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Kickass News

Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!
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Jan 18, 2018

Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Greg Barker (Ghosts of Rwanda, Manhunt, Homegrown) talks about following President Barack Obama and other senior White House officials during the final 12 months of the Obama Administration for his new film THE FINAL YEAR. He reveals some of the heartbreaking humanitarian nightmares faced by UN Ambassador Samantha Power, what it was like for Secretary of State John Kerry to return to Vietnam 45 years after fought in the war there, and why President Obama chose Greece for his last overseas stop.  He explains John Kerry's version of diplomatic speed dating, gives a fly on the wall perspective on the Syrian peace deal that never was, and discusses the Obama Administration’s fundamental miscalculation about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

THE FINAL YEAR opens in theatres and on demand this Friday, January 19.  For more information visit www.thefinalyearfilm.com and follow Greg Barker on twitter at @GJBarker.  Today's episode was sponsored by Control GX

Jan 15, 2018

General David Petraeus talks about implementing the successful "Surge" strategy in Iraq, and some of the unique complexities he encountered when translating that plan to the war in Afghanistan.  He discusses the fundamentals of counterinsurgency, his personal disdain for yes men, the paradox of nation building, and how a grad school dissertation on the Vietnam War helped shape his world view.  Plus General Petraeus weighs in on President Trump and the return of large geopolitical rivalries.  Today's episode was sponsored by LinkedIn Jobs and The Art of Charm podcast. 

Jan 11, 2018

ABC Nightline's Dan Harris has become a self-professed meditation evangelist ever since his infamous on-air panic attack in 2004 and today he tries to win over the ultimate skeptic...ME.  He reveals how daily meditation has improved life at home and at work, he dispels some of the myths surrounding meditation, and he discusses the  science behind the physical, mental and emotional health benefits of meditation.  He gives a crash course in how you can begin meditating with as little as one minute of free time, and he tells stories from his 23 state meditation bus tour including encounters with some surprising meditation fans like an Ohio Congressman and the cadets and professors of VMI.

Order Dan's book MEDITATION FOR FIDGETY SKEPTICS on Amazon or download the audio book on Audible.  Subscribe to Dan's 10% Happier Podcast and download the 10% Happier App.  Follow him on twitter at @danbharris and at www.10percenthappier.com.  Watch him weeknights on ABC’s Nightline and on the weekend edition of Good Morning America.  Today's episode was sponsored by Squarespace and The Post.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Jan 8, 2018

Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower behind the Pentagon Papers, reveals how helped design America's top secret nuclear war plan and why he has since dedicated his life to dismantling it.  He explains why the movie Dr. Strangelove is not far from the truth, discloses that the President isn’t the only one with his finger on the nuclear button, and explains just how far down the chain of command that authority may reverberate.  He reveals the potentially staggering human cost of America’s first strike strategy,
the logic behind the Joint Chiefs’ apparent peace with that risk, and their calculated willingness to obliterate US allies in the process.  Plus Daniel Ellsberg weighs in on the nuclear game of chicken between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, he lends some credence to the idea that’s there’s a so called “deep state” operating beyond the President’s authority, and America’s most famous whistleblower shatters the myth that all secrets in Washington eventually get leaked.

Order Daniel Ellsberg's book The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner on Amazon or download the audio book at Audible.com.  Daniel Ellsberg is on Twitter at @Daniel Ellsberg, and you can keep up with him and view lots of supplementary documents about the Pentagon Papers and America’s nuclear war plan at www.ellsberg.net. Today's episode was sponsored by The Art of Charm podcast.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Jan 4, 2018

Mike Duncan, host of The History of Rome podcast and Revolutions, constantly gets asked "Is America doomed to the same fate as the Roman Empire?"  Today he points to some startling parallels to US current events including populist demagoguery, economic inequality, the erosion of societal norms, and debate over who deserves to be a citizen.  He also offers ideas on how the American Republic can avoid the same fate as the Roman Republic before it's too late.

