The Very, Very First Rough Draft of HIstory: What Assyria Can Teach UsFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
FRDH stands for First Rough Draft of History and the very first drafts of history were written in cuneiform in the Akkadian language at the time of the Assyrian Empire, around 1,000 BCE. In this podcast, Michael Goldfarb talks to Assyriologist Dr. Moudhy al-Rashid, about the world described in the cuneiform covered fragments she works with. Her specialization is in medical texts. You think depression is a modern malady? It isn't. Listen to Dr. al-Rashid describe how the ancient people of Assyria and Babylon dealt with it.
America's Decades Long Incivil WarFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
Since at least 1994 America has been in the grip of an incivil war. That year, led by Newt Gingrich, the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives for the frst time in 40 years. Incivil war may sound like a figure of speech, something in the realm of the metaphorical - but it is not. The weapons may be words but the they are deployed in support of a radical reordering of American society.
This documentary originally aired on BBC Radio 4. If you want to understand how America got to Trump you must understand this history recounted with great detail by Michael Goldfarb. Please share this documentary widely, urgently.
Venezuela & the US: Everything Must ChangeFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
Venezuela is back in the news along with its relationship to the US. Venezuelans have taken to the street to demand a change of government from the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro but do they want US intervention? In this FRDH podcast, drawn from Michael Goldfarb's archive he looks back at a reporting trip to Caracas made in 2007 shortly after protests against Maduro's predecessor, Hugo Chavez had been put down. What possibility for positive change is there in Venezuela so long as the US looms over the country.
The Brexit Vote: A Report from Very English SceneFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
On the day of the Brexit Vote: a report from the scene outside Parliament as Brexiteers and Remainers demonstrate as MPs prepare to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement from the EU. FRDH stands for First Rough Draft of History and host Michael Goldfarb took his sound recorder down to the demonstration to write this very immediate draft of the historic Brexit Vote.
The Many Meanings of TreasonFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
Treason has many meanings. Treason is a fighting word and a legal term and it is very likely to be one of the words of 2019. Right wing demagogues throw charges of treason around easily, liberals tend to prefer not to use it except in its narrowest legal sense. In this First Rough Draft of History podcast, Michael Goldfarb looks at some different definitions of the word and wonders if they apply to America in the age of Trump.
The NHS at 70: Born From Crisis, Enduring StilFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
On the 70th anniversary of Britain’s NHS, this FRDH podcast looks at a personal level at how the NHS born out of crisis compares to the American health care system. Host Michael Goldfarb has experienced both systems intimately and explains the origins of the NHS and the challenges it faces today.
Work: a Matter of Life and DeathFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
The world of work is changing and it's become a matter of life and death. Life expectancy in America is declining especially among those whose work and prospects have disappeared. Michael Goldfarb speaks with Princeton University economics professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton about their research into the causes of declining life expectancy and the prospects for the future as technology makes many forms of work obsolete. Hand loom weavers disappeared at the start of the industrial revolution, what forms of work will disappear in the 21st century?
The Midterms and the Democrats' DilemmaFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
The American midterm elections are over but the Democrats' Dilemma remains. How to harness its progressive grassroots energy and the real hatred of Donald Trump into a deeper political program that can be built on for 2020 and beyond. This podcast is based on reporting FRDH presenter Michael Goldfarb did for a BBC radio 4 documentary. He traveled for three weeks in October to Georgia, Texas and the Northeast making a documentary to report on the Democrats Dilemma. This is a true First Rough Draft of History. Listen and decide whether you think it will stand the test of time.
Pipe Bombs and How Societies FallApart: A Talk with Author Aleksandar HemonFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
Aleksandar Hemon is one of America's foremost writers but he was born in Bosnia and saw his country disintegrate. Actually Hemon watched the disintegration from America. He was in the US when the war started that destroyed his hometown Sarajevo. Stranded in Chicago and didn't speak much English. Yet within a few years he had graduated from Northwestern and was working on his first book. What happened in Bosnia has formed his world view and in this FRDH podcast Hemon speaks about the small steps that lead societies to disintegrate into civil war.
FRDH on the BBC: Journey To AshkenazFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
In this BBC documentary, FRDH podcast host Michael Goldfarb, goes on a Journey to Ashkenaz. He visits what is today Ukraine which was once the heartland of Ashkenazic Jewry. It is where his father's family comes from. Excellent sound and music in this piece.
The Democrats in the Midterms: with Brian KlaasFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
The Democrats in the upcoming Midterm elections face a dilemma. Beyond not being the party of Trump who are they? What does the party stand for? How do Democratic leaders square the circle between its urban base and the rural voters it still needs to win power. In a far ranging conversation with Washington Post columnist and political science professor Brian Klaas, FRDH podcast host Michael Goldfarb explores answers to the Democrats' Dilemma at the Midterms.
