Is feminism compatible with progress? Reactionary feminist Mary Harrington thinks not. In this interview, she discusses the history of feminism, her own journey from proponent to radical opponent of progress, the impact of technology on women and society, and, of course, her new book, Feminism Against Progress (Regnery, 2023).

Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd and widely-published essayist. You can her book, Feminism Against Progress here.

The pill has rocked our society to its core: but have we fully examined all its repercussions? Influential author and essayist Mary Eberstadt thinks we’ve only scratched the surface; in her most recent book, Adam and Eve after the Pill, Revisited (Ignatius Press, 2023) she argues that the papal encyclical Humane Vitae predicted our deep loneliness and other modern woes.

Mary Eberstadt holds the Panula Chair in Christian Culture at the Catholic information center in Washington, D.C., and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute.

Questions about the nature of the American founding undergird our fraught political discourse: was the American Revolution justified? How religious were the Founding Fathers? How should we deal with the fact that they owned slaves? What is Christian Nationalism? Mark David Hall, current Garwood Visiting Fellow with us at the James Madison Program and Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Politics at George Fox University, addresses these questions and more in his latest book, Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land: How Christianity Has Advanced Freedom and Equality for All Americans (Fidelis Books, 2023). In this conversation, Mark and Annika have a lively back and forth about the debates surrounding the American founding and its repercussions today.

In addition to his book, you can find more on Mark’s views on Christian Nationalism in this essay for Providence Magazine.

In an era of broad disappointment in the integrity of political figures, Dr. Daniel J. Mahoney, author of The Statesman as Thinker: Portraits of Greatness, Courage, and Moderation (Encounter Books, 2022) revives the idea of statesmanship, dwelling on figures ranging from Alexis de Tocqueville to Vaclav Havel, all of whom sought to preserve freedom in times of crisis.

Professor Mahoney, a 2020-21 Garwood Visiting Fellow here at the Madison Program, is a professor emeritus at Assumption University and fellow at the Claremont Institute. His most recent book has been awarded the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s 2023 Conservative Book of the Year award, which honors thoughtful books that contribute to debate about important conservative ideas.

The ideas of equity and equality are all over the news, yet there seems to be little agreement on what exactly each term means. Political theorist and intellectual historian Teresa Bejan of Oriel College, Oxford discusses the origins of our notions of equality, from the Roman Empire to the present, focusing particularly on Early Modernity and the influence of the French Revolution and English political movements like the Levellers, Diggers, and Quakers. Along the way, she uncovers surprising facts like the relationship between equality and hierarchy, and that Marx was not as pro-equality as is now popularly believed.

Her recent 3-part Charles E. Test lecture series for the Madison Program, “First Among Equals

Americans have always had mixed emotions about schooling: in popular literature and television, teachers are often depicted as tyrannical authorities, even as in classroom settings they often try to style themselves as “friends.” Dr. Rita Koganzon, professor of political science at the University of Houston, discusses the history of the idea of authority in education, dwelling on Enlightenment thinkers like Locke, Rousseau, and Bodin. Along the way, she covers contemporary issues like homeschooling and parents’ rights, and how attitudes towards those concepts have changed from the Early Modern period to the present.

More on Dr. Koganzon,

“The narrative that old books are worthless is designed to keep you from discovering that they are not.” Spencer Klavan, author of How to Save the West: Ancient Wisdom for Five Modern Crises discusses the West: why it’s so important to preserve it, how its greatest ideas can still help us today, and the limits of science in addressing modern problems.
Spencer Klavan received his PhD in Classics from Oxford and is Associate Editor of the Claremont Review of Books and Features Editor at the American Mind.
His book, How to Save the West: Ancient Wisdom for Five Modern Crises,
Dr. Klavan’s podcast, “Young Heretics,”
“Hey hey ho ho Western Civ has got to go,”
Spencer on C.S. Lewis’s science fiction novel That Hideous Strength,
More on Plato’s Timaeus,,%2C%20purposive%2C%20and%20beneficent%20agency.
More on Lucretius, a prominent Epicurean philosopher:
More on Stoicism,
C.S. Lewis’s The Discarded Image,
Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood,”

“The narrative that old books are worthless is designed to keep you from discovering that they are not.” Spencer Klavan, author of “How to Save the West: Ancient Wisdom for Five Modern Crises” discusses the West: why it’s so important to preserve it, how its greatest ideas can still help us today, and the limits of science and technology in addressing our modern dilemmas.

