Wilma Mankiller’s journey into leadership in the Cherokee nation was not planned. She started as an advocate for rural development within her community, gradually rising through the ranks of Cherokee leadership.
In the 1980s she was the first woman elected to Principal Chief.
Her 1993 autobiography, Mankiller, gave her the opportunity to fill a void of knowledge about ANative American history and culture.
Her story, as she recountss in this interview, was not only one of personal resilience but also a testament to the strength of Native American communities.
So here now, from 1993, Wilman Mankiller.
Wilma Mankiller was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And in 2022 her likeness appeared on the quarter-dollar coin minted by the U.S. Treasury.
Mankiller died from pancreatic cancer in 2010. She was 64.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were married in 1946. Both came from close knit families in which caring for the elderly was a responsibility taken seriously.
Both of the Carters devoted themselves to volunteer activities after leaving the White House. And Rosalynn took up the cause of supporting America’s caregivers, Who devoted their lives to helping the sick or elderly.
In 1994 Mrs. Carter wrote a book called Helping Yourself Help Others. And with both her and her husband in their twilight years, her words in this interview seem particularly poignant.
So here now, from 1994, Rosalynn Carter.
Rosalynn Carter. Is 96 now. Jimmy Carter will be 99 in a couple of weeks.
The US supreme Court has been under intense scrutiny the last couple of years, and perhaps no member has been in a harsher spotlight than Clarence Thomas.
But Thomas is no stranger to controversy and criticism.
The political opposition began virtually as soon as he was nominated to the high court by President George H. W. Bush in 1991, to succeed the retiring Thurgood Marshall.
About this time, Thomas coined the phrase “high-tech lynching” to describe his experience.
Helping shepherd the Thomas nomination through the US Senate was Missouri Republican John Danforth. He was a long time friend, colleague, and even mentor to Thomas, and was eager to see him win confirmation.
That opposition reached a crescendo when a former co-worker of Thomas’s, a woman named Anita Hill, came forth to testify about alleged sexual harassment by Thomas.
Thomas did, of course, ultimately when confirmation. And in 1994 Danforth wrote a book describing the Clarence Thomas episode.
And that’s when I met the Senator. So here now, from 1994, Senator John Danforth.
John Danforth will be 87 next month.
Clarence Thomas is the oldest member of the current Supreme Court, and is its longest-serving current associate justice.
She was a middle-aged housewife from Alton, Illinois. But in the 1970s, Phyllis Schlafly launched an anti-feminist crusade that would make her a household name — lauded by many, revered by some, but hated and smeared by many others.
Schlafly positioned herself as the defender of traditional motherhood, becoming virulently anti-feminist, and the leading opponent of the then still-pending Equal Rights Amendment.
As the founder of the group Eagle Forum, Schlafly also had huge influence on the direction of the conservative movement in America.
She even had a syndicated column, and in 2003 she published a collection of those columns, a book she called Feminist Fantasies.
So this is one of the several times that I interviewed her over the years. So here now, from 2003, Phyllis Schlafly.
In 1993, the term “woke” had not been invented yet. But a prominent law professor nominated for a high position in the US government Saw her nomination done in by what we would now know as “anti-woke” sentiment.
Her name was Lani Guinier. President Bill Clinton nominated her to be assistant attorney general for civil rights.
That’s, of course, when closer scrutiny of her past writings began. And, she says, that’s when the misrepresentations of her writings began.
Guinier was a strong advocate of voting rights, and a strong believer that all minority voices should be heard in a democracy.
Ultimately, her voice was drowned out by her critics’ voices, and President Clinton withdrew her nomination.
I met her the following year, when she was on a book tour. So here now, from 1994, Lani Guinier.
In the summer of 1992, then US senator Al Gore from Tennessee was thrust into a much more visible public role, when Bill Clinton selected him as his running mate on the Democratic ticket.
That was also about the time Gore published his first book about the environment, a volume called Earth in the balance
And that’s how I met Al Gore, just a few weeks before he was nominated to be vice president.
The day I interviewed him if he had any indication that he was about to be nominated to be on the Clinton ticket, he did a really good job of hiding it.
So here now, from 1992, senator Al Gore.
Al Gore served as vice president under Bill Clinton for 8 years, before seeking the presidency on his own in 2000. He lost that election by a razor thin margin to George w. Bush. Since then, Gore has cemented his reputation as a leading advocate of environmental causes.
Fifty years ago this week, a botched burglary at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, DC touched off a criminal conspiracy that eventually brought down the president of the United States, Richard M. Nixon.
It’s the scandal that to this day is simply known by the name of the office complex where the burglary occurred: Watergate.
All this week on Now I’ve Heard Everything we’re featuring interviews I’ve done with figures connected to Watergate. Our last episode featured former Washington Post editor Ben Bradley. On Friday, my conversation with the mastermind of the burglary, G. Gordon Liddy.
One of Nixon’s loyalists at the center of everything was his White House counsel, a young lawyer named John Dean.
As the investigation into the cover-up began to widen, Dean quietly began cooperating with prosecutors.
Later, famously, Dean was heard on a White House tape telling the president:
Dean recounted that episode in his congressional testimony:
After serving a brief prison sentence for his role in Watergate, Dean wrote several best-selling books, and his political views changed, as well.
And in the last 20 years, Dean has become a strong voice against what he sees as the authoritarian nature of the modern conservative movement – Republicans, in particular
In 2005, Dean wrote a book called Worse Than Watergate, which was followed in 2006 by one called Conservatives Without Conscience. And that’s when I met him.
And then we talked again a year later, when he wrote what was the third book in his trilogy.
So what you’ll hear now is first an excerpt from my 2006 interview, then after a short break, my 2007 conversation with John Dean:
John Dean is 83 now. His last book, Authoritarian Nightmare, was published in 2020.
Newt Gingrich was first elected to Congress from George’s sixth district in 1978. By the end of the 1980s, he had risen to a position of leadership in the House GOP.
In 19 for Gingrich was a leader in the Republican wave that took over the house, and Gingrich became the first Republican house speaker in 40 years.
But by 1997 infighting in the party put Gingrich on the defensive.
Gingrich himself help fan the flames of discontent when, in late 1997, he almost single-handedly shut down the federal government. It was a squabble over a continuing resolution to keep the government funded. And Gingrich was upset because he had apparently been snubbed on a flight on Air Force One.
In 1998 Gingrich wrote a book he called Lessons Learned The Hard Way.
So here now from 1998, Newt Gingrich.
Newt g resigned from the house in January 1999. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.
Gingrich is 78 and remains active in Republican politics. His new book Defeating Big Government Socialism: Saving America’s Future will be published in July.