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American Prestige

Daniel Bessner & Derek Davison

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A podcast from Daniel Bessner and Derek Davison that provides listeners with everything they need to know about what’s going on in the world. www.americanprestigepod.com
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Danny and Derek are once again joined by Bryan Pitts, assistant director of the Latin American Institute at UCLA, to discuss the history of Brazil. This episode starts in the late 19th century with Brazil’s “racial democracy”, exploring the rise of rubber as a…
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Danny and Derek are back at “it” (the news). This week: in Gaza, a Rafah invasion update and Biden’s “red line” (0:29), more questions about Israel’s postwar plans (6:16), an update on the humanitarian situation and the American “aid pier” (11:10), and the Biden administration’s refusal to punish Israeli rights violations (15:05); Egypt-Israel tens…
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Danny welcomes back Jonathan Hunt, assistant professor at the U.S. Naval War College and a fellow of the Nuclear Security Program at Yale University, to talk about his book The Nuclear Club, which follows the efforts of a select few world powers to maintain exclusive access to nuclear weapons. This second part of the discussion picks up in the mid-…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com The AP trifecta once again reunites to answer your thoughts, queries, and, in one case, riddles. This edition broaches such topics as which nations would respectively sanction Jake and Derek, how Danny maintains such a prolific output, whether we’re already in…
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Danny and Derek welcome to the podcast Khalid Medani—associate professor of political science, director of the Institute of Islamic Studies, and chair of the African Studies Program at McGill University—for a deep dive into the conflict that has engulfed Sudan since last Spring. They delve into its roots going back to the 1989 coup, break down the …
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In light of the untimely death of engineer/producer/musician Steve Albini, we wanted to share an interview Danny did with him for an upcoming (non-American Prestige) podcast on grunge music. This was recorded in August 2020. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.ame…
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Derek welcomes back to the pod , associate professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Cincinnati and non-resident fellow at the Quincy Institute, to discuss the situations in Niger and Chad now that the two nations have respectively kicked out most US troops. They discuss the State Department’s underwhelming tr…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Danny and Derek are back with Bryan Pitts, assistant director of the Latin American Institute at UCLA, talking about the history of Brazil. We’re now into the 19th century and Brazilian independence. The group discusses what led to this moment, the changing ra…
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In a follow-up to our special on students' pro-Palestine organizing, Danny speaks with Josh Rushing, founding member of Al Jazeera English and senior correspondent for its program Fault Lines, about the crackdown on Palestine advocacy on campuses since October 7 and what it means for academic freedom. They discuss his Fault Lines documentary on the…
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Antony Blinken might claim to play the blues, but Danny and Derek have to deliver…the news. This week: in Palestine/Israel, the latest round of Gaza ceasefire talks (0:42), Netanyahu panics over a potential International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant (6:54), and Blinken backs off of a threat to use the Leahy Law against IDF troops despite evi…
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Jonathan Hunt, assistant professor at the U.S. Naval War College and a fellow of the Nuclear Security Program at Yale University, joins Danny and Derek to talk about his book covering the efforts of a select few world powers to maintain exclusive access to nuclear weapons. In this first part, they discuss US efforts to maintain nuclear supremacy in…
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Danny recently appeared on The Disagreement podcast with Shadi Hamid to discuss what America’s role on the global stage should be. The conversation broaches US involvement in Ukraine, Taiwan, and the Middle East, alternatives to hegemony, and whether the US is “the good guy”. Also check out Danny and Shadi’s initial debate from two years ago. This …
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Danny and Derek once again speak with Bryan Pitts, assistant director of the Latin American Institute at UCLA, about the history of Brazil. This episode picks up in the 17th century at the start of the sugar boom and all that comes along with it. They discuss …
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Danny and Derek bring you another dose of Reality™️. This week: Congress passes Biden’s war funding package (0:59); Israel prepares to invade Rafah (7:31); the US begins construction of a Gaza pier (10:33); Antony Blinken may blacklist an IDF unit (12:58); mass graves are discovered in Gaza hospitals (16:57); US forces come under attack in Iraq and…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Danny and Derek once again speak with Mark Ames, co-host of Radio War Nerd, about the state of affairs in Russia and Ukraine. Topics include: the latest round of American aid, what happened with the Ukrainian counter-offensive, Russia re-purposing Soviet milit…