Spencer Klavan received his PhD in Classics from Oxford and is Associate Editor of the Claremont Review of Books and Features Editor at the American Mind.

REPOSTED FROM OCTOBER: With the Supreme Court finally discussing President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, it’s a great time for anyone who missed it to check out our previous episode on the economics of student loan forgiveness!

Dr. Beth Akers, a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who specializes in higher education finance, discusses the economics of student debt, and what the Biden relief plan will and will not achieve.

Annika sits down with Robert Doar, president of the American Enterprise Institute, one of Washington D.C.’s most prominent think-tanks, to discuss the state of the American Right: what are the driving political issues of our time? What is the importance of freedom and liberty within the right? Drawing on Robert’s background in poverty studies, they discuss what the Right has done right and wrong in addressing poverty, as well as Robert’s time at our very own Princeton.

More on Robert Doar,

Is beauty objective, or merely a personal experience? Do we need beauty in our daily lives, or is it just icing on the cake? Is the sole purpose of art self-expression? Sociologist Margarita Mooney Clayton *05 of Princeton Theological Seminary discusses the history and philosophy of beauty, and its relationships with truth and the sacred.

More on Margarita,

Amidst fraught debates about what gender is, and how it fits into feminism, Annika sits down with Dr. Abigail Favale, an English professor specializing in gender studies and feminist literary criticism turned Catholic convert. Dr. Favale is now a professor and writer at the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, and the author of “The Genesis of Gender: A Christian Theory.”

More about Dr. Favale:

What kind of person is our education system designed to create? Best-selling author and award-winning essayist William Deresiewicz discusses the failures of our higher education system, how it mis-conditions our elite, and fails to value the humanities, as well as his latest collection of essays, “The End of Solitude.”

Sign up for our event with Bill via Zoom in 1 week!

With the Supreme Court poised to potentially outlaw race-conscious admissions, Affirmative Action may soon be on the chopping block.

What will be the legacy of this half-century-old policy? Jason Riley, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and columnist at the Wall Street Journal, discusses affirmative action’s impact both on the black community and the broader American education system.

With Christmas approaching, in this episode we reflect on Christian persecution in the Middle East, the historic cradle of Christianity and the birthplace of Jesus, and the very different challenges Christians face in the East versus the West.

Annika sits down with Father Benedict Kiely, a Catholic priest who has devoted his ministry to serving Christian communities in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

At the Battle of Saratoga, the tide of the Revolutionary War turned in favor of unlikely victors: the American patriots.

What were the major strategy elements at play in the Saratoga Campaign, and why did it prove so crucial? Where did England misstep, and what did the Americans get right? To find out, we chat with Kevin Weddle *03, Professor of Military Theory and Strategy at the Army War College.

Over six million prime-age men are neither working nor looking for work; America’s low unemployment rate hides the fact that many men have dropped out of the workforce altogether. Our workforce participation rate is on par with that seen during the Great Depression.

Why does this problem affect men so acutely? Why is it so specific to America? What are these missing men doing with their time? How do we differentiate between leisure and idleness? Demographer and economist Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute discusses these trends and what they mean for America’s future.

What is the American Right, where does it come from, and how has it changed over time? Journalist and author Matthew Continetti discusses his recent book: The Right: The Hundred Year War for American Conservatism.

Continetti is Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and was formerly the founding editor and the editor-in-chief of the Washington Free Beacon. Previously, he was opinion editor at the Weekly Standard. He is also a contributing editor at National Review and a columnist for Commentary magazine.

With contentious midterm elections coming up fast, Annika sits down with one of the best-known commentators and participants in the American political economy over the past four decades: Larry Kudlow.

Director Kudlow has had a long and storied career; in addition to great success both on Wall Street and as a political commentator, he served in the Ronald Reagan administration in 1981, and as the Director of the National Economic Council under President Trump. He currently hosts the popular Larry Kudlow Show.

What kinds of tools do we need to make big decisions, and why aren’t our universities training us to make them? Are universities doing students a disservice by occupying them with myriads of boxes to tick? Are students right to prefer money to meaning?

Madison Program alumni Ben and Jenna Storey discuss the philosophy of making choices and of restlessness, and critique the way universities treat those topics.