Daily Archives: May 25, 2016

PBS News Hour. Video News

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Wednesday on the NewsHour, the State Department finds that Hillary Clinton’s private email server violated federal rules. Also: Donald Trump finds himself under new scrutiny, the VA Secretary’s Disney controversy, tracking the health effects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years later, new details emerge about the U.S.’s accidental Afghan hospital bombing and why knowledge for its own sake matters. PBS NewsHour videovideo

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Bessie Margolin: Fair Labor Lawyer

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Historian Marlene Trestman discusses Supreme Court advocate Bessie Margolin, who shaped modern American labor policy while creating a place for female lawyers in the nations highest courts. Despite her beginnings in an orphanage and her rare position as a southern, Jewish woman pursuing a legal profession, Margolin became an influential Supreme Court advocate.

She launched her career in the early 1930s, when only 2 percent of America’s attorneys were female, and far fewer were Jewish and from the South. Margolin defended the constitutionality of the New Deal’s Tennessee Valley Authority, drafted rules establishing the American military tribunals for Nazi war crimes in Nuremberg, and, on behalf of the Labor Department, shepherded through the courts the child labor, minimum wage, and overtime protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

A founding member of the National Organization for Women, Margolin culminated her government service as a champion of the Equal Pay Act, arguing and winning the first appeals. Margolin’s passion for her work and focus on meticulous preparation resulted in an outstanding record in appellate advocacy, both in number of cases and rate of success. By prevailing in 21 of her 24 Supreme Court arguments, Margolin shares the elite company of only a few dozen people who attained such high standing as Supreme Court advocates.

Marlene Trestman, author of Fair Labor Lawyer, is a former special assistant to the Maryland attorney general and former law instructor at Loyola University of Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business & Management. A New Orleans native, Trestman had a personal relationship with Margolin that grew from common childhood experiences

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Patrick Iber & Karen Paget on the Cultural Cold War. May 31 2016 at Brooklyn Public Library

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Authors Patrick Iber and Karen Paget discuss the Cultural Cold War, the CIA’s attempt to champion left-wing cultural movements and student unions during the Cold War.

During the Cold War, left-wing Latin American artists, writers, and scholars worked as diplomats, advised rulers, opposed dictators, and even led nations. Their competing visions of social democracy and their pursuit of justice, peace, and freedom led them to organizations sponsored by the Soviet-backed World Peace Council, the U.S.-supported Congress for Cultural Freedom, and, after the 1959 Cuban Revolution, the homegrown Casa de las Américas.

Neither Peace nor Freedom (Harvard University Press) delves into the entwined histories of these organizations and the aspirations and dilemmas of intellectuals who participated in them, from Diego Rivera and Pablo Neruda to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges. Patrick Ibercorrects the view that such individuals were merely pawns of the competing superpowers.

Iber will be joined by Skype by Karen Paget, author of Patriotic Betrayal (Yale University Press). In this revelatory book, Paget shows how the CIA turned the National Student Association into an intelligence asset during the Cold War, with students used—often wittingly and sometimes unwittingly—as undercover agents inside America and abroad. In 1967, Ramparts magazine exposed the story, prompting the Agency into engineering a successful cover-up.

A cautionary tale, Patriotic Betrayal, says Karl E. Meyer, a former editorial board member of the New York Times and The Washington Post, evokes “the aura of a John le Carré novel with its self-serving rationalizations, its layers of duplicity, and its bureaucratic doubletalk.”

Joel Whitney, author of the forthcoming Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers (OR Books), hosts the discussion.

 

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