153 episodes

Revealing, intimate conversations with visionaries and leaders in the arts, science, technology, public service, sports and business. These engaging personal stories are drawn from interviews with the American Academy of Achievement, and offer insights you’ll want to apply to your own life.

What It Takes Academy of Achievement

    • Personal Journals
    • 4.7 • 785 Ratings

Revealing, intimate conversations with visionaries and leaders in the arts, science, technology, public service, sports and business. These engaging personal stories are drawn from interviews with the American Academy of Achievement, and offer insights you’ll want to apply to your own life.

    Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam: Truth Seekers

    Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam: Truth Seekers

    These two brave reporters risked their lives and their reputations during the war in Vietnam, to reveal the truth to the American people about what was happening there. Both describe here - how and when they realized the United States government was lying about the causes and the scope of the war. And both eloquently explain their views on the role of the journalist as a witness and an adversary of government. Neil Sheehan, who died earlier this month, also talks about his role in exposing the Pentagon Papers in the pages of the New York Times. And he details why he was driven to spend over 13 years writing a definitive history of the war, called "A Bright Shining Lie," which won the Pulitzer Prize. Mr. Halberstam, who won the Pulitzer during the war, went on to write one of the other most important accounts of U.S. involvement in Vietnam: "The Best and the Brightest."

    • 57 min
    Best of - Benazir Bhutto: Paying the Ultimate Price

    Best of - Benazir Bhutto: Paying the Ultimate Price

    Most Americans simply could not believe their eyes this week, when a violent mob staged an insurrection in the US Capitol. It was the kind of thing that happens in other countries - where the transfer of power isn't peaceful, and where democracy does not hold. Well that reminded us of one of our first episodes, featuring Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan. Bhutto descended from a political dynasty. Her father was ousted as prime minister, and killed in a coup - in 1977. She survived a coup attempt years later, when she became prime minister. In the end, she paid the ultimate price for her belief in democracy and human rights. Seven years after this interview, she was assassinated, as she campaigned for her third term as prime minister. We certainly don’t mean to overstate comparisons between the United States and Pakistan, or any other country. But we are re-posting this episode from 2015, as a reminder of what we have, and what we have to lose.

    • 30 min
    Trevor Nunn: A Love Letter to Theater

    Trevor Nunn: A Love Letter to Theater

    He's one of the greatest all-time directors of Shakespeare, and has directed every one of the Bard's plays. But he's also directed 34 shows on Broadway, including "Cats" and "Les Miserables", and more yet on London's West End. Trevor Nunn has been the Artistic Director of both the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the National Theatre. And at 80, this British cultural icon of the theater is still going strong. He talks here about his mysterious infatuation with theater at a very early age, in a working class family where there were no books. He pays tribute to a teacher who changed his life. And he waxes oh-so-passionately about Shakespeare and the power of theater. Oh, and he also talks about how it is he came to write the lyrics of "Memory", one of the most famous songs ever from a musical!

    • 59 min
    Judy Collins: Amazing Grace

    Judy Collins: Amazing Grace

    There's no mistaking Judy Collins' voice. She sang us through the 1960's and '70's, and hasn't stopped since. Today at 81, her voice is still strong and gorgeous. It reveals no signs of the struggles she has survived: depression, alcoholism, polio, tuberculosis, threatening injuries to her vocal chords and hands, and the suicide of her son. In this interview she talks frankly about how she carried on through these tragedies, and she eloquently describes how she knows when a song is right for her.

    • 55 min
    Shelby Foote, Arthur Golden and Carol Shields: Literary Pursuits

    Shelby Foote, Arthur Golden and Carol Shields: Literary Pursuits

    Three remarkable novelists, from very different backgrounds, peel back the curtain on how they write, why they write, and what they write. Arthur Golden is the author of Memoirs of a Geisha, the only book he's written, and a longtime bestseller. He describes why he rewrote the book three times before he got it right, and explains how he successfully gave voice to a character so unlike himself. Carol Shields is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Stone Diaries, and many other novels and plays. She talks about why she chose to write almost exclusively about the domestic lives of ordinary women, illuminating their struggles and triumphs. And Shelby Foote is the noted author of novels about the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, including Shiloh. He became best-known for his three volume history of the Civil War, and his appearance throughout Ken Burns' documentary on the same subject, but he always considered himself a novelist first and foremost. He talks here about his tumultuous life in the Mississippi Delta, and how adversity shaped him as a writer.

    • 59 min
    Wayne Thiebaud and Fritz Scholder: Palette of American Life

    Wayne Thiebaud and Fritz Scholder: Palette of American Life

    In celebration of painter Wayne Thiebaud's 100th birthday, we feature a conversation with the artist and with one of his most renowned students, Fritz Scholder. Thiebaud's paintings of pies, cupcakes, donuts, pinball machines and bowties - are some of the most vivid and well-known in American art. His San Francisco cityscapes are also rich in color and enchanting. Scholder is best known for his unconventional portraits of Native Americans, which represented them in their full humanity, and led to the "New American Indian Art Movement."

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
785 Ratings

785 Ratings

Ruchi1009 ,

My Favorite Podcast

Alice Winkler has the best podcast, from Judy Collins to Trevor Nunn I find her podcasts very inspiriting, informative and I only wish there were more. Great job!!!!

cloudman1 ,

WOW

I’m trying to figure out what to say after listening to these Ladies talk, and I’m so moved, so inspired, so hopefully that the only thing I can say is “ WOW!” Thank you thank you

KGHansen ,

Wonderful content

The host is great, I love her energy. I wish I could give this 10 stars!

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