Historian Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen joins the show to talk about her new book, The Ideas that Made America. Other topics in the conversation include epistemic humility, the methods of intellectual history, as well as the influences that have shaped Jennifer, Ray, and Andrew.
Andrew and Ray reflect on the work of Eric Hobsbawm, a Marxist historian. For this episode we looked at the following material:'Eric Hobsbawm's dangerous reputation,' 'Eric Hobsbawm: a conversation,' 'Man of the extreme century' (interview), 'Indomitable' (review). See also Michael Ignatieff's interview with EH here.
Historian Daniel Bessner joins Andrew and Ray for a discussion of American foreign policy. What would a leftist foreign policy look like? Bessner suggests the ways we might introduce a form of humanitarian intervention without imperial ambitions. See his book Democracy in Exile, and the following essays for more about leftist foreign policy: "Roundtable on Democracy and Exile," "How the Left Should Respond to Ethnic Cleansing in China," "What Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Think About the...
In this episode, Ray explains the intellectual appeal of Reinhold Niebuhr. Andrew remains skeptical. For this episode we read Ray's "A Theology of Limits" (Reviews in American History December 2012), the epilogue in David Hollinger's After Cloven Tongues of Fire, chapter 13 from Niebuhr's The Irony of American History, and "Barthianism and the Kingdom" from Niebuhr's Essays in Applied Christianity.
Following Bloomberg's recent donation of $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins, Andrew and Ray discuss taxes, philanthropy, education, and even burnt coffee. Plus, hear about Andrew's viral tweet and the controversy it stirred.
A special episode of T&TWO, Andrew and Ray discuss the work of recently deceased historian (and Andrew's dissertation adviser) Leo Ribuffo. For this episode we read Leo's essay "Moral Judgments and the Cold War: Reflections on Reinhold Niebuhr, William Appleman Williams, and John Lewis Gaddis" in Cold War Triumphalism edited by Ellen Schrecker. See also the roundtable on Leo's work at the S-USIH blog.
Elesha Coffman joins Ray and Andrew for a conversation about scholarship in religious history/studies. What role does empathy play in historical analysis? How should we think about the relationship between evangelicals and Trump? Listen in as Andrew and Ray explore these questions (and many more) with Professor Coffman.
Jefferson Cowie comes on the show to discuss the working class, patriotism, and the state of leftist politics. Ray and Andrew wonder about the American Dream and the resilience of liberalism. For this episode we read Cowie's short essays "Reclaiming Patriotism for the Left" and "How Labor Scholars Missed the Trump Revolt."
Andrew and Ray discuss millennials, student debt, and the New Socialism. See "I Came of Age During the 2008 Financial Crisis. I’m Still Angry About It" by M. H. Miller, "What Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Think About the South China Sea?" by Daniel Bessner and "The New Socialists" by Corey Robin.
Andrew and Ray (and Daniel) discuss their summer activities before moving on to a conversation about the TV series "Black Mirror." For helpful reviews of the series check out articles by Charles Bramesco and Kathryn VanArendonk for Vulture as well as Emily Nussbaum's piece for The New Yorker.
How did sports get so political? Ray and Andrew discuss the NFL, NBA, NCAA and the ways in which American sports are shaped by patriotism, social activism, pay inequity and much more. Recommended: Howard Bryant's New York Times piece "How Did Our Sports Get So Divisive?"
Is the college campus closed to free speech? Ray and Andrew offer a sober discussion of the free speech controversy that has recently rocked American universities. Andrew's recent Washington Post essay serves as the springboard for discussion.
On this episode of Trotsky & the Wild Orchids our hosts, Andrew and Ray, talk about Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. They consider Michael Kazin's critique of Zinn and the larger implications A People's History has for the profession. Is Zinn a gateway drug for historians?
Andrew and Ray return to the topic of neoliberalism. What does the term mean and how has that meaning changed? What is its analytical value? They address these questions through a discussion of Lawrence Glickman's essay "Everyone was a liberal" as well as the Dissent forum "Debating the Uses and Abuses of 'Neoliberalism'"
Andrew and Ray enter The Upside Down to explore our current fascination with the culture of the 1980s. They consider the popular Netflix programs Stranger Things and The Americans as they discuss culture, politics, and science during the Cold War.