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The Common Thread Podcast

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The Common Thread Podcast is recorded and produced by undergraduate students at Boston University. Our goal is to seek out and discuss topics important to our community.


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Recent Episodes

Dr. Bacevich and the Niebuhrian Critique of American Power
Professor Emeritus Andrew Bacevich, a veteran of the Vietnam and Gulf wars, has spent his academic career writing about American imperialism. He gave a well-regarded university lecture in 2007 about the "illusions of managing history," arguing for the contemporary relevance of 20th c. theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. In this episode we explore his career and intellectual evolution. He articulates a rather profound dissent to the employment of American military power, and discusses how Niebuhr's The Irony of American History impacted his worldview. Dr. Bacevich is also the author of works such as Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country and America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, among others. In this interview we heavily reference a work he edited and contributed an article to, The Long War. We are very grateful to Dr. Bacevich for his time. For a further exploration of Reinhold Niebuhr see our episode with Rev. Julian Cook. If you are interested in having conversations like these you can find out about applying at and finding Common Thread under the programs tab.
William McKeen on Hunter S. Thompson
William McKeen is the a professor of journalism and author of 7 books, one of which includes "Outlaw Journalist," a biography of gonzo journalism maverick Hunter S. Thompson. McKeen helps paint the broader picture of Hunter S. Thompson from his childhood, the beginning of his career, into his later years. Here he discusses not just who Hunter S. Thompson was to the world, how he contributed to literature and journalism, but who Hunter Thompson was to himself. We try to make sense of Thompson’s story, a rebel and lifelong political dissident, a walking contradiction—gun-toting, America-loving, yet fiercely, wildly on the side of liberal reform in the 60s and 70s.
Brother Larry Part 2: Protestantization of Confucianism
Lawrence O'Donnell is the host of MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell and the author of the new book Playing With Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics. We speak with him about his book, the enduring relevance of that election and its effect upon modern day journalism. Mr. O'Donnell is also the author the 1983 book Deadly Force: The True Story of How a Badge Can Become a License to Kill, a writer and producer of the TV drama West Wing and former Capitol Hill aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. If you're interested in having conversations like these, please see for more info on The Common Thread and how you can potentially join the team.
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Podcast Details
Apr 4th, 2016
Latest Episode
Jul 4th, 2018
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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