truth

A new, single volume of history sets out to explore the experiment in government that is the United States. Award-winning Harvard historian Jill Lepore, author of “These Truths: A History of the United States,” looks to explore how we now understand the role of women and people of color in our political heritage, and how to put today’s politics of division in proportion.

Filmmaker and activist Josh Fox looks to answer many questions through art and literature. The big question is what will the future hold?

In his first book, "The Truth Has Changed" Josh Fox examines two major shifts in the world, climate change and the way we process information. Josh Fox is the editor, director, and narrator of the Oscar nominated, Emmy-award winning film "Gasland". Fox is performing,"The Truth Has Changed" as a one man spoken-word act.

In the new play, “The Lifespan of a Fact,” the determined young fact checker is about to stir up trouble. The demanding editor has given him a big assignment: apply his skill to a groundbreaking piece by the unorthodox author. Together, they take on the high-stakes world of publishing in this new comedy of conflict. The ultimate showdown between fact and fiction is about to begin – with undeniably delicious consequences.

“The Lifespan of a Fact” is based on the stirring true story of John D’Agata’s essay, “What Happens There,” about the Las Vegas suicide of teenager Levi Presley. Jim Fingal, assigned to fact check the piece, ignited a seven-year debate on the blurred lines of what passes for truth in literary nonfiction.

“The Lifespan if a Fact” is currently in previews at Studio 54 on Broadway starring Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones, and Bobby Cannavale. It opens on October 18. It is directed by our guest, Leigh Silverman.

CNN anchor and correspondent Jake Tapper is known for his hard-nosed interviews that seek to get at the truth of our contentious times. But now in his new novel, Tapper turns his attention to another fractious period in U.S. history.

In "The Hellfire Club," a political thriller set in 1950s Washington, Tapper writes about a time when the Red Scare and McCarthyism ruled the city.

As for the day job - Tapper hosts “The Lead” and “State of the Union” on CNN and brings attention to some of the biggest political headlines. Tapper talks to us about the inspiration for his foray into fiction, his life as a journalist, and which recent news stories have captured his full attention.

On Tuesday, February 28th, 2017, the LBJ Presidential Library held An Evening With Cokie Roberts
LBJ Library

Cokie Roberts, one of America’s leading broadcast journalists, is a long-time reporter, news analyst, and commentator for National Public Radio; a commentator and analyst for ABC News; and a regular roundtable analyst for "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

She was in Albany, New York this week for two events with the New York State Writers Institute. She joined us to talk about her career, journalism and current events.

Salman Rushdie
Wall Street Journal

The New York State Writers Institute and the UAlbany Speaker Series presents Salman Rushdie in an afternoon craft talk and evening presentation on Thursday, April 19.

Rushdie's new novel is The New York Times bestseller, "The Golden House," a parable of contemporary America set against the backdrop of current American culture and politics. We spoke with Rushdie on The Book Show when the book was published and this is an encore presentation of that interview.

Sandra Allen did not know her uncle Bob very well. As a child, she had been told he was “crazy,” that he had spent time in mental hospitals while growing up in Berkeley in the 60s and 70s. But Bob had lived a hermetic life in a remote part of California for longer than she had been alive, and what little she knew of him came from rare family reunions or odd, infrequent phone calls.

Then in 2009 Bob mailed her his autobiography. Typewritten in all caps, a stream of error-riddled sentences over sixty, single-spaced pages, the often incomprehensible manuscript proclaimed to be a “true story” about being “labeled a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic,” and arrived with a plea to help him get his story out to the world.

In "A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise," Allen translates her uncle’s autobiography, creating a gripping coming-of-age story while sticking faithfully to the facts as he shared them.

In his new book, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History, NYT bestselling author and co-creator of the Peabody-Award winning public radio show Studio 360, Kurt Andersen, provides a new and comprehensive understanding of our post-truth world and the American instinct in make- believe.

This interview was recorded at UAlbany as part of the New York State Writers Institute symposium: Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World.

The New York State Writers Institute’s Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World is a multi-day forum which will explore timely topics critical to an open democratic society including the rise of "fake news" and "alternative facts;" pressures on the First Amendment and a free press; media literacy; information overload; hacking and cybersecurity; and issues of race and class, among others.