On Being Cut Off From HistoryFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
What happens when a group of people are cut off from their history? More specifically their family history. In this FRDH podcast, Michael Goldfarb reflects on how children become aware of history and how the Holocaust has cut most of the world's Jews off from their family stories and so cut them off from the main channel of history.
50 Years After the Soviet Invasion: Czech Cinema Lives OnFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
On the 50th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, a look back at Czech Cinema. In a decade of tumultuous change in the arts and cultural expression this tiny country's filmmakers were as important to the youth revolution as artists in the West. In this podcast, originally broadcast on BBC Radio 3, FRDH host Michael Goldfarb tells the story of how a unique set of circumstances made Czechoslovakia in the 1960s one of the powerhouses of world cinema. These were films made by people who had the first rough draft of history burned onto them in childhood and were not broken by all that they endured: Hitler/Stalin ... they laughed at the worst and in sharing that mockery with audiences gave them courage to stand up to totalitarianism. Of course, there was a price. But the Czech cinema of that time lives on.
Ireland: Borders, Brexit & OmaghFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
On the twentieth anniversary of the Omagh bombing an FRDH meditation on Ireland, borders and how Brexit promises to undo the achievement of the Good Friday Agreement.
For five years in the 1990s FRDH host Michael Goldfarb covered the political process that led to the Good Friday Agreement. He recalls the politicians struggle to make the partition border on the island of Ireland meaningless, he also remembers how at the moment of success there was one final tragedy to mark the end of the Troubles: the Omagh bombing.
Death, Taxes and Donald TrumpFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
A conversation with investigative journalist David Cay Johnston on death, taxes and Donald Trump. "Nothing is certain but death and taxes" wrote Benjamin Franklin. Another certainty is that Donald Trump is afraid to let the people he governs see his taxes. Johnston explains the history of taxes and how from the beginning of civilization it has been used to organize economics and politics. Then we talk about what Donald Trump's taxes tell us about the man. Johnston knows some stuff: he has been reporting on Trump's taxes and business affairs for 30 years.
Civility And the Paradox of ToleranceFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
America is undergoing a crisis of civility - don't just take FRDH podcast's word for it - and this civility crisis is an example of the Paradox of Tolerance. In this FRDH, Michael Goldfarb traces the origins of the civility crisis thirty years to Newt Gingrich's declaration of a second Civil War using words instead of guns to conquer all those who disagree with the Republican party. He looks at how three decades of Republican unwillingness to tolerate other views of America has brought America face to face with philosopher Karl Popper's concept of the Paradox of Tolerance. Do you think politely asking Sarah Sanders to leave a restaurant was uncivil? or perfectly reasonable?
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Reality in the age of trumpFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
What is Reality in the Age of Trump? In this FRDH podcast, Michael Goldfarb speaks with Luke Harding, former Moscow correspondent of the Guardian newspaper, and author of Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win, about the long, long history of official lying in Russia, how people in that country sort out reality from the propaganda, and how Putin's expertise in creating alternative "reality" influenced the 2016 US elections. Is reality an objective form of truth, or is it just relative. What did Lenin say about it? Do governments impose their version of reality, or do people collude in their own propagandisation?
Bible Study for Atheists: Jewish QuarrelsFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
This edition of Bible Study for Atheists looks at today's Jewish quarrels and asks whether the arguments among Jews today over whether to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem and the expansion of Israeli settlements into the West Bank is an echo of the quarrels of Biblical times. Is the story of the 12 tribes of Israel separating into two kingdoms true? How deep is the historical continuity between the Israelites whose story we read in the Old Testament and that of modern Jewry?
Iran: Ignorance Is Not BlissFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
When it comes to Iran, ignorance is not bliss. For the last 40 years, American policy makers have displayed astonishing ignorance about the day to day reality of life in Iran. This has led to one blunder after another in how the US deals with the country, most recently President Trump's withdrawing the US from the JCPOA or Iran nuclear deal. What makes this ignorance astonishing is just how much contact there is between ordinary Iranians and Iranian Americans. In this FRDH podcast Michael Goldfarb speaks with Iranian-American journalist and author Azadeh Moaveni who has reported from Iran and written two highly regarded books about the country about Trump's withdrawing the US from the nuclear deal, what it means to the many Iranians who do not support the regime and whether it brings the prospect of war closer. Ignorance may be a problem of American policy makers, but it is not a problem in this fascinating 15 minute long conversation.
Reality of Torture With No EuphemismsFRDH Podcast with Michael Goldfarb add
The reality of torture is usually smothered in euphemism when it is discussed in Washington as it has been during the Senate hearings on Gina Haspel, Trump's nominee to run the CIA. It shouldn't be. In this FRDH podcast, Michael Goldfarb, who has interviewed torture victims and torturers, and made the DuPont award winning documentary, "Surviving Torture: Inside Out" cuts through the euphemisms surrounding this barbaric practice. He explains why the official version of what happens in CIA blacksites is wrong. Torture is for punishment not to extract information.