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GoodFellows: Conversations from the Hoover Institution

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GoodFellows: Conversations from the Hoover Institution

In uncertain times what’s needed is not just clarity about today’s pandemic, but insight into the challenges that lie ahead as America recovers and returns to normal. GoodFellows, a weekly Hoover Institution broadcast, features senior fellows John Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, and H.R. McMaster discussing the social, economic, and geostrategic ramifications of this changed world.

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Recent Episodes of GoodFellows: Conversations from the Hoover Institution


The Counterfactual Show: Reimagining History, with Stephen Kotkin  | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

The Counterfactual Show: Reimagining History, with Stephen Kotkin | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

Historians differ over the need to explore “counterfactuals”—the study of scenarios that never happened—and what they can tell us about historical causation. Stephen Kotkin, the Hoover Institution’s Kleinheinz Senior Fellow and noted historian of Russia, joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson and John Cochrane to discuss alternative historical outcomes: Stalin not surviving a two-front invasion in World War II and Churchill dying well beforehand; the American Revolution failing; the Beatles never spearheading pop music’s British Invasion; a Trump victory in 2020 and its potential effect on the current state of affairs in Ukraine and the Middle East; plus a...

Episode 128 16 May 2024 1h, 5m and 44s


TikTok’s Ticking Clock: National Security Vs. Free Speech; Dr. Evil And James Bond | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, Amy Zegart, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

TikTok’s Ticking Clock: National Security Vs. Free Speech; Dr. Evil And James Bond | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, Amy Zegart, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

Did Israel’s failure to anticipate Hamas’s surprise attack in October 2023 stem from an overreliance on technical rather than human intelligence gathering? And is TikTok really a national security threat to America? Amy Zegart, the Hoover Institution’s Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow and author of Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence, joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, John Cochrane, and H.R. McMaster to discuss Israel’s intel failure, whether TikTok is the menace it’s portrayed to be, plus how spy films (wrongly) shape the public’s view on espionage...

Episode 127 3 May 2024 57m and 41s


America’s Immigration Puzzle, Iran Strikes (Out) – And 60 Is The New 40 | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, Reihan Salam, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

America’s Immigration Puzzle, Iran Strikes (Out) – And 60 Is The New 40 | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, Reihan Salam, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

Nearly 40 years since the nation last saw comprehensive reform on the matter, the consensus is that America’s immigration system is sorely in need of updating to 21st-century realities. Reihan Salam, Manhattan Institute president and author of the book Melting Pot or Civil War?, joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, John Cochrane, and H.R. McMaster to discuss a smarter approach to welcoming newcomers to America. After that: the fellows discuss the ramifications of Iran’s not-so-surprise missile assault on Israel and what the coming months portend for those warring nations. Finally, John and H.R. (and a few surp...

Episode 126 19 April 2024 58m and 7s


NYT’s Bret Stephens on Israel, 4 Years of GoodFellows, and An Invite to JK Rowling | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

NYT’s Bret Stephens on Israel, 4 Years of GoodFellows, and An Invite to JK Rowling | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

As the six-month anniversary of Hamas’s attack on Israel approaches, what to expect next in that struggle—and is the American president and Israeli prime minister’s working relationship beyond repair? New York Times columnist Bret Stephens joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, John Cochrane, and H.R. McMaster to discuss the war’s possible expansion into southern Lebanon and Stephens’s vision of a rebuilt Gaza as a Mediterranean version of Dubai. After that, a celebration of four years since GoodFellows’ “shelter-in place” debut, including a little boasting (they saw inflation coming), a little contrition (they didn’t see Trump reboun...

Episode 125 3 April 2024 52m and 48s


China v. Ukraine with Elbridge Colby; TikTok's Clock; Election Meddling Is Cool Now? | GoodFellows: Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

China v. Ukraine with Elbridge Colby; TikTok's Clock; Election Meddling Is Cool Now? | GoodFellows: Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

Facing hot wars in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and a prolonged cold war in East Asia, how does America adapt its military strategy and resources—and in which direction? Elbridge Colby, former Defense Department assistant secretary and cofounder of the Marathon Initiative, which studies great-power competition, joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson and H.R. McMaster to discuss his contention that rearming America’s military in anticipation of an eventual Chinese move on Taiwan takes priority over conflicts in Ukraine and Israel. Following that: the fellows weigh in on the merits of a forced sale of TikTok by i...