Order Mike Duncan's book The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic on Amazon or download the audio book at Audible.com.  Subscribe to Revolutions and The History of Rome wherever you listen to podcasts or visit www.revolutionspodcast.com and www.thehistoryofrome.typepad.com.  Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeDuncan.  Today's episode is sponsored by Tripping.com.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Jan 1, 2018

Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert cartoons, talks about his new book Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter.  He reveals why facts and ideology no longer matter, why Donald Trump makes what he says are intentional misstatements, and how Trump uses what he calls “linguistic kill shots” to flatten his opponents.  He also weighs in why Trump’s "persuasion skills" haven’t been very effective on Congress and whether or not Trump supporters should be insulted at being manipulated by their President.  Plus, how to hypnotize anyone, how Scott’s endorsement of Trump impacted his Dilbert readership, and an early prediction for 2020.

Order Scott's book Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter on Amazon or download the audiobook on Audible.  Visit Scott’s website at www.blog.dilbert.com and follow him on Twitter at @ScottAdamsSays.  Today's episode is sponsored by Credit Karma.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Dec 28, 2017

Academy Award-nominated director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Black Hawk Down, The Martian) joins me on the podcast to discuss how he saved his movie ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD from the Kevin Spacey scandal by making the unprecedented decision to recast the role with the legendary Christopher Plummer and reshoot much of the film just 6 weeks before it hits theaters.  He talks about the late billionaire J. Paul Getty, why the richest man in the world refused to pay his own grandsons’ ransom, and what the oil magnate’s heirs have had to say about the film.  Then actor Charlie Plummer (Boardwalk Empire, The Dinner), who plays Getty's kidnapped grandson talks about the unimaginable wealth and privilege that came with being a Getty and what it was like to re-enact the gruesome moment when the real-life John Paul Getty III got his ear chopped off.

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD opens in theatres on Christmas day 12/25.  To find out more visit www.allthemoney-movie.com.  Today's episode is sponsored by Grasshopper.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Dec 25, 2017

Father Gregory Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and reentry program in the world.  He reveals what inspired him to start Homeboy Industries,
how he fosters kinship between the most unlikely of friends - rival gang members, and how more often then not it’s just a matter of getting two people in the same room.  He shares how law enforcement leaders are getting involved, what he’s learned from testifying in 50 death penalty trials, and how the church can do more to reach out to “the people in the margins.”

Order Father Greg's book Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship on Amazon or download the audiobook on Audible.  To donate or find out more about Homeboy Industries, visit www.homeboyindustries.com.  Follow them on twitter at @HomeBoyInd and follow Father Greg at @FrGregBoyle.  Today's episode is sponsored by Grasshopper.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Dec 21, 2017

David Hallberg is a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre and the first American ever to be admitted into Russia's legendary Bolshoi Ballet.  David talks about the discipline and dedication needed to make to the top as a dancer, the unique chemistry of partnering with the right ballerina, and the behind the scenes coaches who have passed down ballet’s greatest roles since the very beginning.  He recalls his tough adjustment to life in Moscow, some of the charming age-old traditions at the Bolshoi Ballet, and the unbelievable 2013 acid attack on his former boss Bolshoi director Sergei Fillin.  Plus David opens up about the debilitating injury that required him to completely relearn how to dance and his hard-won comeback to the ballet stage.

Order his book A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back
on Amazon or download the audiobook on Audible.  Visit David’s website at www.DavidHallberg.com and follow him on Twitter at @DavidHallberg.  Today's episode is sponsored by Grasshopper and Orbi.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Dec 18, 2017

Brian Kilmeade, co-host of Fox & Friends, talks about his new book  Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America's Destiny.  He describes a confrontation with a British officer that became a defining moment for a young Andrew Jackson, how Jackson lead an army with a bullet wound to his shoulder and dysentery, and how Jackson never deserted his men and threatened to shoot any man who deserted him!  Brian reveals why New Orleans was so strategically important, how Jackson’s army was able to defeat the British in a mere 45 minutes, and what the consequences might have been if Jackson had lost.  Plus Brian Kilmeade talks about the comparisons between Jackson and Trump and weighs in on recent calls to reavaluate Jackson’s place in the history books.  

