America became a global leader over the past century through openness, generosity, and soft power —the ability to attract, and to make others want to emulate your way of life, including inclusivity and equal rights. Donald Trump's vision of America, as voiced in his campaign and reflected in his first words and deeds as president, has caused more global dismay than attraction. Will the Trump era mark the end of the American century? Listen in to hear some early takes.
It used to be said that you could have your own opinion, but you couldn't have your own facts. But after decades of deliberate effort by some conservative Republicans to undermine public trust in government, the media and even in science, agreement about facts and even about the rules of the game in American democracy is not what it used to be. How did we get here? Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and co-author of "It's Even Worse Than it Was: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism" weighs in.
China and America have inspired and annoyed each other by turns since the birth of the United States. Understanding the many ways the countries have influenced each other over time may be invaluable going forward.
Talk about epic love/hate relationships. From the birth of the United States, China has loomed large in the American imagination, and America in China's, for better and for worse, often with surprising twists. Build a wall across the Mexican border? That was first proposed to stop Chinese immigrants in the 19th century. Mao Zedong's secret vice? American 'kissy' movies, to quote former Washington Post China correspondent John Pomfret, author of "The Beautiful Country and the MIddle Kingdom," an engaging new history of what America and China have meant to each other's citizens, as well as their governments, 1776 to now. And because this is a big and important topic, this is a long(ish) podcast — so break it up if you like. Want to hear about why the Founding Fathers admired China? Listen to the first 20 minutes. How America did — and didn't — promote its values in China in the 20th century? That'd be 20:00-53:00. Challenges for US-China relations now and going forward? 53:00 to the end. Enjoy!
How much can you confidently predict about what will happen next week? Next year? In a decade? After the 2016 US election and Brexit vote, maybe less than you thought before. The future has always dished up surprises, but the road ahead isn't just a blind curve. Good journalism can help people think about the lessons of the past, and the signals in the present worth noticing. The World's newsroom has been doing that for 20 years. Whose Century Is It host and former East Asia correspondent for The World Mary Kay Magistad sits down with World host Marco Werman, reporter and editor Jeb Sharp and executive editor Andrew Sussman to talk about how the world's future looked in The World's early days, how it's changed since, and how to think about what might be coming up ahead.
As the nation's first African American president winds up his tenure with majority approval ratings, African Americans in science and tech are increasingly ascending to leadership positions in their own fields. But systemic problems, from childhood education on up, are still making it tough to get representative numbers of African Americans into science, technology, engineering and math.
One of the taller tasks facing President-elect Donald Trump is to find ways to restore faith in an office, and in a government, that he helped degrade. But he didn't do it alone. American trust in government and other institutions has been sliding for years. Weighing in on why, and how to move forward, is Garry Wills, professor emeritus at Northwestern University, and author of many books and essays on faith, trust and politics.