Recording from around 1933 of a press conference given by former President Calvin Coolidge; the exact date and place are unknown. Coolidge discusses at length his family, growing up in Vermont, and his early political career in Massachusetts including the Boston Police Strike of 1919 – his handling of which catapulted him into national politics. He later discusses his presidency, aspects of Herbert Hoover’s presidency and life after the White House.
James Downey receives the 2012 Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award at the Ford Hall Forum, video recording
James Michael Downey and William James Murray
David Ferry, Suji Kwock Kim, Jill McDonough, Ifeanyi Menkiti, Gail Mazur, and Lloyd Schwartz discuss "Massachusetts Poetry in Hard Times" at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
While the Dow tumbles, joblessness soars, and two wars stretch our military abroad, what do the works of Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow have to offer? What could words, rhythm, and rhyme provide to those down on their luck or even facing crisis? Poets David Ferry, Suji Kwock Kim, Jill McDonough, Ifeanyi Menkiti, Gail Mazur, and Lloyd Schwartz join Christopher Lydon to answer with readings from classic Massachusetts authors as well as those contemporary artists writing their masterpieces today. From lyric and verse to slam and spoken word, they offer their perspective on current affairs, as well as the evolving ways we use language to understand and experience our world today.
Paul Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Gould, and Nick Mills with Alan Berger discuss "Afghanistan's Untold Story and the Road Ahead" at the Ford Hall Forum, video recording
Paul Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Gould, and Nick Mills
Najim Azadzoi, Nick Mills, Paul Fitzgerald, and Elizabeth Gould discuss the roots of the current crisis in Afghanistan and how to move toward a better future. The members of the panel contemplate what a peaceful, stable, and productive Afghanistan would look like, and what the new American administration can do to help Afghans realize this goal. Moderated by journalist Alan Berger of The Boston Globe‘s editorial board.
Wendy Kaminer and Peter Kadzis discuss "Worst Instincts: Cowardice, Conformity, and the ACLU" at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
Wendy Kaminer and Peter Kadzis
Wendy Kaminer, lawyer, social critic, and former American Civil Liberties Union national board member, and Peter Kadzis, Executive Editor of The Boston Phoenix and political commentator on FOX25 News, discuss the virtues of dissent and free speech, as well as the forces that pull organizations of all kinds away from these essential principles.
Susan M. Wilczynski, Brenda Smith Myles, James T. Brett discuss "Autism: Looking Beyond Cause and Cure" at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
Brenda Smith Myles and James T. Brett
The United States has seen a consistent increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism, with one out of every 150 children now affected by the disorder. What does science tell us about effective treatments? What resources are available for children with autism? How can we best support our friends and neighbors who are impacted by this complex and often misunderstood disorder? Susan M. Wilczynski, Ph.D., BCBA, Executive Director of the National Autism Center, and Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D., author and consultant with the Ziggurat Group, join James T. Brett, President & CEO of the New England Council and current chair of the Governor’s Commission on Developmental Disabilities, to discuss how to address this urgent public health issue.
Anita Hill receives the 2008 Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
Anita Hill and Charles J. Ogletree
As a lawyer, scholar, and civil rights activist. Professor Anita F. Hill, Brandeis University, has shed light on the legal and social forces shaping our nation and served as an inspiration to those seeking justice and truth in the face of great personal risk. Launched into the public sphere by her testimony in Justice Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court Confirmation hearing, she used her potentially crippling experience to encourage those who have suffered from harassment and discrimination in the workplace to also “speak truth to power.” She received the Forum's First Amendment Award and shares her thoughts on her life and work. Moderated by Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Harvard University Law School.
Paul D. Biddinger, MD and Lisa Stone, MD discuss "Disaster Preparedness in Massachusetts: Ready? Or not?" at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
Paul D. Biddinger and Lisa Stone
Real and predicted calamities during the last decade have placed a sharp focus on America’s need to prepare for disaster. In particular, Hurricane Katrina showed the nation just how devastating a lack of preparation can be. Massachusetts now faces a host of questions about our ability to respond to emergency situations – whether it is an LNG tank explosion or an avian flu pandemic. Officials are raising their voices to say we need to do more, and do it soon. But is anyone listening? With the State Legislature yet to act on a pandemic preparations bill and hospital emergency rooms throughout the Commonwealth already operating beyond capacity, just how ready is our state to cope with a major disaster? What really needs to be done to prepare? And what are the consequences of inaction?
