Conversations with History host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor Arlie Hochschild, 2017 Moses Lecturer at Berkeley for a discussion of her book Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right which strives to bridge the gap of understanding between liberals and conservatives.
In 2011, Hochschild noticed a resurgence of the American right and decided to study it further in Louisiana. “I felt I was in a bubble here in Berkeley and wanted to learn more about the equal and opposite bubble.” Her goal was simple: to learn more about the conservative perspective through empathetic listening. “When listening to people who have strong opinions that differ from yours,” she explains, “it’s important to temporarily turn off your alarm system and be honest about it.”
But that’s not always easy. Hochschild advices that “when working with people to try to understand them, as sociologists do, it’s important to first create and feel comfortable within your own support system, to find your cocoon. Then, with that support, it won’t be so frightening to reach out.”
The influences that shaped her journey as a sociologist began as a child traveling extensively with her family. Because of her father’s work in the foreign service, Hochschild lived in foreign countries, not wearing the “right clothes” or speaking the language. In essence, she was the outsider… the “oddball.” Says Hochschild, “I think it’s why I’m a sociologist – I had to figure it out.” At social gatherings, she was “the little kid passing the peanuts, watching how people were interacting, people from different worlds and how they were relating to each other, the different signal systems.”
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Our long-running UC Berkeley series “Conversations with History” turns its attention south of the border with host Harry Kreisler’s wide-ranging, intimate conversation with Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico.
As he always does during his unique interviews, Kreisler delves not only into his guest’s public life, but the factors that helped shape him. President Fox shares his formative experiences, including the influence of his ancestors and teachers, his work as a businessman, and the factors that led him to enter politics.
Discussing his Presidency, Fox analyzes the problems of governing in a country simultaneously riding a democratic revolution and the transformations brought about by the new wave of globalization. He also discusses the issues of immigration and drugs and how both impact the future of U.S.-Mexican relations.