Order Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America's Destiny on Amazon or download the audio book on Audible.  Catch Brian Kilmeade every weekday on Fox and Friends and his radio show The Brian Kilmeade Show.  For more information visit www.briankilmeade.com and follow him on twitter at @Kilmeade.  Today's episode is sponsored by Grasshopper and Orbi.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Dec 14, 2017

Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie served as campaign manager and deputy campaign for Donald Trump's successful Presidential campaign and they write about that wild ride in their new book Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency.  Today they talk about the man they still call "the boss," his seemingly limitless energy, and his obsession with leaks and loyalty. They discuss some of tense moments on the campaign from Trump's attack on Senator John McCain’s military service which Corey thought might end Trump’s candidacy to the make-or-break meeting of the campaign inner circle following the release of the Access Hollywood tape. Corey talks frankly about his falling out with the Trump kids and his opinion of Paul Manafort, and they settle whether George Papadopoulus was really a campaign insider or a glorified coffee boy.

Order Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie's new book Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency on Amazon or download the audiobook on Audible.  Follow them on twitter at @CLewandowski and @David_Bossie.  Today's episode is sponsored by Grasshopper and iFit Nourish  Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Dec 11, 2017

Director/writer/producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Funny People, Trainwreck) talks about his lifelong love of comedy and how Amy Schumer got him to return to stand-up after a 25 year absence from the stage.  He shares some advice to young comedy writers, gives his take on Hollywood’s sexual harassment problem, and talks about fatherhood and his marriage to actress Leslie Mann.  Plus Judd Apatow discusses the tao of Gary Shandling, "stalking" Steve Martin, and what to do when Kermit the Frog thinks you’re unlovable.

Judd Apatow's Netflix comedy special Judd Apatow: The Return is available starting Tuesday, December 12.  Follow him on twitter at @JuddApatow.  Today's episode is sponsored by Grasshopper.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Dec 7, 2017

Legendary newsman Dan Rather talks about his 60 year career and how his travels and conversations have given him a “wide shot” of the American experience and the values that unite us.  He condemns recent attacks on some on those values (including freedom of the press), he shares his own family's experience during the Great Depression as a lesson in empathy, and he recalls how his time spent with men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Medger Evers opened his eyes to institutionalized racism in America.  He talks frankly about how his own thinking has evolved on some social issues, and he weighs in on the recent rash of sexual harassment scandals that have rocked the news business.  He discusses a few of the dozen Presidents he’s known in his 60 years as a journalist and reveals the one word that has always carried Dan Rather through good times and bad.

Order Dan Rather's book WHAT UNITES US: REFLECTIONS ON PATRIOTISM on Amazon or download the audio version on Audible.  Follow him on twitter at @DanRather or at www.newsandguts.com.  Today’s episode is sponsored by iFit Nourish.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Dec 4, 2017

For Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s The Last Word,
the 1968 U.S. Presidential election was his political awakening,
and it has remained one of his abiding fascinations.  Today he talks about the war that sunk LBJ’s presidency and the wild election that followed including the indignities suffered by Senator Senator Eugene McCarthy, how the assassination of Bobby Kennedy threw the Democratic primary into chaos, and the impossible political position of the eventual Democratic nominee Humbert Humphrey.  He analyzes the strategy behind the unlikely political comeback of Richard Nixon, the disturbingly familiar tone of the racist George Wallace campaign, and how 1968 has set the stage for every presidential election to follow.

Order Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics on Amazon or download the audio version on Audible.  Watch The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell every week night at 10PM Eastern on MSNBC, and follow him on twitter at @Lawrence.  Today’s episode is sponsored by Grasshopper and Credible.com.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Nov 30, 2017

A.J. Jacobs recounts his attempt to throw the worlds biggest family reunion, and his efforts to connect with the billions of people he calls his "cousins" via a project called the world family tree.  He discusses how this crazy project all began with an email from a dairy farmer in Israel, and quickly led him down a genealogical rabbit hole as he played "six degrees of A.J. Jacobs."  He says any person on the planet is no further than 70th cousins with anyone else, and every one of the 7 billion people on earth will be connected through a global family tree within the next 10-20 years.  A.J. discusses the potential for this idea to bridge divides, but he warns that genealogy can also expose uncomfortable truths and upend long held family narratives.  Plus A.J. earns the ultimate Mormon street cred, attends a get-together of the Hatfields and McCoys, and nearly loses his mind trying to round up thousands of his "cousins" for the world's biggest family reunion.

Order A.J. Jacobs' book IT'S ALL RELATIVE: ADVENTURES UP AND DOWN THE WORLD'S FAMILY TREE on Amazon or download the audiobook on Audible. Follow A.J. on twitter at @ajjacobs or at www.ajjacobs.com.  Today’s episode is sponsored by GrasshopperCredible.com, and iFit Nourish.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.

