April 25, 2020
LBJ and the Great Society
President Lyndon B. Johnson is today remembered largely for his failure in Vietnam. But before the war sunk his presidency, LBJ compiled a record of accomplishment on the domestic front unmatched since FDR. Medicare, civil and voting rights, clean air and water, Head Start, immigration reform, public broadcasting — fifty years later, these programs are so deeply woven into the fabric of American life that it is difficult to imagine the country without them.
So how did Lyndon Johnson, who made so ruinous a mess in Vietnam, pull off so extraordinary a feat at home? That’s the question we’ll be exploring through the recorded recollections of those who were there when this history was being made, and who had a hand in its making. Hosted by Melody Barnes, chief domestic policy advisor to Barack Obama and now co-head of the Democracy Initiative at the University of Virginia.
April 18, 2020
Libraries Reimagined: A Humankind Special
Americans visit the library more often than they go to a movie theater or attend a sporting event. But as we learn in this new documentary, libraries are far from stagnant institutions of the past. Hear stories are how libraries are rapidly evolving, carried along by the tide of technology that has transformed so much of how we receive information. And at a time when reliable knowledge is under assault from many directions, libraries remain an essential, trusted institution of democracy.
April 11, 2020
Discourse Disrupters from Intelligence Squared U.S.
Ezra Klein: "Why Are We So Polarized?"
Is the American political system broken? In his new book, Ezra Klein argues that the system isn't malfunctioning, it's doing exactly what it was designed to accomplish. In this special episode of Discourse Disrupters, John Donvan sits down with one of the nation's most prominent political journalists to ask one critical question: Why are we polarized?
Host John Donvan engages some of the sharpest minds shaping our national discourse today as part of the Intelligence Squared U.S. radio series: Discourse Disrupters. From academia to the media to the world of politics, these top thinkers are disrupting American discourse in bold new ways.
April 4, 2020
The Afghanistan Papers: A secret history of the war
For over 18 years, America has been at war in Afghanistan. As part of a government project to understand what went wrong, a federal agency interviewed more than 400 people who had a direct role in the conflict. In those interviews, generals, ambassadors, diplomats and other insiders offered firsthand accounts of the mistakes that have prolonged the war. The full, unsparing remarks and the identities of many of those who made them have never been made public — until now.
After a three-year legal battle, The Washington Post obtained hundreds of records of candid interviews assessing the war in Afghanistan and its failures. PRX worked with The Post to turn their podcast on The Afghanistan Papers into a radio special, with broadcast-exclusive reactions from veterans.