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The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism is a graduate professional school on the campus of University of California, Berkeley. It is among the top graduate journalism schools in the United States. "On Mic" presents events of interest recorded live at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. From authors and photographers to scientists and visionaries, the Podcast brings thought leaders from around the globe to your ear buds.
 
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(9/22/21) George Washington is said to have remarked that anyone who attempted to provide an accurate account of the American Revolution would be accused of writing fiction. Of course, no one called the uprising from American colonists by that name or referred to the struggle as the Revolutionary War at the time. John Adams insisted that the Britis…
 
(9/14/21) Civil War (or, Who Do We Think We Are), the new film by Emmy-nominated director Rachel Boynton (Big Men, Our Brand is Crisis) considers how Americans tell the story of the Civil War and its legacy of slavery and racism. Join us for a look at our own history in this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large on WBAI.…
 
(9/13/21) You may think the story of human evolution begins following the asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs. Yet, over the last 20 years scientists have made discoveries that have forced them to rethink that narrative. In her new book, Beasts Before Us: The Untold Story of Mammal Origins and Evolution, palaeontologist and the Leverhulme Ear…
 
(9/10/21) In 1961, at the height of the Cold War, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba. For over five decades, the standoff continued before Barack Obama normalized relations with the island in 2014 only to have the policy reversed by his predecessor. In her new book Cuba: An American History, historian and the Julius Silver Pro…
 
(11/9/21) James Reston Jr. is the author of 18 books ranging from politics to medieval history to science to baseball. In his latest, The Nineteenth Hijacker: A Novel of 9/11, he set out to use fiction as a way of understanding radical Islam and its role in what was a defining moment in the lives of anyone old enough to remember. As the 20th annive…
 
(9/7/21)Although the free jazz movement of the 1960s and ‘70s was much maligned in some jazz circles, its pioneers—Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler and John Coltrane—are now acknowledged as central to the evolution of jazz as one of America’s greatest art forms. Documentarian and drummer Tom Surgal’s new film Fire Music examines …
 
(9/3/21) Police officers are nine times more likely to kill African-American men than they are other Americans. Yet, in his new book Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights, legal scholar and dean of the law school at UC Berkeley Erwin Chemerinsky argues that the problem goes way beyond racism in law e…
 
(9/2/21) In her new book What About the Baby? Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction, bestselling novelist Alice McDermott assembles the pithiest wisdom about the act of writing that she has collected throughout her career as an acclaimed novelist and professor. Join us for musings on the art of creating great literature in this installment of Leonard…
 
(9/1/21) Every drug certified by the FDA must be tested using the horseshoe crab derivative known as Limulus lysate. Because of this, a multimillion-dollar industry has emerged involving the license to bleed horseshoe crabs and the rights to their breeding grounds. In the latest edition of his book Crab Wars: A Tale of Horseshoe Crabs, Ecology, and…
 
(8/27/21) Investigative journalist and regular contributor to the show Bob Hennelly’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Village Voice, the Christian Science Monitor, the Miami Herald, the Detroit Free Press along with dozens of other magazines and newspapers. His reporting has been featured on 60 Minutes and C-Span's America and the Cour…
 
(8/26/21) From the initial discovery of the coronavirus, President Trump refused to take responsibility and encouraged the entire GOP to ignore safety guidelines. In their book Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration's Response to the Pandemic That Changed History, Washington Post economics editor Damian Paletta and national health poli…
 
(8/25/21) In the wake of the September 11 terror attacks, the US government implemented a wave of overt policies to fight the nation’s enemies. Unseen and undetected by the public, however, another set of tools was brought to bear on the domestic front. In her new book Subtle Tools: The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Do…
 
(8/24/21) The history section of your local bookstore is most likely stacked with books by and about Presidents, First Ladies even First Pets. In his new book First Friends: The Powerful, Unsung (And Unelected) People Who Shaped Our Presidents, former Bill Clinton aide Gary Ginsberg provides fresh insights into the lives of the men who held the mos…
 
(8/19/21) From his star-making performances in Bull Durham and The Professional to his celebrated role alongside Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption, from his Oscar for best supporting actor in Mystic River or for directing Dead Man Walking, Tim Robbins holds a special place in film history. In this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large on …
 
(8/18/21) Public defenders represent more than 80 percent of the people accused of a crime in this country. More often than not, even the best of those defenders are overworked, underpaid and incentivized to put the interests of judges and politicians above those of their clients. Jonathan Rapping’s book Gideon's Promise: A Public Defender Movement…
 
(8/16/21)"Climate change is a hoax and so is coronavirus." "Vaccines are bad for you." These days, many of our fellow citizens reject scientific expertise and prefer ideology to facts. They are not merely uninformed—they are misinformed. How can we get them to change their minds and accept the facts when they don't believe in facts? In his new book…
 
