Long before the existence of UCTV, or the Internet for that matter, Harry Kreisler has been sitting in the host’s chair, interviewing a parade of prominent figures — world leaders, researchers, journalists, filmmakers, policy makers, academics, business icons — from inside a small studio on the UC Berkeley campus.
Kreisler, the executive director of UC Berkeley’s Institute of International Studies, launched “Conversations with History” in 1982 to share some of the campus’ incredible visitors with the public through local cable access channels. These days, Kreisler has viewers around the globe who tune in to his hour-long, in-depth interviews through UCTV’s website, YouTube and iTunes channels, iPhone app, and even on their TVs through Roku and, in California, on cable.
After his impressive 40-year career at UC Berkeley, it’s time to turn the tables on the affable host to find out what shaped his life, his work and his outlook on the university and its future. Guest hosts Jack Citrin, professor and director of the Institute of Governmental Studies, and Robert Price, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, interview Kreisler about his formative experiences, his education at Brandeis and Berkeley, and his work at the Institute of International Studies. He explains the origins of the long-running series he created, the development of his craft as an interviewer, and recalls some of the highlights of the 555 interviews he’s conducted. (Read UCTV’s 2010 interview with Kreisler for more great anecdotes.)
Watch “Conversations with History: My Forty Years at Berkeley,” online now. Then poke around the Conversations with History archive with video going back more than 30 years!