Since 1945, the United States and other democracies have shaped the world order, leading to unprecedented peace, prosperity, and individual freedom.
Today, Russia, China, and other authoritarian states are working together to build a new international order that is hostile to democracy and human rights. In addition to massive military buildups, Russia and China have invested heavily in global media and information technology systems designed to strengthen autocracies and undermine existing democracies.
By injecting massive amounts of propaganda—as well as false, misleading, and deceptive information – into both conventional media and social media platforms, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are causing an enormous amount of ongoing harm around the world.
Straight Arrow PR is pleased to announce that Santa Clara University law professor David L. Sloss, an authority on information warfare and state sponsored disinformation, is now available for public speaking and interviews to comment on this subject.
David is the author of the highly praised new book Tyrants on Twitter: Protecting Democracies from Information Warfare (Stanford U. Press 2022).
Tyrants on Twitter is the first detailed analysis of how Chinese and Russian agents weaponize Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media platforms for the purpose of subverting the liberal international order.
In addition to examining the 2016 U.S. election, Professor Sloss explores Russia’s use of foreign influence operations to threaten democracies in Europe. He also analyzes China’s use of global information operations to meddle in Western democracies and buttress autocratic rulers around the world.
Previously, Sloss served as Director of the Nuclear Safeguards & Technology Division for the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. During his nine-year career in government, he helped draft and negotiate three major East-West arms control treaties.
During the past year, David has lectured on this subject at Yale, Stanford, University of Chicago Law School, Cornell Law School, American University, and the University of Pennsylvania, among others.
Professor Sloss is a graduate of Stanford Law School (J.D. 1996). He also earned degrees from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard (M.P.P. 1983) and Hampshire College (B.A. 1981).
The New York Times editorialized recently that “America has a Free Speech Problem.” Why? The Times observes “it’s because the political left and the right are caught in a destructive loop of condemnation and recrimination around cancel culture.” And all too often, the warring sides call on government to reinforce their tribal view of the world.
These polarized positions play out in current controversies that include disputes over hate speech, critical race theory, how to teach American history, social media censorship, free speech on campus, and a host of other issues. And, despite the fact that the New York Times poll found that 66 percent of respondents agreed that our democracy is built upon the free, open and safe exchange of ideas, only 34 percent said they believed all Americans enjoyed freedom to speak freely, and 84 percent of adults agreed it was a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem that people silence themselves because of fear of reprisals.
To discuss past and present efforts to limit free speech here in America, Straight Arrow PR is pleased to announce that renowned First Amendment attorney Robert Corn-Revere is available for public speaking and interviews.
Robert is the author of The Mind of the Censor and the Eye of the Beholder – The First Amendment and the Censor’s Dilemma (Cambridge University Press 2021). He is regularly listed as a leading First Amendment and media law practitioner by The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White), SuperLawyers Washington, D.C., and by Chambers USA (Chambers & Partners). Best Lawyers in America named him Washington, D.C.’s “Lawyer of the Year” in the areas of First Amendment Law in 2019 and 2021, and Media Law for 2022. Mr. Corn-Revere has served as lead counsel in precedent-setting First Amendment cases, including in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The college student loan program has become a big problem. Millions of former college students — estimated to be in the range of 12-15% — are now unable to pay their debts through no fault of their own. Those suffering the most are disproportionally women and people of color.
To explore this matter, along with a range of possible solutions, Straight Arrow PR is pleased to announce that Loyola University Chicago Professor Elizabeth Tandy Shermer is available for interviews and public speaking.
Professor Shermer is the author of the highly praised book Indentured Students: How Government-Guaranteed Loans Left Generations Drowning in College Debt (Cambridge Harvard University/Belknap Press 2021).
Dr. Shermer has held research fellowships at Cambridge University, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavior Sciences at Stanford University.
Shermer has written for numerous academic and popular publications including the Journal of American History, American Historical Perspectives, Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington Post, Bloomberg News, and The Hill.
Dr. Shermer is a popular public speaker who has recently appeared at the Wilson Center (Washington, DC) and St. Olaf College’s Institute for Freedom. This month, she will be speaking about the student debt crisis at the Future Trends Forum.
Professor Shermer graduated with a B.A. from the University of Virginia and earned her Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2009.
Straight Arrow PR is pleased to announce that distinguished editor and writer Joe Keohane is now available for public speaking and private seminars to discuss his highly praised new book The Power of Strangers: The Benefits of Connecting in a Suspicious World (Random House 7.15.21).
With the aid of research from sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, and political scientists, Keohane discovered the reasons why most individuals rarely talk to strangers and what happens when they do. He reports: “A growing percentage of Americans confess to feeling lonely and alienated, and increasingly anxious about communicating with others they do not know. Psychologists have seen this condition worsen for two decades – especially among Americans aged 18-22 – and today researchers believe it has been exacerbated by technology, political polarization, and of course the pandemic.”
Keohane continues, “Fortunately, psychologists have also been learning about what happens when college students and business professionals talk with strangers – and the findings are positive. The latest research reveals talking to new people on campus and at the workplace causes people to be happier, more optimistic, and more empathetic, and less prejudiced, lonely, and polarized. You just have to relearn how to do it. It’s really not hard.”
