Capitalism

Here in the good ol' USA, a strong work ethic -- a drive to succeed through hard work -- is seen as a leading virtue, and indeed, as a necessity. We Americans have long been told that financial success and personal well-being will undoubtedly follow if we adopt a highly motivated mindset toward our job. On today's edition of ST, we look at the origins of that "highly motivated" outlook. Our guest is David Gray, a teaching professor of American studies and history at Oklahoma State University.

Our guest is Vaclav Smil, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. Smil is the author of 40+ books on topics like energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk asssessment, and public policy. He joins us to discuss his accessible and compelling new book of short essays, "Numbers Don't Lie." It's an eclectic, statistics-driven volume that effectively shows how numbers reveal the true state of our world today -- and how such numbers, much like unalterable facts, are what matter most.

Our guest, Amelia Pang, is an award-winning investigative journalist who's written for "Mother Jones," "The New Republic," and other publications. In her new book, "Made in China," she profiles an political prisoner named Sun Yi, who was forced into harsh labor by the Chinese government for campaigning for the right to join a forbidden meditation movement.

(Note: This interview first aired back in May.) Our guest is Walter Johnson, the Winthrop Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. His new book is a far-reaching, unflinching, and complicated account of race relations in his hometown: St. Louis, Missouri. From Lewis and Clark's 1804 expedition to the 2014 uprising in Ferguson, the course of American events, Johnson argues, has been charted in St. Louis.

Our guest is Walter Johnson, the Winthrop Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. His new book is a far-reaching, unflinching, and complicated account of race relations in his hometown: St. Louis, Missouri. From Lewis and Clark's 1804 expedition to the 2014 uprising in Ferguson, the course of American events, Johnson argues, has been charted in St. Louis. His book moreover shows how the imperialism, racism, and capitalism that have defined the city have likewise defined our nation's history.