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Today's dominant political refrain is that America is in a state of decline. But to James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic, nothing could further be from the truth. Over the course of a three-year, 54,000-mile journey across the country, he discovered many surprising points of reinvention, in every region of the country and enough to refresh the bleak national conversation to reflect a positive truth. Fallows reports on the wide range of civic projects underway that are rebuilding America a cross-section of generations, races, and political affiliations working far from the usual metropolitan hubs. Recorded on 05/01/2017.

Professor Robert B. Reich ignites a discussion of the good we have had in common, what happened to it, and what we might do to restore it. His goal is not that we all agree on the common good. It is that we get into the habit of thinking and talking about it, listening to each other's views and providing a means for people with opposing views to debate these questions civilly. Presented by the Cal Class of 1968 and the Goldman School of Public Policy's Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement (founded by the Class of 1968). Recorded on 10/12/2018.

Harry Kreisler welcomes former Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm for a discussion of lessons learned from her political career. She recalls her formative experiences, analyzes the essential qualities of leadership, and recounts the cascade of crises she confronted as a governor because of the failure of Michigan to recognize and adapt to challenges posed by international economic competitiveness and technological innovation. Leading at a time of structural manufacturing decline, she had to navigate transition to a new economy. Granholm concludes with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the two parties in meeting these challenges. Recorded on 11/18/2018.

The Trump Administration has an anti-ISIS military policy but has zeroed out reconstruction support for areas that have been liberated from ISIS in Syria. It has an anti-Iranian policy both rhetorically and economically, but it leaves containing the spread of Iran and the Shia militias in Syria to Israel and to the Russians and leaves Israel on its own to deal with the Russians. It has declared it will present a peace plan for the Israelis and Palestinians but at this point is unable to deal directly with the Palestinian Authority. In all these areas, there are elements of a policy but inconsistencies as well. The gap between objectives and means remains wide. Can it be bridged? Will we see an effective strategy for the area? And, what would an effective strategy look like? Dennis Ross will cover all this in his lecture. Recorded on 10/21/2018.
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