146 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
    • 4.8 • 753 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.

    David McCullough, Stephen Ambrose and David Herbert Donald: Time Travelers

    David McCullough, Stephen Ambrose and David Herbert Donald: Time Travelers

    The best-known biographies of Presidents Lincoln, Adams, Eisenhower, Truman, Nixon were written by the three great historians featured here. They talk about their subjects as if they had gone back in time and arrived back, breathless, with stories to share about the people they met. Each one explains the how he discovered that history would be his life's work. For David Herbert Donald and Stephen Ambrose, the spark came from a college professor. For David McCullough, it was the desire to learn about an episode in American history he could find no book about. It's great listening, as we head into the homestretch of what's predicted to be an historic U.S. presidential election!

    • 52 min
    Best of - Louise Glück: Revenge Against Circumstance

    Best of - Louise Glück: Revenge Against Circumstance

    Louise Glück, winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature, uses simple, unsentimental language in her poems to evoke overwhelming emotions. That rare combination is what has distinguished her as one of America's greatest living poets for over half a century. In addition to the Nobel Prize, she has also been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and is former Poet Laureate of the United States. In this episode, Glück (pronounced glick) digs into the torment and uncertainty that has hounded her throughout her writing life. She talks about how teaching poetry, which she feared would diminish her art, instead allowed it to flourish. And she describes her obsessive desire to hear music in her ears, and language in her head. This episode originally aired in July, 2017.

    • 43 min
    Sandra Day O’Connor, Erma Bombeck and Hilary Swank: The Power Within

    Sandra Day O’Connor, Erma Bombeck and Hilary Swank: The Power Within

    What do the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, a comedic newspaper columnist and an Academy Award-winning actress have in common? On the face of it, not much. But these three trailblazing women, all from humble backgrounds, reflect here on the grit and determination that led them to create their own destinies, defying any rational probability of success. And each one talks about how her personal journey was shaped by generational experiences and constraints.

    • 38 min
    Best of - Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Justice For All

    Best of - Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Justice For All

    In tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has died at the age of 87, we are re-posting this episode. It originally aired in September of 2016. Justice Ginsburg tells the very personal story here of her lifelong pursuit of justice and equality for women. Her tale includes trips to the library with her mother, a sixty year romance with Marty Ginsburg, her struggles to become a lawyer in a field inhospitable to women, her surprising friendship with Justice Scalia, and even her days as an aspiring baton twirler! The interview was conducted by NPR's Nina Totenberg, and explores some of the most important cases Ginsburg handled - as a lawyer and as a Justice - that helped transform the legal landscape for women and for all of America.

    • 57 min
    Cal Ripken Jr.: The Iron Man

    Cal Ripken Jr.: The Iron Man

    Show up. Be there for your team. Play your best. These are the values that Cal Ripken Jr. embodied - every single day of his career. His commitment to baseball was beyond compare. Ripken holds the record for the most consecutive games played in professional baseball: 2,632. He famously surpassed Lou Gehrig's long-standing record of 2130 games, 25 years ago this month, and then he just kept on going. Ripken reminisces here about his proud life as a Baltimore Oriole, and he talks about the important lessons he learned that we can all apply to our own lives, on or off the field.

    • 46 min
    Joyce Carol Oates and Gore Vidal: Words Become Me

    Joyce Carol Oates and Gore Vidal: Words Become Me

    This is a story about two of the greatest and most prolific writers in post-WWII America, who grew up in dramatically different circumstances. Joyce Carol Oates was a hardworking farm girl from a small rural town. Gore Vidal was born into an elite political family. She is earnest, introspective & soft-spoken. He was supremely confident, sharp-tongued & provocative. Her novels (including Them, We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde) are often about families and their struggles. His novels (including Myra Breckinridge, Burr, Lincoln) were more commonly about historical figures. Both were recognized with a National Book Award. They talk here about their lives and their approaches to literature. The contrasts are stunning!

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
753 Ratings

753 Ratings

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!

Jrcmdlucky ,

Great!

Great stories and amazing history!

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