Seattle photographer, Nate Gowdy, has documented over 340 political events and protests across 25 states. He flew from GA to Washington, D.C. the night before January 6, 2021 to cover the much publicized so-called “Stop the Steal” Rally on the Ellipse.
He was about a mile away and heading to that rally along the national mall, when a couple of hundred Proud Boys marched toward him and the US Capitol from the Rally at 10:45am – hours before Trump was scheduled to speak. Having photographed many political events and demonstrations, he recognized some of them, and made the decision to turn and follow them, soon becoming swept along the growing flood of extremists to the very steps of the Capitol.
His photographic compilation, Insurrection, not only documents the events of that day when our democracy hung by the thinnest of blue lines, but contributes to the art form of war photography in the highest traditions of Robert Capa, Margaret Bourke-White and Matthew Brady. We spoke with him via Skype on January 11, 2023.
Professor Clarence Lusane is the interim Chair of Howard University’s Department of Political Science and current Director of the International Affairs program. For more than 40 years he has written about, and been active in, national and international human rights, anti-racism politics, democracy building, and social justice issues such as education, criminal justice, and voting rights. Among his books are The Black History of the White House; Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice: Foreign Policy, Race, and the New American Century; and Pipe Dream Blues: Racism and the War on Drugs.
We spoke with him about his most recent book, Twenty Dollars and Change: Harriet Tubman and the Ongoing Struggle for Racial Justice and Democracy, published by City Lights Books.
Nate Gowdy’s book, INSURRECTION, of photos he took on January 6, 2021, as he was swept by a mob of Proud Boys and Three Percenters onto the steps of the US Capitol Building came to my attention. In the second part of today’s Forthright Radio, we share excerpts from an extended interview with Nate Gowdy about his work, and what he experienced that day.
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Professor, Howard French, was awarded 2022’s Museum of African American History (MAAH) Stone Book Award as well as The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, for his latest book, BORN IN BLACKNESS: AFRICA, AFRICANS, and the MAKING of the MODERN WORLD, 1471 to the SECOND WORLD WAR, published by Liveright.
Before returning to academia, he was a New York Times foreign correspondent in West and Central Africa, as well as the Times’ bureau chief in the Caribbean and Central America, before becoming their Tokyo bureau chief and then their bureau chief in Shanghai, China. In addition to the New York Times, he has contributed to the New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, The Guardian Longreads and Foreign Policy.
His earlier books include A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa; China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa; and Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power.
We spoke with Howard French on December 20, 2022 via Skype, overcoming numerous technical difficulties.
We ended the 12/23/22 broadcast version of this program with the Ukrainian folk song, Shchedryk, from a recording by Helena Androsova singing all of the voices first with English then Ukrainian Lyrics. It is known in the U. S. as Carol of the Bells. You can hear/view her performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqeJ38DThVc
Dr. Michael Shermer is a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He is the co-founder of The Skeptics Society and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine. He has been a college professor since 1979, teaching courses such as Skepticism 101. He was a monthly columnist for Scientific American for 18 years.
Among his books are WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS; WHY DARWIN MATTERS; THE SCIENCE OF GOOD AND EVIL, and GIVING THE DEVIL HIS DUE: REFLECTIONS OF A SCIENTIFIC HUMANIST. His latest book, CONSPIRACY: WHY THE RATIONAL BELIEVE THE IRRATIONAL, is published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.
We spoke with him via Skype on December 5, 2022. The next day, a New York jury found The Trump Organization guilty of 17 felonies, including conspiracy. The day after that, 3,000 officers conducted searches at 130 sites in 11 of Germany’s 16 states against the group, Reich Citizens, whose members it said adhered to a conglomerate of conspiracy theories, including the QAnon cult and the so-called Reich Citizens movement.
Articles and videos pertinent to this interview can be found here:
Christopher Marquis is Sinyi Professor of Chinese Management at the Judge Business School of The University of Cambridge.
He and his co-author, Kunyaun Qiao, have written the book, MAO AND MARKETS: The Communist Roots of Chinese Enterprise, published by Yale University Press. It explores the seeming contradiction of capitalism under Chinese Communist Party rule. Part history, part economics, it uses the tools of academic data analysis to assess how China’s economic success is being shaped by the ideology and philosophy of Chairman Mao Zedong.