Nov 27, 2017

Tina Brown is arguably the most influential magazine editor of the past 50 years, having served as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Tatler, and The Daily Beast.  She discusses her new book The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992, tells stories of the glamorous and cut-throat magazine trade, and dishes about some of the larger than life personalities she encountered in that world including a young Donald Trump and disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.  She discusses the importance of the "mix" of a good magazine and recounts how she completely remade Vanity Fair from front to back.  She recalls having a front row seat for the excess of New York in 1980’s, and gives the backstory behind some of her favorite Vanity Fair covers including Annie Leibovitz's now iconic portrait of a naked pregnant Demi Moore.

Order The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992 on Amazon or download the audiobook on Audible. Follow Tina Brown on twitter at @TinaBrownLM or at www.tinabrownmedia.com.  Today’s episode is sponsored by Credible.com.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.  

Nov 23, 2017

The Lean Startup founder Eric Ries talks about his new book The Startup Way.  Eric recalls his first crash-course in entrepreneurship, what went wrong with his very first tech venture, and why having failed startup under your belt is something of a right of passage in Silicon Valley.  He discusses the strikingly similar issues faced by both large corporations and new ventures, and why the biggest problem with many startups is that they simply never plan for success.  He discusses how he helped form the innovative Fastworks Program at the granddaddy of legacy companies General Electric, and how a more entrepreneurial system can improve the bottom line for all kinds of organizations from large multinational corporations to government bureaucracies.

Order The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth on Amazon or download the audiobook on Audible. Follow Eric on twitter at @ericries or at www.theleanstartup.com

Today’s episode is sponsored by Grasshopper.   Please take our new listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.  

Nov 20, 2017

Comedian Brian Reagan talks about his very first standup act, the worst gig he ever had, and the double-edged sword of being labeled a "clean comic."  He reveals why he doesn’t like to see his audience,
why he never plays the town he lives in, and the incredibly weird audition that got him on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Plus Brian has a bone to pick with whoever invented tennis scoring, and he offers his sage advice for Middle East peace.

Brian Regan's Netflix comedy special Nunchucks and Flamethrowers  is available November 21.  Follow Brian on twitter at @brianregan and visit www.brianregan.com for tickets and tour dates.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex.  Please take our new listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.  

Nov 16, 2017

Paul Reiser and Jeff Sotzing discuss their new show There's...Johnny!, a funny and heartwarming coming of age series set amid the backstage antics on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  They talk about bringing Carson to a new generation of TV viewers, meticulously recreating the look of The Tonight Show for There's...Johnny!, and building each episode around some of Johnny Carson's most iconic television moments.  Paul recalls his first appearance on Carson, Johnny’s impeccable sense of comedic timing, and his generosity to young comics like himself.  Jeff shares memories of his uncle Johnny and his time working on The Tonight Show including being there for Carson’s final episode.  Plus the antics of the legendary Pat McCormick, the time Johnny Carson foiled an extortion plot, and Tony Danza as the oh so cool Tonight Show producer Freddie deCordova.

Season 1 of There’s...Johnny! is available on Hulu November 16. Keep up with Paul at www.paulreiser.com or on Twitter at @PaulReiser, and visit www.johnnycarson.com for memorable clips and other fun stuff from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex and Grasshopper.   Please take our new listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.  

Nov 13, 2017

Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush discuss their surprisingly normal childhood when they assumed that everyone’s grandfather got to have an inauguration, and why they initially didn't want their dad to run for President.  Barbara discusses the difficulties of having the same name as the First Lady, and the time a Yale professor offered her an A if she could convince her dad to call off the Iraq War.  Jenna talks about the infamous night they got caught drinking underage and recalls her and her husband's comical first date at the White House.  They reveal the creepy dictator who had photos of them in his palace, their experiences on election night 2000 and 9/11, and weigh in on the recent story that neither their dad nor their grandfather voted for Donald Trump in 2016.

