Kenzaburo Oe: Art and Healing

Kenzaburo Oe

UC Berkeley's Harry Kreisler in conversation with Kenzaburo Oe who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1994. Oe's art moves from the personal to the political, exploring how the individual, in confronting life's tragedies overcomes humiliation and shame to "get on with life," and in so doing, finds personal dignity and a renewed sense of his responsibility to his fellow man

KEYWORDS: Nobel Laureates, Japan, Healing.

Karin Sveen: Peder Sather and the University of California

Karin Sveen

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes author Karin Sveen for a discussion of her book, “The Immigrant and the University: Peder Sather and Gold Rush California.” After describing her intellectual journey as a writer and poet, the conversation turns to a discussion of philanthropist Peder Sather, a Norwegian immigrant, who was one of the founders of the University of California and whose philanthropy left an indelible mark on the University including the Campanile, Sather Gate, endowed chairs in history, literature, and classics, and the Sather Law Library.

Studs Terkel: Keeping the Faith in Difficult Times

Studs Terkel

Harry Kreisler welcomes Studs Terkel, prize-winning author and radio broadcast personality, on this edition of Conversations with History.


Key Words: Writers, RIP

Shashi Tharoor: The Art of Writing; The Work of Diplomacy

Shashi Tharoor

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our distinguished guest is Shashi Tharoor, who is Director of Communications and Special Projects for the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Mr. Tharoor has served in the UN since 1978, including tenure as head of the Singapore office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees; as the Special Assistant to the Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (in this capacity he led the team responsible for the United Nations peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia); and most...

Roya Hakakian: Identity, Freedom, and Revolution

Roya Hakakian

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Roya Hakakian whose book "Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran," chronicles her intellectual odyssey from teenage rebel to Iranian-American writer. In the conversation, Roya Hakakian reflects on the craft of writing, the importance of poetry in Iranian culture, the betrayal of the revolution by the Ayatollahs and the impact of the revolution on the Jewish community in Iran. She also compares the struggle within both Islam and Judaism as young people reconcile modernity with religious identity.


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.