Professor Marquis’s interest in China began while he was in high school, when he did an independent research project on the role of Confucianism in contemporary China. He first traveled there in 1996, and he has marveled at the speed with which the mudflats across the Huangpu River from Shanghai’s waterfront became the city of Pudong, the financial capital of China, where three of the tallest buildings in the world now stand encircled by 20 miles of high rises. He spoke with entrepreneurs from many regions of China and brings their very human stories to his narrative.
His earlier book, BETTER BUSINESS: HOW THE B CORP MOVEMENT IS REMAKING CAPITALISM, focused on the ways companies can effectively shift from a shareholder to stake holder orientation.
We spoke with Christopher Marquis on November 21, 2022.
After learning of President Xi’s early life experiences – his being “sent down” from Beijing to manual labor in a remote, rural area for 7 years after the purging and arrest of his father, Xi Zhongxun, during the Cultural Revolution, made me think of his contemporary, Ai Weiwei, and his early life experiences. Born in 1957 in Beijing, he was exiled in 1958 when his father, poet Ai Qing, was accused of “rightism”. How differently the two men influence the world today. One, a ruthless authoritarian consolidating close to absolute control over the lives of 1.4 billion people, and the other undaunted, despite brutal state repression, in his artistic expression of beauty, creativity and human rights.
On October 27, 2022, attorneys for two environmental organizations, WildEarth Guardians and Project Coyote, a project of Earth Island Institute, filed a lawsuit against The State of Montana, by and through the MT Dept of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the MT Fish & Wildlife Commission. The suit was filed in MT First Judicial District Court in Lewis & Clark County.
The case named, WildEarth Guardians v. FWP, Cause No. DDV-25-2022 DK, alleges that the state’s wolf hunting and trapping policies violate the Montana Constitution, Montana Administrative Procedure Act, Public Trust Doctrine, and several federal laws meant to protect wildlife on federally-managed lands.
On November 10, 2022, a motion was filed asking The Court to prohibit the start of the state’s wolf-trapping season, as well as immediately halt the on-going wolf-hunting season, while the merits of the lawsuit are being considered. The conservation groups filed the time-sensitive motion with the wolf trapping and snaring season set to begin on November 28, 2022. The hunting season began in September. This motion asks the court to issue a temporary restraining order, followed by a preliminary injunction, to stop all recreational killing of wolves in the state pending resolution of the lawsuit.
On November 15, 2022, District Court Judge Christopher D. Abbott, granted a partial Temporary Restraining Order, with a hearing set for November 28, 2022. It’s set to expire November 29, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. The partial TRO requires MFWP to return to 2020 regulations with respect to wolf hunting and trapping quotas and “bag limits”, prohibits the use of snares, and limits quotas in former WMUs 110 (bordering Glacier NP), 313, and 316 (bordering Yellowstone NP).
In the 2021-2022 season, 273 wolves were killed by hunters and trappers—including 19 Yellowstone wolves—with nearly 70 percent of the wolves killed, after the trapping season began. As of November 15, 2022, hunters had already killed 56 wolves, while regulations permit hunters and trappers to kill an additional 395 wolves before the season ends in March 2023. The motion alleges that the conservation groups’ interests will be harmed beyond repair, if the court allows the hunting and trapping season to proceed while they fully litigate their case.
The motion—and the underlying lawsuit—claim that there are significant flaws in the population model used to estimate the total number of wolves in the state, and that since the quota of 456 wolves for this season relies upon a flawed population model, reaching the quota could have devastating consequences on the state’s wolf population. The motion states, “Montana does not have an accurate picture of how many wolves are living in Montana, and cannot sustainably and legally manage the species through another wolf hunt this winter.”
A listener asked us to investigate, and we share interviews with four people knowledgeable about the issues, Lizzy Pennock, an attorney with WildEarth Guardians;
Greg Lemon, Administrator of MFWP’s Communication and Education Division;
Pat Byorth, MT Fish & Wildlife Commissioner for Region 3, below
Michael Waasegijig Price, of The GREAT LAKES INDIAN FISH & WILDLIFE COMMISSION, which joined six tribes, who sued the state of Wisconsin in September of 2021 to prevent further wolf slaughter there.
Documents, articles and links pertinent to this episode of Ecotones:
This Forthright Radio is devoted to digesting the results of the 2022 mid-term elections. Days after the election, there are still many crucial races that are too close to call, and it is too early to know which parties will control either chamber of congress. However the predicted Red Wave – or what some were projecting as a Red Tsunami – has not occurred. So, we were delighted to welcome back two distinguished guests, David Daley and Paul Pierson.
