Inmate Firefighters, China’s Social Credit System, and Chanukah
Past Present Episode 157
In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss convict firefighters, China’s new social credit system, and the history of Chanukah.
Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:
- California’s latest wave of forest fires is being battled in part by inmates in the state’s prisons through a program that was instated in the 1940s. Natalia cited historian Heather Ann Thompson’s book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971.
- Since 2014, the Chinese government has been building a “social credit system” to track – and reward and punish – its citizens’ behaviors. We commented on this piece on the dystopian comparisons being made by cultural observers of these measures.
- Chanukah is upon us and the Jewish “Festival of Lights” has an oft-overlooked military history. Niki and Natalia both recommended this Forward article about the significance of rationing oil.
In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:
- Natalia recommended historian Matthew Pressman’s new book, On Press: The Liberal Values That Shaped the News.
- Neil shared Julia Jacobs’ New York Times article, “Bush’s Letter to Clinton Cemented a Presidential Traditions, Historians Say.”