Blanche Wiesen Cook is the author of the new biography "Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume 2 1933-1938. (Viking) This edition covers The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the build-up to World War II. Cook a professor of history at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is author of "Eleanor Roosevelt," "Crystal Eastman on Women and Revolution," and "The Declassified Eisenhower."
Harris Wofford was Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy for Civil Rights, the Assistant Director of the Peace Corps, a lawyer for Martin Luther King, Jr., and president of Bryn Mawr University. He currently practices law in Philadelphia. His new book is "Of Kennedys and Kings: Making Sense of the Sixties." He joins the show to discuss the leadership styles of three SIxties' figures: John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Activist Dick Gregory recently gave a speech for the Ford Hall Forum that was recorded by NPR. Today, Fresh Air will play an excerpt of that speech, on the subject "Are Minorities Really Powerless?" The topics addressed in the excerpt are the 1980 presidential election, Gregory's distaste for the concept of "voting for the lessor of two evils," and the "choicelessness" the common voter feels. The speech was given prior to the election.
Writer and humorist Roy Blount's new book is "Crackers," a book of "impressions" about Southerners, Northerners, Jimmy Carter, and a fictional Carter family. Blount joins the show to talk about his book, Carter, the 1980 election, and the current political climate.
Robert Edgar is a United States Representative for Delaware County. He is one of the few liberal Democrats who survived the 1980 election. Edgar is the chair of the Northeast-Midwest Coalition and was part of the fact finding mission to El Salvador. He is also a Methodist minister who was once a pastor. He joins the show to discuss the Reagan administration, the role of money and the media in politics, the "moral majority," and working in Congress. He will also answer listener questions.
Michael Harrington is the Chair of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC), the "left" portion of the Democratic Party. The group's goals include national healthcare, full employment, and more control of corporate policies. Harrington has been an activist his entire career, and his book "The Other America," was essential in pushing Presidents Kennedy and Johnson in creating anti-poverty agendas. His new book is "Decade of Decision."
The Pennsylvania Democrat works to counteract the policy positions of the moral majority. He sees hope in the rise of prominent moderate Republicans to steer the direction of the Reagan administration toward less conservative economic and foreign policy decisions. Fresh Air listeners call in with their questions.
Jules Feiffer is a cartoonist known for satirizing the middle class, politicians, and sexual attitudes in his comic strip "Feiffer.". He began his career at The Village Voice and is now syndicated nationally. Feiffer has also written several screenplays, including "Little Murders." A new collection of his work "Jules Feiffer's America: From Eisenhower to Reagan."
Seymour Hersh is an investigative journalist known in part for breaking the story of the My Lai Massacre for which he received a 1970 Pulitzer Prize. Hersh also won Polk Awards in 1969, 1973, 1974, and 1981. Hersh is currently the national correspondent for The Atlantic, and his new book is "The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House." The book studies Kissinger's use and abuse of power during his international negotiations and his power plays within the Nixon administration. Hersh joins the show to discuss his book and career.
The civil rights leader is running for president as a Democrat on a platform of supporting racial minorities and the economically disadvantaged. Despite the appeal of his positions, many in his party doubt whether he has the ability to defeat Ronald Reagan.
Activist Eleanor Smeal was the president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) from 1977-1982. She is also the author of "Why and How Women Will Elect the Next President." Smeal's book examines the political "gender gap," women's political issues, organizing women, getting out the vote, and women running for election. Smeal joins the show to discuss the women's movement and the upcoming election in which Smeal endorses Walter Mondale.
Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter grew up in Plains, Georgia. She met her husband, Jimmy, when she was 17 and he was 20 years old. She was glad that his naval career allowed them to travel, and when they returned to Georgia after his father's death, Carter was upset. It was there, however, that she grew into a business partner in her husband's peanut farm. Carter spoke last week with Betty Ford on the topic of modern First Ladies. Carter's life before and during the presidency is discussed in her new memoir "First Lady from Plains."
General Alexander Haig came to national prominence during the Nixon administration, where he served in several roles including as Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs and Chief of Staff. He continued working for the Ford administration, leading to his appointment as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. Haig served 18 months as the Secretary of State for President Ronald Reagan. He often clashed with the president and his staff, and resigned in 1982. His new memoir: Caveat: realism, Reaganism, and Foreign Policy," details his time in the administration.
Political analyst David Gergen speaks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about President Reagan's relationship with the press. Gergen considers the way presidents use media to disseminate their policies and shape the narrative of their administrations.
Paul Nitze began his political career in FDR's administration. His research on the nuclear arms race and the Soviet Union has helped shape the US's foreign and military policy over the past several decades.
White House counsel John Ehrlichman was among many in the Nixon administration who served time for his involvement in the Watergate scandal. He has since become a writer, publishing a memoir and several novels.