Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Ideas Matter in Politics: Conversation with E.J. Dionne, Jr., Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; and columnist for the Washington Post; 3/8/01 by Harry Kreisler.

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is E.J. Dionne, Jr., who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a columnist for the Washington Post. He's the author of several books, including Why Americans Hate Politics and They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate the Next Political Era, and he's the editor of two books, one with John J. Diiulio, Jr., What's God Got to do with the American Experiment?, and most recently a book with William Kristol called Bush versus Gore: The Court Cases and the Commentary.

  1. Background ... influence of home town ... of parents ... learning to argue ... civility ... the "attentive society" ... political culture of the fifties ... Harvard and hometown ... education: politics and religion
  2. Deciphering the Post - 1960s Political Debate ... elitism of the New Left ... dissertation on civil rights movement ... false choices in American politics ... neighborly politics ... the stickiness of ideas ... the Pledge of Allegiance debate ... investigating political ideas ... politics of moral annihilation ... politics as entertainment
  3. Philosophical Assumptions ... the coherent world views of ordinary people ... a liberal Catholic ... giving practical life to aspirations
  4. The Threatened Middle Class ... widening inequities ... hometown comparison
  5. The Clinton Legacy ... contradictory conclusions ... lost opportunity ... welfare reofrm
  6. Being a Writer ... dilemmas of column writing ... Florida election a turning point ... passion, commitment, and rationality ... is writing hard? ... coming upon ideas ... between elites and the people
  7. Lessons Learned ... advice for students ... anticipating the issues

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