C-SPAN's Susan Swain hosts intriguing hour-long conversations with people who are making things happen. New episodes every Sunday evening. From the network that brings you "Washington Today" and "Lectures in History" podcasts.

C-SPAN's Susan Swain hosts intriguing hour-long conversations with people who are making things happen. New episodes every Sunday evening. From the network that brings you "Washington Today" and "Lectures in History" podcasts.


Washington, DC




C-SPAN's Susan Swain hosts intriguing hour-long conversations with people who are making things happen. New episodes every Sunday evening. From the network that brings you "Washington Today" and "Lectures in History" podcasts.






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Presidential Recordings Trailer: Season 2 President Richard Nixon

At least 6 U.S. Presidents recorded conversations while in office. Hear those conversations on this C-SPAN podcast. Season 2 focuses on President Richard Nixon's secretly-recorded private telephone conversations. Through eight episodes, hear Richard Nixon talk with key aides about Watergate strategy, potential Supreme Court Nominees, and hear his reaction to the leaked publication of the Pentagon Papers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


Mark Clague, "O Say Can You Hear?"

University of Michigan musicology and American culture professor Mark Clague discusses his book, "O Say Can You Hear?," about the history and cultural impact of the Star-Spangled Banner, written by Francis Scott Key in 1814. He talks about how it became the U.S. national anthem, its widespread use today at sporting events, and renditions of the song performed by Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Roseanne Barr, and others. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


Author John Bainbridge, Jr., on the Weapons That Transformed America and the Men Who Invented Them

Former Baltimore Sun reporter John Bainbridge, Jr., author of “Gun Barons,” talks about the inventors who started Colt, Smith & Wesson, Winchester, and Remington, and the role their firearms played in U.S. westward expansion and the Civil War. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


Janna Levin on Black Holes/Sagittarius A* & Jessica Whiteside on the Mars Perseverance Rover

This week we look at two space-related stories in the news recently: the release of an image of Sagittarius A star, a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and the progress made by NASA's Perseverance Rover in its search for life on Mars. We are joined by two guests, Barnard College astrophysicist and author Janna Levin and University of Southampton geochemistry professor Jessica Whiteside. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


Phil Klay, "Uncertain Ground"

Iraq War veteran and National Book Award winning-author Phil Klay discusses his book of essays, titled "Uncertain Ground," about the impact of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on American society and the chasm between the less than one percent of citizens who serve in the military and the rest of the nation. He also talks about the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, and other topics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...


Booknotes+ Mark Vonnegut, "The Heart of Caring"

We're taking a break for Memorial Day, and thought we'd use this opportunity to share an episode of our Booknotes+ podcast, where you'll meet Dr. Mark Vonnegut, who reflects on 40 years as a pediatrician in his book, "The Heart of Caring." In the dedication of his book, "The Heart of Caring," Dr. Mark Vonnegut tells his patients, teachers, and parents everywhere, "Thank you for letting me have such a good time when I go to work." Dr. Vonnegut is a pediatrician who graduated from Harvard...


Louisa Lim, "Indelible City"

In 1997, sovereignty over Hong Kong was passed from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China. Large demonstrations opposing China's authority began in the early 2000s in the port city, culminating with the 2019 protests and subsequent crackdowns by the Chinese government that made headlines around the world. Louisa Lim, author of "Indelible City," who grew up in Hong Kong and covered Hong Kong and China as a reporter for the BBC and NPR, talks about the history of British rule in...


Amy Gajda, "Seek and Hide"

Amy Gajda, professor of law at Tulane University in New Orleans and author of “Seek and Hide,” discusses the historic struggle in the United States between an individual’s right to privacy and the public’s right to know newsworthy information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


Darlene Superville, "Jill"

Darlene Superville, White House reporter for the Associated Press and co-author of "Jill," talks about the life and career of First Lady Jill Biden. Ms. Superville discusses Jill Biden's involvement in Joe Biden's political career, her role as a teacher, and the causes – including working with military families – that she took up in the Obama and Biden administrations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

Archivist of the United States David Ferriero is retiring this spring after nearly 13 years in office. Appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed in 2009, he is the 10th archivist to oversee the National Archives as well as the nation's now 15 presidential libraries. During his tenure, Mr. Ferriero presided over a digital transformation of how archival material is collected and preserved. And it was under his leadership that the Archives debuted "Remembering Vietnam," its first-ever...


