His name is on the lips of every American these days–Vladimir Putin. How has he reclaimed the international spotlight as the leader of a country that by most objective measures has barely functioning economy? His bravura, unusual methods for attacking political systems and military adventurism which results in few casualties or critics are key elements in his rise to a position where CNN calls him ‘the most powerful man in the world’. So, what is ‘Putin’s Master Plan’? The o-author of a book of the same name, Evan Roth Smith, looks ahead on Putin’s chessboard to tell us what we can expect.
Is one of the greatest technological achievements of the 20th century about to show itself not to be up to the task in the 21st? I’m speaking of the electrical grid and its many quirks. While it’s given us incredible reliability–99.7%–more frequent outages demonstrates it may not be up to the task of handling new energies sources, like wind, solar and the like, with their variability. Gretchen Bakke, author of ‘the Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future” has remarkable insights to share.
In his now stunning best seller, J.D. Vance, ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author and former resident of what he considers a hillbilly culture provides a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis–that of poor, white Americans. While the disintegration of this group has been reported on before, it has never been written about with more passion and insight. What will social, regional and class decline mean to America going forward?
It’s becoming a more relevant question by the day as we are able to unlock the genetic code one person at a time. But, how much do you really want to know and what will you do with the information? Bonnie Rochman, author of ‘The Gene Machine’, answers all of the questions we thought you would ask as it relates to how genetic technology is changing the way we have kids–and the kids we’re having. There are many ethical questions raised in all of this and practical ones, too. You’ll come a long way in better understanding the topic in just 30 minutes.
If there was one topic Donald Trump really took out of the ‘never debate’ file and put front and center it was the issue of trade. You might wonder how many decimated communities and burnt out factories, standing as shadowy hulks,were needed to remind us of an industrial past long since gone. And, of course, the despair, then anger, that resulted from corporate abandonment. Well that about sums up the wins in Pennsylvania and Michigan. So, is it too late to stem the outflow? Has automation made the problem intractable? The best in the business on this issue is economist Alan Tonelson, author of the 2002 book, ‘Race to the Bottom’. He joins us on ‘America Trends’.
Newspapers in America have a had a really bad decade as they grapple with the needs of the 21st century reader. They have been contorting themselves to adapt–shorter articles, on-line versions, cost cutting measures of all sorts. Is it working? Who better to tell us than Kevin Convey, former editor of The Boston Herald and the New York Daily News, who found himself in the midst of a radical shift while in Gotham.
Col. David Hunt, co-author of ‘Without Mercy’, a novel about an unthinkable attack on our country, which may actually be plausible, weighs in on the big questions about our military going forward. It is prepared for the unconventional warfare of this era? How much money are we prepared to spend on defense and how do we know if it’s going to functions that are necessary? What is winning in these times when we see virtually no conclusion to conflict? All this and more on America Trends.