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Published on: May 19, 2015
Episode 67: Wolf Hall and Camp David Denouement

Relevant Reading:

Allies Raging Against the Dying Light
Hillel Fradkin and Lewis Libby

A Wolf Eat Wolf World
Nicholas M. Gallagher

Good evening, listeners! We have an excellent episode for you this week as host Richard Aldous speaks with Hillel Fradkin about the state of Obama’s strategies in the Middle East, before talking with Nicholas M. Gallagher about the Broadway play “Wolf Hall.”

Hillel Fradkin, director of the Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World at the Hudson Institute, discusses last week’s meeting at Camp David between President Obama and representatives from six Persian Gulf nations about the President’s plan for an accord with Iran. He suggests that in both that meeting and in related press appearances, Obama doesn’t seem to have accomplished the goal of assuaging concerns over Tehran. He also examines the degree to which the Obama Administration has made this Iran deal the center of its strategy in the Middle East.

Tune in to find out what the Iran negotiations have in common with George Bush’s so-called “surge” in 2007, and how Middle East policy might play in elections next year.

Then, The American Interest staff writer Nicholas M. Gallagher discusses his review of the Hillary Mantel play “Wolf Hall.” He explains why the Tudors seem to have captivated popular culture these recent years, pointing to the appeal of the inherent drama of a small group of courtiers, and goes on to argue that the religious violence that features so prominently in the Tudor time period might be helping us come to terms with our own version of that mayhem (Islamic extremism, for example) today.

He says that Hillary Mantel has helped revive Cromwell’s reputation by portraying him as a man from a humble background who helped to modernize the Tudor state, though he notes that while that outlook may make for good drama, it’s a bit of revisionist history. Moreover, he contends, Cromwell was in some ways the inventor of the security state in England.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and follow our host Richard Aldous @RJAldous and Nicholas M. Gallagher @ngallagherAI on Twitter.

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