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History Podcasts

Explore History's Movers and Shakers

Explore History's Movers and Shakers


United States


Explore History's Movers and Shakers




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By His Own Design: Robert Twombly on The Individualism of Frank Lloyd Wright

Widely hailed as the greatest American architect of all time, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) designed hundreds of iconic buildings and structures throughout the early 20th century. Well-known for his creative and visionary designs, Wright believed that America should break away from traditional European architectural designs, and helped to establish a uniquely American style of structure. […]


Economy Class: Nicholas Wapshott Explains Why John Maynard Keynes Was “Ahead of His Time”

John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946) was an influential British economist whose ideas on government intervention in the economy were considered to be both revolutionary and controversial. Nicholas Wapshott, author of Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics, shares his insight on why John Maynard Keynes Was “Ahead of His Time.” He joins us on Culture Insight to share his insight into the life and work of John Maynard Keynes.


Incompleteness: Rebecca Goldstein on the Life and Work of Kurt Gödel

Best known for his Incompleteness Theorem, Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) is considered one of the most important mathematicians and logicians of the 20th century. By showing that the establishment of a set of axioms encompassing all of mathematics would never succeed, he revolutionized the world of mathematics, logic, and philosophy. Rebecca Goldstein is the author of Incompleteness: The […]


The “King of the Cats”: Paul Muldoon on the Life and Work of W. B. Yeats

Irish poet, dramatist, and prose writer, William Butler (W. B.) Yeats (1865–1939), is considered to this day as one of the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. Paul Muldoon is the author of numerous books of poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Moy Sand and Gravel. He is a […]


James Flannery: W. B. Yeats’ Poetry Is A “Dialogue Of Self And Soul”

Irish poet, dramatist, and prose writer, William Butler (W. B.) Yeats (1865–1939), is considered to this day as one of the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. Singer, scholar, stage director, producer, lecturer, teacher, and cultural activist, James Flannery is the Winship Professor of Arts and […]


Einstein’s Universe: Frank Wilczek Explains The Phycisict’s Massive Contributions To Science

Considered to be the most influential physicist of the 20th century, Albert Einstein (1879–1955) developed the theory of relativity and laid foundations for modern quantum mechanics. Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Frank Wilczek is a theoretical physicist who won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics for a discovery in the world of quarks, the […]


The Mozart Effect: Anne-Sophie Mutter on the Life and Work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Considered by many to be the greatest composer of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) composed hundreds of pieces of music. Among his most famous works are Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music, 1787), and the operas Don Giovanni (1787) and Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute, 1791). He died of a mysterious fever at age […]


‘Round Miles: Quincy Troupe on the Life and Music of Miles Davis

Widely considered as one of the top musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis (1926–1991) was a major force in jazz. He was not only a gifted trumpeter and composer, but also an innovator who created a nine-member band called the “nonet,” in which unconventional (in jazz) instruments like French horn and tuba were […]


Janna Levin On Kurt Gödel: Incompleteness Theorem Is Not Just A Numbers Game

Best known for his Incompleteness Theorem, Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) is considered one of the most important mathematicians and logicians of the 20th century. By showing that the establishment of a set of axioms encompassing all of mathematics would never succeed, he revolutionized the world of mathematics, logic, and philosophy. Janna Levin is a Professor of Physics and […]


Language Rules: Rom Harré Talks About Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Language

Austrian-born English philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) is considered as one of the most influential although controversial thinkers of the 20th century. His work touched on topics such as ethics, logic, and language. Rom Harré is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at Georgetown University and Emeritus Fellow of Linacre College at the University of Oxford. He […]


The Road to Hayek: Nicholas Wapshott on the Life and Work of Economist Friedrich Hayek

Austrian-born economist Friedrich A. Hayek was noted for his criticisms of the Keynesian welfare state and of totalitarian socialism which was laid out in his popular book The Road to Serfdom (1944). In 1974, he shared the Nobel Prize for Economics with Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal. Nicholas Wapshott is the author of Keynes/Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics […]


Maestros of Suspense: Jack Sullivan Talks about Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Films

Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980) was an iconic film director and producer of over 50 movies, including Dial M for Murder, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, and The Birds. The techniques he pioneered inspired a new generation of filmmakers and revolutionized the "thriller" genre. Jack Sullivan is a literary scholar and professor of English at Rider University. He has published several books including New World Symphonies: How American Culture Changed European Music and most recently...


