Politics and History

dollar bill

"Before there was money, there was debt" says David Graeber in his book “Debt: The First 5,000 Years."


Everyone knows you can choose your friends, but not your family.  Well, maybe that used to be true, but today’s families are a lot more flexible about defining themselves.  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we’ll hear NPR’s Scott Simon rhapsodize about his two adopted...

Clock of the Long Now

Alexander Rose tells Anne Strainchamps about the Clock of the Long Now — an all mechanical clock being constructed in the high desert of Western Texas designed to run for ten thousand years.

A man with anxiety

Patricia Pearson, author of of "A Brief History of Anxiety...Yours and Mine," discusses why she thinks Americans are so anxious.

believe in yourself, small child

We all know what's wrong. An economic recovery that just can't seem to get started. Furloughs, cutbacks and no money for anything. Well, cheer up! We'll focus on what can happen when you stay positive. Michael Gates Gill reminds us we have a lot to be grateful for, and Suzan Colon shares recipes...


Whose Islam is it anyway? Is Islam for the Jihadists or the Sufis? The Indonesians, the Saudis? And what about a Muslim convert in say, Iowa? This time on To the Best of Our Knowledge, a closer at who's claiming, and reclaiming, Islam. From the Sufi spiritualism of a Senegalese pop star to the...


Why are we in Afghanistan? To destroy the Al-Qaeda? To make sure the Taliban doesn't get back in power? Both? What is the economic impact of the war on the US economy? And, just what would victory in Afghanistan look like anyway? The Obama Administration's refocusing the US military. But after...

spare change

How did our economists miss it? We're in a full-on economic crisis. Where was the warning? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, a look at the so-called dismal science. We'll talk with the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Economics on why the alarm bells never rang. And, why is it that...


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