Featured appearances will include Kurt Andersen, journalist, editor, radio host, and author of the new book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History; Bob Schieffer, former anchor of CBS Evening News and Face the Nation; Floyd Abrams, the nation's preeminent First Amendment lawyer; Lydia Polgreen, editor-in-chief of HUFFPOST and more than two dozen prominent journalists, editors, historians, and authors. 

Author and journalist Paul Grondahl is the Director of The New York State Writer’s Institute and he joins us along with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and founder and Executive Director of the Writers Institute, William Kennedy.

Reality. It used to seem so simple—reality just was, like the weather. Why question it, let alone disagree about it? And then came the assault, an unending stream of “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and lies disguised as truths that is overwhelming our notions of reality. Now we can’t even agree on what a fact is, let alone what is real. How on earth did we get here?
         
Every week, the award-winning journalist Brooke Gladstone, along with her co-host Bob Garfield, reaches 1.2 million listeners through more than 420 NPR affiliate stations with WNYC Studios' On the Media, a shrewd and witty newsmagazine that analyzes media and how it shapes our perceptions of the world.

Her new book is The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time.

Investigating numerical misinformation, Daniel Levitin shows how mishandled statistics and graphs can give a grossly distorted perspective and lead us to terrible decisions. Wordy arguments on the other hand can easily be persuasive as they drift away from the facts in an appealing yet misguided way.

Ultimately, Levitin turns to what underlies our ability to determine if something is true or false: the scientific method. He grapples with the limits of what we can and cannot know. Case studies are offered to demonstrate the applications of logical thinking to quite varied settings, spanning courtroom testimony, medical decision making, magic, modern physics, and conspiracy theories.

Levitin is the James McGill Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Music at McGill University, Montreal, where he also holds appointments in the Program in Behavioral Neuroscience. His new book is: Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era

Is this a post-truth election?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science, concludes his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

  But What If We’re Wrong? visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those who'll perceive it as the distant past.

Chuck Klosterman asks questions that are profound in their simplicity: How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time? What will be the defining memory of rock music, five hundred years from today? How seriously should we view the content of our dreams? How seriously should we view the content of television? Are all sports destined for extinction? Is it possible that the greatest artist of our era is currently unknown (or—weirder still—widely known, but entirely disrespected)? Is it possible that we “overrate” democracy? And perhaps most disturbing, is it possible that we’ve reached the end of knowledge?

  In June of 2013, Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA employee, thrust himself into the spotlight when he leaked thousands of top secret National Security Agency (NSA) documents to the journalist, Glen Greenwald. Immediately branded as a whistleblower, Snowden reignited an international debate about private citizens who reveal government secrets that should be exposed but may endanger the lives of citizens.

Like the late Karen Silkwood, whose death in a car accident while bringing incriminating evidence against her employer to a meeting with a New York Times reporter, is still a mystery, Snowden was intent upon revealing the controversial practices of his employer, a government contractor.

Rightly or wrongly, Snowden and Silkwood believed that their revelations would save lives. In his book, The Whistleblower's Dilemma: Snowden, Silkwood And Their Quest For the Truth, Richard Rashke weaves between the lives of these two controversial figures and creates a narrative context for a discussion of what constitutes a citizen’s duty to reveal or not to reveal.

  Rev. Christopher Hedges, Ph.D. will be the keynote speaker at The Capital Region Theological Center's Money & Power Symposium this Saturday at the Radisson Hotel on Wolf Road in Albany, NY.

Chris Hedges, whose column is published weekly on Truthdig, has written 11 books, including the New York Times best seller Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. He was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. In 2014, Chris Hedges was ordained as a minister at the Second Presbyterian Church.

  The 17th Annual Kateri Peace Conference will take place this coming Friday and Saturday, August 14th and 15th at The Kateri Shrine in Fonda, NY. The theme of this year’s conference is “Truth Tellers: Radical Honesty in the Age of Deception.”

One of this year’s speakers is Robert Shetterly. For the past 13 years Robert has been painting the series of portraits (numbering now over 200) called Americans Who Tell the Truth. The show has been traveling around the country for eleven years and is scheduled for the next two.

Robert Shetterly joins us along with Maureen Aumand, a retired public school educator and member of Women Against War.