Daniel Bessner is a professor and writer and frequent Nostalgia Trap contributor. He joins us to talk about his controversial recent Chronicle piece taking on the American Historical Association, and to share his vision of how to rescue the humanities from the destructive forces of neoliberalism.
Thom Hartmann is a radio personality, best-selling author, and political commentator whose work in progressive media has spanned decades. He joins us to discuss his latest book, The Hidden History of Guns and the 2nd Amendment, and to explain his own political and philosophical evolution. From working for the Goldwater campaign as a teenager to joining Students for a Democratic Society to help fight the Vietnam War, Hartmann’s 1960s roots instilled important values and ideas about democracy, equality, and human evolution that persist in his work today.
Astra Taylor is a writer and filmmaker whose work explores the radical contours of contemporary politics and philosophy. Her latest film, What is Democracy?, is a deep dive into one of history’s most intense questions, framing interviews and discussions within the harrowing context of a collapsing planet. In this conversation, she explains the ideas underlying her inquisitive approach to writing and making films, how her unorthodox experiences with formal education shaped her political and analytical thinking, and why she thinks asking bigger questions is such a vital task for the left.