Barry Goldwater: 1964 GOP Nominee’s Optimism

The 2024 Republican National Convention begins Monday in Milwaukee. Donald Trump will be formally nominated as the GOP standard bearer, and we expect to learn who his running mate will be.

Sixty years ago, convening in San Francisco, Republicans nominated firebrand Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater as their party’s nominee against incumbent Democrat Lyndon Johnson.

But ,many Republicans in 1964 saw Goldwater as too extreme. And Goldwater himself didn’t do much to calm those concerns, with his acceptance speech.

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After being trounced by LBJ that fall, Goldwater remained in the Senate for another 22 years, helping shape the conservative policies of the GOP.

After his retirement, he wrote a memoir called simply Goldwater. And when I met him in 1988, the country was in the thick of the George H.W. Bush vs Michael Dukakis race. And as you’re about to hear, Goldwater had some very specific ideas about that contest.

So, here now, from 1988, Barry Goldwater.

Barry Goldwater died in 1998. He was 89.

Breaking Barriers: Arlene Violet, America’s First Female Attorney General

Up until the mid-1980s, no U.S. state had ever elected a woman to be attorney general

It took a former Roman Catholic nun in America’s smallest state to shatter that glass ceiling.

In 1984, Arlene Violet – running as a Republican in deep blue Rhode Island – was elected attorney general. Her goals were to strengthen victims’ rights, and to try to root out the state’s entrenched public corruption .

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She did make progress, but was defeated for reelection in 1986.

Two years later she wrote her memoir, a book called Convictions. I had covered Violet’s career when I was news director of a major radio station in Providence, so I was delighted to have the chance to reconnect when her book tour brought her to my studio.

So here now, from 1988, Arlene Violet.

Arlene Violet is 81 now. And remains politically outspoken.

How André Previn’s Teenage Gig at MGM Led to Oscar Glory

Photo by Bert Verhoeff for Anefo

The executives at MGM studios who hired a 17-year-old kid in 1946 probably had no idea that that kid would go on to win four Academy Awards and ten Grammys as a composer, conductor, and performer.

Andre Previn was still in high school when MGM gave him a job in their music department, doing piece work. His first official movie credit came in 1949, and over the next dozen or so years Previn was involved in creating the musical scores for over 50 MGM films.

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After leaving Hollywood Previn established himself as a talented conductor for several major orchestras, and a jazz pianist.

In 1991 he wrote a memoir of his 16-year MGM career, a book he called No Minor Chords. And that’s when I had the chance to interview him.

So here now, from 1991, Andre Previn.

Andre Previn died in 2019. He was 89.

Phyllis Newman: Tony Winner’s Winning Cancer Battle

Phyllis Newman made her Broadway debut in 1952, when she was 19. Just a few years later she won a Tony award for Best Featured ACtress in a Musical. More awards came her way, and she was soon in demand on Broadway and in television.

She was frequently on the TV game shows “What’s My Line?”, “To Tell The Truth,” and “The Match Game: and guest starred on dozens of popular series.

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But off screen, in the mid-1980s, she faced her biggest life challenge: she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After her recovery, she wrote a memoir called Just In Time. I met her while she was on tour promoting that book.

So here now, from 1988, Phyllis Newman.,

Phyllis Newman, breast cancer survivor, lived for another 31 years after our interview. She passed away in 2019 at the age of 86.

Defining Freedom: Insights From Historian Eric Foner

The United States was founded on a bedrock of freedom.

But what, exactly,y, is “freedom?” Does it depend on who you ask? Or when you ask?

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Renowned historian Eric Foner sought an answer. What, indeed, is freedom?

His 1998 book was called The Story of American Freedom. But while you may assume that the story begins on July 4th, 1776, Foner found far deeper roots – and far broader branches to the definite of freedom.

So here now, from 1998, Eric Foner.

John McEnroe: ‘You Cannot Be Serious!’

