Kresta in the Afternoon – December 20, 2017 – Hour 2

  • Description: 2017 Countdown Day 1 We’re counting down the best interviews of 2017. Did your favorite make the list? There’s only one way to find out!

+  #25: If You Don’t Get Religion, You Can’t Get America

  • Description: The secular media’s coverage of Donald Trump and his supporters has made it abundantly clear that most reporters don’t understand religion, and an executive editor from the New York Times admitted to it late last year. As David French points out, if you don’t get religion you don’t get America. What are the "original sins" of religious reporting that the media frequently commits? How does it affect the way they understand and present the news? We'll talk with David.
  • Segment Guests:
    • David French
      David French is a staff writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and an attorney specializing in the law of armed conflict. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the author of several books, including Rise of Isis: A Threat we can't Ignore. Visit
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    • Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Ascent of Trump

      "In this thoughtful book, Ken Woodward offers us a memorable portrait of the past seven decades of American life and culture. From Reinhold Niebuhr to Billy Graham, from Abraham Heschel to the Dali Lama, from George W. Bush to Hillary Clinton, Woodward captures the personalities and charts the philosophical trends that have shaped the way we live now." –Jon Meacham, author of Destiny and Power Impeccably researched, thought-challenging and leavened by wit, Getting Religion, the highly-anticipated new book from Kenneth L. Woodward, is ideal perfect for readers looking to understand how religion came to be a contentious element in 21st century public life. Here the award-winning author blends memoir (especially of the postwar era) with copious reporting and shrewd historical analysis to tell the story of how American religion, culture and politics influenced each other in the second half of the 20th century. There are few people writing today who could tell this important story with such authority and insight. A scholar as well as one of the nation’s most respected journalists, Woodward served as Newsweek’s religion editor for nearly forty years, reporting from five continents and contributing over 700 articles, including nearly 100 cover stories, on a wide range of social issues, ideas and movements. Beginning with a bold reassessment of the Fifties, Woodward’s narrative weaves through Civil Rights era and the movements that followed in its wake: the anti-Vietnam movement; Liberation theology in Latin America; the rise of Evangelicalism and decline of mainline Protestantism; women’s liberation and Bible; the turn to Asian spirituality; the transformation of the family and emergence of religious cults; and the embrace of righteous politics by both the Republican and Democratic Parties. Along the way, Woodward provides riveting portraits of many of the era’s major figures: preachers like Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell; politicians Mario Cuomo and Hillary Clinton; movement leaders Daniel Berrigan, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Richard John Neuhaus; influential thinkers ranging from Erik Erikson to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross; feminist theologians Rosemary Reuther and Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza; and est impresario Werner Erhardt; plus the author’s long time friend, the Dalai Lama. For readers interested in how religion, economics, family life and politics influence each other, Woodward introduces fresh a fresh vocabulary of terms such as “embedded religion,” “movement religion” and “entrepreneurial religion” to illuminate the interweaving of the secular and sacred in American public life. This is one of those rare books that changes the way Americans think about belief, behavior and belonging. (learn more)

+  #24: The Economics of Pope Francis (2 segments)

  • Description: With the possible exception of Amoris Laetitia, none of Pope Francis' viewpoints have sparked the same level of debate as his statements on the economy. His South American background is different from previous popes and is unfamiliar to most Westerners. He has invited those concerned about the economy to join in a dialogue. What does economic dialogue with the Pope look like? We'll discuss it with Dr Robert Whaples.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Dr. Robert Whaples
      Dr Robert Whaples is Professor of Economics at Wake Forest University. His doctoral dissertation "The Shortening of the American Work Week: An Economic and Historical Analysis" won the Allen Nevins Prize from the Economic History Association. He has edited five books including "The Routledge Handbook of Modern Economic History." His next book, Pope Francis and the Caring Society, is due out in September. He's also Managing Editor of The Independent Review.
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    • Pope Francis and the Caring Society

      Pope Francis and the Caring Society is a thoughtful exploration of the Pope’s earnest call for a dialogue on building a truly compassionate society. Francis’s fervent support for uplifting the poor and protecting the environment has inspired far-reaching discussions worldwide: Do capitalism and socialism have positive or negative social consequences? What is the most effective way to fight poverty? And what value does a religious perspective offer in addressing moral, political, and economic problems? Pope Francis and the Caring Society is an indispensable resource for consideration of these vital questions. Edited by Robert M. Whaples, with a foreword by Michael Novak, the book provides an integrated perspective on Francis and the issues he has raised, examining the intersection of religion, politics, and economics. Readers will discover important historical and cultural context for considering Francis’s views, along with alternative solutions for environmental preservation, a defense of Francis’s criticism of power and privilege, a case for market-based entrepreneurship and private charity as potent tools for fighting poverty, and an examination of Francis’s philosophy of the family. Pope Francis and the Caring Society is essential reading for anyone interested in creating a better, more caring, and prosperous world. (learn more)

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