Order Jenna and Barbara’s #1 bestseller Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life on Amazon or Audible.  To learn more, visit www.sistersfirst.com.  Catch Jenna on The Today Show on NBC and follow her on Twitter at @jennabushhager.  Learn more about Barbara’s terrific charity Global Health Corps at www.ghcorps.org  and follow them on twitter at @ghcorps.  Thank you to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum for hosting our interview.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex, Grasshopper, and AppRiver. Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  

Nov 9, 2017

Alec Baldwin and Kurt Andersen discuss their new book You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump. Alec shares his thoughts Donald Trump’s bizarre twitter war with SNL, and Alec reveals a secret fan he has in the White House. They talk about the mentally taxing process of getting into the strange mind of Donald Trump, how Trump has blurred the lines between reality and fiction, and Trump’s deep love for conspiracy theories and dictators. Plus Paul Ryan tells off the President, Ivanka tricks him into seeing a shrink, and we debate whether Trump is the Godfather or Freddo.

Order Alec and Kurt’s book You Can't Spell America Without Me on Amazon or download the audio version hilariously read by Alec and Kurt on Audible. Subscribe to Alec’s podcast Here’s the Thing and Kurt's podcast Studio 360 on iTunes and look for lots more of Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump this season on Saturday Night Live. Visit the guys websites at www.kurtandersen.com and www.alecbaldwin.com and follow them on twitter at @alecbaldwin and @KBAndersen. 

Today’s episode is sponsored by NadexPlease subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  

Nov 6, 2017

Comedian Iliza Shlesinger explains the often misunderstood and highly evolved way of thinking that she calls "girl logic."  She relates girl logic to everything from the fashion and the work place to the most frustrating question a man can ask a woman - “what do you want to eat?”  Plus Iliza shares her thoughts on Harvey Weinstein, guys who fake their own deaths, how to win a reality show, and how to deal with mermaid hate mail.

Order Iliza Shlesinger's new book GIRL LOGIC: The Genius and The Absurdity on Amazon or download the audio version on Audible.
For Iliza's upcoming tour dates and more info, visit her website at www.iliza.com and follow her on twitter at @iliza.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex and AppRiverPlease subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  

Nov 2, 2017

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried talks about his fear of being "outted" as family man in his new documentary GILBERT, recalls some of the worst gigs he ever had, and reveals why he used to look down on comics who "work dirty."  He explains why nazis love him, tells traveling salesmen jokes, does his impressions Humphrey Bogart at the postoffice and Jackie Gleason as Rick in Casablanca, and tells his infamous Danny Thomas story.

His documentary GILBERT opens at the IFC Center in NYC on 11/3, Laemmle Fine Art Theatre in LA on 11/10 and then in theatres across the country.  Subscribe to Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, and you can keep up with him at www.GilbertGottfried.com or on twitter at @RealGilbert.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex and AppRiver.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff. 

Oct 30, 2017

Aaron Mahnke, host of LORE podcast, shares the real history behind the legends of ghosts, vampires and werewolves, and how our scary folktales say a lot about our attitudes toward women, outsiders, and those who are different.  He talks about the spiritualism craze of the turn of the century, the most sadistic witch hunters throughout the ages, as well as the Jersey Devil, the Beast of Bray road, gremlins, fairies and more. 

Subscribe to LORE podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get podcasts. Don’t miss the LORE Amazon series available now,
and order THE WORLD OF LORE: MONSTROUS CREATURES on Amazon
or download the audiobook on Audible. You can learn more about LORE and Aaron Mahnke at www.lorepodcast.com or www.aaronmahnke.com and follow them on Twitter at @lorepodcast or @amahnke.  

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex and Sonos.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff. 

Oct 26, 2017

Pulitzer-winning author/historian Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton, Washington: A Life) wants Americans to rethink the 18th President with his new biography GRANT.  He discusses Ulysses S. Grant’s drinking and early failures, his meteoric rise through the ranks during the Civil War, and how Grant struggled with his own personal civil war at home.  He makes the case for General Grant as a brilliant military strategist, and argues that he deserves more credit for holding the Union together during Reconstruction.  We discuss how Ulysses S. Grant later went broke when he trusted his fortune to the Bernie Madoff of his day and how Mark Twain helped the former President dig himself out of debt before suffering a painful death by throat cancer.

Order Ron Chernow's terrific biography GRANT on Amazon or download the audio book at Audible.  Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex and AppRiver.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff. 

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