As this year’s Wimbledon Championships get underway let’s recall one of the greatest professional tennis players of our time.

John McEnroe won 77 career singles titles, including three at Wimbledon. He also won 77 doubles titles, including five at Wimbledon. He is in fact the only male player to win more than 70 singles and 70 doubles championships.

Photo by Anefo / Croes, R.C.

It was at Wimbledon in 1981 that McEnroe came up with what has become his signature phrase – “You cannot be serious!”

As the years went on, he embraced and adopted the phrase, even calling his 2002 memoir You Cannot Be Serious.

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He wrote candidly about his childhood, his career, and his 8-year marriage to actress Tatum O’Neal, which ended in a bitter 1994 divorce.

And we talked about all of those things when I interviewed him about his book. So here now, from 2002, John McEnroe.

John McEnroe is 65 now. He;s a TV commentator, and still plays in – and wins – senior tournaments.

Rita Mae Brown: Bestselling Author and Pioneering LGBTQ 0Advocate


Since her college days in the early 1960s Rita Mae Brown has been an advocate for the LGBTQ community. Long before it was known by that shorthand descriptor..

She was also active in the anti-war movement, the feminist cause, and the lesbian liberation effort.

She holds two doctorates, in literature and political science.

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But she is also widely known for her fiction, her “cozy” mysteries as well as her standalone novels. Her book Rubyfruit Jungle, published in 1973, has become a literary classic.

I met her in 1993, when we had the first of what would be many conversations in the years that followed. We talked about her novel Venus Envy, the story of a young woman who makes one of those life choices that changes everything – and not always for the better,

So here now, from 1993. Rita Mae Brown.

Rita Mae Brown Is 79. She lives in Virginia.

Anthony Bourdain’s Gift to Cooks Everywhere

Yesterday would have been Anthony Bourdain’s 68th birthday. Instead June 25 is now observed as “Anthony Bourdain Day” in honor of the beloved celebrity chef.

Bourdain was executive chef at New York’s Les Halles restaurant, but his popularity exploded with his first book Kitchen Confidential.

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Then came the Food Network TV show, then more TV on The Travel Channel and CNN.

Yet somehow he had resisted the idea of publishing a cookbook until 2004They finally came out with Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook

Somehow in the 20 years since I did this interview I had forgotten how witty and charming Anthony Bourdain could be

So come back with me now to 2004, and my conversation with Anthony Bourdain.

Anthony Bourdain took his own life on June 8, 2018 while on location in France for his TV show “Parts Unknown.”

Morris Dees: Defying Racism to Lead the Fig/ht Against White Supremacy

Photo by Tim Pierce

How did the son of Alabama sharecroppers, with relatives who were openly racist, become one of the country’s most prominent voices against white supremacy?

His name is Morris Dees, and in 1971 he co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In his decades-long legal career Dees established himself – and the SPLC – as protectors of the civil rights of many groups, including African Americans, and immigrants.

In 1991 Dees wrote a book about his career, how he got started, why he got into the kind of law he became known for, and what the SPLC was about.

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His book was called A Season For Justice, and I met him in the spring of that year to talk about it.

So here now, from 1991. Morris Dees.

Morris Dees is 88 now. The Southern Poverty Law Center fired him in 2019 after he was implicated in connection with workplace sexual harassment and racial discrimination.

Samantha Power’s Insights on Genocide

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has led many people to use a very strong word as they discuss, debate, and protest: that word is ‘genocide. ‘

One of the strongest voices for human rights in our time is former UN ambassador Samantha Power A former war correspondent who then entered public service, Power has been a champion of the rights of the oppressed.

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She’s written several books, the first of which was a 2002 volume called A Problem From Hell. It was a study of how the United States responded to genocides around the world in the latter half of the 20th century.

And even though this is an interview From more than 20 years ago, its relevance to today’s events cannot be overlooked .

So here now, from 2002, Samantha Power.

Samantha Power is 53 now. She is currently the administrator for the US Agency For International Development.