Rich Cohen: The Diaspora and Israel

Rich Cohen

Harry Kreisler welcomes Rich Cohen, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, to discuss his book "Israel is Real." Cohen explores the changing conception of a homeland for Jews in the Diaspora, the theme of his new book, and explains how Jews turned the loss of the real Zion to a focus on an ideal Zion that would be realized in an unknown future. He traces the rise of the Zionist movement and the ways in which the establishment of the State of Israel created tension between Jews for whom Zion was a virtual vision and Jews in Israel for whom Zion had become a real state with...

Philip Gourevitch: Reporting the Story of a Genocide

Philip Gourevitch

Writer Philip Gourevitch talks with host Harry Kreisler about writing and shares his perspective on moral courage and the failure to prevent the Rwanda genocide.


Key Words: Writers, Rwanda, Human Rights, Genocide

Norman Podhoretz: The Battle over Ideas

Norman Podhoretz

UC Berkeley's Harry Kreisler in conversation with Norman Podhoretz, whose 35 years as an author, literary critic and editor of Commentary magazine has had a profound influence on the ideas that have shaped public debate in the United States.


Key Words: Writers, Politics, Editors, Jewish Identity, Conservative Movement, Critics, Journals, Neo-Conservatives

Norman Cousins: The Quest for Peace

Norman Cousins

In this 1984, distinguished writer and editor Norman Cousins joins Conversations host Harry Kreisler for a discussion of the dangers of the nuclear arms race and his role in mediating communications between Kennedy and Khruschev at the height of the Cold War.

Key Words: Writers, Arms Race, Peace Movements, Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Presidents, Arms Control, Editors, RIP

John Micklethwait: Globalization and the Conservative Movement in the United States

John Micklethwait

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief of the Economist. They discuss the challenges of editing the leading global news magazine. They explore the implications of globalization in a post 911 world. Micklethwait also reflects on the enduring features of the conservative movement and its consequences for the global role of the United States.


John Kenneth Galbraith: Intellectual Journey: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom

John Kenneth Galbraith

Economist John Kenneth Galbraith, in a conversation with host Harry Kreisler, looks back and reflects on the art of writing, U.S. policy toward the Third World during the Cold War, political leadership, and on his intellectual contributions.


Key Words: Economists, Politics, U.S. Presidents, Writers, Cold War, Kennedy, Great Depression, Presidents, RIP

James Fallows: A Journalist's Craft

James Fallows

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes journalist James Fallows for a discussion of his career, the ideas and events that shaped his thinking, and his perspective on his craft as a writer and author.


Key Words: Journalists, Writers

Hanan Ashrawi: A Palestinian Voice

Hanan Ashrawi

Conversations host Harry Kreisler interview Hanan Ashlar for a discussion of Palestinian nationalism and finding a Palestinian voice as a writer and political leader.

Key Words: Palestine, Writers, Women Trailblazers

George Packer: The Unwinding

George Packer

Harry Kreisler welcomes George Packer for a discussion of his new book, "The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America." Packer discusses his formative experiences, including forging his own political identity and coming to terms with the legacy of his progressive grandfather and his liberal father. He then recounts the influence of his mother on his writing and his odyssey—Peace Corps, construction, working with the homeless, and membership in the socialist party-- that led him to writing as a vocation. After sketching the skills and temperament of a writer, Packer describes the...

George Packer: Technology and Inequality

George Packer

Conversations Host Harry Kreisler welcomes New Yorker staff writer George Packer for a discussion of the impact of Silicon Valley on society and politics. Topics covered include: the implications of technology for the status of the American worker, for American culture, and for economic inequality. Amazon and the consequences of its business model for the publishing industry are discussed. President Obama's response to the 2008 economic crisis is also analyzed.

Key Words: Writers, Journalists, Technology