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When President Lyndon Baines Johnson dedicated his presidential library in 1971, he declared, "It's all here, the story of our time—with the bark off." Since then, in keeping with his vision, the LBJ Library has been a forum for the biggest names and best minds of our day to address the issues of our time. This podcast brings those conversations straight to you, featuring new interviews as well as recent "best of" live programming from the LBJ Library. Insightful, revealing conversations—"wi ...
 
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Dr. Mark Lawrence is the Director of the LBJ Presidential Library and a former professor of history at The University of Texas at Austin. An expert on the Lyndon Johnson years, he is the author of three books relating to America’s foreign policy during the period. His latest, The End of Ambition: The United States and the Third World in the Vietnam…
 
Since this episode drops on Veterans Day, we thought we would devote it to one of our nation’s most respected veterans. Robert M. Gates spent half a century of his life devoted to public service. He started his career in the Air Force before being recruited to the CIA, where he climbed the ranks to become the agency’s director under President Georg…
 
Mark Twain once said “Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” If so, as the greatest humorist of his day, Twain himself blessed our country throughout much of his life. How appropriate then, to name our nation’s highest award for comedy in his honor. Cappy McGarr co-created the John F. Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which laun…
 
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become a household name. As the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the President, Dr. Fauci is the public health official who has been most visible around the pandemic. But his service to our country goes well beyond co…
 
For 25 years Dr. Leonard Moore, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, has been teaching Black history—mostly to white students. He describes his engaging and provocative new book, Teaching Black History to White People, as “part memoir, part Black history, part pedagogy, part how-to guide.” He argues that Black history should be an esse…
 
The astonishing fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban after nearly 20 years of American occupation has had many wondering what went wrong in our nation’s longest war, not just in recent days but in the two decades that preceded it. Award-winning investigative reporter Craig Whitlock offers an authoritative perspective. Whitlock has covered the war in …
 
The 20th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11 is a time for reflection for many Americans. Most of us remember indelibly where we were when the attacks on our homeland changed the course of history. In this episode, we draw on an LBJ Library program with three pivotal members of the George W. Bush Administration who have their own unique perspectives…
 
For over 50 years J. Edgar Hoover reigned supreme over the Federal Bureau of Investigation, wielding outsize political power as he inspired fear in enemies and allies alike. Through the course of eight presidencies, the Director waged battle against anyone he considered to be a possible enemy of state –from suspected Communists and instigators to t…
 
In spite of our country’s most basic democratic principles, the struggle for voting rights has been consistent throughout our history. But, in the face of voting right suppression, the inability of Congress to enact meaningful voting rights reform, and the efforts of a number of Republican-led states to restrict voting have many concerned about the…
 
The legend of the battle of the Alamo is not only an intrinsic part of Texas lore but is enshrined in the American imagination—a band of fiery rebels fighting for independence who die as martyrs in the cause of liberty. But a new book, “Forget the Alamo!” argues that the Alamo myth is just that—an allegory that tells us what we want to believe abou…
 
Teddy Roosevelt, one of only four U.S. presidents to grace Mount Rushmore, consistently ranks as one of America’s best presidents. But what makes him so great? And how did the volunteer army he organized to fight the Spanish American War in Cuba, the legendary Rough Riders, lead to his meteoric rise in American life? Clay Risen, a senior politics e…
 
For over 25 years, Jean Becker served as the Chief of Staff to former President George H.W. Bush. Her new book, “The Man I Knew: The Amazing Story of George H.W. Bush’s Post-Presidency” provides an intimate glimpse of the 41st President and the ups and downs of his post presidency, revealing his heart, humor, and wisdom. Becker takes us behind the …
 
Jeff Shesol is a historian, former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, and the creator of the comic strip “Thatch.” He is the author of three books including “Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud That Defined a Decade” and “Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. The Supreme Court.” His latest book, “Mercury Rising” chro…
 
Lisa Napoli’s new book, Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie is the story of the “founding mothers” of NPR – Susan Stamberg, Linda Wertheimer, Nina Totenberg, and Cokie Roberts – wrapped around the emergence of public radio and second-wave feminism in the seventies. She talks about the friendship between these remarkable women, how they overcame gender barri…
 
Ronald C. White’s latest book, Lincoln in Private, explores the lesser-known and most personal aspects of President Abraham Lincoln, using 111 notes that Lincoln made to himself over the years. White discusses why Lincoln should be considered our greatest President, personifying the American Dream, while reflecting on how the notes reveal Lincoln’s…
 
