This very special edition of the Power Line Show features Steve Hayward and two guest hosts—John and Elizabeth Eastman—in an extended conversation with William B. Allen, a teacher and thinker who defies easy description. All three of us were students of Bill Allen way back in the 1980s, and when chance and/or Providence put us all together again with Bill this week in Boulder, Colorado, it was clear we needed to do a podcast.

This “origin story” conversation takes us from Bill’s youth all the way through to the present Age of Trump. We talk a lot about education, political philosophy, the influence of key thinkers such as Harry Jaffa, Martin Diamond, and many many others. We have a lot of laughs along the way—maybe too many—but above all, I think you will come away with a sense of the excitement of discovery in Bill’s classrooms, and acquire a sense of why a generation of students are so devoted to him.

For the exit bumper music for this episode I chose the old Blues Image tune “Ride, Captain, Ride,” because the refrain fits perfectly the occasional mystery ship that our great Captain Allen commanded. We’d have missed a lot if we hadn’t formed the classroom fellowship with him:

Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip
Ride captain ride upon your mystery ship
On your way to a world that others might have missed. . .

“We’re callin’ everyone to ride along to another shore
We can laugh our lives away and be free once more”

Subscribe to Power Line in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed.

There is 1 comment.

  1. Mark Alexander Lincoln

    This is a magnificent podcast, and I’m grateful to be introduced to Professor Allen. I happened to have just finished the four-volume biography of George Washington by James Thomas Flexner, and I found myself seeing Washington in a completely new light. After listening to this podcast, I picked up Professor Allen’s book, “George Washington: America’s First Progressive,” which helped articulate the revelations I was experiencing with Washington.

    As a young college student, I was inclined to say, “My political party died with Jefferson.” Later with my maturity, I’d say, “My political party died with Madison.”

    Now it’s clear why I’ve always been a member of George Washington’s party. His is a mind that displays a remarkable objectivity and higher vision, the kind of objectivity and equipoise, not of an advocate per se, but of a judge who stands neutrally above the advocacy of sides, holding the higher vision.

    He is the necessary and unappreciated neutron amidst the protons and electrons, the fundamental particle that makes life possible.

    • #1
    • June 6, 2019, at 7:58 PM PDT
    • Like