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Coming From Left Field (Audio)

News & Politics Podcasts

Welcome to Coming From Left Field, a conversation about politics, books, and current events.

Welcome to Coming From Left Field, a conversation about politics, books, and current events.


United States


Welcome to Coming From Left Field, a conversation about politics, books, and current events.






Salon Investigates “The War on Public Schools” with Kathryn Joyce

Our guest today is Kathryn Joyce, an investigative reporter at Salon. She recently authored a three-part series: ‘The war on public schools is being fought from Hillsdale College,” which focuses on a private Christian school playing an outsized role in nearly all our current fights about education. Hillsdale is a “feeder school” for the Trump administration, its leadership directed Trump’s “patriotic education” 1776 Commission. Their lecture series and related magazine are the place where...


“Pleading Out: How Plea Bargaining Creates a Permanent Criminal Class” with Dan Canon

Our guest today is Dan Canon, a civil rights lawyer, teacher, and author of "Pleading Out: How Plea Bargaining Creates a Permanent Criminal Class." His book is a searing analysis of America’s assembly-line approach to criminal justice and the shameful practice at its core: the plea bargain. Canon is also known as counsel for Kentucky and Indiana plaintiffs in the landmark cases successfully supporting changes in marriage equality laws. Links: Dan’s book: “Pleading Out: How Plea Bargaining...

The “Pink Tide” discussion of Latin America’s political turn left with Dan Kovalik

Our guest today is Dan Kovalik, a prolific author of many books on Latin America. He sheds light on the “pink tide,” the trend of numerous self-proclaimed socialist democracies moving away from neoliberal authoritarian regimes. Links: Dan Kovalik Wikipedia page: Preorder Dan’s book: Nicaragua: A History of US Intervention & Resistance– January 1, 2023: Greg's ZZ's...


”Blackshirts & Reds” book discussion with Eddie Smith (Midwestern Marx Podcast)

Our guest today, Eddie Smith, is a political scientist with expertise in anti-imperialism and socialist projects. He is co-host of the popular podcast, Midwestern Marx, which has over 24,000 subscribers. Today we discuss Michael Parenti’s classic, Blackshirts & Reds, and other topics regarding class, capitalism, and contemporary Marxism. Links: Marx Tik Tok Slavery and Global...


The Political Economy of Mental Health Systems with Joanna Moncrieff

Our guest today, psychiatrist Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, has created quite a buzz with her recent journal article that capsized the brain chemistry imbalance hypothesis of depression. The article is scientifically sound and well respected by her peers; however, it is a threat to the big pharma industry and other narratives regarding the individual defect theory of mental health. Marx, Spinoza, and the Political Implications of Contemporary PsychiatryThe Political Economy of the Mental Health...


“Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music” with Gerald Horne

One of our favorite guests, Dr. Gerald Horne, joins us today to discuss his book, “Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music.” A remarkable scholar discusses the history of jazz, “the story of a beautiful lotus, growing from the filth of the crassest form of human immiseration.” Order the book: Link to Greg's blog (ZZs Blog): Spotify Playlists Jazz Musicians by Location New Orleans:...


“The Killer’s Henchman: Capitalism and the Covid-19 Disaster” with Stephen Gowans

Today we talk with Stephen Gowans, a political analyst, and writer who shows how capitalism, its incentives, and its power dominate the political process and impeded the protection of public health. Order the book, “The Killer's Henchman: Capitalism and the Covid-19 Disaster” Link to Stephen’s blog (What's Left): Link to Greg's blog (ZZs Blog): #StephenGowans #Gowans #KillersHenchman #The...


Starbucks Workers United with Angel Krempa

Today we talk with Angel Krempa, a former Starbucks shift supervisor in Buffalo, New York, who was fired in retaliation for organizing one of the first successful unionization efforts against the coffee giant. In 2020, not a single one of the company's 9,000 stores had a union. In the past few months, more than 150 Starbucks voted to unionize, and the corporate overlords are not happy. Link to Greg's blog: #AngelKrempa #Starbucks #Worker...


”The Last Negroes at Harvard” with Kent Garrett and Jeanne Ellsworth

Today, we welcomed Kent Garrett and Jeanne Ellsworth to discuss their book, " The Last Negroes at Harvard," a story of 18 remarkable Black men admitted to Harvard’s class of 1963. The book is equal parts memoir, group biography, and history of a turbulent civil rights era. Book: The Last Negroes at Harvard (2020) Podcast: available on Spotify and Apple Podcast Link to Greg's blog : ZZs...


