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Reading List for Obama – your thoughts?

barackobama.com
Scott McLemee, who pens the Intellectual Affairs column for Inside Higher Ed, asked a few of us for a suggested reading list for the president-elect.

I discovered that one contributor, Daniel Drezner, is a fellow Williams alum, who blogged about the column here. Other contributors were James Marcus, the editor-at-large for the Columbia Journalism Review; Claire Potter, a professor of history and American studies at Wesleyan University; and James Mustich, editor of The Barnes & Noble Review.

And Christopher Hayes, who blogs for The Nation, picked up this thread for his Capitolism column.
Feel free to elaborate in the comments section, below.

Posted on November 7, 2008 in Literature, Politics
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Our American “Empire” with Niall Ferguson

Note: This interview has been picked up by the public radio stations WGBH, in Boston, its affiliates WCAI and WNAN, and WCVE in Richmond, VA.

Niall Ferguson
In some ways, the Scottish historian Niall Ferguson is the Russell Crowe of the academic world: charismatic, unconventional, and definitely controversial. He’s also a big fan of the British Empire — and wants the United States to follow in its footsteps. That means it’s our job to form colonies in hot climates, for years on end.
But are we up for this? While Niall would like that to be the case, he doesn’t really think so, because, he says, we’re an empire “in denial”
Click here: to listen to a 4 minute excerpt.
Click here: to listen to the entire interview (15:30 minutes).

And to listen to an interview with Niall Ferguson on the WGBH Forum Network, click here!

Posted on July 23, 2008 in Economics, Front Page, Harvard Luminaries, History, Politics
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The Future of Europe – with Alberto Alesina

Note: a portion of this interview was broadcast on the WGBH public radio affiliates WCAI/WNAN!

Alberto Alesina
Whither the European Union? This is not a question we (in America) often ask ourselves. But perhaps we should. As we now live in an era of borderless commerce – and threats – it might be wise for us to know a bit more about how our key ally, Europe, is faring. Is the EU more than just a powerful economic bloc? Does it have political clout as well? What about a common foreign policy, and the means to back it up?

Harvard economist Alberto Alesina has devoted himself to these questions. In a book he co-authored with Francesco Giavazzi, he asks: The Future of Europe: Reform or Decline??
Click here: to listen. (27 minutes)

Posted on September 2, 2007 in Economics, Harvard Luminaries, Politics
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Kwame Anthony Appiah: the Cosmopolitan Philosopher

Note: This program was broadcast on WCAI, an affiliate of WGBH, Boston.

Kwame Anthony Appiah (Photo: Greg Martin)
Princeton Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah discusses cosmopolitanism on ThoughtCast!
Born in England and raised in Ghana, Appiah is half English and half African. And perhaps because of this, he’s fascinated with the concept of identity, and the power it wields over people. But rather than wage identity politics, Appiah encourages us instead to be good global citizens, interested in and accepting of each other. In short, cosmopolitan. But also, at least a little bit “contaminated”… Appiah’s written a book on the subject: it’s called Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers.

Click here: to listen. (42 minutes)

Posted on July 10, 2007 in Ideas, Philosophy, Politics
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Alan Dershowitz on Preemption and the Hezbollah

Note: this interview was rebroadcast Jan. 21 at 10 pm on WGBH.
It has also aired on WCAI/WNAN, WNED, KXOT and KYOU. And here are 2 reviews of this interview on PRX.

Alan Dershowitz
The controversial Harvard Law professor, author and celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz talks with ThoughtCast about his latest book, “Preemption: A Knife That Cuts Both Ways”, as well as his views on the Israeli-Palestinian-Hezbollah conflict, torture, human rights and our ‘war on terror.’ His premise: the world has changed, and international law must change with it. We need more tools, he argues, in the fight against terror networks whose recruits hold no fear of death or retribution.

Note: Although the subjects we discuss are controversial, my goal is not to argue with Alan, but to find out what he’s thinking. My hope is that our conversation will provoke further discussion on these hot-button issues.

Click here: (30 minutes) to listen to the interview.

Click here: to listen to the hour-long version.

And click here to listen to Dershowitz debate Harvey Silverglate on ‘civil liberties’ on the WGBH Forum Network.

Please join the conversation by leaving a comment!

Posted on August 10, 2006 in Front Page, Harvard Luminaries, Politics
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Harvard Book Store author talks: Alan Dershowitz

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Talks@Harvard Book Store

Click here: (25 minutes) to listen to Alan Dershowitz’s talk on “Preemption: A Knife that Cuts Both Ways” at Harvard Hillel, presented by the Harvard Book Store. Among other subjects, Dershowitz discusses the doctrine of preemption, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, torture, and our ‘war on terror’.
And to hear a ThoughtCast interview with Alan, click here!

Posted on March 20, 2006 in Harvard Luminaries, Politics
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