KPFA: Letters and Politics [News Feed]

  • The Lessons of Tyranny
    Today Mitch Jeserich is in conversation with Timothy Snyder [1] about the new threats our political order faces and how we might stop it from happening.  Timothy Snyder is the Levin Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. His latest book is On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from Twentieth Century. Snyder is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and a permanent fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. Please consider donating to KPFA, your support is what keeps us on the air: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from The Twentieth Century (Paperback) by Timothy Snyder $100. CD Letters & Politics Ancient History Pack $100. COMBO BOOK + CD $150. [1]
  • The US Turbulent Markets and the Nature of the National Debt
    Today host Mitch Jeserich spends the hour with renowned economist Richard Wolff [1] to talk about the turbulent situation of the US markets, the nature of the national debt, interest rates, cryptocurrencies and more. Richard Wolff is a professor of economics at New School University in New York City and host of Economic Update [2]. Please keep KPFA alive, click here to donate: [3] The Richard Wolff DVD Pack $350. Book Capitalism's Deepens by Richard Wolff $90. Combo Wolff (Book + DVD) Pack $425.     [1] [2] [3]
  • The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke
    Today Mitch Jeserich is in conversation with Jeffrey C. Stewart [1], professor of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of the book The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke.  In his book, professor Stewart offers a splendid biography of the enigmatic father of the Harlem Renaissance, Alain Leroy Locke, one of the greatest thinkers, teachers, and literary entrepreneurs of the early twenty century. The New Negro brings to life the intellectual brightness of the African American modernism in an era of cosmopolitanism, colonialism, and catastrophe.  Shifting the discussion of race from politics and economics to the arts, Alain Leroy Locke helped establish the idea that Black urban communities could be crucibles of creativity. Professor Stewart is also the author of Paul Robeson: Artist and Citizen and 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About African American History.     [1]
  • Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray
    Today host Mitch Jeserich interviews Barnard professor Rosalind Rosenberg, author of the book Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray. Pauli Murray was the first African American to earn a JSD from Yale Law School and her legal work on the 14th amendment provided the groundwork for Brown v. Board and inspired Ruth Bader Ginsburg's work with women's rights and the 14th Amendment. Murray also struggled with issues of identity: by today's standards, she would be considered transgender.
  • A History of the AR-15 Semi-Automatic Rifle & Diplomatic Implications of the Winter Olympics
    In the first part of today's show, Mitch Jeserich talks with Patrick Blanchfield [1] about the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the same gun that was used to kill every 17 people yesterday at a Florida high-school. Follow Patrick Blanchfield on Twitter at @PatBlanchfield [2]. Then, we are in conversation with Christine Hong about what the winter Olympics mean diplomatically for North Korea, South Korea, and the United States. Christine Hong is an associate professor in the Literature Department and the program in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is an executive board member of the Korea Policy Institute. [1] [2]
  • A History of Boycotts: Against Israel, South Africa and Grape Growers In California
    Today, Mitch Jeserich is in conversation with Sunaina Maira, Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis, and author of the book Boycott!: The Academy and Justice for Palestine. She explains the whys and the wherefores of the boycott movement against Israel, and other historic boycotts as the one against South Africa and the one against grape growers in California during the 1970s.
  • The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World
    On today's show, we are in conversation with Bart D. Ehrman [1], renowned religious scholar and author of the book The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World, about the spread of Christianity throughout the Western world.  He relates the history of how the Roman Empire went from being a polytheistic pagan society, that now and then persecuted Christians, to a Christian society that persecuted non-Christians.   [1]
  • Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic 
    Today we are in conversation with Ganesh Sitaraman [1] about the history of wealth inequality and how it threatens our government institutions. He is a professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He has been a longtime advisor to Senator Elizabeth Warren, serving as her policy director and senior counsel.  Professor Sitaraman is the author of The Counterinsurgent’s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars and The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic. [1]
  • Inside the Trump Administration
    On today's show, we are in conversation with David Cay Johnston, journalist investigator who has been covering the business transactions of Donald Trump for almost 30 years. In his latest book, It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America, he highlights what the White House is doing and how the federal agencies are changing American society through their policies.
  • Intelligence Accountability in the United States
    On today's show, host Mitch Jeserich is in conversation with Loch K. Johnson about the history of US intelligence agencies and America's struggle to balance liberty and security.  Professor Johnson is one of America's leading experts on the nation's intelligence organizations. He is the Regent Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia and served as staff director of the Senate Committee on Intelligence, as well as assistant to the chairman of the Aspin-Brown Commission on Intelligence.  He is the author and/or editor of thirty books on U.S. national security.  His latest is Spy Watching: Intelligence Accountability in the United States.    
  • Stock Market Turmoil & A Racial History of the Second Amendment
    In the first part of today's show, host Mitch Jeserich talks to Dean Baker about the turmoil that is occurring in the global market. Dean Baker is the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. Then, we are in conversation with radical and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz about the connection of US gun culture to the stealing of Native lands and the rise of slave patrols. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is the author of the book Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment.
  • What FISA Courts Are & Activist Jerry Rubin
    Late last week, Republican Devin Nunes memo has been declassified. Today, The House Intelligence Committee vote on whether to release an opposing-Democratic memo. In today's show, we take a step back and talk about these FISA courts, what they are and what their history is. Our guest is Mel Goodman, former CIA analyst and director and the National Security Project at the Center for International Policy. Then, in the second half of today's show, we are in conversation with journalist Pat Thomas about the 1960s activist turned investor Jerry Rubin. Pat Thomas is the author of the book Did It! From Yippie To Yuppie: Jerry Rubin, An American Revolutionary.
  • Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
    On today's show, we are in conversation with Daniel Ellsberg, best known as a Top Defense analyst who leaked the so-called Pentagon Papers in 1971, revealing that the US government was lying to the public about the Vietnam War. With the book The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, he reveals more information about America’s nuclear program in the 1960s and exposes the dangers of a policy that continues to this day.     Daniel Ellsberg will be, tonight, Thursday, February 1 at 7:30 PM at King Middle School, 1781 Rose St., in Berkeley. Information: [1] [1]
  • State of the Union Address: Economic & Feminist Debriefing
    During the State of the Union address, last night, President Donald Trump talked about the success of the economy. On today's show, we are in conversation about the dynamics of employment and government policies with labor economist Sylvia Allegretto, co-chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the University of California, Berkeley. And, then, in the second part of today's show, we do a feminist analysis of the State of the Union address with Adele Stan, a columnist with the American Prospect.
  • Stefan Zweig’s Testimony on the Fascist Take-Over of Vienna, Black Lives Matter Today & The Nature of the Presidency
    On today's show, Mitch Jeserich is telling us a short story about Austrian Nobel Prize-winning author Stefan Zweig. He witnessed the fascist take-over of Vienna, which was the cultural and intellectual European capital for the two previous centuries. Next, we are in conversation with Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and author of a new memoir When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir. We talk about the founding of Black Lives Matter as well as what's going on now with Trump presidency.         And then, historian Jeremi Suri joins us for a conversation about the changing nature of the presidency through our time. He is the author of the book The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office.

