weil sings several unnamed Russian folk songs throughout the program and reads “A Magic Moment I Remember” - Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin.
Nicholas Von Hoffman talks about his book "Left at the Post: Passions, Prejudices, and Laments of One of America's Most Generously Biased Writers". Additional topics include biased journalism, objectivism in news reporting, and politics.
Michael Rosenberg Meeropol discusses his book, ""We Are Your Sons: The Legacy of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg," and talks about his life growing up in the shadow of the execution of his parents. He recalls his memories leading up to their arrest and trial and the legal battle for him and his brother, Robert, to be adopted. He also talks about growing up ashamed of his last name, but eventually coming to terms with his identity and starting the fight for his parents' exoneration.
Author Laurence Shoup discusses his book, "The Carter Presidency and Beyond: Power and Politics in the 1980s," and explains how President Carter came to be elected. He describes the Trilateral Commission and other groups created by corporations and the richest American families to lobby. the government. He also discusses the Carter presidency and his double-dealing with major issues such as unions and regulating big businesses.
Jadwiga Lopez and Andrew Patner discuss Poland and tell stories about their latest visits before and during the Poland Crisis of 1980-1981. Topics discussed include the economic hardships, food shortages, the Solidarity Union, politics, and the arts. Parts of polish music is played at the start and end.
His experiences as a journalist are what's covered in Harrison Evans Salisbury's book, "A Time of Change: A Reporter's Tale of Our Time". Salisbury believed as a reporter, one truly needed to be at the event, in order to obtain the true story. Once Salisbury questioned if he was living in America because he was asked to switch rooms at a hotel in Birmingham, only to find out later that there were special, bugged rooms for reporters.
Donald Sassoon, professor and writer, discusses his book “One Hundred Years of Socialism: The West European Left in the Twentieth Century.” Sassoon explores the history of socialism in Europe since 1889 and socialism's relationship with capitalism. He explains how the 1930 depression and World War II affected the growth of socialism in Europe and America. He also explains the creation and government of the Soviet Union
Joel Sachs discusses Russian avant-garde music and Soviet Union artists.
Daniel Schorr discusses his work in television and print journalism and the limitations of each. Topics of discussion include Schorr’s experiences working for CBS, reporting on and from the Soviet Union, and censorship in the news media. Schorr reads excerpts from his memoir at the beginning and end of the program.
Daniel Ellsberg, political activist and former military analyst, discuses his release of the Pentagon Papers and his thoughts on how the Vietnam War played out. He also discusses what he believes the next war could look like and how America, and the world, would be affected by nuclear war.
Candace Falk discusses Emma Goldman and reads from her biographical novel on Goldman entitled "Love, Anarchy, Emma Goldman: A Biography." This interview gives a summary of Goldman's life and accomplishments as an anarchist political activist, particular emphasis is placed on Goldman's efforts, writings, and speeches relating to the free love movement. A reading from Emma Goldman's "Marriage and Love" is also included. Studs plays "The Rebel Girl" - Joe Glazer (1954).
Author, humorist, and poet Calvin Trillin discusses and reads from his book “Enough’s Enough (and Other Rules of Life),” a collection of humorous essays about everyday topics, from social to political. Studs and Trillin discuss why we get cold fronts from Canada, not Greenland; and how to spot a moderate out in public. Studs plays "Out of My Road, Mr. Toad" - Bud Freeman (1970).
Blanche Wiesen Cook, historian, professor, and author discusses her book, "The Declassified Eisenhower," and explains Eisenhower's peace and war beliefs. She describes his beliefs at the end of World War II and his relationships with fellow generals and leaders.
Aaron Copland discusses his music, his colleagues, contemporaries, musicians, and composers.