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Danny and Derek welcome back Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins, assistant professor in the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University, to talk about his edited volume Did It Happen Here? Perspectives on Fascism and America. The group explores the utility of the so-called “fascism debate”, its popular resonance since the 2016 election, how Daniel curat…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Derek sits down with resident AP Iran expert Sina Toossi, senior non-resident fellow at the Center for International Policy, to discuss the recent escalations between Israel and Iran. They recap the events of the last several weeks, how domestic politics of Ir…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Danny and Derek once more speak with Daniel Hummel, director of the Lumen Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Upper House, to finish our series on Christian Zionism in the United States since 1948. This episode picks up at the beginning of the Obam…
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Producer’s note: This was recorded on Thursday, April 18, before Israel’s strike on Iran, hence us releasing this earlier than usual. It’s the world news roundup with the ever loyal Danny and Derek. This week: Israel plans a retaliation for Iran’s strike last week, Iran floats the possibility of developing nuclear weapons in response (0:31), and pl…
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Danny and Derek welcome to the podcast actor Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man, Call Me By Your Name, “Boardwalk Empire”) to discuss his role in the new play Patriots, which portrays billionaire Boris Berezovsky’s (Stuhlbarg) relationship with Vladimir Putin (Will Keen) in 1991. The group discusses the challenges in nuanced portrayals of Berezovsky …
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Danny and Derek speak with Tianyu Fang, MacArthur tech and democracy fellow at New America and contributing editor at Reboot, about the current discourse and legislation around “banning” the social media app TikTok. They explore the previous actions against th…
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Danny and Derek bring you stories from around the globe. This week: Iran warns of an imminent response to Israel bombing the IR’s embassy in Syria (0:31); Gaza ceasefire talks remain tenuous (6:15) while the IDF’s “withdrawal” has not yet enabled sufficient aid to enter the Strip (10:47); in Myanmar, rebels seize a key border town (15:27); battlefi…
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Danny and Derek again chat with Penny Von Eschen, William R. Kennan Jr. professor of American studies and professor of history at UVA, about her book Paradoxes of Nostalgia: Cold War Triumphalism and Global Disorder since 1989. This second part of the conversation picks up with Cold War nostalgia in American pop culture, the 90s search for a new “b…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Danny and Derek speak with Jonathan Guyer, contributing editor at The American Prospect, about the eponymous piece he recently wrote for the magazine on Biden’s ideological commitment to Israel and his administration’s handling of the current crisis. The group…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Danny and Derek welcome back Natalie Shure, writer and researcher whose work focuses on history, health, and politics, for an update on where we stand with Havana Syndrome. When Natalie (along with Bob Wright) first chatted with us in December 2021, little was…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Welcome the fourth episode of the collaboration between AP and Nonzero Newsletter! Paid subscribers get a discounted membership to Nonzero— just scroll below the paywall near the bottom of the description, where you’ll also find the video for the Overtime segm…
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Derek and Danny return with the news. This week: In Gaza, the IDF kills members of the World Central Kitchen organization (0:31), Biden follows up with Netanyahu (6:18), more reports on the IDF’s AI targeting systems (10:35), and more; Israeli airstrikes hit Iranian IRGC officers in Syria (20:59); a drone strike in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw (25:0…
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Danny and Derek welcome back Annelle Sheline, former foreign affairs officer at the State Department, to discuss her resignation over the Biden Administration’s handling of Israel and Gaza. They discuss her role at State, what changed there after October 7, her interactions with superiors and administration officials, how the response to Gaza diffe…
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Danny and Derek chat with Penny Von Eschen, William R. Kennan Jr. professor of American studies and professor of history at UVA, about her book Paradoxes of Nostalgia: Cold War Triumphalism and Global Disorder since 1989. In this first part of the discussion, the group explores the affective dimension of nostalgia, how the “end of history” and “cla…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Believe it or not, Brazil’s story didn’t start with Lula and Macron’s iconic photo shoot, and Bryan Pitts, assistant director of the Latin American Institute at UCLA, has graciously agreed to help Danny and Derek tell that story! In this first episode of the H…
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Since Derek is out of town, an unsupervised Danny welcomes back AP friends Michael Brenes, co-director of the Brady-Johnson program in grand strategy at Yale University and publisher of Warfare and Welfare, and Stephen Wertheim, senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to discuss the new vo…
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Danny and Derek speak with Michael G. Vann, professor of history at California State University, Sacramento, about Indonesia, which recently held an election resulting in Prabowo Subianto as president-elect. They discuss the country’s era of reform (Reformasi) since the end of Suharto’s rule in 1998, the composition of its elite class, Prabowo’s co…
