Story in the Public Square

  • Mikhail Gorbachev and the End of the Cold War with William Taubman

    Air Dates: June 17-23, 2019 Mikhail Gorbachev is one of the most important figures of the 20th century.  A child of the Soviet Union, and a fast rising star in the Communist Party, Gorbachev was also a democratizer whose reforms led to the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.  William Taubman has authored the definitive biography of the last Soviet leader.  William Taubman is … Read More

  • Immigration and America’s Dairy Farms with Julie Keller

    Air Dates: June 10-16, 2019 The super-heated rhetoric over immigration and border security in the United States today is part of a long tradition of anti-immigration hysteria.  Julie Keller puts our recent panic in a sociological context—exploring changes in who works on American dairy farms, and how they traveled from Latin America to farms in the upper-Mid-West.  Julie C. Keller is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of … Read More

  • Local Journalism with Alexandra Watts

    Air Dates: June 3-9, 2019 Local journalism is one of the key-stones of American democracy.  There’s no substitute for an experienced, local reporter—not just to get a story, but to share it with the insight and perspective that only comes from living in the community in which they report.  Alexandra Watts is one of 13 fellows with Report for America, a new effort to put reporters on the ground in … Read More

  • Environmental Justice with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

    In April 2014, officials in Flint, Michigan, switched the source of the city’s water from the Detroit water supply to the Flint, River.  It was a cost-saving move, but it touched the lives of citizens across that city.  Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha helped blow the story open.  With science and determination, she proved the decision was poisoning the children of Flint.  An associate professor of pediatrics and human development at Michigan … Read More

  • The Press and the War in Afghanistan with Katherine A. Brown

    Air Dates: May 20-26, 2019 America’s war in Afghanistan is the longest war in the history of the United States.  Katherine A. Brown served on the staff of the U.S. ambassador there in the years after 9/11 and she argues now that the role of the American press in Afghanistan is essential to understanding the conduct of the war.  Brown is the author of a compelling new book about the … Read More

  • Iran? I’ve seen that movie, too

    On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine was at anchor in Havana Harbor when an explosion sank her killing 260 officers and men.  The so-called Yellow Press—led by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer— promptly blamed the Spanish government and cried “Remember the Maine!” In truth, historians remain uncertain about what caused the explosion, but the leading theory is that a fire in one of the coal bunkers on board … Read More

  • Leap of Faith: Decision Making Before the Iraq War with Michael Mazarr

    Air Dates: May 13-19, 2019 In 2003, the United States military unleashed a campaign the press had pre-christened “Shock and Awe,” the dominant and overwhelming application of American military power against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and its military.  Within weeks, U.S. forces controlled all of Iraq, and then the fighting really began.  This week on “Story in the Public Square,” Michael J. Mazarr unravels the decision making that led to what … Read More

  • Disability Rights with Peter Blanck

    Sixty-one million Americans—that’s 26% of the population—live with some kind of disability.  These are our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers, and our family members.  While the Americans with Disabilities Act has improved the lives of many since it became law nearly three decades ago, Peter Blanck tells us the history and the ongoing challenges for those with disabilities can be stark.  Blanck is University Professor at Syracuse University—an academic rank … Read More

  • The World Is NOT Falling Apart, with Michael Cohen and Micah Zenko

    It’s easy to be convinced by talk show hosts, editorial writers, and politicians that American security hangs on the razor’s edge and that the world is more dangerous, now, than it has ever been. Michael Cohen and Micah Zenko remind us that the facts simply don’t match that narrative.  In fact, they tell us, the world has never been better.  Michael A. Cohen, a columnist for the Boston Globe, and … Read More

  • Human Caused Environmental Catastrophe with Elizabeth Kolbert

    Air Dates: April 22-28, 2019 The fossil record of planet earth tells us that there have been five mass extinctions—the most famous being the fifth that destroyed the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert warns that we’re in the midst, now, of the sixth extinction and its cause is human activity. Kolbert’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Sixth Extinction, documents the risk to species across the planet. The threat is human activity.  The fabric … Read More