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Story in the Public Square

News & Politics Podcasts

“Story in the Public Square” is a year-round initiative to study and celebrate public storytelling. It features an annual conference, lectures, awards and student contests, as well as original scholarship about public storytelling and how those stories can affect the public debate. Story in the Public Square is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal, and is directed by visiting fellow G. Wayne Miller with Pell Center executive director Jim Ludes.


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“Story in the Public Square” is a year-round initiative to study and celebrate public storytelling. It features an annual conference, lectures, awards and student contests, as well as original scholarship about public storytelling and how those stories can affect the public debate. Story in the Public Square is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal, and is directed by visiting fellow G. Wayne Miller with Pell Center executive director Jim Ludes.








Exploring Human Displacement as a Result of Climate Change with Jake Bittle

The pantheon of writers focused on climate change ranges from scientists and scholars to poets lamenting the loss of our environment. Jake Bittle documents the impact of climate on people, including the great migration of Americans caused by changes to the Earth’s environment. Bittle is an author and climate change specialist for the non-profit magazine Grist. His work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, Harper’s and other media outlets. He is also author of the new book, “The Great Displacement: Climate Change and the Next American Migration.” See for privacy information.


Azar Nafisi on the Power of Literature in Our World Today

So much of our modern life is built upon simplifying the complex. We reduce social interactions to likes and follows on social media and dilute the “news” in our favorite echo chambers. But Azar Nafisi warns that life is not simple, and the complexity found in great literature is ultimately liberating of the mind and essential to the health of our democracy. Nafisi is a best-selling author and professor. She was a Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., from 1997 and 2017. She taught as professor of aesthetics, culture and literature there, as well as acting as Director of The Dialogue Project & Cultural Conversations. She released her nationally best-selling book “Reading Lolita in Tehran” in 2003, which went on the spend over 117 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. The book has been translated in 32 languages and won many awards such as the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, the Frederic W. Ness Book Award, Non-fiction Book of the Year Award by Booksense, the Latifeh Yarsheter Book Award, an achievement award from the American Immigration Law foundation and the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle. It has also been a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Memoir. Nafisi won a Persian Golden Lioness Award for literature in 2005, presented by the World Academy of Arts, Literature and Media. The Times named Reading Lolita in Tehran one of the “100 Best Books of the Decade,” in 2009. She has worked with both policy makers and human rights organizations to improve human rights for the women and girls of Iran. She was awarded the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation International Thought and Humanities Award in 2011 and was named a Georgetown University/Walsh School of Foreign Service Centennial Fellow in 2018. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from Susquehanna University (2019), Pomona College (2015), Mt. Holyoke College (2012), Seton Hill University (2010), Goucher College (2009), Bard College (2007), Rochester University (2005) and Nazareth College. See for privacy information.


Jessica Grose on the experiences of motherhood in America today

Motherhood is the stuff of childhood play and, often, adult anxieties. Jessica Grose unpacks the realities of motherhood in the United States today, the reasons for those anxieties, and the experience of mothers from various walks of life. Grose is an established author and opinion writer at the New York Times. She is the founding editor of the email newsletter and website, Lenny. Her coverage of the pandemic earned her the title of a Glamour “Game Changer” in 2020. She has worked as an editor at Jezebel as well as senior editor at Slate. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Businessweek and other notable publications. Grose is the author of two novels, including her latest, “Screaming on the Inside: The Unsustainability of American Motherhood,” which was published in 2022. See for privacy information.