(8/13/21) In her new book Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story, journalist Julie K. Brown recounts her uncompromising and risky investigation of Jeffrey Epstein's underage sex trafficking operation. Join us for a deep dive on the explosive reporting Julie did for the Miami Herald that finally brought Jeffrey Epstein to justice while exp…
 
(8/9/21)“Climate change is a hoax—and so is coronavirus.” “Vaccines are bad for you.” These days, many of our fellow citizens reject scientific expertise and prefer ideology to facts. They are not merely uninformed—they are misinformed. They cite cherry-picked evidence, rely on fake experts, and believe conspiracy theories. How can we convince such…
 
(7/29/21) Quarantine is our most powerful response to uncertainty—it means waiting to see if something hidden inside us will be revealed. In quarantine, we are considered infectious until proven safe. Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley’s new book Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine tracks the history and future of quarantine aroun…
 
(7/28/21)Chemist, artist and industrial hygienist Monona Rossol is the founder of Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety, Inc. The not-for-profit corporation is dedicated to providing health and safety services to the arts. She is also the Health and Safety Director for the Local 829 union of the United Scenic Artists International Alliance of Theatrical …
 
(7/26/21) “Denialism has moved from the fringes to the center of public discourse, helped in part by new technology. As information becomes freer to access online…so the opportunities for countering accepted truths multiply,” wrote sociologist and regular contributor to The Guardian Keith Kahn-Harris back in 2018 in his book Denial: The Unspeakable…
 
(7/22/21) You know the name Alvin Ailey, but how much do you know about the man behind the iconic modern dance company? Peabody Award-winning director Jamila Wignot’s new documentary Ailey, which makes it’s theatrical debut on July 23 before eventually airing as part of PBS’s American Masters series, grants artful access to the elusive visionary be…
 
(7/21/21) Regular listeners probably know investigative journalist Bob Hennelly from his cutting political analysis segments on this show and others informed by his own hard-nosed reporting. But in this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large on WBAI, Bob joins us to discuss his new book Stuck Nation: Can the United States Change Course on Our Histo…
 
(7/20/21) As New York and much of the country starts to emerge from the pandemic, has the way we talk to each other changed? In this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large on WBAI, sibling language experts Kathryn and Ross Petras, authors of You're Saying It Wrong: A Pronunciation Guide to the 150 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words—and Their Tangled…
 
(7/15/21) Everyone knows that democracy is in trouble, but do we know what democracy actually is? In his new book Democracy Rules, German political philosopher and Princeton University professor Jan-Werner Müller takes us back to basics. Join us for a consideration of why democracy is founded not just on liberty and equality but also on uncertainty…
 
(7/14/21) With the summer in full swing, our resident gardening expert Pete Muroski of Native Landscapes in Pawling, NY joins us again to help you get the most out of the warmer months. Pete also takes your calls on any plant-related issue great or small in this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large on WBAI.…
 
Daniel and Patricia Ellsberg discuss the civic courage and compassion it takes to be a whistleblower with Berkeley Journalism Dean Geeta Anand on the 50th anniversary of the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. They are joined by Robert Rosenthal, who was a clerk for The New York Times when it published these secret documents. Their dynamic disc…
 
(7/12/21) Regular contributor to the program Michael Patrick MacDonald is the author of the book All Souls: A Family Story From Southie and the acclaimed Easter Rising: A Memoir of Roots and Rebellion. He is also a regular contributor to The Boston Globe’s op-ed page. As an activist, Michael has focused his efforts on multi-cultural coalition build…
 
(7/9/21) Part travelogue, part history and part reflective meditation on conflict and reconciliation, Sherry Buchanan’s new book On The Ho Chi Minh Trail: The Blood Road, The Women Who Defended It, The Legacy offers both a personal and historical exploration of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, highlighting the role women played in keeping this critical route…
 
(7/7/21/) Every nation needs its creation myth, and since Texas was a nation before it was a state, it's no surprise that its myths bite deep. But no piece of history is more important to Texans than the Battle of the Alamo, when Davy Crockett and a band of rebels went down in a blaze of glory fighting for independence from Mexico, losing the battl…
 
(7/6/21) In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson launched the “War on Crime,” sending militarized police forces into impoverished Black neighborhoods. Facing increasing surveillance and brutality, residents threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at officers, plundered local businesses and vandalized exploitative institutions. In her new book, America on Fire:…
 
(7/2/21) From an expert in animal consciousness, comes a book that will turn the fly on the wall into the elephant in the room. For most of us, the only thing we know about flies is that they're annoying and our usual reaction is to try to kill them. In his new book Super Fly: The Unexpected Lives of the World's Most Successful Insects, myth-bustin…
 
(7/1/21)On Jan. 6, thousands of people descended on the US Capitol to aid President Donald Trump in combating what they perceived as a shadowy cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. They, like millions of Americans, believed that a mysterious insider known as "Q" was exposing a vast deep-state conspiracy. In their new book Pastels and Pedophiles: I…
 