Dave Daley was our guest in June of 2020, when his book, UNRIGGED: HOW AMERICANS ARE BATTLING BACK TO SAVE DEMOCRACY, came out. His earlier book, RATF**KED: THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE SECRET PLAN TO STEAL AMERICA’S DEMOCRACY, did much to educate us about the nationally organized, anti-democracy efforts to seize political control from the majority of voters via gerrymandering, and what citizens across the country are doing to wrestle majoritarian democracy back. His articles appear in many outlets, including The Guardian, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, among others.
Paul Pierson was our guest in July of 2020, when his book, co-written with Jacob Hacker, director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and a Political Science Professor at Yale University, LET THEM EAT TWEETS: HOW THE RIGHT RULES IN AN AGE OF EXTREME INEQUALITY, came out. Paul is is the John Gross Professor of Political Science at U. C. Berkeley. They have many earlier books, including, WINNER-TAKE-ALL-POLITICS: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class; and Off Center: The Republican Revolution and The Erosion of American Democracy.
Award winning author and journalist, Adam Hochschild, is the author of eleven books. He returned to Forthright Radio to discuss his latest book, AMERICAN MIDNIGHT: THE GREAT WAR, A VIOLENT PEACE, AND DEMOCRACY’S FORGOTTEN CRISIS, published by Mariner Books.
While a college student in the early 1960s, Adam Hochschild worked on an anti-government newspaper in South Africa, and he was also a civil rights worker in Mississippi. He was a writer and editor for Ramparts magazine, and a co-founder of Mother Jones. He has been a lecturer in the UC Berkeley School of Journalism for many years. In 2014, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In our earlier interviews, he discussed his books, BURY THE CHAINS: PROPHETS AND REBELS IN THE FIGHT TO FREE AN EMPIRE’S SLAVES, and KING LEOPOLD’S GHOST: A STORY OF GREED, TERROR AND HEROISM IN COLONIAL AFRICA.
We spoke with him via telephone from his home in the Bay Area on October 25, 2022.
On September 18, 1947, the National Security Act, a major restructuring of the US Military and intelligence agencies went into effect. It created The National Security Council and The Central Intelligence Agency, headed by the Director of Central Intelligence. Our guest today on Forthright Radio is Professor of American History, emeritus, at the University of Edinburgh, Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones. His latest book, A QUESTION OF STANDING: THE HISTORY OF THE CIA, published by Oxford University Press, examines how the influence of the CIA has shifted with its standing with different presidents, Congresses, and the US as well as international public over time.
His reputation as an intelligence authority has been long established with earlier books such as, THE CIA AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY; CLOAK AND DOLLAR: A HISTORY OF AMERICAN SECRET INTELLIGENCE; IN SPIES WE TRUST: THE STORY OF WESTERN INTELLIGENCE; and THE FBI: A HISTORY. We spoke with Professor Jeffreys-Jones on October 11, 2022 via Skype from his home in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Reece Jones is a Professor of Geography and Environment at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. His latest book, NOBODY IS PROTECTED: HOW THE BORDER PATROL BECAME THE MOST DANGEROUS POLICE FORCE IN THE UNITED STATES, is published by Counterpoint Press.
He is the editor-in-chief of the journal, Geopolitics, and co-editor of the Routledge Geopolitics Book Series with Klaus Dodds. He is best know for his work on border walls, the militarization of borders, and the rise in migrant deaths. His earlier books include Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move ; Open Borders: In Defense of Free Movement; and Placing the Border in Everyday Life . Among his numerous awards is a Guggenheim Fellowship.
In NOBODY IS PROTECTED: HOW THE BORDER PATROL BECAME THE MOST DANGEROUS POLICE FORCE IN THE UNITED STATES, he traces the history of the Border Patrol, from its creation, quietly tucked into The Labor Appropriation Act of 1924. He writes “Its sole mission was to enforce the new eugenics-derived rules about who could enter the United States.” For most of its existence it was a small, underfunded agency, a mere 1,500 agents in the 1970s, until the 21st century, when it has become “a modern, sophisticated paramilitary force of over19,000 agents that asserts the legal right to sweep people off the streets of an American city without a warrant or even probable cause that a crime was committed.” Citizens and noncitizen alike. As Justice Thurgood Marshall noted, NOBODY IS PROTECTED. We spoke with Reece Jones on September 20, 2022.
We end the program with the poem with which Amanda Gorman opened the 2022 United Nations General Assembly on September 19, 2022.