138 episodes

Weekly conversations with authors of new and recent books.
Host Richard Aldous is a historian and professor at Bard College, New York, and the author of several books, including Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian; Reagan and Thatcher: The Difficult Relationship; The Lion and the Unicorn: Gladstone vs. Disraeli.
For more about American Purpose, visit www.americanpurpose.com.

American Purpose's Bookstack Richard Aldous

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 16 Ratings

Weekly conversations with authors of new and recent books.
Host Richard Aldous is a historian and professor at Bard College, New York, and the author of several books, including Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian; Reagan and Thatcher: The Difficult Relationship; The Lion and the Unicorn: Gladstone vs. Disraeli.
For more about American Purpose, visit www.americanpurpose.com.

    Episode 138: Seth D. Kaplan on America’s Fragile Neighborhoods

    Episode 138: Seth D. Kaplan on America’s Fragile Neighborhoods

    In surveying dysfunction across America, the question arises: Is the source of the trouble at the local or the national level? Seth D. Kaplan has shifted his analytical gaze from fragile nations abroad to examine the fragility of his home country. He believes America’s problems from health to politics are downstream of individuals becoming increasingly disconnected, neighborhood by neighborhood. He joins host Richard Aldous to discuss his new book, Fragile Neighborhoods: Repairing American Society, One Zip Code at a Time.

    • 31 min
    Episode 137: Leah Hunt-Hendrix on the Power of Solidarity

    Episode 137: Leah Hunt-Hendrix on the Power of Solidarity

    Solidarity has been at the root of social change throughout history, bringing people together across their differences to challenge injustice within societies. In their new book, Solidarity: The Past, Present, and Future of a World-Changing Idea, Leah Hunt-Hendrix and Astra Taylor examine the sociological concept that is at the heart of social transformation. Hunt-Hendrix joins host Richard Aldous to share her thoughts on both the concept and the social movements with which it is intimately linked.

    • 27 min
    Episode 136: Paul Starobin on the Russian Exiles

    Episode 136: Paul Starobin on the Russian Exiles

    There are now over a million Russians living in exile, spurred on by the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Unable to safely oppose their own government at home, they often find themselves subject to harassment and disdain as immigrants. In his new book, Putin’s Exiles: Their Fight for a Better Russia, Paul Starobin joins host Richard Aldous for a look at the hopes and dreams of those Russians living abroad, and to explain why he thinks more and more of them will “take up the gun.”

    • 29 min
    Episode 135: Ian Buruma on the Relevance of Spinoza

    Episode 135: Ian Buruma on the Relevance of Spinoza

    Rejected in official circles in his day and embraced in modern times by a motley array of admirers, Spinoza was in many ways ahead of his time. His commitment to truth, universal principles, and freedom lie at the heart of Western liberal thinking. As those ideas come under attack on both the left and the right, Spinoza’s philosophical thinking is as relevant as ever. Ian Buruma joins Richard Aldous to discuss his new book, Spinoza: Freedom’s Messiah.

    • 26 min
    Episode 134: Maria Popova on Ukraine and Russia’s Diverging Paths

    Episode 134: Maria Popova on Ukraine and Russia’s Diverging Paths

    Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine and Russia not only embarked on very different political paths at home, but they viewed the future of their relationship in starkly divergent terms. In Russia and Ukraine: Entangled Histories, Diverging States, authors Maria Popova and Oxana Shevel show how Russia’s determination to control an independent Ukraine only pushed it further away. Popova joins host Richard Aldous to discuss how the varying cultural and political realities in the two countries ultimately led to today’s geopolitical clash.

    • 27 min
    Episode 133: Lorraine Daston on the History of Scientific Collaboration

    Episode 133: Lorraine Daston on the History of Scientific Collaboration

    Large threats to the well-being of humankind such as the pandemic and climate change have cemented the notion that scientists across the globe naturally work together to solve the world’s most pressing problems. In Rivals: How Scientists Learned to Cooperate, historian of science Lorraine Daston traces the trajectory of such cooperation, noting that along the way scientists have as often been competitors as collaborators. She joins host Richard Aldous to discuss the history of “the scientific community.”

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

Leonickx ,

Excellent Show

Great hosts, great questions, great guests

Classicrocklover238 ,

Great Podcast

Great show that stays true to American Purpose’s mission of protecting liberal democracy and enlightening the public.

Righty gal ,

Interesting, informative discussions

Richard Aldous is a terrific interviewer. He has a wealth of knowledge that feeds into the questions he poses to authors, and his style is engaging and enjoyable - the farthest that could be from the typical contentiousness one hears all around today.

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