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Hosted by internationally acclaimed journalist Michael Goldfarb, this podcast is about history: the history he's reported on, written and lived. Sometimes it will just be him talking, sometimes he is will be in conversation with others who have reported on the history of our times.

Hosted by internationally acclaimed journalist Michael Goldfarb, this podcast is about history: the history he's reported on, written and lived. Sometimes it will just be him talking, sometimes he is will be in conversation with others who have reported on the history of our times.
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Hosted by internationally acclaimed journalist Michael Goldfarb, this podcast is about history: the history he's reported on, written and lived. Sometimes it will just be him talking, sometimes he is will be in conversation with others who have reported on the history of our times.






Iraq War 15 Years On: What Might Have Been

The Iraq War began 15 years ago. Seems like ancient history given where America is now. This FRDH podcast, made at the start of the war, shines a light on what might have been and foreshadows the disaster the Occupation became, a disaster Iraqis are still trying to crawl out from under. Was the failure of the Iraq War the American unipolar moment begin to unravel? Was the day Saddam Hussein’s regime disintegrated in Mosul, the day when the seeds were sown for the city to be overrun by...


Liberal, Conservative: Can We Decide What These Words Mean?

What do the words liberal and conservative mean any more? What about left and right? No one is sure. Certainly not the news media who throw the terms around without a thought to definitions that make sense. Conservatives in America are neo-liberals when it comes to the economy. Neo-conservatives call for liberal intervention. In this FRDH podcast, Michael Goldfarb gives a potted history of the word liberal and calls for clarity and uniformity of usage by the mainstream news media. It's a...


Remembrance, Ritual, the Sacred and Auschwitz

What is the historical process by which something becomes sacred? Is Auschwitz a sacred place? In this FRDH podcast, Michael Goldfarb asks what is the historical process that leads to the creation of a religion, or changes in the practice of one that already exists. Is it possible that events of modern history will someday take on religious significance, or are people today intellectually and emotionally incapable of understanding their experience as “awesome” in the sense that the great...


Year 1 Trump report: Crazy or a member of the Club?

The big question at the end of Donald Trump's first year in office is: Is he crazy or just typical of his social class? Anti-Trump forces constantly question his mental state in the hopes of provoking his cabinet into forcing him out via the 25th Amendment. In this FRDH podcast, host Michael Goldfarb looks at whether Trump is crazy or is he just a typical country club kind of person. Are his words about shithole countries and immigrants any different than you would hear most Sundays at the...


1968>2018: 50 Years On Time to Change the Paradigm

In 2018 There will be many stories marking the 50th anniversary of events from 1968. 1968 year of defeat, assassination, riots and treason in America. There were near revolutions in France and Czechoslovakia. An early demonstration of the violence which would consume much of Latin America over the next quarter century in Mexico City. We still live with the cosmic echo of those events. It is good to remember 1968 via news media but what lessons people who didn’t live through these...


America 2017: Magical Thinking vs Reality

America in 2017: was the story of Magical Thinking vs Reality. For Trump voters it was a confirmation of everything their "unbiased" news told them. For the anti-Trump brigade it was believing too many of the rumors they saw on twitter. Reality was the victim in this car crash. 2017 challenged the very notion of a fact-based, mutually acknowledged reality that is essential for creating a stable society. Finding facts on social media like twitter became impossible. Twitter is about Outrage...


Bosnia, Mladic: the Price of Justice

The fact that we are in a new historical epoch was underscored recently in the response to the news that Robert Mugabe and Ratko Mladic, two men who ruined their countries and caused the deaths of thousands, got their comeuppance. 20 years ago this would have been enormous, front page a-segment news. it would have been the topic of gleeful conversation among the well-informed and politically aware. But In this era of Trump and harassment and Brexit, hardly a ripple. It's ancient history....


Bible Study for Atheists 3: Judging Roy Moore a Blasphemer

Share this Bible Study for Atheists, in which FRDH podcast host Michael Goldfarb looks at the controversy over Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. A self-proclaimed man of God whose behavior seems like blasphemy. How is it that the most religious part of America is also home to the most blasphemers? And Alabama really is the most religious state in the country, According to a 2016 survey by Pew research Alabama ranked first in the nation for religiosity. 82% of its people say...


FRDH: No Place of Greater Safety

There is no place of greater safety for civilians and soldiers wounded in today's wars. Why? Are we seeing the end of the rules that governed warfare and provision of safe spaces for those caught in the crossfire? The origins of the Red Cross and humanitarian law go back to the middle of the 19th Century, to the battle of Solferino in 1859. The French Army under Napoleon III faced off against the Austrian Army led by Emperor Franz Joseph 1st. The politics behind the battle related to...


