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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.


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






Smedley D. Butler “War Is A Racket” with Bill Ehrhart

Our “friend of the show,” Bill Ehrhart returns to our podcast to discuss General Smedley D. Butler, one of the most colorful officers in the Marine Corps' long history; he was one of the two Marines who received two Medals of Honor for separate acts of outstanding heroism. Butler and Ehrhart are both cut from the same cloth, Marines, opinionated, and on the correct side of politics. Supplemental pictures and videos: Books: War Is A Racket by Smedley...


“Strongmen: From Mussolini to Present ” with Ruth Ben-Ghiat

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University. She is an MSNBC Opinion Columnist and commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets about authoritarianism, Fascism, and threats to democracy around the world.. Her latest book, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, looks at how illiberal leaders use propaganda, corruption, violence, and machismo - and how they can be defeated. The book: Strongmen- Mussolini To The...


“The Footpaths of Justice William O. Douglas” with Tom R. Hulst

Tom Hulst was a policy advisor to Washington Governor Daniel J. Evans, an administrator in the State Office of Public Instruction, superintendent of Peninsula School District, and college political science teacher. His book “The Footpaths of Justice William O. Douglas” is a remarkable tribute to Douglas, hiking, place, and family. Tom’s book: The Footpaths of Justice William O. Douglas: A Legacy of Place Greg's ZZs...


Jan 6, Big Lie, and American Myths with Anthony Conwright

Anthony Conwright is a writer and educator based in New York City. He contributes to Mother Jones, The Nation, Huffington Post, New Republic, and others. He is a remarkable journalist, always with a refreshingly unique perspective on our modern political economy. Follow his works on: Mother Jones: The Nation: Huffington...


“Winston Churchill: His Times, His Crimes” with Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali is a writer, activist, and longtime public intellectual. He has authored many books and is a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review. He contributes to The Guardian, CounterPunch, and the London Review of Books. His most recent book is a critical review that exposes Churchill’s leadership in the context of forgotten Imperial crimes. Book: “Winston Churchill: His Times, His Crimes” with Tariq Ali Greg's...


“Behind the Decline of the U.S. Left” with Stansfield Smith

Stansfield Smith is a member of Chicago ALBA Solidarity, formerly the Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5. Stansfield is a long-time anti-war activist and opposed U.S. interference over the years in Latin America. He is a prolific writer, and his works have appeared in publications such as CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, MLToday, Black Agenda, CovertAction Magazine, and MultiPolarisia. Links: Part 1: National Security State Censoring of Anti-Imperialist Voices the Latest Phase of their...


“We Are Proud Boys” with Andy Campbell

Andy Campbell, the Senior Editor of Huffington Post, joined us today to discuss his book, “We Are Proud Boys: How a Right-Wing Street Gang Ushered in a New Era of American Extremism .” Andy is considered an expert on American extremism, having covered the modern rise of the far-right at the ground level, including the neo-Nazi rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. Links: “We Are Proud Boys: How a Right-Wing Street Gang Ushered in a New Era of American Extremism” by Andy...


Thank You For Your Service” with Bill Ehrhart

Today’s guest is an American poet, writer, scholar, and Vietnam veteran. Bill (W.D.) Ehrhart has been called "the dean of Vietnam war poetry." His activism in the form of his prolific literary work has been featured in numerous articles, books, periodicals, and even Ken Burns’ documentary, The Vietnam War. Links: W.D. Ehrhart’s books from McFarland Publishing: W.D. Ehrhart Articles in the LA Progressive |Jun...


“American Midnight” with Adam Hochschild

Our guest today is an award-winning New York Times best-selling historian Adam Hochschild to discuss his book, “American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis.” Adam Hochschild is a prominent historian, author of eleven books, and a co-founder, editor, and writer at Mother Jones magazine. Links: “American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy’s Forgotten...


“Socialism Betrayed” with Joe Jamison and Roger Keeran

Our guests today are Joe Jamison (pen name: Thomas Kenny) and Roger Keeran, authors of “Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet Union.” Although written two decades ago, it remains the definitive expose of what led to the overthrow of the Soviet Union. With the recent death of Mikhail Gorbachev, their book is especially relevant, providing a clear and insightful analysis of this historic event. Links: “Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet...


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...