Episode 124 21 March 2024 57m and 16s


Victor Davis Hanson On The State of the Union . . . and a Biden-Trump Rematch | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

Victor Davis Hanson On The State of the Union . . . and a Biden-Trump Rematch | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

Following Super Tuesday’s results, with the US presidential election still the better part of eight months away, a rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is all but certain. Victor Davis Hanson, the Hoover Institution’s Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow and author of the soon-to-be-released book The End of Everything: How Wars Descend into Annihilation, joins Hoover senior fellows John Cochrane and H.R. McMaster to discuss where Biden and Trump stand on “shrinkflation” and the US economy, America’s involvement in overseas conflicts, plus the likelihood of Democrats replacing a struggling Biden at their August national c...

Episode 123 8 March 2024 1h, 8m and 16s


Israel’s Options, Plus Navalny’s Legacy and Ranking the US Presidents, with Dan Senor | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

Israel’s Options, Plus Navalny’s Legacy and Ranking the US Presidents, with Dan Senor | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

Why did Vladimir Putin call for an “inter-Palestinian meeting” in Moscow? And has Israel drawn a red line regarding a hostage release and an assault on the Gazan city of Rafah? Dan Senor, host of the Call Me Back podcast and author of two books on Israel, joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson (live from Jerusalem) and John Cochrane to discuss the moving parts and global ramifications of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Following that: remembering the late Alexei Navalny and what the future holds for Russian political opposition amid Putin-brand fascism; America’s “trust” credit rating as it reneges on promises t...

Episode 122 21 February 2024 55m and 25s


End Games: America Strikes Back, Congress Strikes Out On Immigration | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

End Games: America Strikes Back, Congress Strikes Out On Immigration | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

While the American reprisal against Iranian proxies across the Middle East is impressive in its harnessing of firepower, technology, and intelligence, does it advance the goals of deterrence and de-escalation? Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, John Cochrane, and H.R. McMaster discuss the pros and cons of the current US strategy and their concerns over the lack of an apparent end game. Following that: a conversation about Donald Trump’s  appeal to voters and his detractors’ inability to understand his populist resonance (the subject of a recent John Cochrane Wall Street Journal op-ed); how best to revitalize African nations; plus...

Episode 121 10 February 2024 53m and 27s


Davos, World War III, Essential Books, and No Swearing | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

Davos, World War III, Essential Books, and No Swearing | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

This installment of GoodFellows is devoted to audience questions—viewers and listeners putting Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, John Cochrane, and H.R. McMaster through their intellectual paces. Among the topics broached: a possible re-embrace of Western heritage; the same pre–World War I mentality that dismissed the likelihood of a global conflict potentially enabling a third world war; India and Pakistan’s economic and geostrategic outlooks; Donald Trump’s second-term objectives, should he be reelected; and Argentinian president Javier Milei’s pro-market “shock therapy” and his World Economic Forum “special address” dressing down Davos attendees. Viewers also asked: Why not a fellows’...

Episode 120 25 January 2024 53m and 57s


Empire or Republic?: The Choice in ’24 | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

Empire or Republic?: The Choice in ’24 | GoodFellows: John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

The new year begins with a continuation of three topics that figured prominently in 2023: escalating hostilities in the Middle East; a possible return to more traditional higher education after shake-ups at several elite American universities; plus the uncertainty of certain economic assumptions (in 2023, a much-prophesied recession that never materialized). Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster, and John Cochrane also discuss the odds of Cold War 2 morphing into World War III; whether economic conditions will overshadow fearmongering in a grim Trump-Biden referendum (in Niall’s words: the choice of “empire or republic”); the best use of this leap year’s...

Episode 119 11 January 2024 59m and 40s

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