FRDH Bolshevik Revolution 100th Anniversary Thoughts

The Bolshevik Revolution is to political change, what nuclear weapons are to warfare: the ultimate deterrent. The question on this 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution is what happens to a society when you take violent overthrow of the government by the governed as a last resort out of the equation. How does it affect a society’s ability to respond to the inevitable changes wrought by the passage of time? Economic, political, social pressure’s build up as decades pass. These...


FRDH How Media Obscures Our Understanding of History

Media obscures history. Not intentionally, but the effect of looking at images without a deeper understanding of the context in which the images were created will keep the viewer from knowledge of an historical event. In this FRDH podcast, host Michael Goldfarb looks at how this lack of full understanding is hampering efforts to create a coherent political strategy to oppose President Trump. He explores the seminal research into how media obscures not just history but also other aspects of...


Catalonia, Kurdistan: What Is A Nation

Referendums in Iraqi Kurdistan and Catalonia raise the quesiton "What Is a Nation?" What is a nation? What is a nation-state? Is it the same as a country? Are a people, or a tribe, the same thing as a nation? What does national sovereignty really mean? These are the key questions for our globalized 21st century. What is a nation? Is it something you die for? Get murdered for? Is it something that can make you clinically insane, incapable of seeing reality? Is a nation something that can be...


FRDH Without Memory There is No History, Here’s why

If an event happens and there is no one to witness and remember it, does it become part of history? If memory is eliminated is it possible to write or understand history? When FRDH host Michael Goldfarb researched his book Emancipation, about Europe’s Jews in the century and a half between being liberated from the ghetto and the Holocaust he came across stories of many interesting people in obscure places, completely forgotten because the community that might have remembered them had been...


FRDH Berkeley High Point Of The Revolution

This episode of FRDH is about Berkeley and the high point of the revolution of the 1960's as host Michael Goldfarb remembers it. Revolution is a romantic word and a bloody practice. This autumn "revolution" will be discussed a lot, as we mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution. The word will also come into use as we move towards the 50th anniversary remembrances of 1968, the year of student revolution. The University of California Berkeley, is where student revolution was effectively...


Three Things I learned about America on Vacation

Three things I learned or was reminded of on my first American vacation in more than 15 years. First thing I learned: America is clearly in crisis but not yet at crisis point. I watched television news just once - for a very few minutes. It is hysterical, condescending to its viewers and in the way it contextualizes reporting - frequently wrong. Some other podcast I will back that assertion … the history of how TV news got that way requires several essays … but trust me on this, the...


Mind of the South

If you want to know America, you have to understand the Mind of the South. If you want to understand the dynamics that drove events towards the Charlottesville Outrage, you have to understand the mind of the south, or specifically the "white" Southern mind. That mindset did not just pop up, the day Donald Trump took office. It has been the driving force in American politics … all the way back to the foundation of the Republic. White Southerners are a powerful force in American politics....


FRDH Crash Anniversary Thought: Work ≠ Employment:

On the tenth anniversary of the start of the Financial Crash, MIchael Goldfarb looks at work and employment. Are they the same thing? We are told we will have to work longer - in Britain last week it was announced that the age at which Britons in their 40’s could collect their state pensions - social security - would be going up to 68. Work longer, but will we be employed longer? It is all well and good if people are living longer that they stay in the work force longer but it would be...


Bible Study for Atheists: America, One Nation Under Whose God?

This Bible study for atheists looks at what Thomas Jefferson meant when he wrote about God in the Declaration of Independence. Many evangelical or political Christians argue that the US is a "Christian" country because Jefferson used the word. Michael Goldfarb challenges that idea which explores the Enlightenment use of God as Nature. Far from the scriptural understanding of the Judeo-Christian divinity. He traces Jefferson's ideas back to those of Enlightenment philosopher Benedict...


FRDH: Republican Party Is Now a Faction How it Happened

The Republican Party has become the people James Madison warned us against: a Faction. In any country, the most dangerous thing that can happen is for a group and its political representatives to act as if their view alone represents the nation. That thinking leads to the view that they alone “are” the nation and that those who disagree with them are not of the nation - even if they are fellow citizens, born on the country’s soil. When this happens in a democratic republic, like the US,...


FRDHMosul: ISIS Defeated But Is It Victory?

In Mosul ISIS has been defeated but does it count as victory? America’s misadventure in Iraq show that defeating your enemy on the battlefield is not the same as victory. ISIS defeated in MOsul but that won’t mean victory in Iraq’s second city, any more than the overthrow of Saddam Hussein meant victory there, or the killing of his sons in Mosul a few months later, or the frequent attempts by the US to buy off the networks funding insurgents of various stripes that are headquarted there....


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