This classic format episode features a conversation with Dan Lowenstein, professor emeritus at UCLA Law School and, more importantly, the impresario of UCLA’s Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions (CLAFI), which he founded, along with¬†one of our favorites at Power Line, Jean Yarbrough of Bowdoin College. Prof. Yarbrough was in town for three days to deliver a fabulous lecture¬†comparing Lincoln and Tocqueville on slavery, and then a small seminar on Democracy in America. (Her lecture will eventually appear on CLAFI’s YouTube channel.)

I decided to catch up with Jean and Dan to walk through one of my origin-story podcast formats, tracing out their intellectual roots and changes in perspective over the length of their careers, and then discussing the parlous state of the liberal arts today. Along the way we learn more about Prof. Yarbrough’s encounters with Hannah Arendt, and how the Sacramento Bee once described Prof. Lowenstein as a “sartorial eyesore.”

With Steve and Lucretia still locked in mortal combat over how best to understand equality, equity, prudence and related issues, and divided as bitterly over Edmund Burke as they are over whisky styles (with Steve recklessly wading in with a new piece on the Burke question just this week), this week’s episode brings on a neutral party to serve as a tie-breaker: Jean Yarbrough, the Gary M. Pendy Sr. Professor of Social Sciences at Bowdoin College, and author of several fine books, especially one of the best books ever about Theodore Roosevelt’s political thought, Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition.

Prof. Yarbrough stands firmly with Steve over Lucretia on the paramount question of single malts, preferring peaty, smoky Islay malts over Lucretia’s more syrupy Highland and Speyside whisky, but after that Steve pretty much gets shut out and routed on the other questions.