Andrew J. Polsky, professor of political science at Hunter College, sits down with Mark Blyth, author of Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea, for a conversation about some of today’s most urgent economic policy questions. Calling austerity in the U.S., “a problem too big to fill,” Blyth, an economics professor at Brown University, makes a strong case for why the turn to austerity, the policy of reducing domestic wages and prices to restore competitiveness and balance the budget, hasn’t worked.
Filmmaker Ken Burns explains what drew him to the lives of Franklin, Eleanor and Theodore Roosevelt, and why their stories are so relevant today. “We found that they were so contemporary. They speak to the central questions of our time,” including notions of human rights, fairness and public service. Burns was joined by Geoffrey Ward, co-creator of the acclaimed PBS seven-part documentary, “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.”
In his powerful new memoir, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Montgomery-based Equal Rights Initiative, reflects on his lifelong struggle to protect the rights of the disenfranchised, while helping to free scores of others who were unfairly imprisoned. Speaking at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House, Stevenson noted that young often tell him “they don’t expect to be free or alive by the time they are 21.”
For the generation accustomed to bi-partisan gricklock in Washington, Lyndon Baines Johnson continues to fascinate. Joseph A. Califano Jr.’s revised personal memoir, The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years, explores the Johnson style of leadership that “knew how to make Washington work.” One of the president’s closest advisers, Califano served as chief aide for domestic affairs from 1965 until 1969. He spoke recently at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House.
No extremist group has been able to maintain control over a territory and its people like ISIS — the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq. At Hunter College’s Roosevelt House, a group of experts including NPR Middle East correspondent Deborah Amos and Hunter history professor Jillian Schwedler, examine how ISIS, with its oil revenue, arms and organization, has been able to dominate these vast areas
As part of the Public Square book series at the CUNY Graduate Center, economist Paul Krugman talks with Jeff Madrick, author of the new book, Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World. A contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine, Madrick details how the economic profession, with a handful of exceptions, did not heed the warning signs of the Great Recession and, once the crisis did occur, could not agree on a response.
Best-selling mystery writer and City College alum Walter Mosley talks about the creative process, major influences in his life, and a myriad other topics, with Terrance McKnight, host of WQXR’s Evening Music. Mosley, best known for his crime fiction featuring black private investigator Easy Rawlins, inspired creation of the City College Publishing Certificate Program (PCP) and was recently honored at the 2014 Langston Hughes Festival.
Recent satellite images document the scale of destruction from organized looting to thousands of vital archaeological sites in the region known as the “cradle of civilization.” During a lecture at Baruch College, “Looting the Past, Destroying the Future: Revolution, Terrorism, and Archaeology in Egypt and Syria,” Baruch College archaeology professor Anna Boozer and John Jay College of Criminal Justice art crime professor Erin Thompson discuss the extent of the damage and the significant impact it will have on the cultural heritage for future generations.
The prize-winning author of five biographies, A. Scott Berg, discusses the process of selecting a prominent figure to immerse yourself in and what he liked and disliked about some of his previous subjects. In an interview with Gary Giddins at the Graduate Center, Berg describes his admiration for Woodrow Wilson and Max Perkins, while confesses feeling conflicted over others, including aviator Charles Lindbergh, the subject of his 1999 Pulitzer Prize biography.
A conflict has been waging across the Internet in the past few years between “hacktivists” attempting own their own to expose public and private abuse and prosecutors and private companies trying to stop them. Peter Ludlow, a philosophy professor from Northwestern University, details this struggle in a lecture at John Jay College. Ludlow explains why the activists feel compelled to act and also explores how the government has attempted to combat those efforts with what critics call questionable legislation.