Introducing Natan Sharansky, Jay Nordlinger calls him “the great dissident and refusenik; the Israeli politician; the Jewish leader; the human-rights activist.” In this episode of “Q&A,” Jay has Sharansky discuss October 7; the hostages; the role of Iran; the question of Russia; the position of the United States; the nature of antisemitism; and more. No one is better equipped to discuss these matters than Sharansky. A highly valuable conversation.

Sahar Tartak is an undergraduate at Yale University. She was an intern at National Review magazine last summer. She is a Jewish, pro-Israel student in a largely hostile environment. Jay asks her, “How has it been?”

George Weigel is one of America’s leading political writers and social critics. His biography of John Paul II—“Witness to Hope”—is one of the great modern biographies. With Jay, Weigel talks about his growing up in Baltimore. The conversation moves to Ukraine, Israel, and some key questions of American politics today. George Weigel is both sagacious and blunt.

Eliot A. Cohen, the scholar of international affairs, is a favorite guest of “Q&A.” He has written a new book, a Shakespeare book: “The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare on How Leaders Rise, Rule, and Fall.” Shakespeare knew . . . everything. Professor Cohen knows a great deal too. At the end of his conversation with Jay, he talks about Ukraine and Israel and the immense challenge facing us all.

Once more, Jay speaks with Haviv Rettig Gur, the Israeli journalist, about what is going on in Israel and the profound meaning of this moment.

A conversation with Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, about the economy, politics, and life.

Haviv Rettig Gur is one of the leading journalists in Israel. He is the senior analyst of the Times of Israel. He is a regular guest on “Q&A.” Listeners want to hear from him, for a deeper understanding of what is going on in Israel and in the Middle East more broadly. With Jay, he has discussed the Hamas attack and the war to come. Most illuminating.

Adam Fischer is a noted Hungarian conductor (as is his brother, Ivan). He conducted at the Salzburg Festival in August. And, in an event hosted by the Salzburg Festival Society, Jay had a conversation with him. Very interesting man, Maestro Fischer. Bright, experienced, candid. One learns from him.

Jay’s guest is Scott Lincicome of the Cato Institute. He and Cato have launched a defense of globalization, or the right of people in different nations to trade with one another. He and Jay talk about this and a host of other issues: growing up; going to school; words such as “capitalism” and “neoliberal”; economics and demagogues; the problem of China; the travails of Detroit’s “Big Three”; and more (including Lincicome’s jihad against expiration dates on food products).

Marco Armiliato is a veteran conductor from Italy. He has spent most of his career in opera, and in Italian opera in particular. He is a regular at the Met, the Vienna State Opera, and other important venues. Last month, he conducted at the Salzburg Festival, and he was a guest in the series of conversations hosted by the Salzburg Festival Society. Jay does the questioning. In the course of their talk, Armiliato says that Luciano Pavarotti, the late tenor, was full of sunshine. Just the same is true of Maestro Armiliato. He is one of the most beloved people in all of music—for reasons that will be obvious when you listen to him.

Sebastien Lai is the son of Jimmy Lai, the great Hong Kong entrepreneur and publisher who is now a political prisoner: a symbol of the general struggle of Hong Kong against the tyranny that has engulfed it. Sebastien is campaigning around the world in his father’s behalf. He has many interesting things to say: about his dad, about Hong Kong, even about some deep things in life.

Michael R. Strain is an economist at the American Enterprise Institute. Jay talks with him about his upbringing, his education, and how he arrived at his views, which favor economic freedom and freedom generally—the “open society.” What about our federal budget deficit and national debt? Is there bound to be a reckoning? Strain says that there are two kinds of reckoning: a horrendous, destructive bear, suddenly at your door; and termites, eating away at your foundations, day after day. We are in termite territory. Economics may be a “dismal science,” but not in the hands, and in the conversation, of Mike Strain.

In this conversation, Jay asks George Will about issues that both have been thinking about: the GOP presidential race; Ukraine; our fiscal house (wobbly); abortion; affirmative action; drug legalization. What else? Well, baseball, and Shohei Ohtani in particular. And books—books that left a political mark. And Jim Buckley, who passed away last week at 100. In 1976, he and Pat Moynihan ran against each other for a U.S. Senate seat. George Will tells a wonderful story about that. All in all, a refreshing and invigorating half-hour.

Lea Desandre is an Italian-French mezzo-soprano and one of the brightest lights in singing today. She trained, for years, as a dancer. But music proved to be her calling. With Jay, she talks about her voice, her upbringing, Julie Andrews (yes), “The Little Prince,” and “life its ownself.” A visit with this young woman, you will find, is enchanting.

Adriana González is a star of the Salzburg Festival this year. She is a soprano from Guatemala—an unusual place for a classical musician to be from. Sitting on a terrace in Salzburg, Jay talks with her about her life and art. Adriana is a breath of fresh air.

Issue upon issue: climate; “Barbenheimer”; political labels; conspiracy theories; transgenderism; Ukraine; books . . . Like many other people, Kevin D. Williamson and Jay are thinking about these issues, and jaw about them. A candid and probing discussion.

Sardar Pashaei is an Iranian-American athlete and democracy activist. He comes from a family of dissidents. Also a family of athletes. He and his brothers were wrestlers. One of them, Saman, is in prison. Sardar was World Youth Champion in 1998. (Also Asian Youth Champion.) His government denied him the right to compete in the Olympic Games. He has been in America since 2009. An extraordinary man.

Frederica von Stade—“Flicka,” universally—is one of the outstanding singers of our age. She is an American mezzo-soprano. With Jay, she talks about music and life. She even does a little singing, as a bonus. Get to know this remarkable person.

Earlier, Jay spoke with Perry Link about Liu Xiaobo, the great Chinese democracy leader, of whom he has co-authored a biography. For that episode, go here. In the present episode, Jay speaks with Professor Link about being a China scholar—the language, the political pitfalls, and so on. As Jay says in his introduction, it is “a joy” to listen to Perry Link—“a joy and an education.”

Liu Xiaobo was one of the great men of our age. He was a Chinese intellectual and democracy leader. In 2010, while in prison, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He died, still a prisoner, in 2017. Perry Link and Wu Dazhi have written a new biography: “I Have No Enemies: The Life and Legacy of Liu Xiaobo.” Jay talks with Professor Link, who is very interesting on this subject, as on so many others.