29 episodes

Access historical commentary of today's pressing issues, hosted by Tal Fortgang from the American Enterprise Institute.

Bradley Lectures Podcast American Enterprise Institute

    • History

Access historical commentary of today's pressing issues, hosted by Tal Fortgang from the American Enterprise Institute.

    The evolution of the Bobo

    The evolution of the Bobo

    The late 20th century brought into existence a new species of moneyed elite. This highly educated nouveau riche combined traditional bourgeois ethic with bohemian tastes to form a new species that David Brooks called the “Bobo.”







    What became of the Bobos, and how does their legacy live on — or not — in today’s elite? Factual Feminist Christina Hoff Sommers joins “The Bradley Lectures Podcast” to femsplain how Brooks’ observations can help us better understand today’s social and political elites.







    This lecture was originally delivered in May 2000.

    • 1 hr
    So you want to build an institution

    So you want to build an institution

    From Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France to Yuval Levin’s new book, A Time to Build, conservatives have long been fascinated by the relationship between the American individual, state, and mediating institutions. Building properly-functioning institutions of all kinds – media, religious, or educational — is crucial to the politics and social lives of a self-governing people.







    David Gelernter, Yale computer scientist and polymath, addresses the lack of institutions that would challenge growing left-wing domination of the cultural and educational landscapes. His Bradley Lecture, “New Institutions for a New Cultural Establishment,” examines with incisive wit how the center-right can build the institutions they need most.  







    This lecture was originally delivered in October 1996.

    • 32 min
    What’s the matter with Hollywood?

    What’s the matter with Hollywood?

    Decades prior to today’s political arguments about “coastal elites” misunderstanding “flyover country,” film critic, author, and talk show host Michael Medved made a cultural argument. Medved contended that the cloistered cultures of Hollywood were unresponsive to market demands, and chose to push a narrative—one that would not serve their own financial interests —  about religion, the US, and the human condition.







    Will Baird joins the podcast once again to discuss the themes that drew Medved’s ire, the conservative case for irreverence in film, and whether there’s something truly the matter with the film industry in Hollywood.







    This lecture was originally delivered in January 1993.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Some reflections on Gertrude Himmelfarb

    Some reflections on Gertrude Himmelfarb

    Prolific historian, author, and social critic Gertrude Himmelfarb (1922–2019) leaves behind a legacy of scholarship transcending time and place. Her insights into the past, such as her studies of Victorian England, help fashion a worldview for the present, one emphasizing virtue, truth-seeking, and humility.







    AEI Senior Fellow Karlyn Bowman joins the podcast to

    memorialize Dr. Himmelfarb and discuss what lessons her life and works hold for

    future generations.







    This lecture was originally delivered in October 2008.







    Gertrude Himmelfarb’s other Bradley Lectures:







    * From Hegel to Marx to Lenin (1990)* From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values (1995)

    • 55 min
    Work, progress, and administration

    Work, progress, and administration

    “In my business,” explained one immigrant entrepreneur in the mid-1930s, “I am the best economist.” So went the argument against centralized power acting for what it believed to be the common good. Knowledge is too diffuse for a command economy to function – just one lesson among many that historian and author Amity Shlaes gleaned from her study of New Deal administration and compiled into her 2004 Bradley Lecture, “The New Deal and Class Warfare.”











    This lecture was originally delivered in April 2004.

    • 39 min
    A last gasp for the First Freedom (ft. Ramesh Ponnuru)

    A last gasp for the First Freedom (ft. Ramesh Ponnuru)

    The first Amendment to the Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” 200 years after its ratification, the Supreme Court determined that a nonsectarian prayer at a public high school’s graduation ceremony violated the Establishment Clause, and was not protected under the Free Exercise Clause. It was a puzzling decision for those who understood the centrality of religion to public life throughout American history.







    University of Chicago Law professor Michael W. McConnell, later a federal judge, was among the puzzled. He endeavored to trace the impulse to turn “freedom of religion” into “freedom from religion” in the public square. AEI Visiting Fellow and religious freedom expert Ramesh Ponnuru joins the podcast to discuss McConnell’s argument, First Amendment Jurisprudence since the early 1990s, and ongoing threats to religious life in America today.







    This lecture was originally delivered in September 1992.







    Listen to the full lecture here.

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