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By popular demand, we’re unlocking this episode that was originally released January 28, 2024. Thank you to subscribers who gave feedback! Danny and Derek speak with Sherene Seikaly, associate professor of history at UC Santa Barbara and historian of Palestine, about the eponymous piece she wrote for Jadaliyya at the beginning of 2023. They discuss…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Daniel Immerwahr, Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities at Northwestern University, is back on the pod to discuss his recent piece for The New Yorker, “What Frantz Fanon and Ian Fleming Agreed On”. After a Dune 2 update (see Daniel’s Dune episode with us), …
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Antony Blinken plays the blues while Danny and Derek bring you the news. This week: in Gaza, famine sets in (0:29), U.S.-Israel tensions rise over a potential Rafah invasion (3:52), and more; Pakistan conducts airstrikes in Afghanistan (12:11); Indonesia’s general election results are confirmed (14:37); the DPRK/North Korea tests a hypersonic missi…
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Danny and Derek speak with Jemima Pierre, professor of global race in the Institute of Race, Gender, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ) at the University of British Columbia, about foreign intervention in Haiti—namely instances led by the U.S. and European powers— from the country’s inception to PM Ariel Henry’s resignation last week. They delve i…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Daniel Hummel, director of the Lumen Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Upper House, is back to discuss Christian Zionism in the United States since 1948. This episode picks up in the 1990s with the Oslo Accords, the push for a “Greater Israel”, t…
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Derek and Danny are back, the latter without any rubles. This week: Russian kicks off its presidential election (1:47); a Gaza humanitarian update (4:29) and Biden speaks on a Rafah invasion (11:24); more Israeli strikes in Lebanon (15:30); U.S. policy potentially shifts on DPRK/North Korea (17:17); in Sudan, the military makes gains in Omdurman (2…
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Danny and Derek welcome writer and co-executive producer John Orloff to the pod to discuss Apple TV+’s Masters of the Air miniseries. They go into John’s background, his work on HBO’s seminal Band of Brothers, the distinct horror of WWII aerial warfare, how MOTA tackled the POW experience, the challenge of writing and shooting such a massive produc…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Danny and Derek speak with Ryan Grim of The Intercept about the piece he co-authored with Jeremy Scahill and Daniel Boguslaw about The New York Times’ exposé of the October 7 attacks alleging systematic use of sexual violence by Palestinian militants. They dis…
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Danny and Derek bring you the world. This week: in Gaza, the U.S. makes airdrops while Biden announces a temporary port (0:30), some countries restore UNRWA funding (4:02), and more; a cargo ship is sunk and data cables cut in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen (12:26); the parliament of Pakistan elects a new prime minister (16:15); a renewed attem…
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Derek welcomes back Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), to discuss the humanitarian situation Gaza since the International Court of Justice’s rulings at the end of January in South Africa’s case against Israel. They get into what the court actually ordered, Israel’s response, the current humanitarian catastrophe,…
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This episode originally aired October 29, 2021 Danny and Derek speak with Daniel Immerwahr, professor of history at Northwestern University, about all things Dune. They discuss the importance of culture to understanding U.S. empire, the history of imperial U.S. fiction, the life and times of Frank Herbert, and how Herbert's particular vision of tec…
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Danny and Derek speak with Gabriel Hetland, associate professor of Latin American, Caribbean, and Latina/o Studies and Sociology at the University at Albany, about his book Democracy on the Ground: Local Politics in Latin America’s Left Turn. They discuss the regional shift to the Left, how right-wing forces reacted to this trend, the ways democrac…
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This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.americanprestigepod.com Danny and Derek speak with Trevor Strunk of No Cartridge Audio podcast about the Third Reich in the gaming world, from action blockbusters like Medal of Honor to cerebral indies like Heal Hitler. They discuss the background of militarism in video games, differ…
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Danny and Derek welcome back Lyle Jeremy Rubin, veteran of the war in Afghanistan and author of the memoir Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body: A Marine’s Unbecoming, to discuss his new piece in The Nation, “Taking Aaron Bushnell at His Word (and Deed)”. The group delves into Bushnell’s act of protest, what we know of his ideology and work as a membe…
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Danny and Derek work on leap days. This week: in Gaza, a massacre in Gaza City (0:29), ceasefire talks (5:20), and Netanyahu’s postwar plan (8:35); the U.S. and U.K. launch more joint airstrikes against Yemen (10:25); North Korea trades arms for food with Russia (11:54); in Sudan, military groups block aid shipments to Darfur (14:13); a new date is…
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