Jamila Norman on the Importance of Homegrown Food to Urban Communities

Most of us are used to shopping in stores where one section is devoted to fresh produce, but the rest of the food for sale is either boxed, canned, or shrink-wrapped. Jamila Norman is an urban farmer and food advocate teaching the world about the benefits of growing our own food and eating fresh fruits and vegetables—whether grown on a community farm or in our own backyards. Norman is an internationally recognized urban farmer and food activist based in Atlanta, Ga. In 2010, she founded her own independent organic urban farm, Patchwork City Farms, which she operates full time. Her farm and work has been featured in publications such as, Modern Farmer Magazine, The Library of Congress and Southern Foodways Alliance oral history project. She is currently the manager and one of the founding managers of the Southwest Atlanta Growers Cooperative, which is centered around black urban farmers in Atlanta’s booming urban agriculture movement. She served as U.S. delegate to Slow Food’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in Turin, Italy in 2014. Norman is also co-founder of EAT MOVE BeWELL, an initiative that is focused on including more fresh and living foods into our diet, promoting movement for health and wellness, and advocates for communities of color. She hosts “Homegrown,” a show on the Magnolia Network, which is currently on its third season, helping families transform their outdoor spaces into backyard farms. Most recently, Norman has joined the board of Georgia Organics, a non-profit organization which bridges together organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families. See for privacy information.


Analyzing America’s ever-changing media landscape with Steve Scully

Three months ago, the GOP took control of the United States House of Representatives. Steve Scully cuts through the headlines and the talking points to help us understand what has changed in Washington since the end of 2022, and what has stayed the same. Scully has worked as a political editor, host, and senior executive producer of C-SPAN’s programming. In his career, he has interviewed every president since Gerald Ford, and been executive producer on programming such as “Road to the White House” series, the Washington Journal, and the podcast “The Weekly.” Scully has taught at the University of Denver, Pace University, George Mason University and the University of California-DC Program. Scully completed his Terker Fellowship—2019-2021—at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. Scully served on the White House Correspondents’ Association for nine years, serving as president from 2006-2007. He has chaired the Educational Society Global summit in Erie, Pa. for the past 11 years, and was named to the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2019. See for privacy information.


Max Boot on the Threats to American Democracy

In the last two years, from the steps of the U.S. Capitol to the streets of Kiev, the fight for democracy has been joined. Max Boot reviews the struggle and the links between events overseas and the health of American democracy at home. Named as one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict” by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Boot is a historian, best-selling author and foreign-policy analyst. He is a columnist for The Washington Post, as well as the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow in national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has worked as an op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal, as well as editor and writer at the Christian Science Monitor. In 2002, he went on to join the Council on Foreign Relations. Boot is the author of four books, winning the 2003 General Wallace M Greene Jr. Award from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation as the best nonfiction book pertaining to Marine Corps history for “The Savage Wars Of Peace.” His 2018 biography, “The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam,” was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in biography, and a New York Times bestseller. He is currently working on a biography on Ronald Reagan for Norton/Liveright. See for privacy information.


Documenting America’s History with Slavery with Clint Smith

Slavery has been called America’s original sin, yet its depiction in American history and schools remains surprisingly controversial. Clint Smith has travelled the country to document the ways in which that story is told, shining a light not just on who we were, but who we are. Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He is the author of the narrative nonfiction book, “How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America,” which was a #1 New York Times bestseller, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Hillman Prize for Book Journalism, the Stowe Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and selected by the New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2021. He is also the author of the poetry collection “Counting Descent,” which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. His forthcoming poetry collection, “Above Ground,” which will be published March 28, 2023. Clint has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New America, the Emerson Collective, the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation. His essays, poems, and scholarly writing have been appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, the Harvard Educational Review, and elsewhere. Previously, Clint taught high school English in Prince George’s County, Maryland where he was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council. He is the host of the YouTube series Crash Course Black American History. Clint received his bachelor’s degree in English from Davidson College and his Ph.D. in Education from Harvard University. See for privacy information.


