Garment,Leonard: Crazy Rhythm: My Journey from Brooklyn, Jazz, and Wall Street to Nixon’s White House, Watergate, and Beyond…

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Some people’s memories of President Richard Nixon are negative due to his role in escalating the Vietnam War, the student demonstrations at Kent State University, and Nixon’s ultimate downfall in Watergate. But who was the man? And how could another individual get close to him? “Crazy Rhythm: My Journey from Brooklyn, Jazz, and Wall Street to Nixon’s White House, Watergate, and Beyond…,” is a story written by a complex person very close to Richard Nixon. Attorney Leonard Garment was born to immigrant Jewish parents in New York in 1924. Playing music, especially saxophone jazz, he grew up in Brooklyn. As a good student and, with what he describes, “an ambition to run things,” Garment finished law school in his early twenties and began working for a major Wall Street law firm. Even though at times he characterized himself as a liberal Democrat, Garment became a close friend and law partner with Richard Nixon and later became the attorney for, and the counsel to, President Richard Nixon, during the time Nixon was embroiled in the throws of Watergate. This interview was originally broadcast in May of 1997.

Leonard Garment recommends “American Pastoral,” by Philip Roth.

Originally Broadcast: May 16, 1997

Ellsberg, Daniel: The Pentagon Papers

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Few moments in American history have held the tension of the early 1970s. The nation was fundamentally divided between the jaded counter-culture and Nixon’s ‘silent majority,’ a rupture particularly connected to the still-escalating Vietnam War. The release to the public of the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 focused national attention on US foreign policy and on our right as individual citizens to freedom of the press.

Daniel Ellsberg recommends “Our War,” by David Harris.

Originally Broadcast: March 19, 1997

Laura Ferri as Grace Carpenter Hudson: The Painter Lady

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Grace Carpenter Hudson was known as the painter-lady in her hometown of Ukiah, CA. She started her career as a painter when she was a teenager in the 1870s. By the time of her death in 1937, she had produced over 600 canvas paintings and numerous other works. Her skills focused almost exclusively on the lives and cultures of the Pomo Indians who lived in Mendocino County. Her husband, Dr. John Hudson, assisted her by making the study of native culture his life’s work, overshadowing his profession as a physician. Grace Carpenter Hudson was a shrewd businesswoman, as well as an artist of increasing renown. Most of the family income came from the sale of her artwork. I spoke with Grace Carpenter Hudson in the person of actress Laura Ferri at the Grace Carpenter Hudson museum in Ukiah, CA, during an exhibition of her work.

Grace Carpenter Hudson recommends “The Age of Innocence,” by Edith Morton. Laura Ferri recommends “Stones from the River,” by Ursula Hegi.

Originally Broadcast: March 5, 1997

Dick Johnson as Alexis de Tocqueville: A Visit With Alexis de Tocqueville

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Democracy in America

In 1831, a 25 year-old Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, trained as a lawyer, and preoccupied with democracy, came to the US to study this new political scheme. Alexis de Tocqueville and his traveling companion, Gustave de Beaumont, arrived at Newport, RI, in an America comprised, then, of 23 states and 13 million people. They stayed for nine months, and then returned to France at which time de Tocqueville began his epic poem entitled “Democracy in America.” At a time then when slavery was an economic base in the South, and abolitionism was beginning to thrive in the North, America had three frontiers: geography, industry, and democracy. In this program of Radio Curious, we’ll be talking with Alexis De Tocqueville, through the person of Chautauqua scholar, Dick Johnson.

Alexis de Tocqueville recommends “Democracy in America,” by Alexis de Tocqueville.

Originally Broadcast: July 17, 1996

Swearingen, Wesley: Illegal FBI Break-Ins, Told By a Former Agent

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FBI Secrets: An Agent’s Expose

Agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have a history of illegal break-ins to homes and offices and conducting wiretaps without a search warrant. In the years when J. Edgar Hoover was the Director of the F.B.I., these warrantless break-ins came to be known as “black-bag jobs”. This archive edition of Radio Curious is a December 1995 interview with Wesley Swearingen a former F.B.I. agent, who in 1995 wrote “FBI Secrets: An Agent’s Expose.” His book describes some of the “black-bag” warrantless searches in which he was involved and his opinion of those activities. He ends his book by saying that the Hoover era will continue to haunt the F.B.I. because Hoover knowingly undermined the United States Constitution. When I spoke with Wesley Swearingen, I asked him what he meant by that.