Along with her partner Ken Burns, director and producer Lynn Novick has set the standard for documentary film. She has created more than 80 hours of PBS programming with Burns, including The Vietnam War, Baseball, Jazz, and The War, which together have garnered 19 Emmy nominations. Their latest collaboration, Hemingway, takes a hard look at one of …
 
Chuck Robb has spent most of his life “in the arena,” as Theodore Roosevelt called it, engaged in military and public service. As an officer in the Marine Corps, he became a White House social aide, where he met and soon married Lynda Bird Johnson, the daughter of his Commander-in-chief, Lyndon Johnson. Soon after their spectacular White House wedd…
 
Author Walter Isaacson has spent years chronicling the lives of the world’s most innovative minds. The former editor of TIME Magazine, Chairman of CNN, and CEO of the Aspen Institute has written bestselling works on Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs and others. In his latest book The Code Breaker, he explores the life and work of Jen…
 
In her new book “Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight,” and her complementary ABC News podcast, “In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson,” author Julia Sweig takes a very different look at the former first lady. Relying heavily on rarely heard oral diaries that Mrs. Johnson made throughout her time in the White House, she depicts a Lady Bird Johnson …
 
Julián Castro rose from a low-income household in his native San Antonio, Texas, to become the city’s mayor at the age of 34. He would go on to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Barack Obama, becoming President Obama’s youngest Cabinet secretary. A one-time summer intern for the Bill Clinton White House, he ran for the presi…
 
David O. Stewart is the bestselling author of eight books on American history and historical nonfiction. His latest book, George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father, examines the George Washington we may not know—not the imposing, distantly formidable Washington on Mt. Rushmore but a flesh and blood younger Washington who ma…
 
Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts, whose friendship goes back generations - to their grandmothers, Lady Bird Johnson and Lindy Boggs, and their mothers, Lynda Robb and Cokie Roberts - wrote The Suffragist Playbook: Your Guide to Changing the World in recognition of the centennial of the 19th Amendment. The authors discuss the women, many unher…
 
Hank Aaron, who died on January 22 at age 86, was one of baseball’s greatest heroes. His legendary career spanned 23 seasons, including 21 in which he was named an All-Star. When he broke Babe Ruth’s hallowed career homerun record in 1974, it was one of baseball’s most glorious moments. But, in many ways, it was also a painful one for Aaron, who wa…
 
Ben Barnes was a political protégé of Lyndon Johnson. Elected to the Texas legislature in 1960, he became the Speaker of the Texas House at age 26, making him the youngest House Speaker in a state legislature in 95 years. He went on to become Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1969, a post he held for 4 years. As a politician, political strategist or …
 
James A. Baker, III was one of the most consequential statesmen of the latter half of the 20th century. A power broker in Washington during the Ford, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush administrations, Secretary Baker held three different cabinet positions, twice served in the role of Chief of Staff, and ran five presidential campaigns. As Secretary of S…
 
During the 8 years of the Obama presidency, Valerie Jarrett was one of the most powerful people in Washington. A top advisor to President Obama, she oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. She now serves as a senior advisor to the Obama Foundation and a Senior Di…
 
Paola Ramos is a host and correspondent for VICE and VICE News, as well as a contributor to MSNBC and Telemundo News. Her new book, Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity, explores an expanding definition of means to be Latino in America, and ultimately, what it means to be an American. As Stacey Abrams has said of the b…
 
Dr. Don Carleton is founder and executive director of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin, an archive documenting key themes in U.S. and world history. The Briscoe Center’s new book, Flash of Light, Wall of Fire, provides little seen photographic documentation of the horrific human toll of the atomic b…
 
Robert Dallek is one of our country’s leading presidential historians. His many books include groundbreaking works on Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon. Dallek discusses his latest book, “How Did We Get Here?: From Theodore Roosevelt to Donald Trump,” which charts how the triumphs and failures of our modern pres…
 
Since breaking the fateful story of Watergate in 1972, Bob Woodward has been at the top of his field, twice winning the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism and writing 18 best-selling books. Woodward’s latest book, “Rage,” his second on Donald Trump, features 18 exclusive interviews with President Trump himself. In this episode, he discusses the explosiv…
 
Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for President, has been a major fixture in politics for nearly half a century, since his election to the Senate in 1972. In the fall of 2017, the former Vice President came to the LBJ Presidential Library, where he spoke about the values instilled in him by his parents and how they shaped him, why he got into polit…
 
In this episode, we hear from Nona Jones, author, media personality, and Head of Global Faith-Based Partnerships at Facebook. Her recent initiative “Faith and Prejudice” - a church-based effort to help white parishioners confront and dismantle racism in themselves, their churches, and their communities - has reached over 6 million viewers since its…
 