Karyl McBride on Healing from the Harmful Effects of Narcissism

Narcissism is difficult to confront whenever we meet it. It’s even more of a challenge when it overwhelms the dynamics of a family. But Dr. Karyl McBride says there are ways to free ourselves from the harmful effects of narcissism and begin to heal. McBride is a licensed marriage and family therapist with over forty years of experience in public and private practice, specializing in treatment of trauma. In her career she has worked as a school psychologist, expert witness, a marriage and family counselor and a marriage and family therapist. Her work has been recognized in several publications, including HuffPost and Psychology Today. She is a leading author on books focusing on narcissism such as “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?,” “Will I Ever Be Free of You?” and her latest book, “Will the Drama Ever End?” See for privacy information.


Dissecting the New Wave of Hollywood Cinema with Pete Hammond

In the midst of a year that saw pandemic disease, social unrest, and bare-knuckled politics, Hollywood churned out a tremendous body of work—even while theaters closed, and films created for the big screen streamed directly to our homes. Pete Hammond says this year’s Academy Awards reflect the issues facing Americans. Hammond, chief film critic for Deadline Hollywood, is widely considered to be one of the most distinguished awards analysts for both film and television. In addition to being chief film critic at Deadline, he has also been Awards Editor and Columnist for the past eight years. In his past he has reviewed films for MovieLine, Boxoffice magazine, Backstage, and Maxim, as well as frequently contributing to Variety. Outside of writing, Pete is also in his seventeenth year as host of the year-round KCET Cinema Series in Los Angeles, where he screens a selection of films prior to their theatrical release and interviews filmmakers. He is also host of UCLA extension’s Sneak Preview for the past ten years, and has hosted panels at AFI Fest, the Santa Barbara Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, CineVegas, San Francisco Film Festival, and Cannes Film Festival. He has interviewed prestigious filmmakers and stars from groups such as SAG, DGA, BAFTA, and WGA. He previously held producing positions at Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Access Hollywood, The Arsenio Hall Show, The Martin Short Show and AMC Network. He is the winner of both the 1996 and 2013 Publicists Guild of America’s Press Award, making him only the second journalist in the 50-year history of the organization to receive the award twice. He served on the Board of Governors for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for six years and is the recipient of five Emmy nominations for writing. See for privacy information.


Exploring our Hunger for Meaning and Experience with Tara Isabella Burton

In the flush of youth, some of us are prone to great bouts of certainty, seriousness, and risk-taking. Others are more cautious. And some just want to have fun—sometimes at all costs. Tara Isabella Burton is an author whose recent novel explores the timelessness of coming-of-age stories with a very modern tale of her own. Burton’s debut novel “Social Creature,” was named book of the year by The Guardian, New York’s Vulture and The New York Times in 2018. In 2022, she published her second novel with Simon & Schuster, titled “The World Cannot Give.” In 2020, she released her first nonfiction book, “Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World,” which prominent disability rights activist Tim Shriver celebrated as “the most thoughtful analysis of our current spiritual crisis anywhere.”. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, Granta, The Washington Post, and much more. In June 2023 her fourth book, Self-Made: Curating Our Image from Da Vinci to the Kardashians” will be published by Public Affairs. See for privacy information.


Jeffrey Veidlinger on Anti-Semitism in 20th-Century Europe and Its Parallels Today

In the years after World War One, more than 100,000 Jews were murdered in pogroms across Ukraine. Jeffrey Veidlinger is an acclaimed historian who says this targeted violence sowed the seeds for the Holocaust that would arrive two decades later. Veidlinger is an award-winning author and Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of several books, including his most recent, “In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust” which was a finalist for both the Lionel Gelber Prize and the National Jewish Book Award, as well as a Kirkus Top Nonfiction Book of 2021 and a Times of London “Book of the Week.” Veidlinger is the former Vice-President of the Association for Jewish Studies, Chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History, a member of both the Executive Committee of the American Academy for Jewish Research and of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as well as Chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History. Veidlinger was the Director of the Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University from 2009-2013, and Director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies from 2015-2021. His work has been found in Harper’s Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Tablet Magazine, and The Forward. He is currently writing about an early twentieth-century project to redirect Jewish immigration to the American Great Plains, known as the Galveston Movement. See for privacy information.


