Aspen tree

Aspen Ideas Festival 2008


The 2008 Ideas Festival, sponsored by the Aspen Institute and Atlantic Magazine, gathered scientists, artists, politicians, historians, educators, activists, and other great thinkers for a week in early July. MPR's Midday broadcast several of the presentations.

  • Former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor'What's the Big Idea?'
    The opening event at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. A doctor, lawyer, climate scientist, actor, writer, former Supreme Court Justice and others tell us their one "big idea."Midday, July 1, 2008
  • David BrooksA critical look at the presidential nominees
    Media panelists assess the qualities of the presumptive presidential nominees John McCain and Barack Obama, during an event at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado.Midday, July 2, 2008
  • Clinton at the Aspen Ideas FestivalFormer President Bill Clinton at the Aspen Ideas Festival
    Former President Bill Clinton spoke with the Aspen Institute's Jane Wales during this year's Aspen Ideas Festival. Clinton covered topics from the election in Zimbabwe, the global food crisis and the state of education in America.Midday, July 7, 2008
  • James McWilliamsThe history of insect control
    James McWilliams, fellow in the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University and associate professor of history at Texas State University, appeared at the Aspen Ideas Festival to discuss his new book, "American Pests: The Losing War on Insects from Colonial Times to DDT."Midday, July 8, 2008
  • Irshad Manji'Who Speaks for Islam?'
    Irshad Manji, out with a PBS documentary titled "Faith Without Fear," and Dalia Mogahed, co-author of "Who Speaks for Islam?" and senior analyst for the Gallup Organization, appeared together at the Aspen Ideas Festival for a discussed Muslims and society moderated by The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg.Midday, July 9, 2008
  • The future of the conservative movement
    Noted conservatives Ken Adelman, Susan Eisenhower, Jack Kemp and Mickey Edwards came together at the Aspen Ideas Festival to discsuss the state of the conservative movement, where it's fallen apart and how it can be restored.Midday, July 10, 2008
  • Activists of Islami Jam torch US and Israeli flags'The Tragedy of Just War'
    Yale University law professor Stephen Carter appeared at the fourth annual Aspen Ideas Festival to give a talk called "The Tragedy of Just War."Midday, July 16, 2008
  • Theodore RooseveltTheodore Roosevelt's politics
    Joshua Hawley, author of "Theodore Roosevelt: Preacher of Righteousness," offers an examination of Theodore Roosevelt's life and legacy in a recent speech at the Aspen Ideas Festival.Midday, July 18, 2008
  • David KennedyThe legacy of Franklin Roosevelt
    David Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945," discussed the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt at the Aspen Ideas Festival.Midday, July 22, 2008
  • Abraham LincolnLincoln's union
    During this year's Aspen Ideas Festival, Douglas Wilson, co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College, discussed Abraham Lincoln's life, writings and desire to keep the country intact.Midday, July 23, 2008
  • George WashingtonGeorge Washington's obssession with the West
    Joel Achenbach, author of "The Grand Idea: George Washington's Potomac and the Race to the West," talked about George Washington and his vision for America at this summer's Aspen Ideas Festival.Midday, July 24, 2008
  • Jacob Weisberg'The Bush Tragedy'
    Editor-in-chief of Slate Magazine Jacob Weisberg discussed his most recent book, "The Bush Tragedy" at this summer's Aspen Ideas Festival.Midday, July 25, 2008
  • The history and future of the atom bomb
    Three nuclear weapons and global security experts discuss the history and future use of nuclear weapons at the Aspen Ideas Festival this summer.Midday, August 4, 2008
  • Does the Constitution still matter?
    Former U.S. Rep. Mickey Edwards says the Republican Party can't find a way to rebuld its reputation unless it turns back toward the Constitution.Midday, August 7, 2008
  • Harvard University's Michael SandelMichael Sandel on 'Justice'
    Harvard University professor of government Michael Sandel turned his legendary semester-long course on justice into an hour-long talk at the Aspen Ideas Festival.Midday, August 11, 2008

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