February 6, 2023No commentJordan Gross played 11 seasons as an Offensive Tackle for the Carolina Panthers. In his rookie season, he was a starting member of the Panthers team that made it to Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. In his final season (2011) he was selected for his third Pro Bowl. Today he is a farmer in Idaho and one of the happiest people we’ve ever met. Jordan joins Bob & Ben for a conversation about his career, the way the NFL has changed over the last few decades, what it’s like to play in the Super Bowl, and how his early life in Idaho led him to the NFL and then back again. Jordan also discusses why he decided to walk away from professional football when he was still an All-Pro-quality player, the importance of mentoring and coaching young people, and why continuing to learn is fundamental to a happy life. You can hear Jordan alongside former teammate Jake Delhomme on their podcast Jordan and Jake, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other podcast apps where you get The Road to Now. Patrons! You can hear the extended cut of our conversation with Jordan by clicking here. If you’d like to join us just go to Patreon.com/TheRoadToNow for details! This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.
January 23, 2023No commentJanuary 20th was the official halfway mark of the Biden Administration’s first term. That might seem like a an odd time to discuss Presidential transitions, but with the justice department still prosecuting participants in the January 6th insurrection it’s never too soon to ask ourselves what lay ahead for 2024. Our guest in this episode, David Marchick is Dean of the Kogod School of Business at American University, but until recently he was director of the Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition and the host of its Transition Lab podcast. He is also the co-author of a fascinating new book The Peaceful Transfer of Power: An Oral History of America’s Presidential Transitions (UVA Press, 2022). Whether it was the worst transition in our nation’s history—Buchanan to Abraham Lincoln or arguably the smoothest—The Bush 43 to Obama administrations—Marchick breaks down the good, the bad, and the ugly of Presidential transitions. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.
January 16, 2023No commentAt the end of World War II, the United States had few laws protecting the environment. Just 30 years later, the Environmental Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act had been enacted, representing the urgency of, and widespread support for, environmental protections in those years. Douglas Brinkley, author of Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Great Environmental Awakening (Harper Collins, 2022) joins Bob & Ben to discuss the story of environmentalism in the US from Kennedy to Nixon, and how ecologists and great thinkers such as Rachel Carson were able to channel public concern over the environment into policies that continue to benefit us today. Dr. Douglas Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University, a CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. You can hear our previous conversations with Doug in RTN episode 52 and episode 87. You can hear our full unedited conversation w/ Douglas Brinkley by joining us on Patreon! Just click here or go to Patreon.com/TheRoadToNow to join! This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher and Ben Sawyer.
January 9, 2023No commentThis is part two of our conversation w/ Maximillian Potter & Richard Stayskal. For part 1, check out RTN episode # 257. Since 1950, the Feres Doctrine has prevented active-duty members of the US Armed Forces from suing the government for wrongful injury or death that occurred outside of combat. In this episode we speak with journalist Maximillian Potter and decorated Green Beret Richard Stayskal to learn about the injustice many service members have endured, the reasoning behind the decision, and what can be done to help bring justice to those wrongfully injured while serving in the US Armed Forces. Links to more information relevant to this episode: Maximillian Potter, “Incident to Service, Vanity Fair, Dec. ‘22/Jan. ’23. Khawam Law (the firm that is helping Richard Stayskal and other veterans fight for justice in Congress): https://www.khawamlaw.com/ This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher, Bob Crawford & Ben Sawyer.
January 2, 2023No commentSince 1950, the Feres Doctrine has prevented active-duty members of the US Armed Forces from suing the government for wrongful injury or death that occurred outside of combat. In this episode we speak with journalist Maximillian Potter and decorated Green Beret Richard Stayskal to learn about the injustice many service members have endured, the reasoning behind the decision, and what can be done to help bring justice to those wrongfully injured while serving in the US Armed Forces. Links to more information relevant to this episode: Maximillian Potter, “Incident to Service, Vanity Fair, Dec. ‘22/Jan. ’23. Khawam Law (the firm that is helping Richard Stayskal and other veterans fight for justice in Congress): https://www.khawamlaw.com/ This is the first in a two-part series on the Feres Doctrine featuring Max Potter & Richard Stayskal. Part II aired as Road to Now #258 on Monday, January 8, 2023. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher & Ben Sawyer.
December 5, 2022No commentOn July 4, 1964, Alabama Governor George Wallace decried the passing of “ [a] law that is going to destroy individual freedom and liberty in this country.” That law was the Civil Rights act of 1964, which struck down many of the Jim Crow laws that relegated black Americans to second-class citizens. How could Wallace and so many like him throughout American history see no irony in decrying the federal government for taking away their freedom to deny freedom to others? In this episode, we take that question up with Jefferson Cowie whose new book, Freedom’s Dominion: A Saga of White Resistance to Federal Power (Basic Books, 2022), explores the meaning of freedom as understood by the white residents of one county in southern Alabama in the 19th and 20th centuries. Dr. Jefferson Cowie is James G. Stahlman Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, where he teaches social and political history. You can hear our previous conversations with Jeff in episode #24 The Great Exception: The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order and in episode #115 The 1970s. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.
