RHODcast: Aug 13, 2020
If one should assess Senator Joseph McCarthy’s success by the number of ardent Communists revealed by his investigations in the late 1940s and early 1950s to be operating in the United States government, the only possible conclusion is that he was a pathetic failure. The harm he did to individuals, and the lives his actions forced to a premature end, are yet shamefully legion.
A hundred books later, along comes Larry Tye’s biography of McCarthy, Demagogue. Tye’s reading of McCarthy’s private papers sheds new light on a man who attacked his opponents ruthlessly and when challenged over a lie, lied some more, and kept far more senior and able colleagues in a state of permanent fear. Tye writes “his rise and reign… go a long way to explain the astonishing ascension of President Donald J. Trump.” As we hear in this newest RHODcast, the parallels are horribly familiar.
“Demagogue” is published in the UK on August 16, 2020.
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Robert Moore of Britain’s ITV News stepped out one January morning a year ago into quite possibly the biggest scoop of his career. By luck and judgement he and his crew would be there in the Capitol reporting on the first time in US history that the building had been breached by a hostile force: a force of self-described American patriots.
At least 5000 Black soldiers fought on the colonists’ side in the American war of of independence, despite a tempting offer to join the British forces. When a new school is dedicated to one of them, ALGY WARD tells the story of Marblehead’s Joseph Brown.
Rhod Sharp gets into the rich yachting history of Marblehead Massachusetts with the yacht designer and builder CHRIS HOOD.
An extraordinary gamble in early 2020 made RICK BOYD rich. But since we spoke back in March of 2021, it’s been a torrid spring for Bitcoin investors. Would you be OK with it? Is he? And whatever happened after HEATHER CAIRNS realized some of the torrent of wealth that came her way when Google went public? It’s all about risk, after all.
It all began with… a Chinese dinner? Or did it begin when HEATHER CAIRNS would invigilate the tests taken by two “child prodigy” graduate students in the engineering faculty at Stanford. Anyway, one thing led to another. Heather eventually returned to her home town on Boston’s North Shore where people still call her The Google Lady.
One hot day in June, Rhod joins BETTE HUNT, the emeritus historian of Marblehead, Mass. for a walk through the town’s almost 400 year old graveyard. Old Burial Hill connects the living with the dead in some strange ways as they discourse on Thornton Wilder’s famous play, George Washington’s favorite general, the Marblehead woman convicted at the Salem witch trials and the fairly undiscussed existence of a “negro” burial site in this quintessentially Yankee town.
The BBC’s New York correspondent sees the USA that so excited him as a youth sapped of vitality, politically divided against itself but in an old saying, always headed to hell and never getting there. When America Stopped Being great merges Bryant’s reporting experiences with a historian’s perspective in a way which, as the Washington Post said, gives foreign laments a fresh arc.
He tried to hawk them from his wheelbarrow and even built a backyard museum for them without success. After his death some of his paintings were used as building material by his cash-strapped son. And yet as his huge output of historically significant work became better known in the 1950s, “a pretty big shadow” was cast over the art of JOJ Frost. What prevented people who owned his paintings from coming forward? Rhod hears from one of the mother and daughter team who have done more than anyone to try to bring the rest of Frost’s surviving “canvases” to light.