Comments about "Ideas and Issues"

by Some Former Guests

"I understand Hugh LaFollette is making his program available to other public radio stations and I would like to enthusiastically endorse that effort. Mr. LaFollette stood apart from other interviewers. His questions were incisive and thoughtful. And although he and I are academics, the conversation was not full of academic jargon. It was a discussion that could have been easily followed by any educated listener."
Douglas Amy, Politics, Mt. Holyoke

"Hugh LaFollette's `Ideas and Issues' provides a rare space for in-depth examination of important policy issues.  It is a refreshing alternative to the superficial 30-second soundbites that dominate the airwaves.'
Sarah Anderson, Institute for Policy Studies

"In today’s academic world, professors complain about the anti-intellectualism and cultural illiteracy of public discourse in the United States. In the public sphere, on the other hand, intellectuals, journalists, and common readers complain about the irrelevance and abstraction of academic discourse, especially that coming out of the humanities. There is an answer to both camps: Hugh LaFollette’s radio show, "Ideas and Issues."   There, important scholarly and social matters are discussed with intelligence and accessibility. Academic books come alive in the words of distinguished guests who know how to communicate with the society at large. LaFollette chooses timely intellectual subjects and approaches them with common sense understanding. No dumming down or theorizing up--just sustained smart conversation."
Mark Bauerlein, English, Emory University

"I don't know of any other radio program that invests so much time in serious ideas or makes them so accessible to listeners. It's a great public service. And Hugh LaFollette is a wonderful interviewer. His questions are intelligent and well-formed, he has a sure sense of what matters, and he has an easy, gentle style that would coax the best from any guest. Both the show and the interviewer are a credit to public radio."
Charles Beitz, Professor of Politics, Princeton University

"It was a real pleasure appearing on Hugh LaFollette's radio show. Hugh had a really firm grasp on the material and asked penetrating questions. The experience was fun and productive for me and I am sure for his listeners as well." 
Francine Blau, Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University

"Ideas and Issues" is a marvelous radio show coming out of the heart of Tennessee. Hugh LaFollette has brought to his listeners a fascinating array of some of the nation's leading scholars, pundits, and social philosophers. A scholar in his own right, he never fails to ask just the right question to get to the core of an important issue. This is one of those rare talk shows worth `bookmarking' on your radio dial."
Barry Bluestone, Director, Center for Urban and Regional Policy, Northeastern University

"I want to offer strong support for Professor Hugh LaFollette's project to extend the reach of the interviews he conducts in his "Ideas and Issues" program. I can attest to the probing, thoughtful, scrupulously fair and informed manner in which Professor LaFollette conducts his interviews. Such level-headed and stimulating contributions to public discourse ought to be reaching a wider audience."
Sissela Bok, Public Health, Harvard University

"We were delighted with the probing and non-standard questions Hugh LaFollette asks in an interview, creating an interesting experience for listeners and those being interviewed.  Hugh's preparation both in terms of reading author's material and thinking about it shines through!"
Paul and Sarah Edwards, authors of Changing Directions Without Losing Your Way

"For those of us who are often asked inane questions by uninformed hosts, it was a treat to participate in Hugh LaFollette's `Ideas and Issues.'  He asked well formed and informed questions, engaged in serious discussion, and permitted enough time to explore matters seriously.  If we only had more such programs we all would be better for it."
Amitai Etzioni, Professor, George Washington U. and Head of the "Communitarian Network"

"His interview was thorough and objective. His insight and objectivity were obvious."
Duane Gish, Director, Center for Creation Research

"He was well-prepared and his questions were clear and appropriate. I felt he had a good understanding of the issues and followed up well on my answers to his question. I am happy to recommend him to you."
Will Hutton, editor The Observer (UK)

"Hugh LaFollette does serious public service broadcasting. He treats guests like adults, and he treats the audience like citizens. This entitles him to more and more listeners." 
Michael Ignatieff, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard University

