As Jay says at the outset, Kevin D. Williamson is one of his favorite writers and favorite people. In this hour, they explore a range of subjects either timely or timeless (and in some cases both). They talk about Kevin’s upbringing in West Texas. And about controversies he’s been involved in. (“White genocide”?) And about Trump, and economics, and immigration. They end on such topics as writers and composers. All in all, they explore the Williamsonian point of view, or the Williamsonian persuasion. Meet a man and a mind.More
Michael Mukasey is one of the most distinguished lawyers in the country: a former federal judge, a former attorney general. With Jay, he talks about becoming a lawyer. And studying with Bork. Then he discusses some names now in the news: Jeff Sessions, Joe Arpaio, James Comey, Robert Mueller, Donald Trump … An interesting and stimulating Q&A about our law, our politics, and our fate.More
As Jay says, Robert Costa is one of the leading political reporters and analysts in the country. He works for the Washington Post and appears on NBC and MSNBC. He is also host of “Washington Week,” the venerable public-affairs program on PBS.
Jay asks him about the Trump White House: Is it still fun to cover? Still juicy, even with the arrival of the disciplined General Kelly? What about McMaster? What about (the departed) Bannon? What about Sarah Sanders?More
The world is quaking with problems; America has a few of its own. Jay talks about some of them with Elliott Abrams, late of the Reagan State Department and the Bush (43) White House, now with the Council on Foreign Relations.
The Afghan War: Should we be continuing it? What does victory look like? North Korea: Is Steve Bannon right? Do they “got us”? Russia: Was Congress right to sanction them as they did? Is this a usurpation of executive authority? What about Ukraine: Arm them?More
Sir Roger Scruton is the British philosopher, novelist, composer, etc. Jay likes to talk to him about pressing issues of the day and timeless ones as well. Sometimes, they are in the same group. On this podcast, Jay talks with Sir Roger about the “post-truth age.” And Donald Trump. And the nature of conservatism. And patriotism versus nationalism. And Russia. And democracy.
Do you want more? There is the question of social welfare and whether capitalism can deliver the goods. There is the question of Amazon, the online retailer: Is Trump right in his attacks on it? There is also the question of the smartphone, and all related to it: Are we losing the ability to be fully or properly human? Are the social media robbing us of our manhood, somehow?More
Yefim “Fima” Bronfman is one of the greatest pianists of our time. He has been playing at the Salzburg Festival, where Jay has been working. The two of them sat down for a “Q&A,” covering a range of topics: composers, pianists, and the musical life. A fine opportunity to hear words from someone famous for notes.
P.S. The podcast goes out with Bronfman in Prokofiev’s famous, fearsome “Precipitato,” from his Sonata No. 7.More
Back in April, Heather Mac Donald went to Claremont McKenna College to give a talk. Some 170 students blocked the entrance to the hall, preventing people from hearing Mac Donald. Now, seven students have been disciplined in the case.
Mac Donald is a scholar at the Manhattan Institute and the author, most recently, of The War on Cops. She talks with Jay about her experience at Claremont and about higher ed in general – particularly the victim mentality that is ruining so many young people. Then they talk about policing, with President Trump’s recent remarks in mind. (He encouraged rough treatment of arrestees.)More
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the congresswoman from Miami. She is also one of Jay’s favorite people in public life (and in life). A congresswoman since 1989, she is retiring at the end of this session.
With Scott Immergut, the producer known as Blue Yeti, Jay traveled to Capitol Hill to record this “Q&A” in person. Ros-Lehtinen’s office was the setting. There are dogs, babies, and general good cheer: This is a family atmosphere. No one ever enjoyed being a member of Congress more than Ros-Lehtinen has.More
Perry Link is one of the great China scholars of today. There have been two sides to his career: He is an expert on Chinese literature and language; and he has been a boon to Chinese dissidents. With Jay, he talks about Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel laureate and political prisoner, who died last week. And about other dissidents. And about various aspects of today’s China, and its relation to the West.
By the way, Jay mentions Professor Link’s famous essay “The Anaconda in the Chandelier,” which can be found here.More
Throwing rules to the wind, Jay does a music program: a half-hour of music about summer, or related to summer. We’ll hear Mendelssohn, Webern, Barber, and others. There’s a girl named Jeannie involved, too (with light brown hair). This “Q&A,” or non-“Q&A,” is a midsummer night’s gift.More
Frank Lavin has had a busy and interesting life. He worked for Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43. He was ambassador to Singapore. He is a robust free-trader. He is now a businessman. And he is the author of a book about his father: “Home Front to Battlefront: An Ohio Teenager in World War II.”
Jay picks his brain about an assortment of things, and Lavin’s brain is eminently pickable. A conversation about Reagan, Singapore, Japan, China, trade, the Republican party, the Greatest Generation, the American future, and more.More
David Satter is an American authority on Russia – a man who cares so much about Russia and the Russian people that he bothers to understand them. And to tell the truth about them, as he knows it. Speaking of knowing: His latest book is “The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep.”
With Jay, he talks about Putin, the diaspora, democracy, Trump, Stalin, literature, and a lot more. An experienced, learned, and bold scholar and journalist. He says that Westerners have misunderstood Russia for years – they think the rest of the world is like them. Satter, for one, avoids that mistake.More
John J. Pitney Jr. is a famous conservative professor of political science. He works at Claremont McKenna College, in California. Jay asks him about California – is there any gold left in it?
He also asks Pitney about his upbringing and education. And about his conservatism. How did he get that way? Well, at 13, he started reading National Review and corresponding with William F. Buckley Jr.More
As Jay says, John O’Sullivan is one of the most eminent political journalists in the English-speaking world. He is British — a Liverpudlian, and an exact contemporary of the Beatles — but he has lived all over and worked all over. In this “Q&A,” he joins Jay from his home in Budapest.
He talks about the British election. And Brexit. And the EU. And NATO. And immigration/assimilation. And other critical issues of our time. He also answers such questions as, “How did you acquire your views?”More
Brookhiser is also Jay’s fellow senior editor at National Review — and, in this podcast, they cover a lot of ground.More
A few weeks ago, President Trump made some remarks about the Civil War. He said, “People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?” He also said that Andrew Jackson – had he been “a little bit later” – would have prevented the war.
Jay takes the occasion to have a “Q&A” with one of the most distinguished historians of the United States, and in particular of the American South: J. Mills Thornton III. They talk about the origins of the Civil War; the effect of slavery on Manifest Destiny; the issue of the Confederate flag today; and other things.More
Zimbabwe gained its independence in 1980. Since then, it has been ruled by one man: Robert Mugabe, the dictator. Like most Zimbabweans, Evan Mawarire has never known any other leader. Today, he is Mugabe’s worst nightmare: a principled, moral, talented, brave critic.
Mawarire is a Christian pastor. Last year, he made a video, expressing love of country, and exasperation at the longstanding dictatorship. The video went viral in Zimbabwe. Mawarire was arrested, of course, and eventually had to flee the country with his family. He has since returned (and, of course, been arrested again).More
Gao Zhisheng is one of the most heroic men in China, or anywhere. He is a human-rights lawyer who has put his neck on the line and paid for it with ten years of imprisonment and torture.
His wife and two children fled to America. One of those children is Grace, a senior in college, who is presently at the Oslo Freedom Forum, where Jay is too. They sat down for this “Q&A.” What’s it like to be the daughter of such a man? What does it do to you?More