Liszt Fever: Misha Dichter on Why Franz Liszt is a “Towering Genius”

One of the most singularly talented pianists of all time, Franz Liszt (1811—1886) dominated the musical world of the 19th century. An unrivaled virtuoso who also composed his own music, Liszt laid the bedrock for the Late Romantic and Impressionistic schools that would follow after him. To this day he is considered a musical genius who ranks alongside his contemporaries Chopin and Schumann as one of history’s most influential musicians. Now in the fifth decade of an illustrious international...


Standing on Aristotle’s Shoulders: David Roochnik on the Life and Work of Aristotle

The third and final member of a chain of Athenian philosophers who would shape the foundation of Western philosophy, Aristotle (384 B.C.E.–322 B.C.E.) was a student of Plato, who would eventually go on to mentor Alexander the Great. Nicknamed “The Reader” by Plato, Aristotle’s writings on science, ethics, and politics dominated Western society for centuries and had a profound impact on the development of Western culture. With his subjects ranging from natural science to metaphysical and...


Jaakko Hintikka: Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Groundbreaking “Language Games” are Not Child’s Play

Thanks to his groundbreaking work in logic, the philosophy of mind, mathematics, and language, as well as two published works, Tractatus and Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) played a leading role in the 20th-century analytic philosophy. Jaakko Hintikka was Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. Author of over 30 books, he was the main architect of game-theoretical semantics and of the interrogative approach to inquiry, and also one of the architects of...


Looking For Hemingway: Gay Talese Talks of Men and Books

Pulitzer and Nobel-winning writer, Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961) was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, whose simple, clear, and distinctive style revolutionized literature. American author Gay Talese is the bestselling author of eleven books. He was a reporter for the New York Times from 1956 to 1965, and since then he has written for the Times, Esquire, The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and other national publications. He joins us on Culture Insight to share his...


Freud’s Faults: Frank Sulloway on the Father of Psychoanalysis’s Dubious Methods and Practices

Although some of his theories are still hotly debated, Sigmund Freud, (May 6, 1856–September 23, 1939) is widely regarded as a trailblazer in the realm of psychiatry and psychology. The Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist, who was allegedly the first to offer a comprehensive explanation of how human behavior is determined by the conscious and unconscious forces, is regarded as the founder of psychoanalysis. Frank Sulloway is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology and a member...


ReJoyce: Philip Kitcher on James Joyce’s “Amazingly Lyrical” and “Startlingly” Original Prose

The author of such literary classics as Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, James Joyce (1882–1941) was one of Ireland's most celebrated novelists known for his avant-garde and often experimental style of writing. Philip Kitcher has taught at several American Universities and is currently John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia. He is the author of over a dozen books including Advancement of Science, Science, Truth and Democracy, The Ethical Project and Joyce's Kaleidoscope. A Fellow of the...


The Man Who Knew Too Much: Jack Copeland on the Life and Work of Codebreaker and Computer Science Pioneer Alan Turing

Alan Turing (1912–1954) was an English mathematician, logician, pioneer of computer science, and wartime code-breaker. He is credited with creating a design for the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE), the early electronic stored-program computer, as well as the Bombe—a decryption device that the British government used during WWII to crack the German “Enigma,” machine, which encrypted secret messages. Jack Copeland is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where...


On God, Truth and Superman: Paul Katsafanas on Friedrich Nietzsche’s Radical Philosophy

German philosopher of the late 19th century, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) boldly and daringly challenged the foundations of Christianity, traditional morality, and other prevalent social mores. He was at the forefront of the existentialism, perspectivism, and nihilism movements that emphasized the importance of human individuality and freedom; discovery of truth only in the context of our own perceptions and interpretations; and rejection of religious and moral doctrines. Paul Katsafanas...