Wesley Swearingen recommends “Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover,” by Anthony Summers.

Originally Broadcast: December 20, 1995

Jefferson, Thomas & Jenkinson, Clay: The Author of the Declaration of Independence

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Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America, stands as one of the lead political theorists of American history.  His ward republican theory required an agrarian population, a government originating in the individual household, and a consistently questioning and rebellious public.My guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Mr. Jefferson, personified by Clay Jenkinson.We discussed what has gone wrong in the US since Mr. Jefferson was President and addressed some of his concepts of what are necessary for a democracy.

The book Thomas Jefferson recommends is “The History of the Peloponnesian War,” by Thuclydides.

The book C. Jenkinson recommends is “In the Absence of the Sacred,” by Jerry Mander.

Originally Broadcast: May 21, 1994

Kiersey, Dr. David: What is my Personality?

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My guest in this program was Dr. David Kiersey, the author of a book called “Presidential Temperament.” Dr. Kiersey took the Meyers-Briggs Temperament inventories and developed what has come to be known as the Kiersey Temperament Sorter. In so doing, he has established and identified several different types of character and temperament of people. In his book, “Please Understand Me,” the reader may use the Kiersey Temperament Sorter to get an idea of his or her personality and temperament traits. With his history and experience, Kiersey has examined the people who have become a President of the US and set out his analysis in “Presidential Temperaments.” In this program, originally broadcast in November of 1993 when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas, we’ll be talking about the book and some of the temperaments of the various Presidents.

Dr. David Kiersey recommends “Killer Angels,” by Michael Shaara & The Hornblower Series, by Horatio Hormblower.

Originally Broadcast: November 19, 1993

Weiss, Andrew: Ellis Island: Who Arrived There, Why and What Was it Like

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Between 1892 and 1956 about 12 million people immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island, in the harbor of New York City. Who were these immigrants? Where did they come from? What was the experience of getting to Ellis Island and what happened to them once they arrived? In this archive edition of Radio Curious, we visited with Andrew Weiss, who I met in 1992 when he was a tour guide at Ellis Island, working for the City of New York. I spoke with Andrew Weiss in November of 1992, when he was a doctoral candidate at Columbia University and a teacher at Barnard College in New York City. I asked him to begin by telling us about the history of Ellis Island.

Originally Broadcast: November 23, 1992

Sandra Kamusukiri as Maria Stewart: A Visit With a Free Black Woman – Boston 1840

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Maria W. Stewart, as characterized by professor and scholar Sandra Kamusakiri, was a free black woman who lived in Boston, MA, from the 1820s to the early 1840s. She was the first American born woman to lecture in public on political themes and likely the first African-American to speak out in defense of women’s rights. A forerunner to Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth, she was intensely religious and regarded as outspoken and controversial during her time. For more than a century, Maria W. Stewart’s life contributions remained obscured, illustrating the double pressures of racism and sexism on the lives African-American women. I met with Mariah W. Stewart in the person of Professor Sandra Kamusukiri during the 1996 Democracy in America Chautauqua, held in Ukiah, California.

Maria Stewart recommends “The Fair Sketches of Women,” by John Adams and “The Bible.”

Originally Broadcast: November 27, 1996

Gilbert, Ronnie, as “Mother Jones”: ‘The Most Dangerous Woman in America’

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Mary Harris Jones, Mother Jones, was born in 1830. She lived a quiet, non-public life until she was approximately 47 years old and then, for almost the next fifty years, she was a fiery union organizer, strike leader, and fighter for safe and humane working conditions, the eight hour day, and child labor laws. Around the turn of the century, she was called the most dangerous woman in America. Her legacy has lived on in the form of a magazine that bears the name, Mother Jones; and in the form of a one-woman play about her life, produced, acted and written by singer and songwriter Ronnie Gilbert.

Mother Jones recommends any books by Leo Tolstoy. Ronnie Gilbert recommends “Hawaii,” by James Mechiner.

Originally Broadcast: March 12, 1997