RHODcast: Jan 19, 2021
Our short series of essays on a most turbulent week in the story of the Republic of the United States of America may be coming to an end. Time will tell. On Sunday, National Guard units were posted at state capitols around the country. Nothing bad happened. 25,000 more members of the National Guard have been posted around Washington DC ahead of Wednesday to ensure an absolutely peaceful transition of power. While inspiring pride, it will yet be a hauntingly sad day, doubly robbed of the joy of the people by a global pandemic and the long shadow of the ransacking of Congress on January 6. Looking back, and forward, with me is the National Correspondent of The Nation magazine, JOHN NICHOLS.
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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.