Oh, Chicago. Where did we go wrong? With our shocking fiscal crisis, looming and potentially crippling property tax hikes, rampant crime, out flight of businesses and youth, crumbling infrastructure, education system mired in corruption and under performance, rising cost-of-living...the list of ills goes on and on. What can Chicago teach the rest of the nation? Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? Here we diagnose the patient and, hopefully, suggest a way out of the mess for our...
Published 11/24/15
Published 11/24/15
Richard Lindberg is one of the foremost authorities on Chicago history. Hes written multiple, fine books on some of the lost history of this city. In his latest book, Gangland Chicago, Richard talks gangsters. From the organized crime outfits to vice to booze and gambling and all that these endeavors entail, this is the book you need to read if youve ever been interested in crime. Chicagos done it as well as any other city. Lindberg tells this fascinating story from the beginning, when...
Published 11/21/15
After the thoroughly depressing and emotionally exhausting events from Paris last week and lengthy discussions of them this week, we turned to one of our refuges--movies. Here we talk about some of the greatest directors. Were joined in studio by our mainstay of film talks, John Kupetz of Medill and the College of Lake County, and welcome a newcomer, Kyle Richard Henry of Northwestern. As always, we examine some classic moments from numerous films.
Published 11/20/15
On this show we again investigate the events of another devastating attack on the French capitol. Were joined in studio by W. Rand Smith of Lake Forest College, a political scientist who studies French politics and Daniel S. Kamin, adjunct professor of International Relations at DePaul. Via phone we check in with Fred Kagan of American Enterprise Institute and Fred Burton, VP of Intel at Stratfor.
Published 11/20/15
Like the rest of the civilized world, we were horrified by the weekends events in Paris. Immediately we moved to bring you the most sober and informed analysis possible. In this episode, were joined by to fine academics who study terror and its machinations--John Allen Williams of Loyola and Barry Kellman of DePaul--in studio. Via phone we talk to Daniel Greenfield, who has some very strong assertions toward Islam and the role of the faith in terror and the inimitable Victor Davis Hanson,...
Published 11/17/15
What began as a show on the political world at large and the insanity on the campuses (campi?) of American colleges quickly turned into a discussion of the events in Paris, again, following the attacks on a concert venue and other locations Friday evening last. Charles Lipson of the University of Chicago and Richard Baehr, both members of our Political A-Team, were with us on all topics. Also joining was Michael Barone, Fox News contributor and Washington Examiner political correspondent....
Published 11/16/15
“Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.” So said Ambrose Bierce, at least we hope. In this entry, we discuss some of our favorite quotes. This show couldve been the length of a week, but we confine it here to one episode along with Gary Saul Morson of Northwestern and David Ingram of Loyola We have quotes from history, politics, cooking, and baseball, to name but a few.
Published 11/16/15
Yet another debate was held in Milwaukee and we are on the scene to tell you who won and who lost. Several under-performing candidates have left the big table, and Ben Carson and Donald Trump are at the top of the leaderboard as of this writing. To discuss, we have in studio Dick Ciccone and Joe Morris, two members of our political A-Team.
Published 11/16/15
Jim Baggott is an influential science writer. A scientist himself by training, he has turned toward a career in the commercial world as a successful author who popularizes complex scientific theories by making them, well, understandable. His latest, Origins: The Scientific Story of Creation, is a concise history of how we got here, how life has evolved on this planet, and where life may be heading next. Baggott joins us here for an hour. We only wish that wed had more time.
Published 11/11/15
Dark Matter. How does it differ from Dark Energy? What role has it played in mass extinctions throughout history? To answers those and many, many more questions of cosmological and biological import is Dr. Lisa Randall, one of our nations most esteemed physicists and professor at Harvard. Her latest book, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe, sheds light on some of the greatest mysteries concerning our existence.
Published 11/11/15
When most of us think of the supernatural in the Catholic religion, we think of the Shroud of Turin, or sightings of Mary, or exorcisms. These are just the big ones in a limitless line of claims which the Church must investigate. John Thavis has years of experience working in the Vatican as he was the Rome Bureau Chief of the Catholic News Service and has written previously about what goes on with the Holy See. He goes deep into how this secretive team must vet miracles of those to be...
Published 11/10/15
When most people hear the name of the town Salem they immediately think, Witches! To be sure, that is the legacy of Salem in the minds of the masses. But beyond the wrongful execution of some young women for practicing witchcraft and sorcery, most people know nothing. Stacy Schiff is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and a master storyteller. She has turned her attentions to Salem, 1692 to bring to life the real people behind the legend and to investigate how hysteria gripped a town and a...
