Welcome to Freak Out and Carry On, WBUR’s new politics and history podcast that addresses the urgent issues of our time through the lens of history. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Ron Suskind and noted Boston College historian Heather Cox Richardson, the podcast will examine the national political landscape and dive into the historical context. New episodes will be available every Thursday starting June 15.
“Our political culture of pitched combat and exploding news cycles has left much of America in a constant state of freak-out,” Suskind said. “In 20 years reporting from Washington about power and perfidy, you can’t help but develop context that allows us to exhale and carry on. That’s why I wanted to do this show: to deepen listeners understanding of event and help them sleep at night!”
“In 1939, with the maelstrom of World War II on the horizon, the British government issued a poster reminding citizens that victory depended on their faith that the nation would endure. ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ voices the quiet truth that principles survive catastrophe so long as people continue to believe in them,” Cox Richardson said. “That message rings true in America today. It’s easy to ‘freak out’ about the relentless cascade of crises coming from Washington. But America’s long history has seen plenty of crises before this, and we have always found a way to ‘carry on.'”
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About Ron Suskind
Ron Suskind is the author of the New York Times bestsellers “Confidence Men”, about the fall of the U.S. economy and the presidency of Barack Obama; “The Way of the World”, about the forces fighting the global “hearts and minds” struggle at a time when awesomely destructive weapons are available to the common man; “The One Percent Doctrine”, about the U.S. government’s frantic improvisation to fight a new kind of war after 9/11; “The Price of Loyalty”, about the inner workings of the American government and Presidency of George W. Bush; and “A Hope in the Unseen”, a nonfiction narrative that helped redefine national debates on race, class and achievement. From 1993 to 2000, he was the senior national affairs writer for the Wall Street Journal, where he won the Pulitzer Prize. His newest book, “Life, Animated,” chronicles his family’s twenty-year journey raising and connecting to their autistic son. Ron lives in Cambridge, MA, and lectures about narrative and justice at Harvard University.
About Heather Cox Richardson
Heather Cox Richardson is Professor of History at Boston College and the author of five books about American politics including, To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party (2014), Wounded Knee: Party Politics and the Road to an American Massacre (2010), West from Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America After the Civil War (2007), The Death of Reconstruction (2001) and The Greatest Nation of the Earth: Republican Economic Policies during the Civil War (1997). Richardson writes widely for popular publications and is a national commentator on American political history and the Republican Party. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Quartz and Salon.com. She recently attracted national attention when one of her Facebook posts went viral: a post on how Americans could respond to what she called the “shock events” of the Donald Trump presidency.