New Year’s Looks Back: William Greider, Harold Bloom, Peter Yarrow, Rev. William Barber

Episode #573

We remember two authors we interviewed in years past who died in 2019. First, we re-play our 2009 interview with William Greider about his book, Come Home America. Greider passed away on Christmas Day 2019. We also hear from my 2011 interview with Harold Bloom, who also passed away in 2019.

Then, we dip into Francesca’s audio archive for an interview she did with Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary in 2017 at an event honoring the Reverend Dr. William Barber — and we hear from Barber, as well, talking about his Poor People’s Campaign.

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William Greider

William Greider passed away on Christmas Day 2019. He was national affairs corespondent for the Nation and the author of numerous books. Capitalism and democracy and how they are often in conflict was the subject of much of Greider’s work.

In 2009 Francesca interviewed him for Sea Change Radio, a program she co-produced and co-hosted with Bill Baue, now produced by Alex Wise. The occasion was the publication of Greider’s book, Come Home America: The Rise and Fall And Redeeming Promise of Our Country.

It was published soon after Wall Street’s crash in 2008 and the start of the Great Recession. But it’s as relevant today as it was then, prefiguring the growing questions of capitalism as an economic system that can provide for all or even preserve democracy.

In addition to Come Home America, Greider was the author of numerous other books, including Fortress America, One World Ready or Not, and The Soul of Capitalism.

Harold Bloom

Harold Bloom passed away in October 2019. He was called the “most notorious literary critic in America,” because he elevated the Western literary canon over others, arguing for the superiority of Shakespeare, Chaucer and Kafka–white men all.

Bloom was no progressive and scorned multiculturalism. And his treatment of women also wasn’t so great. But he gave Writer’s Voice an interesting interview back in 2011, when Francesca visited him to talk about his anthology of “last poems” by diverse poets and his commentary on them. It’s called Till I End My Song.

Peter Yarrow and the Reverend William Barber
In 2018, Francesca covered an event in East Hampton, New York for WPKN’s Evening News where the Reverend Dr. William Barber spoke about his Poor People Campaign and A National Call For Moral Revival.

The great folksinger Peter Yarrow of the trio Peter, Paul and Mary was there to perform. While waiting for the event to begin, Francesca sat down with Peter Yarrow to ask him about his long career as a musician and especially about how he saw the role of music in progressive movements.

After speaking with Peter Yarrow, Francesca was able to snatch a few minutes with the Reverend Dr. William Barber.

Credit: Peter Paul and Mary sing If I Had A Hammer at the 1967 March on Washington.

Next week on Writers Voice, we talk with master of WWII spy fiction, Alan Furst about his new thriller, Under Occupation.