"His choice of subjects, guests, and questions makes "Ideas and Issues" a model of intelligent dialogue. Dr. LaFollette is aware he has a responsibility to inform and educate his audience. At the same time, his informal style and warm good humor assures his listeners than he respects them. I hope those responsible for public programming will make this engaging program accessible to the nation's listeners."
Alan Kraut, History, American University

"Mr. LaFollette is willing, even eager, to take on public policy issues that are quite complex, but which he then succeed in presenting in a highly accessible fashion. He is also exceptionally well-prepared. His mastery showed both in the sharpness of his questions and in asking his questions in a non-technical way. Finally, I was struck by his relaxed and pleasant tone of voice which served perfectly to put both his guest and his listeners at ease. If his program were available in my area, I would be a loyal listener."
Arend Lijphart, Politics, University of California, San Diego

"Both as a Member of the European Parliament and as a writer on legal and political theory, I have much appreciated the opportunity of contributing in-depth interviews to Hugh LaFollette's radio show. All too rarely do the mass media offer any opportunity to develop serious ideas in depth, while trying to keep them accessible to a wide audience of concerned citizens. Hugh's show makes a strong contribution."
Sir Neil MacCormick, Law and International Affairs, Edinburgh University, and MEP

"I was very impressed by the quality of Professor LaFollette's questioning. Since I knew he was an excellent philosopher, the excellent substantive nature of his questions did not surprise me. What did surprise me was his remarkable ability to frame his questions in a non-technical and even entertaining way." 
Jeffrie Murphy, Law and Philosophy, Arizona State University

"LaFollette is a wonderful interviewer: extremely thoughtful and well-prepared, exceedingly well organized. He is fun to talk to: he relaxes the interviewee. We got to the issues that would be of greatest interest to a curious and reflective audience, and he keeps the discussion from going off on tangents that would be of merely academic interest.  'Ideas and Issues' is a first-rate show that would engage a wide and enthusiastic audience if it were to become more broadly available." 
Martha Nussbaum, Law and Philosophy, University of Chicago

"I found the quality of the discussion to be first rate. Hugh LaFollette was well prepared and provocative"
Paul Osterman, Management, MIT

"One of the pleasures of visiting East Tennessee State University recently was being interviewed for your distinguished radio series. I found the program to be conducted at the highest professional level."
David Popenoe, Sociology, Rutgers University

"I'm delighted to hear that you're thinking of syndicating "Ideas and Issues. The program should certainly be brought to a larger audience. The kind of leisurely but serious discussion with a well-informed host that your program offers is an increasingly rare commodity. I'd welcome the chance to hear your program regularly."
John Shelton Reed, Sociology, University of North Carolina

"I am immensely impressed by his skills as a radio broadcaster and thinker. Unlike most broadcasters he understands in depth the issues and ideas he speaks about. Unlike most academic philosophers he knows how to convey such ideas and issues to the lay person."
Matt Ridley, Science Writer

"This is a great show. LaFollette asks all the right questions, and gives his guests the time to give good answers. I visit the site regularly."
David Schmidtz, Philosophy, University of Arizona

"The show has an excellent format that allows the exploration of ideas and cultural and contemporary issues in great depth. I think it is a wonderful show, and would like to think it will be more widely disseminated and heard by more people. I have been interviewed in a number of different media formats, and I remember that show as being one of the most engaging, and rewarding."
Abraham Verghese, author and physician

"Issues and Ideas' goes well beyond standard media fare.  As host, Hugh LaFollette picks challenging issues, and engages guests in sustained and intelligent dialogue that is both informative and accessible to listeners.  His questions demonstrate careful study of the topic, and guide his guests quickly and incisively to the core of important issues.  The program is a model of what public radio should be."
David Wippman, Cornell University Law School

"I write to recommend Hugh LaFollette's radio program for syndication. I believe it is an excellent forum for discussion of public policy issues. He has displayed knowledge of the topic far greater than typical; his inquiries have been provocative but fair."
Frank Wu, Law, Howard University


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