Gary Hart on Preserving the American Republic

Authoritarian impulses are rising in the United States and around the world. Gary Hart argues that the very ideals of America’s founding–including a commitment to the will of the people–can redeem American democracy and keep the light of freedom burning for all the world to see. Hart is a former United States Senator, strategic advisor, teacher, author and lecturer. He is the president of the business advisory group at Hart International, Ltd. Hee serves as chair of both the International Security Advisory Board of the U.S. Department of State and of the Threat Reduction Advisory Council at the Department of Defense. He is also chair of the American Security Project, as well as co-chair of the US-Russia commission. Previously, Hart was co-chair of the U.S. Commission on National Security for the 21st-century, performing the most comprehensive review of national security since 1947, predicting terrorist attacks on America, and proposing an overhaul of U.S. national security structures and policies for the age of terrorism and post-Cold War new century. Hart represented Colorado in the U.S. Senate from 1975 to 1987 and was a candidate for his party’s nomination for President in both 1984 and 1988. During his time in the Senate, Hart served on the Senate Environment Committee, the Budget Committee, the Intelligence Oversight Committee, the Armed Services Committee, and was an original founder of the military reform caucus. Hart is also widely recognized as among the first to predict the end of the Cold War. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors on U.S.-Russia Relations, a co-chair of the Council task force which produced the report “America Unprepared—America Still at Risk,”in October of 2002, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was also a member of the National Academy of Science task force on Science and Security. Hart is the author of twenty books, including “The American Republic Can Save American Democracy” which was published in 2022. Hart has been Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, a Chatham Lecturer, and a McCallum Memorial Lecturer at Oxford University, a Regents Lecturer at the University of California, and a Global Fund Lecturer at Yale University. See for privacy information.


Mike McIntire on the Effects of Open Carry Laws in the United States Today

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to free speech. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. Mike McIntire documents what happens when those two rights clash and the chilling effect open-carry laws are having on protest and public assembly across the United States. McIntire is an investigative reporter, author, and editor. In 2003 he joined the New York Times, serving in the New York City Hall bureau before transferring to the investigations unit in 2007. Before that, he was the investigative editor at The Hartford Courant, where he shared a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting and was a Pulitzer finalist for his investigative reporting on medical malpractice. Covering topics such as presidential campaigns, political corruption, New York City Hall, and international terrorism. McIntire has made a name for himself as a fearless investigative reporter, who reports on important issues which affect the lives of his readers. His book, “Champions Way: Football, Florida and the Lost Soul of College Sports,” was published in 2017, focusing on his investigation of college sports corruption, which earned him the role of finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize. He went on to share the Pulitzer Prize in both 2017 for reporting on Russia’s hidden interference with the U.S. presidential election and in 2022 for reporting on disclosed financial incentives with police traffic stops. McIntire also earned George Polk, Daniel Pearl and Scripps-Howard awards for obtaining and publishing Donald Trump’s long-concealed tax returns alongside his team in 2020. Outside of investigative reporting, McIntire has also dedicated his time to teaching journalism as a professor at New York University since 2004 and served as a 2019 Ferris Visiting Professor of Journalism at Princeton University. See for privacy information.


The Vatican and the Second World War with David Kertzer

When Pope Pious XII died, the Catholic Church sealed his documents until 2020. David Kertzer was among the first to gain access to those documents when they were unsealed, and his new book reveals what the Pope knew and did while World War II ravaged Europe. Kertzer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and the Paul Dupee University Professor of Social Science at Brown University. His latest book, “The Pope at War: The Secret History of Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler,” was published in June 2022, with Italian, German, Spanish, and Chinese editions also in press. He is an authority on Italian politics, society, and history; political symbolism; and anthropological demography. Kertzer is a past president of both the Social Science History Association and the Society for the Anthropology of Europe and is co-founder and served for many years as co-editor of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies. In 2005, Kertzer was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. From 2006 to 2011, he was the Provost of Brown University. Kertzer’s “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara” was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1997 and has been published in eighteen foreign editions. The book was also adapted into a play by playwright Alfred Uhry was performed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in 2006. In April 2016, Steven Spielberg announced that he would be making a film based on Kertzer’s book, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner. See for privacy information.