November 14, 2022No commentBob welcomes leadership consultant, author, and speaker Dov Baron. Inc. Magazine named Dov one of the top 100 leadership speakers in the country and his Curiosity Bites podcast the number one leadership podcast. For over two decades Dov has advised business leaders, politicians, entertainers, scientists, and musicians, about how to discover their emotional source code. In this episode we get to meet Dov and hear him work his magic with his newest client: America. You don’t want to miss this unique episode of The Road to Now. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.
Chernobyl, The Last Czars and the Pros & Cons of Dramatizing History w/ Philippa Heatherington & Jon Waterlow (#141 rebroadcast)November 7, 2022No commentThe Netflix series The Last Czars and HBO’s Chernobyl have (in very different ways) brought Russian & Soviet history to televisions across the world. In this episode, Ben sits down with fellow Russian historians Dr. Philippa Hetherington and Dr. Jonathan Waterlow to discuss their opinions on the two series, what they think they got right, and ways that producers and scholars might benefit most from collaboration on future projects. Philippa, who is a featured scholar in The Last Czars, shares her experience being interviewed, her impression of the show after seeing it, and her work to correct historical errors that viewers identified after release. This episode is a rebroadcast of RTN #141, which originally aired on Sept. 2, 2019. Tragically, Philippa Heatherington passed away on November 5, 2022 after a long fight with cancer. She was a brilliant scholar, an advocate for those living with cancer, and a genuinely delightful human being. You can learn more about her work at PhilippaHeatherington.com. This reair was edited by Ben Sawyer.
October 31, 2022No commentDeath is something that we all have in common, but what happens to our remains can vary. In this episode, RTN favorite Tanya Marsh breaks down the origins, legal peculiarities and cultural specificities of the American death care system, and how recent developments in the industry are leading many of us to reimagine the afterlife of our physical remains. Tanya Marsh is Professor of Law at Wake Forest University and one of the foremost experts on Mortuary Law and the history of cemeteries in the United States. She has published three books in her field of expertise, including The Law of Human Remains (2015) & Cemetery Law: The Common Law of Burying Grounds in the United States (Co-authored w/ Daniel Gibson, 2015).You can follow her on twitter at @TMAR22. If you enjoyed this episode, check our first conversation w/ Tanya in episode #76 and Tanya’s special guest host appearance in episode 148 The Bizarre Life of American Death w/ Caitlin Doughty. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.
October 24, 2022No commentPete Souza has spent more time inside the ‘Presidential bubble’ than almost anyone. The more than thirteen years he spent photographing Ronald Reagan (1983-1989) and Barack Obama (2009-2017) gave him a singular view into the executive branch that he has captured and shared with the public through his photography. In this episode, Pete joins Bob & Ben to discuss his new book The West Wing & Beyond: What I Saw Inside the Presidency, which looks beyond the Presidents themselves and to the people and spaces that define the office of the US President. You can learn more about Pete Souza’s work at his website, petesouza.com, and by following him on twitter and Instagram at @petesouza. You can also check out the documentary film The Way I See It (Focus Features, 2020) which tells the story of Pete’s work inside the White House (and features a brief cameo by Bob & Ben). If you enjoy this episode, check out Pete’s previous appearances on The Road to Now in episode #131 and episode #151. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.
October 17, 2022No commentAlthough he passed away a decade ago, Levon Helm is still the voice of Americana music. Always will be, in my opinion. Levon was drummer for The Band, collaborator with Bob Dylan, actor, husband, father, and friend. In his new book, Levon Helm: Rock, Roll, Ramble, author John Barry gives a first-hand account of Levon’s struggles with cancer and financial ruin that led to the legendary Midnight Rambles concerts at his home in Woodstock, New York. On this episode of the Road to Now, Bob celebrates the life of Levon Helm with John, and musician and producer Larry Campbell who has worked with Levon, as well as Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, K.D. Lang, and Willie Nelson. This is an episode you don’t want to miss. This episode was edited by Bob Crawford & Gary Fletcher
October 10, 2022No commentLibertarianism has had a tremendous influence on American politics, but according to Andrew Koppelman, its most prominent adherents have stripped libertarian philosophy of its more humane intentions. In this episode, Andrew joins Bob and Ben for a discussion about his new book, Burning Down the House: How Libertarian Philosophy Was Corrupted by Delusion and Greed (St. Martin’s Press, 2022) and why he contends that libertarian philosophers such as Friedrich Hayek have been stripped of their original intent by those who have ulterior motives. Dr. Andrew Koppelman is John Paul Stevens Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University. You can learn more about his work at AndrewKoppelman.com and follow him on twitter at @AndrewKoppelman. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.
Annette Gordon-ReedUniversity Historian
Annette Gordon-Reed is Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard University and the author of On Juneteenth.
Ken BurnsDocumentary Filmmaker
Ken Burns is a legendary documentarian whose work has changed the way we understand our country's past.
Heather Cox RichardsonProfessor of History
Dr. Heather Cox Richardson is Professor of History at Boston College and the author of six books on US history. Her “Letters f...
Rick PerlsteinJournalist / Historian
Rick Perlstein is the author of multiple New York Times Best-sellers including Reaganland & Nixonland.
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