Kitty Dukakis, Michael Dukakis, and Larry Tye: Shock discuss "The Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy" at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
Kitty Dukakis, Michael S. Dukakis, and Larry Tye
After suffering from decades from severe depression, substance abuse problems, and hospitalizations, Kitty Dukakis now credits her recovery to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Opponents of ECT would like to see the treatment banned on the basis of its common side effects, including memory loss. Many patients say these are a small price to pay for control over a disabling condition. Governor Michael Dukakis and author Larry Tye join Kitty Dukakis for a discussion on how this medical treatment – along with the support of family and loved ones – can potentially help individuals through the horrors of clinical depression.
Paul Hawken discusses "Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being, and Why No One Saw it Coming" at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
From billion-dollar nonprofits to single person causes, there is a growing worldwide movement of organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering social justice. This is a movement with no name, leader, or headquarters, but it can be seen in every city, town, and culture. It is organizing from the bottom up and is emerging as an extraordinary and creative expression of shared values worldwide. What are the driving forces behind these developments? Can the interests of these organizations translate into effective government policies and profitable businesses? Paul Hawken, environmentalist, businessman, and founder of the first natural foods company, addresses the creation of a worldwide grassroots movement based on hope and humanity.
Garrison Keillor, author, storyteller, humorist, and creator of the weekly radio show A Prairie Home Companion, joins us tonight to share from his latest Lake Wobegon novel. Set in the iconic Midwestern small town – a place where “the women and strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average” – Pontoon is a story about a woman with a secret. Keillor’s tales of lake Wobegon have touched the hearts of millions and, as stated by the Chicago Tribune, captured “what is small and ordinary and therefore potentially profound and universal in American life.” This program is presented in collaboration with WGBH.
Rami Khouri and Stephen Burgard discuss "Baghdad, Tehran, Beirut and Jerusalem- A Critical Arab View of America's Middle East Policies" at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
Rami G. Khouri and Stephen Burgard
Rami Khouri is a Beirut-based internationally syndicated columnist, Director of the Islam Fares Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, and editor-at-large of The Daily Star newspaper. He also regularly shares his insights on the BBC, NPR, and CNN. Khouri sheds light on the forces shaping the direction and impact of United States policy in the Middle East. Where is the failing? Are there effective policies and programs that should be expanded? And what are the challenges that lay ahead?
Charlie Savage discusses "Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy" at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution. Is such an interpretation of presidential power necessary in an age of terrorism and imminent security threats? Or, as one critic suggests, will these new tools “lie around like a loaded weapon” for any future president, liberal or conservative, to impose his or her own agenda on the country? Charlie Savage, Boston Globe reporter and winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, joins us tonight to address the Bush administration’s expanding executive powers and what it means for the future of our country. This program is presented in collaboration with the Old South Meeting House as part of the Partners in Public Dialogue Series.
Dr. Yaron Brook discusses "Democracy vs. Victory: Why the Forward Strategy of Freedom Had to Fail" at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
After Sept. 11th, the Bush administration declared that we must bring freedom to the Middle Eastern nations that threaten us; thus, the Forward Strategy of Freedom. By establishing democracies in key Muslim countries, starting with Afghanistan and Iraq, we would spur a revolution in the rest of the Muslim world—a revolution that would bring free, pro-Western, anti-terrorist governments to power. But the strategy has failed. The Muslim world has grown more militant, radical leaders are being elected to power, and Islamic totalitarian groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are on the rise. Dr. Yaron Brook discusses the inherent flaws of the Forward Strategy of Freedom and explore what should replace it.
Paul Cellucci discusses, "The Importance of Public Diplomacy in the Post Cold War, Post 9/11 World," at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
Argeo Paul Cellucci
America is faced with a new set of opportunities, threats, and moral responsibility on the world stage: How can the U.S. capitalize on the “flattened” economic playing field and three billion new participants joining the global marketplace? Can we defend ourselves against another major terrorist attack or developing nuclear threats? How effective are our foreign aid programs? The U.S. State Department increasingly finds itself on the front lines of these critical issues. Governor Cellucci will offer his offer his thoughts on how public diplomacy can help to ensure the safety, prosperity, and moral vision of our nation.
