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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mainlining History on Amazon Prime

Question: What do Ronald Reagan, Noam Chomsky, Jesse Jackson, B.F. Skinner,  Norman Mailer, Saul Alinsky, Groucho Marx, Milton Friedman, Timothy Leary, Huey Newton, Christopher Hitchens, Allard Lowenstein, Allen Ginsburg, Margaret Thatcher, Joan Baez, Ann Coulter and Muhummad Ali have in common? 


They were all guests on episodes of Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr.  which are now available for free with a subscription to Amazon Prime. (Students can get Amazon Prime for free for six months; transcripts for many episodes are available free here).  The show was on the air from 1966-99, and had hundreds of interesting guests.  Buckley, obviously, was conservative, but his interview style, while mildly combative, seems to me very unlike some modern commentators who do not let their guests speak or wilfully misunderstand their arguments.  To watch Truman Capote's discussion of capital punishment or Jack Kerouac's drunken appearance on a panel about "the hippies" is to take a trip on a time machine. 

If you insist on a legal connection, then I recommend episodes featuring G. Robert Blakey on the Warren Report, Alan Dershowitz on the Deep Throat prosecution, John T. Noonan on abortion, and Charles Rangel, William F. Buckley and Ira Glasser debating drug prohibition.

Posted by Jack Chin on July 27, 2013 at 05:54 AM | Permalink


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How did we manage w/o Amazon? First, there are the cheap hard to find books. Now, videos, both educational, or to episodes of one of your favorite entertainment shows. Or, even to low brow movies.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 27, 2013 12:22:42 PM

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