What history can teach us about the current decade we’re in - the 2020s.
Lessons for the 2020s - With Historian Niall Ferguson
The first of our two-part conversation with Naill Ferguson is on applied history’s lessons of the 1920s and the 1970s...for the 2020s.
Niall is a historian and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and he previously taught at Harvard, NYU and Oxford. He’s the managing director of Greenmantle, a macroeconomic and geopolitical advisory firm. Niall is also the author of 17 books including “The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook” and “Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe”.
Dan Senor’s New Podcast - Call Me Back
Welcome to our new podcast, “Call Me Back”, where we try to zoom out from minute-to-minute news and look back to how we got here, what we can learn from earlier decades and where we might be going in these roaring and raging 2020s.
In each episode, I’ll call a friend who is deeply immersed in some of the most transformative issues of our time.
Broadly speaking, I want to focus this podcast on this decade we're in, the 2020s, because it strikes me that we’ll look back at the 2020s as one of the most consequential decades in modern history - from inflation and unprecedented fiscal and monetary policies, the technological transformation driven by AI, blockchain, and life sciences, to the rise of China and Cold War II, to declining American engagement in the Middle East and parts of Central Asia - all against the backdrop of culture wars, public safety breakdowns, and, of course, a public health crack-up as we come out of the pandemic.
This podcast is a natural transition from our Post-Corona podcast, where we tried to understand larger trends being shaped and accelerated by the pandemic. No doubt, we’ll continue to delve into those topics on this new podcast, as we haven’t fully processed how profound and long-lasting some of these changes will be.
We’ll also try to feature guests that can help us provide some historical context, to call us back to a previous period, where we can learn a thing or two from the past about what we’re dealing with now.
Our first episode will be this week, with historian, author and daring public intellectual Niall Ferguson. Look out for it. And feel free to drop me a line with ideas for the new podcast at Dan@unlocked.fm
The Political Fallout from Covid19 - with Matthew Continetti
The recent electoral outcomes in Virginia, New Jersey, New York City, Buffalo, Minneapolis and other areas across the country were as much to do with the pandemic -- and the economic and cultural shocks from the pandemic -- as anything. Was it a political blip or some kind of realignment?
Where does the Democratic Party go from here? And what about the Republican Party? What does it mean for Joe Biden and Donald Trump? Is the Glenn Youngkin campaign a model for our future politics?
Matthew Continetti is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, founding editor of The Washington Free Beacon, and a columnist for Commentary Magazine. He’s also the author of several books. He has a new book being released in April 2022, called “The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism”.
Vaccines: A New American Success Story? — with The Wall Street Journal’s Gregory Zuckerman
Have we revolutionized vaccine development? What does this mean for our lives and our health well beyond the vaccine for Covid-19? Could this kind of life sciences revolution only happen in America? And what about Operation Warp Speed? Is it a model for future public-private partnerships to solve big problems?
Greg Zuckerman of The Wall Street Journal joins the podcast to discuss his new and fascinating book, “A Shot to Save the World: The Inside Story of the Life-or-Death Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine.”
Greg’s previous books include: “The Man Who Solved The Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution”, and then there was “The Greatest Trade Ever”, “The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters”, and “Rising Above: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in Their Youth to Become Stars”.
Greg is s a Special Writer and investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal, a 20-year veteran of the paper and a three-time winner of the Gerald Loeb award — the highest honor in business journalism.
IS THIS THE END OF C-19’s BEGINNING? - with Yale University’s Nicholas Christakis
In the middle of the pandemic, Dr. Nicholas Christakis released a sweeping book, called “Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live”. In it, he drew on scientific, medical, and sociological research, and assessed the transmission of the virus, responses worldwide, and prognosis for the pandemic’s end, including some bold predictions. The paperback edition is just out with some new material.
The Merits of Merit - with Adrian Wooldridge of The Economist
During the pandemic, standardized tests were suspended in an entire range of educational institutions. Will these changes be temporary or permanent?
More than 600 of these institutions switched from a mandatory to optional test for the 2020-21 application season, and many just flat out refused to accept a test at all in their application process. According to the editor in chief of the Princeton Review, “That is a tectonic change for many schools.”
According to Smithsonian Magazine, “The pandemic sped up changes that were already afoot; even before Covid, more than 1,000 colleges had made the tests optional. Many had been turned off by the way the tests perpetuated socioeconomic disparities, limiting their ability to recruit a diverse freshman class.”
Concerns about disparities in outcomes, at the core of this massive shift, have been behind Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s agenda in New York City, including his past efforts to eliminate the entrance exam for the City’s seven specialized high schools. While that effort has experienced a setback in the State Legislature, the fight will likely carry on by other political leaders. And more recently, the Mayor announced a plan to make sweeping changes to the gifted program in the City’s elementary schools. There are similar efforts in other cities across the country.
Joining today’s conversation is Adrian Wooldridge, a longtime journalist at The Economist, where he is political editor and writes a column on British life and politics, and before that he penned the Schumpeter column on business, finance and management. He was previously the Washington bureau chief for The Economist, where he also wrote the Lexington column. Prior to his role in Washington, he was The Economist‘s West Coast correspondent, management correspondent and Britain correspondent.
Adrian has written a number of books. His most recent books include “Capitalism in America: A History”, which he co-authored with Alan Greenspan, “The Wake-Up Call: Why the Pandemic Has Exposed the Weakness of the West, and How to Fix It”, which he co-wrote with John Micklethwait of Bloomberg News, and just out this year: “The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World”.
Adrian’s most recent book has been shortlisted for The Financial Times and McKinsey Book of the Year Award.
Feel free to drop us a line with questions, feedback and ideas for the new podcast at Dan@unlocked.fm
Dan Senor interviews professionals with a wide spectrum of political views and is able to work with them to find the happy medium within any topic.
Terrific guests and topics
But, Dan’s consistent injection of his political bias undermines the integrity of the podcast. This week’s amplification of Dr Fauci’s out of context ‘don't wear masks’ comment, for example, tarnishes the pod. The author, Greg Zuckerman, appeared to ‘let the comment’ go since it wasn’t his message. The book is about the development of the vaccine!
Disappointing that Dan is unable to stay on point, his guests, not him!!
I appreciate getting information without the politics and biases in our media.