John Darnton and Misia Landau discuss "The Darwin Conspiracy" at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
John Darton and Misia Landau
John Darnton, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, best-selling author of Neanderthal, The Experiment and, most recently, The Darwin Conspiracy, and Cultural News Editor of The New York Times. Darwin’s theories of natural selection and evolution have been debated and disputed since The Origin of Species was first published in 1859. The concept of humans evolving from apes challenged the prevailing sense of natural order and shifted the scientific paradigm. Drawing on the research for his best selling novel The Darwin Conspiracy, author and journalist John Darnton will examine what current theories of intelligent design share with the arguments of Darwin’s creationist critics and how they differ. Darnton will also discuss the often-thorny questions of separating fact and fiction in the writing of historical novels.
Maggie Gallagher discusses, "The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage," at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
Maggie Gallagher, President of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, argues that to the only way to win the gay marriage debate is to win the marriage debate: to emerge with a deeper, richer, understanding of marriage as a social and legal institution. In Massachusetts, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that there is no rational reason why marriage has been almost universally considered a union of husband and wife. Other courts in New York and New Jersey recently disagreed. Why do we have laws about marriage? What is a “civil union”? The debate is not over.
Margaret Morganroth Gullette
Margaret Morganroth Gullette, Resident Scholar at the Women Studies Research Center at Brandeis University and author of the prizewinning Declining to Decline and Aged by Culture. “We are aged more by culture than by chromosomes” says Margaret M. Gullette, “and enemies on this front cannot be fought with gyms, Gingko, liposuction, or self-esteem.” The way Americans have come to view aging past youth has been affected recently by Supreme Court decisions, movements to counter midlife discrimination, and messages we send to our children and adolescents. Do our cultural norms affect the way we age? How does this work? What are the social and economic implications? Can there be a better way?
"The Great Fire Wall of China" discussion with Ethan Guttmann, Hiawatha Bray, Valerie Epps and John Jaw at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
Ethan Gutmann, Hiawatha Bray, and Valerie Epps
Ethan Guttmann, author of Losing the New China: A Story of American Commerce, Desire and Betrayal, former Foreign Policy Analyst at the Brookings Institution; Hiawatha Bray, The Boston Globe’s technology reporter; and John Jaw, founder of the Boston’s English-language and Chinese-language editions of The Epoch Times. Moderated by Valerie Epps, Director of the International Law Concentration at Suffolk University. There is no Google in China—at least not one that is uncensored. Websites are blacklisted -Wikipedia, BlogSpot, and BBC News, to name just a few – and content providers like Yahoo!, AOL, and Skype, censor themselves so that they can operate in the country. To the dismay of some human rights advocates and media groups, it is principally American firms providing the Chinese government with technology to filter data as it comes and goes. Is there a better way to deal with China’s laws and policies? Is a restricted internet better than no internet at all? And can the “Golden Shield” stand up to a barrage of software designed specifically to circumvent it? A panel of experts discuss the collision between new technologies and the national interests of the world’s most populous country.
Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J. and Joseph F. Savage discuss, "The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Execution" at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
Helen Prejean and Joseph F. Savage
Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States and The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Execution. Sister Helen currently works with the Death Penalty Discourse Center, the Moratorium Campaign, and the Dead Man Walking Play Project. Should any state have the power to execute? Is the death penalty appropriate retribution for particularly heinous murders? Does it deter crime? Does it fundamentally violate human rights? Author and activist Sister Helen Prejean has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue around these questions. Her book, Dead Man Walking, which portrays her experiences as a spiritual advisor to death row inmates, became a best seller and spawned the Oscar-winning movie of the same title. Tonight, Sister Helen will discuss her life, her work, and why she continues to fight to end capital punishment.
2006 Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award: Cokie Roberts, Nina Totenberg, and Linda Wertheimer at the Ford Hall Forum, audio recording
Cokie Roberts, Nina Totenberg, and Linda Wertheimer
From Watergate to the confirmation hearings of Samuel Alito, from the Reagan Revolution to war in Iraq – the highly praised and award-winning coverage of Cokie Roberts, Nina Totenberg and Linda Wertheimer has shed light on the people, institutions, and social forces shaping our nation. In print, on television, and, most notably, over National Public Radio airwaves, their groundbreaking journalism has not only changed the way millions of Americans view their country and their world, but also had a profound impact on the profession of broadcasting. They join us tonight to receive the Ford Hall Forum’s Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award and share their thoughts on their life and work.
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