Bookstack

The books and ideas podcast from American Purpose.

About the show

Weekly conversations with authors of new and recent books.

Host Richard Aldous is a historian and professor at Bard College, New York, and the author of several books, including Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian; Reagan and Thatcher: The Difficult Relationship; The Lion and the Unicorn: Gladstone vs. Disraeli.

For more about American Purpose, visit www.americanpurpose.com.

Episodes

  • Episode 37: Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili on Afghanistan and State-Building

    September 17th, 2021  |  31 mins 13 secs
    afghanistan, america, books, history, politics

    Could it all have gone differently? Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili joins host Richard Aldous to talk about what the West repeatedly gets wrong in tackling the devilishly difficult problems of international development and democracy promotion.

  • Episode 36: Toby Harnden on the CIA's mission in Afghanistan

    September 10th, 2021  |  34 mins 7 secs
    afghanistan, america, books, history, politics, terrorism

    Richard Aldous sits down with author Toby Harnden to discuss his new book First Casualty: The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11.

  • Episode 35: Peter Hartcher on Australia's China Challenge

    August 2nd, 2021  |  36 mins 49 secs
    australia, books, china, history, politics

    Australia is the world’s test case for how a democratic country’s dependence on China can be turned against it. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Hartcher joins Richard Aldous to discuss exactly how this has happened in his new book, Red Zone: China’s Challenge and Australia’s Future.

  • Episode 34: Firmin DeBrabander on the Internet's Threat to Privacy

    July 23rd, 2021  |  26 mins 15 secs
    america, books, history, internet, politics

    Is there any hope for safeguarding privacy in the age of the internet? Firmin DeBrabander, professor of philosophy at Maryland Institute College of Art, joins Richard Aldous to discuss his book Life After Privacy: Reclaiming Democracy in a Surveillance Society.

  • Episode 33: Shawna Kay Rodenberg on Growing Up in Kentucky

    July 16th, 2021  |  29 mins 53 secs
    america, books, history, politics

    This week, author Shawna Kay Rodenberg joins host Richard Aldous to discuss her moving new book, Kin: A Memoir, about family, forgiveness, and growing up in Eastern Kentucky.

  • Episode 32: Gillian Tett's Anthropological Lens

    July 9th, 2021  |  21 mins 19 secs
    america, books, history, politics

    Financial journalist and anthropology PhD Gillian Tett joins host Richard Aldous to discuss how we can use an anthropological lens to cope with an increasingly kaleidoscopic reality.

  • Episode 31: Timothy Brennan on Edward Said

    June 25th, 2021  |  34 mins 15 secs
    america, books, history, palestine, politics

    Larger-than-life figures like Edward Said often become prisoners of their own legacy. Author Timothy Brennan, a student of Said’s, joins host Richard Aldous to discuss his fascinating new biography, Places of Mind: A Life of Edward Said, a book that tries to tease out the contradictions and complications that shaped one of the most influential public intellectuals of the 20th century.

  • Episode 30: Tevi Troy Looks at 70 Years of White House Intrigue

    June 18th, 2021  |  31 mins 14 secs
    america, books, history, politics

    With news getting comparatively less bizarre as 2021 rolls on, presidential historian and former White House aide Tevi Troy joins host Richard Aldous to talk about the history of White House intrigue as described in his recent book, Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump.

  • Episode 29: Michael Dobbs on Nixon's Fatal Flaws

    June 11th, 2021  |  30 mins 21 secs
    america, books, history, politics

    Richard Nixon, an almost Shakespearean character, loomed over 20th century American history in ways that prefigure Trump. Author Michael Dobbs joins host Richard Aldous to discuss this deeply flawed individual, and his new book King Richard: Nixon and Watergate, an American Tragedy.

  • Episode 28: Susan Eisenhower on How Ike Led

    June 4th, 2021  |  29 mins 49 secs
    america, books, history, politics

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower was an exemplary strategic thinker. Author and policy strategist Susan Eisenhower, who happens to be one of Ike’s four grandchildren, joins host Richard Aldous to talk about her new book How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions.

  • Episode 27: Sean McMeekin's New Take on World War II

    May 21st, 2021  |  33 mins 29 secs
    america, books, europe, history, politics, russia, stalin

    Historian Sean McMeekin joins host Richard Aldous to discuss all this, as well as his new book, Stalin’s War.

  • Episode 26: Olivette Otele on the history of African Europeans

    May 16th, 2021  |  30 mins 7 secs
    africa, books, europe, history, politics

    Olivette Otele, Professor of History of Slavery and Memory of enslavement at the University of Bristol, joins host Richard Aldous to talk about her new book, African Europeans: An Untold History.

  • Episode 25: Vernon Bogdanor on Britain's wavering connections to Europe

    May 7th, 2021  |  38 mins 49 secs
    books, britian, eu, europe, history, politics

    Our guest Vernon Bogdanor, professor of government at Kings College, joins host Richard Aldous to talk about his new book, Britain and Europe in a Troubled World.

  • Episode 24: Stephen Walker on the First Journey Into Space

    April 30th, 2021  |  39 mins 22 secs
    books, history, politics, russia, space, ussr

    As the space race heats up once again, author Stephen Walker joins our host Richard Aldous to discuss his remarkable new book Beyond: The Astonishing Story of the First Human to Leave Our Planet and Journey Into Space.

  • Episode 23: Lawrence J. Haas on the Kennedys' Approach to the World

    April 16th, 2021  |  34 mins 8 secs
    america, books, history, politics

    Lawrence J. Haas joins host Richard Aldous to talk about his new book, The Kennedys in the World: How Jack, Bobby, and Ted Remade America’s Empire.

  • Episode 22: Cristina Groeger on Education and Economic Disparity

    April 9th, 2021  |  37 mins 3 secs
    books, boston, education, history, politics

    This week, Cristina Groeger joins Richard Aldous to talk about her new book, The Education Trap: Schools and the Remaking of Inequality in Boston, and discusses how education came to be seen as a panacea even as it paved the way for deepening inequality.