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

Reich, Charles: A Non-Marxist View of Material Capitalism

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The Greening of America & Opposing the System

The market economy often seems to have many inherent problems. Indeed, a Marxist historical view presupposes that the fundamental contradictions of capitalism will inevitably lead to socialism. Far from this extreme, Charles Reich, author of “The Greening of America” and, more recently, “Opposing the System,” believes that individuals must be nonetheless confronted with these contradictions and the human conditions created by material capitalism.

Charles Reich recommends “The Poetry of Colleridge,” by Charles R. Woodring.

Originally Broadcast: November 4, 1996

Sarmiento,Domingo & Lewis, Daniel: An Argentine President

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Domingo Sarmiento, a teacher and later President of the Republic of Argentina, spent several years traveling in Europe and the United States in the mid-19th Century. He spent six weeks in the US in the fall of 1847 and later published his account of this visit, selectively interpreting what he saw and experienced to conform to his ideas. In this archive edition of Radio Curious, I visit with Domingo Sarmiento in the person of Professor Daniel Lewis, a scholar-presenter in the 1996 Democracy in America Chautauqua. I met with Domingo Sarmiento during a break in the Chautauqua programming in Ukiah, California, and asked him what he saw the future of the American Union to be, from his perspective in 1843.

Domingo Sarmiento recommends any book by James Fenimore Cooper. Daniel Lewis recommends “The Invention of Argentina,” by Nicolas Shumway.

Originally Broadcast: July 27, 1996

Koponen, Niilo Ph.D.: North to Alaska

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People who crave space, freedom, adventure, and opportunities have long been attracted to Alaska. In June of 1996 I spoke with Niilo Kopanan, the son of Finnish immigrants who grew up in New York City and moved to a mountain ridge near Fairbanks, Alaska in 1952. At that time, land there was still open for homesteading. He located his 160 acres and filed a homestead on the ridge where he still lives. After several years there, in the mid 1950s, he returned to the lower 48 states to earn a Ph.D. Yet the magnet of Alaska pulled him back where he became a university professor and a member of the Alaska legislature, and he’s been there ever since.

Niilo Koponen, Ph.D. recommends “The life story of Elizabeth Morgan” by Ernest Morgan.

Originally Broadcast: June 18, 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

Bari, Judi: Conversation with an Earth First! Leader

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Until the mid-1990s, the Redwood Industry dominated much of North Coast economy. In the mid-1990s, due to a number of circumstances particularly involving Pacific Lumber Company and Charles Hurwitz, industry advocates collided with environmentalists in a final hurrah. Few figures among the environmentalists carry as much name-recognition and power as did Judi Bari. In this program, recorded in March of 1995 at the height of the conflict, Judi Bari and I discussed the position of Earth First!

Judi Bari recommends “J. Edgar Hoover,” by Kurt Gentry.

Originally Broadcast: March 27, 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

Alston, Dr. Richard: The Economics of Party Politics

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After the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention in 1992, Richard M. Alston, who was then chairman of the Economics Department at Webber State University in Ogden, Utah, sent a political survey to the delegates to that convention. This survey concerned the perceptions of convention delegates regarding economic issues in the United States. As a delegate to the Democratic National Convention I was sent one his surveys, and decided to ask Professor Alston for an interview. In our interview we discussed the survey and what information he hoped to ascertain with it as well as the role of economists in academic institutions in America. This program was originally broadcast in November of 1992, when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas.

Originally Broadcast: November 30, 1992

Baldwin, Phil: Peace and Freedom Candidate for Congress, 1992

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Our guest in this program was the 1992 Peace and Freedom Party candidate for the 1st Congressional District in California, Phil Baldwin. We spoke about the differences between the Peace and Freedom Party and the Democratic and Republican parties. Particularly of interest in this discussion are the differences between Mr. Baldwin and the final victor of the 1992 election, former Democrat Dan Hamburg.

Originally Broadcast: December 16, 1991

Coverdale, Paul: Peace Corps Priorities

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This program’s guest is Paul Coverdale, at the time the Director of the Peace Corps, appointed by the first President Bush. He later became a Senator from Georgia. Our discussion concerned the nature of the Peace Corps and Coverdale’s role as the agency’s director.

Originally Broadcast: August 19, 1991