Ken Burns Gets at the Nasty Underbelly of American History – THENATION.COM

David Nasaw in conversation with Jon Wiener on the new PBS documentary The U.S. and the Holocaust.

Jon Wiener:  Before I saw the new Ken Burns documentary, I thought, “We already know this history. We’ve been reading about it our whole lives.” Ken Burns knows that. He’s got one of his historian experts, Daniel Mendelsohn, saying, “You think you’ve heard it all, but trust me: you haven’t.” I ended up agreeing with him completely. I found the show riveting. What did you think?

David Nasaw:  I agree totally. I began watching it almost as a duty. I didn’t think I was going to learn anything, or be nearly as moved as I was. It is an extraordinary accomplishment. It comes at the right time. I hope it gets the widest possible viewing, that it makes its way into high schools and colleges. It’s remarkable, especially because it gets at the nasty underbelly of American history.

… continued at, HERE   9-29-2022


Russia’s War in Ukraine: How It Could End – A conversation with Anatol Lieven –

Jon Wiener: You wrote in November that we already had the outlines of a settlement in Ukraine. What was that proposal? Is any of it still relevant after 40 days of war?

Anatol Lieven: Minsk II was an agreement between Ukraine and Russia brokered by France and Germany, whereby the two separatist parts of the Donbas in Eastern Ukraine, which had rebelled against Ukraine with Russian support, would go back into Ukraine, but on the basis of full local autonomy.

… continued at, HERE   4-11-2022

“Street Cop” and Cartoon Controversies: A Conversation with Art Spiegelman: LA Review of Books

“I wrote back to them saying, ‘Okay, I’ll look at the manuscript and as long as it has no mice or Jews in it, I’ll be glad to consider it.’ I really admire Coover; I’ve liked his work for a very long time. And lo and behold: no Jews, no mice. Best of all, it was a dystopia, but it wasn’t the one I was living in. It was a dystopia next door. It allowed me to approach and inhabit it.”–Art Spiegelman on “Street Cop,” Q&A at the LA Review of Books, HERE  9-7-2021

‘We Need a New Federal Writers Project’: A Conversation with David Kipen

Here’s an idea: how about starting a new federal writers project? How about the government hiring a thousand unemployed writers and journalists all over the place to document the unprecedented year we’ve just been through, the COVID year? Congressman Ted Lieu of Los Angeles has introduced a bill to do just that, co-sponsored by Theresa Leger Fernandez of New Mexico. The idea comes from David Kipen….
… Q&A continued at LA Review of Books, HERE

The Predictable Backlash to Critical Race Theory: A Q&A With Kimberlé Crenshaw –

Jon Wiener: We’re a little late talking about Critical Race Theory (CRT). In the past three and a half months, the Fox News Channel has talked about it nearly 1,300 times. It’s being banned from public schools and colleges in something like 13 Republican states. But what is critical race theory? And why is this happening now? The first thing you ever published on the topic was in the Harvard Law Review a long time ago—in 1988.
Kimberlé Crenshaw: “Race, Reform, and Retrenchment.” The basic point of that article was that wherever there is race reform, there’s inevitably retrenchment, and sometimes the retrenchment can be more powerful than the reform itself. And some of what we are experiencing right now is exactly that.
… continued at, HERE   7-5-2021

Trump Books of 2020: An Unexpected ‘Best of” List — LA Times op-ed 12-31-2020

Donald Trump has been bad for America but good for American book publishers.  Dozens of books about Trump were published in 2020, some selling millions of copies.  Here is a highly personal assessment.
Best book that doesn’t mention Trump until the end:  “A Promised Land” by Barack Obama.  During the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill crisis, Obama reports, Trump called to suggest that he be put in charge of plugging the well to stop the leak.  Told that the well was almost sealed, he offered instead to build “a beautiful ballroom” on the White House grounds. . . .
continued at, HERE