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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.
It’s a wide ranging conversation though, with a look back at Prof. Yarbrough’s time as a student of Hannah Arendt, Hans Jonas, and other luminaries at the New School for Social Research, and how she drifted from the left to the right over the years. Above all, she reflects with us on Tocqueville—one of her specialities—and how his keen sense of American politics can help us today.
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