March 1, 2024

MLK, Brexit, and More—In the News 1/14/19

Author: The Great Courses
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In a fast-moving, ever-shifting world, news is continuously breaking. The Great Courses is here to help you understand the full story behind the soundbites. Here are a handful of stories for the week of January 14, 2019, and their accompanying lectures on The Great Courses Plus

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Martin Luther King’s Legacy
On Jan 21, we celebrate the life and achievements of influential American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Examine how the monumental Supreme Court decisions in the Brown case and the Montgomery bus boycott inaugurated the activist phase of the Civil Rights Movement. And explore the ways Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders used the style and idiom of evangelical clergy to change the landscape of our country.

Celebratory Cuisine
The White House hosted NCAA National Champions the Clemson Tigers in a celebratory dinner and meet-and-greet with the President, which featured an assortment of fast foods from McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Domino’s Pizza. See how meals are used as symbolic activities across different religions and cultures, to celebrate, mourn, and more.    

Remembering Jack Bogle
John C. Bogle founded the investment advisory company The Vanguard Group in 1974, built it into an immensely successful mutual fund company, and left a legacy of financial insights and advice for the average investor when he passed away on January 16, 2019.  See the index fund phenomenon from the inside through the career of John Bogle and understand the pitfalls to avoid when buying index funds.   

The State of Brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a defeat when Parliament rejected her Brexit deal with the European Union, placing the future of Brexit in doubt. Explore the distinct advantages of unification, along with the drawbacks that led the UK to vote in 2016 to leave the EU. 

FYRE Went Up in Flames
Two highly-anticipated TV programs documenting the wild saga of the Fyre Festival look at how Billy McFarland defrauded investors out of millions of dollars with various schemes. Sadly, this is not a new phenomenon. Investigate two of the most notorious con men who ever lived: Charles Ponzi and Ivar Kreuger. Analyze the three ingredients that most Ponzi schemes share and learn to identify investments that are too good to be true.

LA Teachers on Strike
Teachers in the second biggest county in the country are on strike, affecting 500,000 students. Although often seen as a dramatic reversal of historical government support for labor, see how today’s efforts to scale back collective bargaining rights are a reassertion of policy with a long precedent

Women March
The third annual Women’s March was held on Jan. 19 in the streets of Washington, D.C., and other cities across the world. Explore the struggle for an inclusive role for women in American society

AI Predicts Your Health
Artificial intelligence is proving it can spot the warning signs of disease before we even know we are ill ourselves. Understand how doctors use pain to provide warning signs of illness and hear from educator and entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun about how AI can be used to help humanity.

We will be diligently monitoring current events and sharing updates on a regular basis, linking the latest headlines to our courses, so you can get the context, history, background, deeper meaning, and—especially—the facts. Our goal is to help our lifelong learners apply the knowledge they gain from our courses to the real world and become better-informed citizen about the present-day issues that concern us all.

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