March 16, 2018

Episode 51

The slave owner who founded the Democratic Party and, much later, a favorite of Donald Trump. The first President to be impeached. The history of Ronald Reagan’s most famous speech. In a compilation from the archives of Truth Politics and Power, host Neal Conan hears about the disruptive Andrew Jackson, the lurid impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, and how a junior speechwriter came up with the line: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” It’s a “Presidential Milestones” Edition, of Truth, Politics and Power.


March 9, 2018

Episode 50

The final phase of the civil war in Syria is descending to new levels of agony as Syrian and Russian jets reduce a suburban of Damascus to rubble, forcing 400,000 people to live underground. On the next “Truth, Politics and Power,”  Neal Conan refreshes our episode “How Civil Wars End.” Listen back to groundbreaking comparative analysis of the causes, resolutions, duration and lasting impact of civil wars, to a conversation with Deborah Amos on the history and the future of the conflict in Syria. Plus historian  Annette Gordon Reed on the long legacy of the civil war we know best…our own.


March 2, 2018

Episode 49

The boom in oil and gas production in the US has profound effects on the economy and foreign policy – the technology that created the boom, fracking, has industrialized and polluted many communities. In a “Politics of Oil” edition of Truth, Politics and Power, host Neal Conan asks about the trade-offs in the oil and gas glut, about how it changes politics around the world and whether it will delay any transition to clean sources of energy, and thus accelerate the catastrophe of climate change. Also, a conversation about the energy crisis of the 1970s and President Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” speech.


February 23, 2018

Episode 48

As the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, reignites the debate on guns,  we update the “Gun Rights and Gun Control” episode of Truth Politics and Power, produced after a gunman murdered dozens in Las Vegas last fall. Host Neal Conan delves into the history of the debate between gun rights and gun control with UCLA constitutional law specialist Adam Winkler, author of “Gun Fight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America.” The Founding Fathers required every adult white male to own a musket, and bring it to musters where it was inspected and registered. On the next Truth Politics and Power, how a  duty for community self defense evolved into an individual right to bear arms and how the laws changed with both weapons technology and the rise of the National Rifle Association. Plus a conversation on restrictions on research into guns and gun deaths.


February 16, 2018

Episode 47

For more than half a century, Presidents based major decisions on a deliberative process that invited input from all the government agencies concerned. In the next Truth, Politics and Power, a critic describes President Trump’s style  as “sultanism,” with impulsive decisions based on personal relationships rather than the interagency process. In a conversation with George Washington’s fifth great-grand nephew,  host Neal Conan learns why our first president rejected political ties of blood or friendship and why many of his successors were not so meticulous. “Family Ties at the White House”, next Truth, Politics and Power.


February 9, 2018

Episode 46

While the FBI is no stranger to political controversy, the bureau is now the target of an unlikely attack.  President Trump and his allies have launched a campaign to discredit the FBI…and, by extension…the Russia Investigation headed by former FBI director Robert Mueller. In “Presidents, Politics and the FBI”, host Neal Conan speaks with former FBI Agent Asha Rangappa about declassified memos, smoking guns and the culture of the bureau. Plus NPR’s Ron Elving on the political history of the FBI from gangbusters to Watergate, and Garrett Graff, on how the bureau’s changed since 9/11.