Holden Thorp on The Role of Science in Our Changing World

Science is under assault—on social media, on our airwaves, and sometimes even around our dinner tables. Holden Thorp discusses the role science can and should play in an era of profound challenges, like climate change, pandemic disease, and profound changes in technology’s relationship with humanity. Holden Thorp has been the Editor-in-Chief of the “Science” family of journals in 2019. He came to “Science” from Washington University, where he served as provost and continues to serve as the Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor, holding appointments in both chemistry and medicine. A North Carolina native, Thorp earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1986 and a doctorate in chemistry in 1989 at the California Institute of Technology, working with Harry B. Gray on inorganic photochemistry. He completed postdoctoral work at Yale University with Gary W. Brudvig, working on model compounds and reactions for the manganese cluster in the photosynthetic reaction center. In his research career, Thorp studied electron-transfer reactions of nucleic acids, developed technology for electronic DNA chips, and cofounded Viamet Pharmaceuticals, which developed VIVJOA (oteseconazole), now approved by the FDA and marketed by Mycovia Pharmaceuticals. Thorp is the coauthor, with Buck Goldstein, of two books on higher education: “Engines of Innovation: The Entrepreneurial University in the Twenty-First Century” and “Our Higher Calling: Rebuilding the Partnership Between America and its Colleges and Universities.” See for privacy information.


Ali Kadivar on Iran’s Continued Protests

Since the fall of 2022, the women of Iran have confronted the authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran after one young woman died in the state’s custody. Ali Kadivar views the advocacy of those brave women through the broader struggle for democracy around the world. Kadivar is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Studies at Boston College. He also directs the Middle East Popular Politics Lab at Boston College, which focuses on collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data on various instances of contentious mobilization such as revolutions, wars, civil wars, anti-regime protests, and pro-regime mobilization globally, in the Middle East, and particularly in Iran. Kadivar’s work contributes to political and comparative-historical sociology by exploring the interaction between protest movements and democratization and draws on his experience as a participant-observer of the pro-democracy movement in Iran, but his research agenda moves outward from this case to explore these issues on a global scale, using case studies, comparative-historical methods, and statistical analyses. His research has been published in the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Comparative Politics, Socius, and Mobilization, and has won awards from the Collective Behavior and Social Movement (CBSM), Comparative Historical Sociology, Global and Transnational Sociology, Sociology of Development, and Peace, War and Social Conflict sections of the American Sociological Association (ASA). His new book is “Popular Politics and the Path to Durable Democracy,” from Princeton University Press. See for privacy information.


Exploring the World of Science Through Story with Alanna Mitchell

In an age of fake news and so called “truthiness,” the world sometimes feels untethered from reality. Today’s guest uses her reporting and storytelling to ground her audience in science, even while her words reconnect us to our shared humanity and our relationship to the natural world. She’s Alanna Mitchell, this week on “Story in the Public Square.” Mitchell is a Canadian journalist, author and playwright who works at intersection of science, art and society. Her book, “Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis,” was an international best seller that won the U.S.-based Grantham Prize for excellence in environmental journalism in 2010. She turned it into a one-woman play in 2014 and has been performing it internationally since then. The theater adaptation was nominated for a Dora award in Toronto for outstanding Indie play. Mitchell was a playwright-in-residence at The Theatre Centre while she adapted her book, “Malignant Metaphor: Confronting Cancer Myths: A Memoir” into a play. The book also won the $10,000 Lane Anderson Award for best Canadian science book written for adults in 2015. She is also the author of “The Spinning Magnet: The Force that Created the Modern World and Could Destroy It,” about the Earth’s magnetic field. Mitchell’s journalism has appeared in the New York Times’ science section, CBC’s Quirks & Quarks, National Geographic, The Guardian, GQ India, The United Church Observer and Canadian Geographic Magazine. She has also made radio documentaries for CBC and has given talks on climate change, ocean change, cancer, John Franklin’s expedition, evolution, Charles Darwin, neonic pesticides and the earth’s magnetic field. See for privacy information.