(6/29/21) You may know Dennis Kucinich as a Democratic candidate for president in 2004 and 2008 or from his eight terms representing Ohio in Congress. But you probably don’t know about this chapter of his life. In his new book, The Division of Light and Power, the former politician tells the story of his fight as mayor of Cleveland to protect local…
 
(6/25/21) Why do societies change course? The question is critical to the historical study of any era but is just as important today. In his book Disruption: Why Things Change, David Potter, the Francis W. Kelsey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History at the University of Michigan, argues that paradigm shifts always begin on the fringes. J…
 
(6/24/21) On June 3, the New York Senate passed the Adult Survivors Act. The law, if signed into law, would create a one-year window to revive civil lawsuits for sex crimes committed against anyone 18 or older. In this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large on WBAI, attorney and former competitive gymnast Sarah Klein, the first known victim of form…
 
(6/23/21) After the events of the past year, Governor Andrew Cuomo is now easily as famous as his father Mario, also a governor of New York for three terms. Like Robert Moses before him, he has become one of the state’s most infamous power brokers. Though initially celebrated for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, it is now apparent that Cuo…
 
(6/21/21) We live in an age of displacement. Refugee numbers are increasing and climate change and COVID-19 are making the situation much worse. Meanwhile, rising populist nationalism around the world has undermined the political willingness of rich countries to accept migrants and asylum seekers. The Wealth of Refugees: How Displaced People Can Bu…
 
(6/18/21) With 13 candidates battling to become New York City’s next mayor in the June 22 Democratic primary, you are forgiven for not knowing exactly where every candidate stands on the issues. In this installment of Leonard Lopate at Large on WBAI, investigative journalist and regular contributor to the program Bob Hennelly goes beyond the headli…
 
(6/17/21) On Jan. 28, 1986, NASA’s space shuttle Challenger exploded after taking off from Cape Canaveral. Christa McAuliffe, America’s “Teacher in Space,” was instantly killed, along with the other six members of the mission. At least that's what most of us remember. In his new book The Burning Blue: The Untold Story of Christa McAuliffe and NASA'…
 
(6/16/21) If you’re over the age of 40, whether you thought it was thrilling or cruel, chances are the circus played some kind of role in your childhood. In his new book, Battle for the Big Top: P.T. Barnum, James Bailey, John Ringling, and the Death-Defying Saga of the American Circus, bestselling author Les Standiford shines a light on the era wh…
 
(6/15/21) A police officer kills a 12-year-old boy. It’s caught on video. The officer faces no legal consequences. A police officer strangles a man selling cigarettes. It’s caught on video. The officer faces no legal consequences. It happens over and over again. The culprit here, alongside the cops, is the legal principle known as qualified immunit…
 
(6/9/21) Covid numbers may be in decline, but according to professor of Sociology at SUNY Binghamton and former member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines Walden Bello, there is another worldwide scourge that is just as serious—fascism. “The global spread of fascism is real, as real as the spread of Covid-19, and you better believe i…
 
(6/8/21) Chemist, artist and industrial hygienist Monona Rossol is the founder of Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety, Inc. The not-for-profit corporation is dedicated to providing health and safety services to the arts. She is also the Health and Safety Director for the Local 829 union of the United Scenic Artists International Alliance of Theatrical …
 
(6/7/21) In this new book North by Shakespeare: A Rogue Scholar's Quest for the Truth Behind the Bard's Work, investigative journalist Michael Blanding presents the parallel narratives of renegade scholar Dennis McCarthy, known as “the Steve Jobs of the Shakespeare community,” and Sir Thomas North, an Elizabethan courtier whom McCarthy believes to …
 
(6/4/21) From blurry vision to crooked teeth, ACLs that tear at alarming rates and spines that seem to spend a lifetime falling apart, it’s a curious thing that human beings have beaten the odds as a species. Professor of biology at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho Dr. Alex Bezzerides’s new book Evolution Gone Wrong: The Curious Reasons Why Our B…
 
(6/1/21) Some of the only truly feral cattle in the world wander through an abandoned island off the northernmost tip of Scotland. A variety of wildlife not seen in many lifetimes has rebounded on the irradiated grounds of Chernobyl. A lush forest supports thousands of species that are extinct or endangered everywhere else on earth in the Korean pe…
 
(5/28/21) Perhaps the most underestimated First Lady of the 20th century, Lady Bird Johnson was also one of the most accomplished and often her husband Lyndon B. Johnson’s secret weapon. Managing the White House in years of national upheaval, through the civil rights movement and the escalation of the Vietnam War, Lady Bird projected a sense of cal…
 
(5/27/21) Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of Harry S. Truman’s presidency is his judicial legacy, with even the finest of Truman biographies neglecting to consider the influence the 33rd president had on the Supreme Court. The Truman Court: Law and the Limits of Loyalty the new book from former Assistant Attorney General for the District of Colu…
 
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