Matthew Continetti, "The Right"

Author & journalist Matthew Continetti talks about the history of the American right-wing since the early 20th century. He says that a populist strain challenged mainstream conservatism several times over that period, ultimately triumphing with the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Mr. Continetti is also a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and founding editor at the Washington Free Beacon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


Mary Sarotte, "Not One Inch"

During discussions over the reunification of Germany in 1990, U.S. Secretary of State James Baker told Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not expand eastward. "Not one inch," Baker assured Gorbachev. In the lead-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin used those words to suggest that the U.S. and NATO were not interested in peace and could not be trusted. Mary Sarotte, professor of history at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and author of "Not...


Kostya Kennedy, "True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson"

April 15th, 2022, marks the 75th anniversary of the day that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Since 2004, April 15th has been known in the baseball world as "Jackie Robinson Day," in honor of the Brooklyn Dodgers player. We talked with Kostya Kennedy, former senior writer for Sports Illustrated, about Jackie Robinson's life and career. In his new book "True," Mr. Kennedy writes about four significant years in Robinson's life: 1946, when he started in the...


Michael Meyer, "Benjamin Franklin's Last Bet"

In his will, Benjamin Franklin left 1000 pounds sterling each to the cities of Boston and Philadelphia. The money was to be loaned out, in small increments and at low-interest rates, to tradesmen who wanted to start their own businesses. Franklin estimated that even with a small rate of return, the trust fund would grow over the years and both cities would end up with large windfalls by the end of the twentieth century. University of Pittsburgh professor Michael Meyer, author of "Benjamin...


Benjamin Barton, "The Credentialed Court"

If Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed by the Senate, we will have the most diverse Supreme Court in U.S. history. University of Tennessee law professor Benjamin Barton, author of "The Credentialed Court," argues that while this is true on the surface, a closer look suggests that there is a "radical similarity" among the justices – especially when considering their educational and career paths after graduating high school. He has spent the past 12 years studying the backgrounds of...


Andrew Rice, "The Year That Broke America"

The title of the book "The Year That Broke America" refers to the year 2000, when an immigration crisis captured the headlines, Donald Trump ran for president, and Al Qaeda operatives arrived in the U.S. to learn to fly. Author Andrew Rice, a contributing editor at New York magazine, discusses the events of that year, which started with the fear of a global computer meltdown and ended with a fight over one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history. Learn more about your ad...


Renee Knake Jefferson, “Shortlisted”

Law professor Renee Knake Jefferson, co-author of “Shortlisted” discusses the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court and talks about some of the women who were considered for the court in the past, but were passed over. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


Dana Rubin, Speaking While Female Speech Bank

Speechwriter and consultant Dana Rubin discusses her Speaking While Female Speech Bank, an online archive of speeches made by women throughout history that she says have been unjustly overlooked or forgotten. She talks about the archive and speeches by Queen Elizabeth II, Barbara Jordan, Phyllis Schlafly and others. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


V. P. Franklin, "The Young Crusaders"

Hundreds of thousands of children and teenagers were active participants in the Civil Rights Movement. They took part in boycotts, strikes, marches, and demonstrations and faced many of the same risks as their adult counterparts. Professor of history emeritus V. P. Franklin, author of "The Young Crusaders," joins us to talk about the stories of these sometimes overlooked contributors to social justice in the United States. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


Ryan Walters, "The Jazz Age President"

On almost all presidential rankings lists, you will find Warren Harding's name at or near the bottom. On C-SPAN's 2021 survey of presidential historians, he was 37 out of 44. Historian Ryan Walters argues that while Harding had his faults, his accomplishments – including bringing the country back to normalcy after WWI and setting out an economic plan that led to the Roaring Twenties – are often overlooked when assessing his presidency. In his book "The Jazz Age President," Mr. Walters lays...