History

podcast

Toying with Trouble

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David Bisno, M.D., Ophthalmologist (retired) Read more »

podcast

From Ghengis Khan to Petrodollars: The Changing Face of Central Asia

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Micheal Kohn, Author, Dateline Mongolia; BBC Correspondent Read more »

podcast

Leonardo da Vinci: Renaissance Genius of Art and Science (4/16/09)

Ebe Sapone-Cavagnaro, Retired Foreign Language Department Head, San Francisco School District

Inventor, artist, scientist, architect, author – Leonardo da Vinci was a man of boundless creativity and curiosity. As a Renaissance genius, he had the versatility to paint faces of delicate beauty and to design weapons and bridges. Sapone-Cavagnaro, a native of Tuscany who teaches The Commonwealth Club’s weekly Italian class, brings to life her love affair with da Vinci’s accomplishments. Read more »

podcast

Joe Kennedy: The Man Behind the Myth (4/17/09)

Cari Beauchamp, Author, Joseph P. Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years

Though remembered more for his role in politics and for the famous children he fathered, Joe Kennedy was once hailed as the “coming Napoleon of the movie business.” From running three studios to his famous affair with Gloria Swanson, Kennedy completely immersed himself in Hollywood before leaving abruptly, with millions of dollars. Beauchamp shares her extensive research on a Kennedy presence outside of politics. Read more »

podcast

The Secrets of Haiku from Master Basho (4/23/09)

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Jane Reichhold, Author, Basho the Complete Haiku

Commemorate Poetry Month by learning about Japan’s legendary 17th-century poet, Matsuo Basho, the creator of haiku. Reichhold will discuss Basho the Complete Haiku, the first translation of all of Basho’s haiku by a non-Japanese person. She will portray the life of Basho and discuss the influence haiku has had on poetry of the 20th century, the basic structure, and how haiku can enrich your life. Read more »

podcast

If Walls Could Talk: Peeling Back the Layers of History (4/28/09)

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Stephen Bauer, Artistic Director, Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpapers

Wallpaper has adorned the walls of everyone from kings to factory workers. Both a cultural art form and a basic wall covering, it has weathered over 400 years of taxation, revolution, attacks from the paint industry and its biggest threat, changes in popular taste. In conjunction with Bauer’s talk, rare works from the archives of Bradbury & Bradbury are on view in the Club Office from April 6 to May 29. Read more »

podcast

Vivienne Sosnowski: When the Rivers Ran Red (6/22/09)

Vivienne Sosnowski, Author, When the Rivers Ran Red; Editorial Director, Washington Examiner, San Francisco Examiner and Baltimore Examiner; Photographer Read more »

podcast

Garry Wills: The Extra-Constitutional Executive

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30.2Mb
Duration: 
1:06:01

Garry Wills: The Extra-Constitutional Executive


Historian; Author, The Modern Presidency and the National Security State


Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Wills argues that the atomic bomb paved the way for presidential authority that has “enfeebled” Congress and the courts, and that reached its apex with George W. Bush.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on February 11, 2010.

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Human Rights, Human Spirit and International Law (4/22/2009)

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Duration: 
1:05:45

Thomas Buergenthal, American Judge, International Court of Justice in the Hague; Author, A Lucky Child

Buergenthal has been an influential voice in international and human rights law, shaped in large part by his experience as a survivor of Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Join us as he shares his experiences of that unforgettable time in history, and discusses the importance of international law and a worldwide commitment to human rights. Read more »

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Middle East History 101: The Origins of the Current Conflict (8/15/2006)

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24.7Mb
Duration: 
1:01:38

George Bisharat, Professor of Law in Middle Eastern Societies, UC Hastings
Noel Kaplowitz, Former Professor of International Relations and Middle East Affairs, UC Davis, UC Berkeley and UCLA
Andrew Ross, Executive Foreign and National Editor, San Francisco Chronicle
Frederic Wehrey, International Policy Analyst, RAND Corp. Read more »

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