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Politics & Polls #79: Immigration, Refugees and the State of Journalism in 2018
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February 22, 2018 04:28 AM PST
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Today, the nation faces a series of major policy challenges revolving around immigrants and refugees. In this episode, Julian Zelizer talks to NPR veteran Deborah Amos about how President Donald Trump has used executive power to move the country rightward on these issues and what the impact has been on local communities. Amos also talks about the state of journalism in 2018 and its future.

Amos covers the Middle East for NPR News. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” and “Weekend Edition.” Amos travels extensively across the Middle East covering a range of stories including the rise of well-educated Syria youth who are unqualified for jobs in a market-drive economy, a series focusing on the emerging power of Turkey and the plight of Iraqi refugees.

Politics & Polls #78: Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change
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February 15, 2018 10:04 AM PST
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As the earth continues to warm, life - both in cities and rural areas - will undoubtedly change. Urban centers, which contribute the lion’s share of carbon into the atmosphere, are at a greater risk, especially those in coastal zones where sea levels are rising.

In this episode, Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the future of cities in an age of climate change with eco-justice scholar and author Ashley Dawson.

Dawson is the 2017 Barron Visiting Professor in Environmental Humanities at the Princeton Environmental Institute. His book, “Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change,” offers an alarming portrait of the future of our cities.

Dawson also is a professor of english at the CUNY Graduate Center, and at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. He specializes in postcolonial studies, cultural studies, and environmental humanities with a particular interest in histories and discourses of migration.

Politics & Polls #77: Memo Wars
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February 08, 2018 08:33 AM PST
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2018 has started off with a bang under President Trump, especially with the release of a controversial memo about the Russia investigation by Rep. Devin Nunes (R- Calif.)

The three-and-a-half-page memo, written by Nunes' congressional aides, accused the F.B.I and Justice Department of using their surveillance powers to spy on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser suspected of being an agent of Russia.

The news has led some to wonder whether the memo is skewed and misleading. Others say the Russia investigation is corrupt. A classified Democratic memo is expected to soon rebut the Republican memo, though President Trump may redact parts of it.

Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the memos and their influence on the country’s government institutions in this episode.

Politics & Polls #76: How the Right Lost Its Mind - A Conversation with Charlie Sykes
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February 01, 2018 06:15 AM PST
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Best-selling author and radio host Charlie Sykes is among the leading conservative voices standing in opposition to President Donald Trump and the alt-right. His latest book, “How the Right Lost Its Mind,” presents an impassioned, regretful and deeply thoughtful account of how he believes the American conservative movement lost its values.

In this episode, Sykes discusses his book and the state of conservatism with professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang. Sykes visited the Princeton University campus in December 2017 through the Woodrow Wilson School’s Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Leadership through Mentorship Program.

One of the most influential conservatives in Wisconsin, Sykes is a contributor and analyst for MSNBC. Previously, he was the host of WNYC’s “Indivisible.” He is the author of eight additional books, including “A Nation of Victims,” “Dumbing Down Our Kids,” “Profscam,” “The Hollow Men,” “The End of Privacy,” “50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School,” “A Nation of Moochers,” and “Fail U.: The False Promise of Higher Education.” He also was co-editor of the National Review College Guide.

Sykes has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, Salon, USA Today, National Review, The Weekly Standard and other national publications. He has appeared on the Today Show, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, PBS, the BBC, and has been profiled on NPR. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of the website Right Wisconsin.

Politics & Polls #75: The Republic for Which It Stands
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January 25, 2018 09:08 AM PST
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Intense partisanship. Rampant wealth and inequality. Racial divisions.

While they sound like the issues of today, they were also prevalent during the Gilded Age, an important time in American history. It was during these years — between 1865 and 1896 — that many of the foundations of modern society were set into place.

In this episode, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss this era and how it compares to today with award-winning historian Richard White, author of “The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896.”

White is a historian of the United States specializing in the American West, the history of capitalism, environmental history, history and memory, and Native American history. His work has occasionally spilled over into Mexico, Canada, France, Australia and Ireland.

He is a MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of the Mellon Distinguished Professor Award. His work has won numerous academic prizes, and he has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Politics & Polls #74: The Second Coming of the KKK
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January 18, 2018 06:06 AM PST
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President Donald Trump’s election stirred up what some call a resurgence of white nationalism. But is this a new phenomenon outside of mainstream America? Or has white nationalism been more part of American culture than we’ve been willing to admit?

Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang untangle this issue in this episode, which features historian Linda Gordon, who recently published “The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition.”

Gordon is a professor of history and a University Professor of the Humanities at New York University. Her early books focused on the historical roots of social policy issues, particularly as they concern gender and family issues. More recently, she has explored other ways of presenting history to a broad audience, publishing the microhistory “The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction” (Harvard University Press, 1999) and the biography “Dorothea Lange: A Life beyond Limits” (W.W. Norton, 2009), both of which won the Bancroft Prize. She is one of only three historians to have won this award twice.

Politics & Polls #73: Why You Should Care about Gerrymandering
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January 11, 2018 11:56 AM PST
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A panel of federal judges rejected a congressional district map in North Carolina, calling it a partisan gerrymander. Never before has a court overturned a Congressional districting plan on grounds of partisanship. The panel ordered the state legislature to redraw the map.

Gerrymandering, a practice which manipulates district boundaries for political gains, is a much-debated topic in the political sphere. In this episode, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss what’s next for North Carolina and the practice of gerrymandering in general.

Politics & Polls #72: Social Research in the Digital Age
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January 04, 2018 11:32 AM PST
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From smart phones to social media, digital technology has changed the way we live —allowing for new explorations of human behavior. Big data now enables scientists to process data about human behavior on a scale never before imaginable.

In this episode, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview Matt Salganik, a professor of sociology at Princeton University. Salgnik’s new book, “Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age,” explores these concepts, detailing how the digital revolution is transforming how social scientists observe behavior, ask questions, run experiments and engage in mass collaborations.

Salganik is also affiliated with the Center for Information Technology Policy and the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning at Princeton University. His research has been funded by Microsoft, Facebook, and Google, and has been featured on NPR and in such publications as the New Yorker, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Politics & Polls #71: Inside the Mind of Donald Trump
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December 21, 2017 10:04 AM PST
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What’s going on in the mind of President Donald Trump? Journalist Ellis Henican provides a humorous, illustrated look into the president’s psyche in a new book, “Trumpitude.” He discusses this and more with professor Julian Zelizer in this episode.

Politics & Polls #70: Alabama’s Senate Race
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December 14, 2017 06:08 AM PST
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Democrat Doug Jones won a pivotal Alabama Senate seat Dec. 12, a victory carrying with it significant national consequences. Jones, a former U.S. attorney, defeated Republican Roy S. Moore, a former chief justice who’s been ensnarled in claims of sexual harassment.

Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the race results in this episode of Politics & Polls.

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