Published 11/09/15
Here we continue with our series on American music. Today we examine Gospel music. Joining in studio are Bob Marovich, founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gospel Music and the author of the recently published A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music. Our second in-studio guest is the esteemed Dr. Charles Clency, who recently retired as the professor of music and director of choirs at the College of Lake County. Dr. Clency has had a distinguished career as a...
Published 11/07/15
With too many quotes to possibly pick one that would sum up his greatness, we wont try. Instead we present this delightful talk on Mark Twain, his work, his legacy, his wit and his wisdom with two local professors who have studied Twain in depth. Larry Howe teaches Twain in his English courses at Roosevelt University and has also written a book about him, and Loren Ghiglione of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern even traveled Twains routes of several books. He documented the...
Published 11/06/15
Theres much going on in the world at the moment, and instead of bringing you a themed show, we thought wed look to those whose writings on it we admire. And, of course, a little music. First up to join is Bret Stephens, the Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign-affairs columnist at the Wall Street Journal. His latest book, America in Retreat, has been quite influential. He and Milt talk about The Tyranny of a Big Idea. Edward Klein has been keeping up with Hillary Clinton, and writes about the...
Published 11/05/15
If Chicagos the Second City, New York is the first to be sure. So where does that leave Washington, D.C.? Without it, what would we be? But were not so concerned with prestige on this particular program as we are with what events, characters, considerations and compromises gave birth to these two superpowers of influence and, being based in Chicago as we are, naturally our own city is the measuring stick for comparing them both. In hour one we are joined by Tom Lewis, professor emeritus,...
Published 11/03/15
By most accounts, the third GOP debate was a circus which strangely pitted the Republican candidates banding together to fend off their foes--not the Democrats, but rather their moderators from CNBC. To shed light on the proceedings--if there was any of political value--we turn to a fine panel. In studio, Richard Baehr and Ed Lasky of American Thinker, Larry Sabato of the Center for Politics and Sabatos Crystal Ball, and Jonathan Last and Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard.
Published 10/29/15
English. Our mother tongue. Recently we tackled the Great American Novel, so naturally it merited occasion to look toward Britain. In this episode we discuss the periods from medieval British Literature to the Victorians. Our panel here is a delightful trio from academia, namely Micael Clarke of Loyola, Lesley Koredecki from DePaul, and Regina Schwartz of Northwestern. Bonus points if you can follow along with the Old English.
Published 10/29/15
Sometimes there are too many moving parts to a program and we need to digress and decompress. Philosophy is a vast field, with limitless options for study and discussion. One person with whom weve been meaning to sit down with is Dr. Sanford Goldberg, the Chairperson of Philosophy at Northwestern. So at first opportunity, we brought him in to journey through the minds and writings of some of Philosophys greatest. From Aristotle to Bullsh*t, comedians to film directors, theres much of the...
Published 10/28/15
As you know we are always keen to keep abreast of all of the latest political news. One member of our Political A-Team is Joseph Morris, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General and all-around polymath. We brought him to the show to discuss the upcoming election and the candidates on both sides, the troubles in the Middle East, and a vast range of other topics.
Published 10/27/15
Its no secret that Russia is and has always been a propaganda state. Their efforts to control information and influence public opinion at home and abroad are are aggressive and extensive. But Putins Russia has a greater goal: to control the internet--the greatest tool in bringing about a total surveillance state. But theres another side to Big Comrade. Its a legion of brilliant programmers and hackers who serve as a counterbalance to Putins goal of totalitarianism. Its an epic struggle waged...
Published 10/27/15
What a week its been in the political world. Hillary Clinton was back on the Hill again testifying about Benghazi. U.S. troops engaged in the Middle East. Assad visited Putin in Moscow. Putins troops continued their assault on ISIS. A wave of terror and retaliation once again grips Israel. Joe Biden dropped out of the race for the American presidency. And there was much more. To help us make sense of all of this we turned to Art Cyr of Carthage College, Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post,...
Published 10/23/15
Dr. Philip Jenkins has written extensively on the Lost Gospels. In this newest book, The Many Faces of Christ, he takes on the notion that these books on the life and divinity of Jesus were never really accepted by the church. To the contrary, they were openly and regularly discussed by early church fathers and elders all the way through the middle ages. The story of how we came to the books of the Bible is well documented. Now Jenkins rights the historical inaccuracies long accepted on these...
Published 10/20/15
8 Men Out. Shoeless Joe Jackson. Even the most casual baseball fan will know a bit about the 1919 Chicago White Sox--or Black Sox*. But what is the true story behind the scandal? As we all know, Hollywood often takes liberties with the facts when producing a feature length film. And how did that World Series give birth to the game as we know it today? Charles Fountain has delved deep into the history and offers this fascinating account of the gambling ring that destroyed the players who...
Published 10/20/15