About

Freak Out and Carry On is a podcast that explores the political landscape as it evolves each week. What is happening that is most compelling, and importantly, has this ever happened before?

In this politics and history podcast, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Ron Suskind and noted historian Heather Cox Richardson take an in-depth look at the Trump administration through the lens of history. The podcast provides political and historical insights from two of the smartest thinkers today, along with carefully selected guests who shed further understanding and context on the topic at hand.

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Ron Suskind, left, and Heather Cox Richardson.
Ron Suskind, left, and Heather Cox Richardson.

Ron Suskind is a Pulitzer-winning journalist, bestselling author, and the founder of Sidekicks.

Ron’s latest bestseller, "Life, Animated" (2014), chronicles his family’s 20-year journey raising and connecting to their autistic son. The Suskinds are also the subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary feature of the same name (2016). Their story has driven activism and research about the compensatory strengths of those with autism and others who are "differently-abled" due to distinctive neurology or sociocultural backgrounds. Ron’s socially-conscious company, Sidekicks, is leading efforts to build a next generation of augmentative technologies to lift and support these communities.

Ron’s other works include "Confidence Men" (2011), about the fall of the U.S. economy and the presidency of Barack Obama; "The Way of the World" (2008), about the forces fighting the global "hearts and minds" struggle at a time when awesomely destructive weapons are available to the common man; "The One Percent Doctrine" (2006), about the U.S. government’s frantic improvisation to fight a new kind of war after 9/11; "The Price of Loyalty" (2004), about the inner workings of the American government and presidency of George W. Bush; and "A Hope in the Unseen" (1998), a nonfiction narrative that helped redefine national debates on race, class and achievement.

Ron often appears on network television and has been a contributor for The New York Times Magazine and Esquire. Ron was the Wall Street Journal’s senior national affairs reporter from 1993 until his departure in 2000, and won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. He currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, Cornelia Kennedy Suskind, and lectures about narrative and justice at Harvard Law School.

Heather Cox Richardson is a professor of history at Boston College and the author of five books about American politics. Her first four books explored the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, and the American West, and stretched from the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln to that of Theodore Roosevelt. Her fifth book explored the history of the Republican Party, showing that it has periodically swung from promoting equality of opportunity to protecting property in a left-right lurch that reveals the contradictions inherent in American society since the country’s formation.

Richardson’s "The Death of Reconstruction" (2001), "West from Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America After the Civil War" (2007), and "Wounded Knee: Party Politics and the Road to an American Massacre" (2010) were all selections of the History Book Club; "West from Appomattox" and "To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party" (2014) were also editor’s choice selections of the New York Times Book Review.

Richardson writes widely for popular publications and is a national commentator on American political history and the Republican Party. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Quartz, and so on, and she has been a regular columnist for Salon.com. She appears frequently on radio and on Boston area television news shows. She attracted national attention this year when two of her Facebook posts went viral: the first in response to her inclusion on the right-wing “Professor Watchlist;” the second a post on how Americans could respond to what she called the “shock events” of the Donald Trump presidency. Her Professor Watchlist post got picked up by Bill Moyers’s website, where it was the seventh most read story of 2016. The “shock event” post was shared hundreds of thousands of times, reprinted by the Dallas Morning News, Dan Rather’s News and Guts, and SFGate, the online site of the San Francisco Chronicle, and by Snopes.com.