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This category contains 13 posts

Columbus: The Four Voyages

Biographer Laurence  Bergreen retraces the voyages of Christopher Columbus, placing the 15th century explorer into the context of the Age of Discovery. What were the political, moral, and economic costs of his four voyages? How significant was his achievement in his own time?  What accounts for his lasting fame? Recorded November 2, 2011 [Audio clip: view full […]

Deadly Double Helix

Danielle Allen, Director of the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard,  discusses her new memoir “CUZ”. The book documents the events which conspired to cause the untimely death of her young cousin, Michael, on the streets of Los Angeles in 2009. A “deadly double helix” of narcotics and street gangs ultimately entrapped her cousin, as […]

Rwandan Women Rising

Swanee Hunt speaks about her experiences in Rwanda from her new book Rwandan Women Rising which follows the story of the women who worked for peace after the genocide in 1994.  Today 64% of the seats in the Rwandan parliament are held by elected women, a number unrivaled by any other nation. Swanee Hunt chairs the […]

Forever Young

FOREVER YOUNG Cambridge Forum celebrates the legacy and future of folk music as it marks its 50th anniversary. Recorded NOVEMBER 16, 2016  -Watch video- Music and memories from the early days of the Harvard Square folk scene to the current state of the Americana genre. Betsy Siggins, raconteur extraordinaire, recalls her early days at the legendary Club 47 […]


What is killing our honey bees? Can we save them? Cambridge Forum examines the plight of  honey bees with the help of Noah Wilson-Rich from Best Bees and apiarist David Hackenberg  of Buffy Bees from Lewisburg, PA. If you care about the future of food and want to learn more about how to ensure the survival of […]


Most conversations today involve distracted people looking at their phones and not their partners. This, according to Sherry Turkle, is leading to a “crisis of empathy” at work, at home and in our public life. Turkle is Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, and spent four decades studying the relationship […]

Rise Again! A Sing-Along Concert

Peter Blood and Annie Patterson’s  popular songbook Rise Up Singing is renowned for getting people to sing: to empower, to build community, and to have fun. To celebrate the release of their  new songbook, Rise Again, Cambridge Forum hosted a sing-along concert featuring Peter and Annie; Charlie King; the Nields; Kallet Epstein & Cicone; and […]

Witness to History: Remembering Freedom Summer

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Fifty years ago the Civil Rights Movement was far from declaring victory.  The experiences of the 1964 Freedom Summer demonstrated that a legal foundation for African American civil rights may have been a necessary condition but it was hardly sufficient to ensure a peaceful transition to full social and civic equality. Jack Landron, a young […]

Folklore of Violence

Afro-American folk singer James Sparky Rucker  talks about  the glorification of the outlaw in popular and traditional folk music. Using songs and lyrics, he traces the tradition of celebrating outlaws  from Jesse James to modern gangsta rappers. ” I was standing on the corner when I heard my bulldog bark, He was barking at the two […]

Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era

Joseph Nye of the Harvard Kennedy School discusses the foreign policies of 20th century American presidents and assesses the effectiveness and ethics of their choices with David Gergen, Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School . He identifies two main types of presidential temperaments – transformational and transactional– and argues that […]


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