The Revolutionary: Stacy Schiff on John Adams in the American Revolution

The American revolution had many fathers. But Stacy Schiff paints a picture of Samuel Adams—the cash-strapped publisher and political leader from Boston—as, perhaps, the essential founder whose spirit and maneuvering shaped so many of the seminal events of the revolutionary era. Schiff is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Witches: Salem, 1692,” “Cleopatra: A Life,” which was one of the New York Times’s Top Ten Books of 2010 and won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for biography and was translated into 30 languages. Schiff is also the author of “Véra” (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; “Saint-Exupéry,” a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and “A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America,” which was the winner of the George Washington Book Prize, the Ambassador Award in American Studies, and the Gilbert Chinard Prize of the Institut Français d’Amérique. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities and was a Director’s Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. Among other honors, she was named a 2011 Library Lion by the New York Public Library, a Boston Public Library Literary Light in 2016, and in 2017 received the Lifetime Achievement Award in History and Biography from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Awarded a 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she was inducted into the Academy in 2019. Schiff has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Los Angeles Times, among many other publications. Her latest book, “The Revolutionary,” was published in 2022. See for privacy information.


Ty Seidule on Challenging the Myth of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy

History and memory are two different things, one is built on facts and documents and the other is built on tradition, myth and politics. Ty Seidule dissects the history of the American Civil War and the legacy of the myths it spawned about the cause of the war. Seidule retired from the U.S. Army as a brigadier general after 36 years of service. Seidule was then appointed Vice Chair of the National Commission on Base Renaming by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in 2021. He has served as Professor Emeritus of History at West Point for two decades, is a visiting professor at Hamilton College and a New American fellow. Seidule is passionate about stopping the spread of misinformation about American history, especially the Civil War. His Southern upbringing contributed to his great reverence for Robert E. Lee and a misguided understanding of the Civil War. Through years of reflection and study of history, his opinion on the issue has changed significantly and he now uses his platform to deconstruct the narrative that Lee was a hero and challenges the idea that Confederate soldiers were underdogs fighting for a noble cause. Seidule asserts that the Civil War was unequivocally about the South’s resistance to the abolishment of slavery and ignoring this history continues to cause harm. He has published numerous articles, books and videos on the topic, including his latest book, “Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause,” which was published this year. See for privacy information.


The 2022 Story of the Year with Evelyn Farkas

In 2022, the United States dealt with the Omicron surge, saw a major land war in Europe and witnessed a Supreme Court decision that reversed 50 years of precedent. Dr. Evelyn Farkas breaks down these stories and discusses the 2022 Story of the Year. Over her three-decade career, Farkas has made a name for herself in foreign policy with a specialty in American-Russian relations. Early in her career, she worked as a human rights officer for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and was an election observer in Bosnia and Afghanistan. In 2003 she published her book “Fractured States and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, Ethiopia and Bosnia in the 1990s” detailing her experiences. Following her time abroad, she worked as a professor of international relations at the Marine Corps University. From 2008 to 2009, she served on the bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction as the executive director. Farkas has worked in both Congress and the United States Department of Defense. During the Obama administration, she was the foremost expert on Russia in the Department of Defense. She has appeared as a national security contributor and commentator on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN and more. Her writings have been featured in various publications and websites, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Daily Beast, Politico and Foreign Policy. She serves as a Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and has penned research papers and op-eds featured in most leading publications. Farkas also serves as the executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. See for privacy information.