Archived Snapshot: 2017-04-02

Russian Perspective on the Election Controversy Mitch Jeserich interviews Robert English Professor of International Relations at USC, who has just written a piece for Foreign Affairs [1] that is critical of the US's reaction to allegations of Russian interference in the election.


Trump and Russia and the Politics of Nutrition Mitch Jeserich interviews David Cay Johnston about the controversies surrounding the Trump family's ties to Russia. Johnston is a renowned journalist and the author of the book, The Making of Donald Trump.

Then, Mitch interviews renowned nutritionist Marion Nestle, (no relation to the Swiss food giant Nestle.) Her most recent book is, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning).

Trump's Enviromental EOs and The Legacy of McCarthy's Red Scare First, Mitch Jeserich speaks with environmental journalist Mark Hertzgaard [1], about the Trump administration's recent executive order's attempting to overturn environmental regulations from the Obama era.

Then, Mitch interviews David A. Nichols, author of the book Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower's Secret Campaign Against Joseph McCarthy, about the history of the Red Scare and echoes of today.


US Military Escalation in Iraq and Syria and the Downfall of the Republican Party Mitch Jeserich interviews Reese Erlich about American military escalation in Iraq and Syria. Erlich is an accomplished independent journalist and the author of the book, Inside Syria.

Then Mitch speak with Geoffery Kabaservice, author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, about the recent public implosion of the Republican party's unity.

Today's Strange State of Affairs with Rebecca Solnit Mitch Jeserich interivews Rebecca Solnit, and independent writer, historian, and activist, she is the author of twenty books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster.

The Repeal of the ACA and The 1980 Assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero Mitch Jeserich speaks with Stephanie Woolhandler of Physicians for National Health Program about the impending changes to the health care system in the US.

