Author Archive

Burt Cohen

GunsHistory That Matters NowPodcast

So many mass shootings; how did the gun culture become so powerful? Look to the Civil War. Militarily devastated, the Confederate culture transformed guns into a totem. In this revealing discussion, U of Wisconsin-Madison professor Nick Buttrick reveals the roots

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CultureEconomic IssuesJusticePodcast

At this time of year, we all think about giving. But what are philanthropists all about? To launder a plutocrat’s reputation, preserving great wealth and maintaining dominance and control. Our guest Edgar Villanueva has a new book, a second edition

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History That Matters NowPodcastPopulismProtests & Resistance

Democracy and oligarchy: since our founding it’s been a long balancing act. In his new book Realigners: Partisan Hacks, Political Visionaries, and the Struggle to Rule American Democracy, author historian Timothy Shenk tells of how very diverse people like Mark

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CultureJusticePodcastSexualityWomen

At the World Cup and other global sporting events, all kinds of workers are exploited. And under the guise of rescue and saving souls involved in the sex trade, evangelical, business interests, politicians, and police make out quite well. Harm

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CultureJusticePodcast

Though the angry white supremacist right grabs today’s news, the truth is the Christian Left has much deeper roots in American history. According to the Reverend Quardricos Bernard Driskell, the religious left has always been part of the fabric of

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History That Matters NowPodcastWar

With renewed interest in the first world war, November 11 is celebrated as the end of “the war to end all wars.” But in reality it was a peace that ended peace. The German negotiators at that famous train car

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DemocratsHistory That Matters NowPodcast

It’s echoing everywhere: Trump was the biggest loser of the 2022 elections. Recorded two days after the votes, our guest today, veteran political news person John Kosinski sees what so unexpectedly happened as a wake up call. Could it be

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Fascism on the RisePodcast

Why do Americans love royalty so much? For one thing, it’s much less effort than tedious democracy to just accept legitimacy being handed down. On this show, from the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, Suzanne Schneider explains how today’s fascination

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DemocratsGunsPodcastPopulismTrump

Thinking with history; on this show political broadcast veteran John Kosinski demonstrates how so many people running just want to be showmen on TeeVee. He explains why so many are drawn to Trumpism: a desire to be heard and respected.

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CultureEducationPodcast

The pressure to prevent active curiosity is a curious thing in a democracy. Our guests today are authors Perry Zurin and Dani Bassett whose new book is Curious Minds, The Power of Connection. As they say, acquiring information is insufficient,

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DemocratsHistory That Matters NowPodcastPopulism

America today is not the America of the past. But in his new book What it Took to Win, author and history professor  Michael Kazin, it’s clear what has and still works.  Today’s right plays on a sense that it

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Military and Defence PolicyPodcastWar

Like all bad habits, war is a tough one to break. On this show, Professor Emeritus Lawrence Wittner explains that respecting, listening, and helping people in other countries is a lot more economically conservative and accomplishes security much more effectively.

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DemocratsGunsPodcastPresident Biden

We’ve won the abortion debate, and had the vote been a few weeks ago… But it’s not until November 8th. Neil Oxman is co-founder of The Campaign Group and on this show he shares his uniquely valuable vantage point. Oxman

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Civil LibertiesFascism on the RisePodcastSocialism

Authoritarianism. Anti-Immigrant. White men fearful of losing control.   Books banned, free press shut down. Widespread domestic spying. Dissent criminalized and many jailed tortured and killed. In his new book, American Midnight: The Great War, A Violent Peace, and Democracy’s

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CultureDemocratsEconomic IssuesPodcast

We can’t do it by talking down to middle Americans. If Democrats don’t get that rural Americans have fear that what little they have may be taken away, we stand to lose yet again. Victory comes when we listen, respect

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Podcast

The right wing depends on fear and hatred of others. As we approach elections, their TV ads seek to scare us about a surge at the border. Why don’t they stay home? What if they were white? Today’s guest Avi

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Economic IssuesInternational NewsPodcast

It took a mere ten days before the UK’s new prime minister blew it big time. Liz Truss’s budget was instantly panned; pretending to be trickle down, it gushes money upwards to those who need it least. On this show

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DemocratsEconomic IssuesPodcastPopulism

Elitists in Democratic Party bring avoidable disasters. From northern Iowa, Professor Wallace Hettle sees how the power of big money over the Democratic Party pushes away working people, farmers, and others in the hollowed-out heartland. Terry McAullife’s loss in Virginia

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CulturePodcastSexuality

Author Kathryn Bond Stockton argues in her new book Gender(s) that obvious genital distinctions are in reality incomplete. When children are born, it’s like parents “lower a cone over the baby,” imposing an identity without consent and even ignoring other

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Economic IssuesEnvironmentPodcastPresident Biden

A crippling rail strike seems to have been averted. Barely. You and I may think of the railroads as ways to move freight, but as our guest today observes: “The railroad companies have been Wall Street’s plaything throughout their half-century

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Civil LibertiesJusticePodcast

In our 300 year old system of an adversarial combative system of justice, there is no mechanism to prove and protect the innocent. In his soon to be published book, The Plea of Innocence, author Tim Bakken argues that prosecution

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CultureForeign AffairsFreedomPodcast

Reporters used to report, now there’s virtually no line between media and the national security state. Veteran international journalist Patrick Lawrence on this show notes the big change occurred 9/11; since then we have been subject to an information monoculture.

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PodcastProtests & ResistanceRacism

We all know there are powers determined to destroy democracy. The ubiquity of hand held video cameras has the unique power to disrupt the narrative of power. On this show author Phil Allen talks about his new book The Prophetic

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Civil LibertiesFreedomJusticePodcast

It may appear to be a rogue court today but the truth is the Supreme Court has long led the fight against democracy. Our guest today historian Steve Fraser points out that the liberal Warren Court was the real aberration.

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CulturePodcastRacism

The new book is Imagining the Heartland; White Supremacy and the American Midwest and it’s about the powerful roots of today’s angry violence against The Others. On this show anthropologist authors Britt Halvorson and Joshua Reno look at the use

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CultureEnvironmentNational PolicyPodcast

Politicians of both parties buy into American Exceptionalism. But what does it mean to the planet? On this show professor Aviva Chomsky sheds light on the aspects of exceptionalism we don’t want to see. Instead of a good life just

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EducationPodcast

As another school year kicks off, skepticism about quantifying is appropriate. That measure is command and control from the top down bureaucrats. But much of the best results of public education can’t be seen but come from democratizing schools, welcoming

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Civil LibertiesCulturePodcastRacismSexuality

Even in safe spaces for gay men, there is subtle racism and stratification if one is not white. On this show, Professor Anthony Ocampo talks about his new book Brown and Gay in LA, including pressures from Mexican and Filipino

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CultureEconomic IssuesPodcast

A consumers republic was born at the end of the second world war. And though it was genuinely intended to be a tide lifting all boats, it has increased economic inequality and created isolation where public space once was central.

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CultureEducationFreedomPodcastWomen

It’s almost time for the start of schools. Of course all parents want to protect their children from inappropriate material. But when “parental rights” mean teachers are forbidden from mentioning homosexuality or racism because that means teachers are “grooming” kids

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