December 23, 2010

David Kennedy, Historian: Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference

Host Marcia Franklin talks with historian David Kennedy about Depression-era policies and whether they have parallels to today's financial crisis.

Kennedy, professor emeritus at Stanford University, is known for integrating both economic and cultural analyses in his works about particular historical eras, as he did in Freedom from Fear, a book about the Great Depression in the United States. That book won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000.

Kennedy is also the author of several other books, including Over Here: The First World War and American Society, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1981.

He and Franklin discuss the differences between the financial crises in the Great Depression and today, as well as current issues that concern him, including the growing gap he sees between civilian and military society. Kennedy also talks about the priorities for the Bill Lane Center for the American West, of which he is a co-director.

Franklin spoke with Kennedy at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005. Those conversations can be found at