Then he interviews Matt Eisenbrandt, author of Assassination of a Saint: The Plot to Murder Oscar Romero and the Quest to Bring His Killers to Justice, and an attorney for the prosecution of the case.

Genghis Khan and the Origins of Religious Freedom Mitch Jeserich interviews Jack Weatherford, a renowned anthropologist and author of the book Genghis Khan and the Quest for Religious Freedom, as well as many other books about Mongolia. In 2006, he was awarded the Order of the Polar Star, Mongolia [1]'s highest national honor for foreigners.


House Intelligence Committee Hearing on Russia-Trump Campaign Ties Mitch Jeserich interviews Mel Goodman about the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the links between Trump's campaign and Russia.

Melvin Goodman, was division chief and senior analyst at the Office of Soviet Affairs, Central Intelligence Agency from 1976 to 1986, and is currently a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C.

Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0 and America's First Drug Tsar In this episode we discuss the Muslim Ban "2.0," and the legal challenges have come up against it with Elica Vafaie, an attorney with the Asian Americans Advancing Justice/Asian Law Caucus and an expert on National Security and Civil Rights.

Then we hear from Alexandra Chasin, author of the book Assassin of Youth: A Kaleidoscopic History of Harry J. Anslinger's War on Drugs, about the infamous Federal Bureau of Narcotics Commissioner who has gone down in history as America's first drug tsar.

Understanding the Federal Reserve's Next Moves In this episode host Mitch Jeserich speaks with Josh Bivens, the Director of Research at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). His areas of research include macroeconomics, fiscal and monetary policy, the economics of globalization, social insurance, and public investment.

The Secret State: A History of Intelligence and Espionage In this episode host Mitch Jeserich speaks with Colonel John Hughes-Wilson, one of Britain's leading military historians. He served in the British Army's Intelligence Corps for 30 years. He is the author of the book The Secret State: A History of Intelligence and Espionage. He lives in Cyprus.

North Korea and Trump's Foreign Policy in Asia. And How the US Goverment has Evolved in the Past Hundred Years In this episode host Mitch Jeserich speaks with Hyun Lee, a researcher and reporter for Global Research Centre for Research on Globalization. Her latest piece is North Korea: Trump's First Foreign Policy Test in Asia [1]. Then and interview with Alasdair Roberts [2], Professor of Public Affairs, Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri. His latest book is Four Crises of Democracy: Representation, Mastery, Discipline, Anticipation [3]. About Four Crises of Democracy In the last ten years, there has been an outpouring of literature concerned with the crises that impact democracies in our era. Observers have noted a range of causes, including endemic corruption, gross incompetence in delivering basic services, and a corresponding increase in voter disaffection. Lurking in the background as well is the global resurgence of authoritarianism, a wave bolstered by the Western democracies' apparent mishandling of the global financial crisis. In Four Crises of American Democracy, Alasdair Roberts locates the U.S.'s recent bout of democratic malaise in a larger historical context, arguing that it is the latest in a series of very different crises that have plagued America throughout its history. He focuses on four crises, moving beyond descriptions of what each crisis involved to the solutions the government evolved in response. The first crisis-the of representation"-occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and was dominated by fears of plutocracy and debates about the rights of African-Americans, women and immigrants. The of mastery" spanned the years 1917-1948, and was preoccupied with building administrative capabilities so that government could improve its control of economic and international affairs. The of discipline," beginning in the 1970s, was triggered by the perception that voters and special interests were overloading governments with unreasonable demands. The final crisis, what he calls the …

Chris Hedges on the Bleak Future of the US In this episode we hear a recent speech by Chris Hedges, Pulitzer prize winning journalist and political activist, given at St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church in Vancouver, CA on March 3rd.

Lynne Stewart and The Republican Healthcare Proposal Lynne Stewart [1] died yesterday March the 7th 2017, she was an attorney known for defending those who challenged the system and she herself spent years in jail for representing Omar Abdel-Rhaman.

Then, we talk to Edwin Park about the Republican Healthcare proposal. Edwin Park is Vice President for Health Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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The Updated Muslim Ban and Readings of 1984 On today's show host Mitch Jeserich speaks to Rose Cuison Villazor about the new Muslim Travel Ban. Rose Cuison Villazor is a Professor of Law and Martin Luther King Jr. Hall Research Scholar University of California at Davis School of Law.

Then, we hear clips from the audio book of 1984.


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