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Context with Brad Harris

Apr 26, 2021

"Notes on Nationalism" was an essay written by George Orwell in 1945, just as World War II was ending. It caused quite a stir at the time, but most people these days have never heard of it. Nonetheless, "Notes on Nationalism" remains one of the most powerful examples of Orwell's timeless insight into human nature; in...


Feb 24, 2021

Like many others, I’ve begun to worry about the fate of higher education in American society.

Having spent most of my professional life in academia, my instinct is to regard the university system as sacred - as Wisdom’s Workshop, to borrow the historian James Axtell’s recent book title.

Liberal democracy relies on...


Jan 25, 2021

In this episode, I invited the philosopher and author Stephen Hicks on the podcast to chat about his book, Explaining Postmodernism.  Stephen has been a Professor of Philosophy at Rockford University in Illinois for nearly 20 years, and he's published widely on the history of philosophy, ethics, and politics.  

The...


Dec 21, 2020

What’s that line attributed to Mark Twain?...

"History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes."

As the authors Neil Howe and William Strauss wrote in their best-selling book The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy - What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny, published in...


Oct 26, 2020

Plague, political upheaval, the looming prospect of another civil war... what century are we in?

To retain historical perspective, and to find inspiration in how humanity has recovered from far greater upheavals in the past, we turn to Barbara Tuchman's classic work, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century.

What...