Category Archives: Conversations with History

Unwind George Packer’s “The Unwinding”

In this episode of Conversations with History, host Harry Kreisler welcomes George Packer, author of The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq, to discuss his new book, The Unwinding.

In this book, Packer interweaves the narratives of several different Americans, to paint the picture of a superpower coming undone at the seams. He tells the tale of an Evangelist son of tobacco farmers, a factory worker in a fading Rust Belt town, a silicon valley billionaire with radical ideas about the future and the internet, and a Washington insider torn between political ideals and greed; even Newt Gingrich and Jay-Z have a role in Packer’s book.

Hear Packer explain his ideas behind this image of the “new America” and how these lives give insight to the changing American dream in “The Unwinding with George Packer.” Get behind the story as George discusses forming his political identity and how he became the writer he is today.

Watch other authors who have visited UC Berkeley on Conversations with History.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Force and Diplomacy with Karl Eikenberry

A commander of the army and a diplomat seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum of foreign relations, but the two titles have been filled by one man: Karl Eikenberry.

In this episode of Conversations with History, Harry Kreisler is joined by Karl Eikenberry, who commanded coalition troops in Afghanistan and served as US Ambassador there.

Eikenberry is now the William J. Perry Fellow in International Security at Stanford University, where he continues to teach that the two roles have more in common than one might think.

He encourages people in the armed forces, particularly army and marines (those deployed on the ground) to have a strong liberal arts background in order to better understand and empathize the foreign cultures that they work within.

Watch “Force and Diplomacy with Karl Eikenberry” to hear Eikenberry give his expert opinion on the current situation in Afghanistan as the U.S. formulates an exit strategy, turning its attention towards China.

See who else has visited UC Berkeley to join Harry Kreisler on Conversations with History.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Considering Dogs

 Have you ever wondered what your dog was thinking? Professor Alexandra Horowitz of Columbia University offers new insight to understanding the way a dog’s mind works. Hear Horowitz discuss the societal roles dogs have developed now, and throughout history in her talk, “Considering Dogs,” from the UC Berkeley Graduate Council.

In this episode of “Conversations with History,” Horowitz discusses what led her to write her best-selling book, Inside of a Dog, in which she analyzes the cognition of dogs with consideration of their wolf ancestry, anatomy, cognitive skills, and the way dogs have adapted to life with humans.

Dogs and humans might be more connected than you might think. UC Davis, one of the most renowned veterinary schools in the country, has these clips to offer about Dog Blood Donors, Dogs Getting Cancer Care, and Police Dogs.

Did you know that dogs can also have obsessive compulsive disorder? Check out the Zoobiquity Series, in which clinicians and veterinarians discuss how the same diseases afflict more than just humans, comparing ways to diagnose and treat illnesses between species.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Coming to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran

What do you know about Iran? Correction: What do you think you know about Iran?

In Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran, co-authors Hillary Mann Leverett of American University and Flynt Leverett of Penn State University acknowledge the biases within Americans’ perceptions of Iran. Both authors previously worked overseas for the state department, which is how they met and were given front row seats to the government’s interactions with the Middle East beginning with the Gulf War.

Watch “Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran with Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett” as they discuss the desires and politics of Iran compared to the American quest for dominance in the region, and listen to their proposal for improving U.S. relations and perceptions of Iran, emulating the way Nixon strengthened relations with China.

If you like this video, see other programs in International Affairs and the Middle East.

Watch more Conversations with History videos.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

A Look at the Air Force’s Past and Prospective Future

It is rumored that the military possesses technology so advanced that the likes of  it won’t trickle down to the public consumer market for years. In thinking of all the technological progress made in the last fifty years, it’s hard to imagine the scope of the military’s advancements.

In this episode of “Conversations with History,” UC Berkeley’s Harry Kreisler interviews General Norton Schwartz, former chief of staff of the United States Air Force, as he talks about the start of  his career as an Air Force pilot, how the military has advanced with the times, and his ideas for the future of the military.

During the span of his career, Schwartz has dealt with the development of  controversial issues such as the security of nuclear power and the use of unmanned aircraft, or drones.

In “The Air Force in the twenty First Century with General Norton Schwartz,” hear General Schwartz discuss how the changes he endured in the  past could provide insight to help prepare the military for the ever changing future.

If you like this video, check out the other videos in the “Conversations with History” series.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plus