• Podcasts

Talks on History

Ep. 1 – JCC East Bay Presents: Thriving Past Trauma — Holocaust Survivor Dr. Edith Eger with “The Choice”

Dr. Edith Eger interviewed by Elizabeth Rosner

An absolute must-see: 92- year-old Auschwitz survivor and trauma psychologist comes to us to discuss one of the most compelling books we’ve read this year, which Desmond Tutu called “a gift to humanity.” Sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay with the generous support of Eve Gordon-Ramek; in memory of Mayer Goldberg and Henry Ramek.

Ep. 2 – Murder and Survival: The Remarkable Story of Indian Rebirth in the Wake of Genocide

Benjamin Madley, Peter Cozzens, moderated by Greg Sarris

Two eminent historians and a tribal chairman discuss the trauma visited upon Native tribes and explore the challenges and opportunities of the current moment, including Native activism. With support from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.

Ep. 3 – Timeless: Historical Fiction

Heather O’Neill, Linda Spalding, Adrienne Sharp, moderated by Terry Gamble

Great historical fiction rewards readers with entertainment and education at the same time. With the support of the Consulate General of Canada, San Francisco/Silicon Valley.

Ep. 4 – Timeless Wisdom: Greg Sarris on Telling Tales and Native American Literary Tradition

Greg Sarris

Greg Sarris’s book, “How a Mountain Was Made,” mythologizes the Northern California landscape with Native stories — fables with universal resonance and beauty. Sponsored by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.

Ep. 5 – The Power of History: Turning Groundbreaking Scholarship into Page-Turning Prose

Edward L. Ayers, Peter Cozzens, Joel Richard Paul, T. J. Stiles, moderated by Steve Wasserman

Is best-selling history bad history? Does good history have to be dull reading? Award-winning historians and biographers reveal how they explore big questions of American history through captivating narratives that win esteem in the academy yet appeal to wide audiences. Sponsored by Reed Schmidt, with partial support from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.

Ep. 6 – Muckraker: The Life and Times of Warren Hinckle

Pia Hinckle, Robert Scheer, Ron Turner, Steve Wasserman, moderated by Peter Richardson

Drawing on a new anthology dedicated to legendary writer and editor Warren Hinckle and his final book, these writers reflect on the life and work of a Bay Area original. Sponsored by the Journal of Alta California.

Ep. 7 – The Art of Memoir: A Story That Must Be Heard

Francisco Cantu, Julie Lythcott-Haims, Elizabeth Rosner, moderated by Marie Mockett

Memoir writers have the especially challenging task of confronting their own past and creating themselves as a character. In their memoirs, these writers address the U.S. Border Patrol, the experience of Holocaust survivors and growing up mixed-race in America.

Ep. 8 – Loaded: Guns in America

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz interviewed by Adam Hochschild

After every mass shooting, calls for stricter gun regulations ring out on one side; on the other, an insistence on guns, even on campuses, in the name of protection. Famed activist and feminist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz discusses her new book on the second amendment with Pulitzer Prize winner T.J. Stiles.

Ep. 9 – Race and Racism in America

Edward L. Ayers, Khaled Beydoun, Julie Lythcott-Haims, moderated by Scott Shafer

These authors — an eminent historian, an attorney and critical race scholar and a mixed-race lawyer — explore race and the deep origins and expressions of racism in this country.

Ep. 10 – Women Changing the World: How Phoebe Hearst, Jane Stanford, and Other Women Funded Feminism, Founded Universities, and Inspire Philanthropy Today

Joan Marie Johnson, Catherine Pyke, Alexandra Nickliss, Moderated by Julie Castro Abrams

Phoebe Hearst was the eclectic mother of the University of California at Berkeley, just as Jane Stanford co-founded her namesake university through hands-on activism. What lessons do the stories of these brilliant, empowered women hold today for any woman who wants to use financial resources to shape society? Sponsored by the Journal of Alta California.

Ep. 11 -Witness and Testimony: The Past and Present of Native America

William Bauer, Layli Long Soldier, T. J. Stiles, and Louis Warren, moderated by Greg Sarris

What stories and lessons from Native American history illuminate the present day for Native Americans?

Ep. 12 – A Journey into the Life of Rumi

Brad Gooch talks with Michael David Lukas

Brad Gooch, bestselling author of “Smash Cut,” “Flannery” and “City Poet,” brilliantly brings Rumi to life, exploring his time and place and reminding us how poetry transcends both. Sponsored by Society for Art and Cultural Heritage of India (SACHI).

Ep. 13 – Cleve Jones: Rising Up

Cleve Jones, interviewed by Scott James

Mentored by LGBT rights pioneer Harvey Milk, Jones is the author of “When We Rise,” which inspired a recent ABC mini-series. Hear Jones’ personal telling of nearly four decades of activism at the heart of the gay rights movement.

Ep. 14 – The Long 60s: The Counterculture’s Influence in Contemporary America

Mat Callahan, Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo, David Talbot, and Fred Turner, moderated by Peter Richardson

The Summer of Love brought us sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, but it was also a decade of extremes and radical cultural change that, in many ways, mirrors today. Join historians and journalists for an explosive look at how counterculture meets cyberculture. Sponsored by Reed Schmidt.

Ep. 15 – The Business of Brutality: Slavery and the Foundations of Capitalism

2019 Pulitzer Prize winner David Blight, Stephanie Jones-Rogers, Caitlin Rosenthal, moderated by Jennifer D. King

Look around. How much of our infrastructure — from roads and bridges to factories and food supplies — was built on the backs of American slaves? Three writer-researchers examine how the brutal history of slavery laid the foundation of American capitalism and shaped today’s racial and economic inequality. Blight just won the the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Frederick Douglass. Sponsored by the Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation.

Ep. 16 – Prophet of Freedom: Frederick Douglass

2019 Pulitzer Prize winner David Blight interviewed by Otis R. Taylor Jr.

Join David Blight, 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner, American history scholar and author of the new, definitive biography “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” a Top Ten Book of 2018 by the New York Times. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Otis R. Taylor Jr. interviews Blight and helps uncover this towering figure that Blight calls “thoroughly and beautifully human.”

Ep. 17 – Unlikely Alliances and Other Surprises in Historical Fiction

Yangsze Choo, Terry Gamble, Christopher Tilghman, moderated by Janis Cooke Newman

These historical novels transport us to worlds full of surprising connections that cross divisions of class, race and more. These authors explore power dynamics and tricky relationships from 1930s colonial Malaysia, to pre-Civil War Ohio, to the streets of Paris and the vineyards of Midi in the Victorian era.