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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

  • BROADCAST EXCLUSIVE: Playwright Tony Kushner Speaks Out on CUNY Controversy, Academic Freedom and Israel

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    In a global broadcast exclusive, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner appears on Democracy Now! to announce he will accept an honorary degree at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, following a controversy that sparked national attention. Last week, the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York voted to shelve the degree after one member cited Kushner’s critical views of Israeli government policies. But on Monday night, the CUNY board reversed its decision. Kushner says he is still hoping for an apology: "In lieu of an apology, I would accept what is clearly an admission of error of judgment and a lapse of responsibility on the part of the board in defending open exchange and academic freedom." Kushner, one of the world’s leading playwrights, has long been a defender of the human rights of Palestinians and a critic of Israeli policies. “It’s impossible to shape a legitimate and successful path towards peace based on rhetoric and demagoguery and fantasy,” Kushner says. His new play, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, just opened at the Public Theater in New York City. [includes rush transcript]

  • Historian Adam Hochschild: Lessons for the Antiwar Movement from the Pacifists of World War I

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    As the Obama administration continues to engage in military operations abroad, we turn now to the making — and sustaining — of war from a historical perspective. How do politicians galvanize populations to support wars? Why do people continue fighting in unpopular conflicts even after nationalist fervor has waned? In his new book, the historian Adam Hochschild examines these questions and many others through the prism of one of the world’s bloodiest conflicts, World War I. The book is called To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918. [includes rush transcript]