Matt Karp is a professor of U.S. history at Princeton University, and the author of the recent book This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy. In this conversation, Matt tells me about the process of his politicization through various stages of academia, the roots of his interest in the Civil War era, and how the abolitionist project provides an important model for a popular revolutionary politics.
To celebrate the publication of my book, Dangerous Grounds: Antiwar Coffeehouses and Military Dissent in the Vietnam Era (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), my good friend Justin Rogers-Cooper sits down for a detailed discussion. GI coffeehouses were opened by antiwar activists outside more than 20 American military bases throughout the country in the 1960s and 1970s; Dangerous Grounds puts the coffeehouse phenomenon in historical context, exploring the often misunderstood connections between radical left politics and American soldiers.
Professor Carolyn Eisenberg was studying history at Columbia University during the late 1960s and 1970s, witnessing (and taking part in) some of the historic political activism that emerged from the campus during those critical years. In this conversation we talked about the intersection of academia, teaching, and radical politics, and how the dynamics of campus life have shifted since the Vietnam War era.
Like many of my favorite guests, I met Jesse Schwartz when we were both doing our doctoral work at the CUNY Graduate Center. He’s now a professor of English at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens, and joins me here to share his journey from hippie bum to distinguished intellectual. Along the way we talk about California and New York, the politics of academia, the allure of psychedelia, and the weird shades of American countercultural experience. It’s a long strange trip…
Ellen Schrecker is an American historian whose work focuses on Cold War-era anti-communism. Her book Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America is a canonical treatment of the subject. In this interview, she discusses her upbringing, education, and the particular politics of the Ivy League during the turbulent 1960s and 1970s.
Sarah Jones is a writer and social media editor at the New Republic, where her work has focused on poverty, politics, feminism, health care, and a number of other issues. I wanted to talk to her about Appalachia, where she was born and raised, and how the particular culture and politics of this region shaped her identity as a writer and thinker.
Katie Halper is the host of the Katie Halper Show on WBAI, where she regularly brings a fresh, funny, and stridently left perspective to the horrific landscape of modern American politics. We talked about her upbringing in New York City and her path through performance, media, and politics.