PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

"Americans used to sacrifice for the public good. What happened?"

Christopher McKnight Nichols_Brandon Jett.png
Christopher McKnight Nichols & Brandon Jett

During the 1918 influenza pandemic, which was happening at the same time as World War I, Americans were for the most part unified in their willingness to sacrifice for the common good. And this willingness to respond collectively continued during World War II. But, while public health officials have urged Americans to do their part to stem the spread of the coronavirus by doing things like avoiding large gatherings and wearing masks millions of people have refused. We explore what’s changed, and why, with the co-authors of a recent Washington Post op-ed called “Americans used to sacrifice for the public good. What happened?” Brandon Jett, professor of history at Florida SouthWestern State College; and Christopher McKnight Nichols, Associate Professor in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State University and director of its Center for the Humanities.

And we hear the third in a five-part series of stories by Florida Public Radio’s Lyn Hatter called “Committed: Florida’s Children Victims Of Dysfunctional Baker Act System” which explores what happens when kids get committed.

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University.