”The Heart of Caring: Reflections from a life lived in medicine” with Mark Vonnegut

Today, we welcomed Dr. Mark Vonnegut to discuss his book, "The Heart of Caring: Reflections from a life lived in medicine." Dr. Vonnegut, son of writer Kurt Vonnegut, has practiced pediatrics for the last forty years. We discuss the crisis in the health care system and how for-profit influences are harming the mission of helping patients. Books: The Heart of Caring: Reflections from a life lived in medicine (2022) Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir (2011) The...


”The Least of Us: True Tales of America & Hope in the Time of Fentanyl & Meth” with Sam Quinones

Today, we welcomed Sam Quinones to discuss his book, "The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth." The book follows his 2015 release, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic. Both books are critically acclaimed. In January 2022, The Least of Us was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) award for Best Nonfiction Book of 2021. Book: The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth...


”The Last Years of Karl Marx” book discussion with Carlos Garrido

Today, we welcomed Carlos L. Garrido to discuss Marcello Musto's book, "The Last Years of Karl Marx: An Intellectual History," and his research focus, including Marxism, Hegel, and early 19th Century American socialism. Book: Marcello Musto's book, "The Last Years of Karl Marx: An Intellectual History" The Midwestern Marxist YouTube channel: ( and website: ( ) The article mentioned: A Critique of Western Marxism's...


”American Trade Unionism” with Chris Townsend

We welcomed today Chris Townsend to discuss his four decades as a union organizer and the relevance of William Z. Foster’s book, “American Trade Unionism” on today’s labor struggles. Book: American Trade Unionism by William Z. Foster Link to Greg's blog: #ChrisTownsend # American Trade...


”Dividing Paradise: Rural Inequality and the Diminishing American Dream” with Jennifer Sherman

Greg and Pat welcome Dr. Jennifer Sherman to discuss her book "Dividing Paradise: Rural Inequality and the Diminishing American Dream.” Dr. Sherman is a Professor of Sociology at Washington State University and her work focuses on rural America, poverty, and inequality. Book: Dividing Paradise: Rural Inequality and the Diminishing American Dream Link to Greg's blog:...


From “Imperialism in the 21st Century” to Ukraine with Brian Becker

Greg and Pat welcomed Brian Becker to discuss the Ukraine situation and his book "Imperialism in the 21st Century.” Brian Becker is the National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition and an insightful journalist on the “The Socialist Program” which is part of the BreakThrough News podcast. His observations on the Ukraine conflict deserve a wide audience. Book: Imperialism in the 21st Century. BreakThrough News...


”Wounds of War” with Suzanne Gordon and guest Bob Bonner

Greg and Pat welcome Suzanne Gordon to discuss her book " Wounds of War: How the VA Delivers Health, Healing, and Hope to the Nation's Veterans.” Suzanne Gordon is an award-winning journalist and author of numerous books regarding healthcare systems, teamwork, patient safety, and nursing. We are also joined today with guest Bob Bonner, a retired VHA nurse and long-time fighter for better care as a local union president representing hospital workers. Website:...


”The St Louis Commune of 1877” with Mark Kruger

Greg and Pat welcome Dr. Mark Kruger to discuss his book "The St. Louis Commune of 1877: Communism in the Heartland ." Dr. Kruger is a retired professor that also had a career practicing law and serving as a municipal judge. Dr. Kruger's book tells a captivating story about a little-known chapter of labor history, the first general strike in America that resulted in a major US city being ruled by communists. Book:...


“The Cult of Smart” with Fredrik deBoer

Greg and Pat welcome Dr. Freddie deBoer, to discuss his book “The Cult of Smart: How Our Broken Education System Perpetuates Social Injustice.” Dr. deBoer is a creative essayist and academic whose writings have appeared in such places as The New York Times, Harper’s, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Politico, and Jacobin. He is one of the most original and prolific voices in essays today, and his anti-tribal style has earned him admiration from political thinkers of all...


One Hundred Years of the CPUSA with Tony Pecinovsky

Greg and Pat welcome Tony Pecinovsky, author and nationally known historian on the Communist Party, USA. Today we discuss two of his books, "Let Them Tremble: Biographical Interventions Marking 100 Years of the Communist Party, USA" and "The Cancer of Colonialism: W. Alphaeus Hunton, Black Liberation, and the Daily Worker, 1944-1946." Pecinovsky has appeared on C-SPAN's "Book T.V." and regularly speaks on college and university campuses across the country. Books and articles about...


Neoliberalism: From Reagan to Trump with Jack Rasmus

Greg and Pat welcome Dr. Jack Rasmus, professor in the Economics and Politics departments at Saint Mary's College of California. Dr. Rasmus is the author of numerous books and articles about the economy. Today we discuss his latest book, "The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump," and other topics related to our present economic and political situation. Web: Twitter: (@drjackrasmus) Alternative Visions on the Progressive Radio Network:...