Jennifer Palmieri has spent her career in Democratic politics. In 2013, she became the White House Director of Communications for Barack Obama and went on to become the Director of Communications for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid. After Clinton’s loss, she wrote “Dear Madam President,” a #1 New York Times bestseller. Her new book, “She Pr…
 
In today’s episode, we take a look at the upcoming presidential election that will pit President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence against Democratic challengers Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Joining us to offer their analysis and perspectives are two prominent political analysts. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, a contributor to MSNBC, is the As…
 
This month marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote in the United States. To mark the occasion, we bring you conversations with two iconic women, Nancy Pelosi and Condoleezza Rice. First is an interview with one of our nation’s most powerful women, Nancy Pelosi, who made history in 2007 by bec…
 
Paul Begala is one of our nation’s most talented political strategists. He came to national prominence in 1992 when he helped then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton win the presidency, then served as counselor to President Clinton, coordinating policy, politics and communications. A CNN contributor, he is the author of six political books, including h…
 
This episode explores how to build a meaningful social movement with two leading forces in activism today. Brittany Packnett Cunningham is an educator, writer, NBC News contributor, and co-founder of Campaign Zero, a policy platform to end police violence. Cristina Tzinztún Ramírez, a recent candidate for the U.S. Senate, is an author, community or…
 
Acclaimed author Larry Tye's latest book, "Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy," examines the pernicious legacy of the notorious senator from Wisconsin, whose anti-Communist campaign in the 1950s—built largely on falsehoods and fabrication—led to division and disunity that seems very familiar in America today. Tye's other bo…
 
Melody Barnes served as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Barack Obama, and is the host of the recent podcast "LBJ and the Great Society." Currently, she's a professor at the University of Virginia's Miller Center and co-director of the university's Democracy Initiative. In this conversation, Barnes reflects on thi…
 
Robert Caro is one of our country's most celebrated authors. His four volumes chronicling the life and times of Lyndon Johnson and 1,300-page book on New York power broker Robert Moses have earned him nearly every major literary honor, including the National Book Award and two Pulitzer Prizes. In this interview with his friend and fellow author Ste…
 
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has earned a place in history, not only as the first woman to take on the role, but as one of the most effective. Molly Ball's new book "Pelosi," a New York Times bestseller and recommended by The Washington Post as one of "20 Books to Read This Summer," tracks Speaker Pelosi's eventful life…
 
Veteran television journalist Chris Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, discusses his new book, "Countdown 1945," detailing the turbulent first 116 days of Harry Truman's presidency, from Truman unexpectedly becoming president in the wake of Franklin Roosevelt's death to the bombing of Hiroshima to end World War II. Wallace also shares what it's …
 
Bakari Sellers became the youngest African American elected official in the country in 2007, when he was sworn into the South Carolina legislature at age 22. Currently a contributor to CNN, he talks about his new book, "My Vanishing Country: A Memoir," which looks at the rural black America in which he grew up and how it has changed adversely over …
 
Dr. Peniel E. Joseph is a Professor of Public Affairs and the founding director for the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. His critically acclaimed new book, "The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.," argues for a new …
 
As a reporter and news anchor, Dan Rather has covered the biggest stories of the last half-century, from the Civil Rights Movement and Watergate to 9/11 and COVID-19. His wise commentary on current events has made him a social media phenomenon with millions of followers. Rather gives us his perspective on the times we're living in compared to those…
 
President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court in January 2017. In this episode, Justice Gorsuch talks to us about his recent book, "A Republic, If You Can Keep It," in which he reflects on the dramatic changes in his life after his nomination; his experience on the high court since his appointment and the judicial principles of origin…
 
A virus starts in Asia, quickly growing into a global pandemic that throws the U.S. and the world into a state of chaos. Sound familiar? It's actually the plot of "The End of October," the new novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and staff writer for The New Yorker, Lawrence Wright. We talk to Wright about the creative impetus for the novel, what…
 
Two years after her passing, we explore the remarkable life of former First Lady Barbara Bush with Mrs. Bush's grandson, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who continues his family's long tradition of public service, and Jean Becker, the longtime chief of staff to George H.W. Bush, and author of the new book from those who knew and learned fro…
 
In this episode, we seek to put the current COVID-19 pandemic into perspective by speaking with Dr. David M. Oshinsky. As the director of the Division of Medical Humanities at New York University, Oshinsky has a direct connection to the medical community in New York City, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. And as the au…
 
This episode features renowned documentarian Ken Burns, one of our nation's most gifted storytellers. As Burns told us, "everybody has a story to tell." In this conversation, we get a glimpse of Burns' own story as he talks about his life and what led him to his indelible career as a filmmaker and chronicler of the American experience. The conversa…
 
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