At a time when students are returning to campus after a year and a half of quarantines, in many cases meeting new classmates for the first time, Keohane’s message and recommended techniques are relevant and timely.
A witty and engaging speaker, Joe Keohane conveys the benefits of talking to strangers in a way that resonates with both students and adults. He also offers numerous examples of how to start a conversation – based on his own adventures chatting with strangers around the world.
Joe Keohane is a veteran journalist who has held high-level editing positions at Medium, Esquire, Entrepreneur, and Hemispheres. His writing – on subjects ranging from politics, travel, social science, business, and technology – has appeared in the Atlantic, New York magazine, The Boston Globe, The New Yorker, Wired, Boston magazine, The New Republic, and several textbooks.
The partners of Straight Arrow PR are pleased to announce that we will be reactivating our Media and Public Speaking Promotion Programs for Authors.
When we discontinued our service early in 2020 due to Covid-19, we promised to reactivate our service when conditions improved (See Statement below released 4.7.20).
Fortunately, many of the public speaking venues that sponsored live presentations before the pandemic are planning to transition from virtual talks to in-person lectures.
Unfortunately, the Straight Arrow PR Media and Public Speaking Promotion Programs for Authors will not be offered in the foreseeable future.
The Covid-19 virus has ended opportunities for paid public speaking. For many authors, lecturing on college campuses and appearing at other public forums was a way to generate enough income to offset the costs of producing their books.
Although we expect many organizations that sponsor public speakers to transition to virtual presentations, it is too soon to know how this form of communication will affect the type of clients we represent.
Another challenge that will make it more difficult to generate interviews for our authors is the rising number of political partisans who will likely dominate talk shows during the upcoming Presidential and Congressional campaigns.
We hope the elections will be followed by a return to normalcy. If/when this occurs, we believe journalists and media producers will be more interested in non-partisan problem solvers again. At that time, we will resume our promotion programs for authors.
Straight Arrow PR is pleased to announce that Boston University Law Professor Jay Wexler is now available for media interviews and public speaking (virtual) to comment on the upcoming Supreme Court cases – including those that are likely to impact the 2020 Presidential and Congressional elections.
According to Professor Wexler, a constitutional scholar and former clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “One of the reasons the upcoming Supreme Court cases will be worth watching is because the rulings will reveal the influence of the new conservative majority.”
In his recent book, Our Non-Christian Nation, Professor Wexler explores the largely unreported religious battles that have been occurring across America. For example, he writes:
- “The 2005 case Van Orden v. Perry upheld the placement of a huge stone Ten Commandments monument right in front of the Texas State Capitol, and a 2014 case Town of Greece v. Galloway held that town boards are free to begin their meetings with explicitly sectarian prayers.”
- “The nation’s Christian majority has pounced on these and other decisions, putting up Christian displays on public property all over the country, giving prayers before town meetings in every state, proselytizing young kids with after-school clubs in elementary schools across America, and using tons of government money to fund their organizations.”
As Wexler reminds us, anyone who cares about pluralism, equality, and fairness should support a public square filled with a variety of religious and nonreligious voices. Alternatively, we can return to the separation of church and state.
Professor Wexler is a two-time Fulbright Scholar (2007-2008 and 2014-2015). He graduated with a B.A., magna cum laude from Harvard University and earned a JD from Stanford Law School.
Last year, the US government suffered its longest-ever shutdown due to a fight over President Trump’s proposed Border Wall which threatens to physically divide the Americas.
Last year also marked the publication of The Longest Line in the Map: The United States, the Pan-American Highway, and the Quest to Link the Americas (Scribner 2019) written by Eric Rutkow. The book, recently released in paperback, focuses on another US-backed hemispheric construction project, one with the opposite goal of the Wall.
In the process of reading about the creation of an intercontinental road, we learn much about the history of U.S. relations with the other nations in our hemisphere over the course of the “American Century”. The Longest Line on the Map forces the reader to take seriously the question: Why couldn’t the Americas have become a single region that ‘is’ and not two near irreconcilable halves that ‘are’?
Straight Arrow PR is pleased to announce that Eric Rutkow, an award-winning writer, lawyer, and professor at the University of Central Florida, is now available for public speaking. Eric has been highly praised for his extraordinary research about this important (and largely ignored) aspect of American history.
The Pan-American Highway, dubbed “the longest road in the world”, runs the length of the Western Hemisphere from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in South America. As Rutkow explains, “The story of the United States and its quest to link the Americas, a forgotten drama that played out over the course of nearly one hundred years, is … a story of grand visions and fraught politics, of engineering marvels and unyielding nature. It is a story of remarkable perseverance and of eventual failure. It is a story of an imagined geography, Pan-America…. For Pan-Americanists throughout the New World, no project better reflected their aspirations—and frustrations—than this monumental quest to link the Americas.”
Professor Rutkow’s first book, American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation (Scribner, 2012), received the Association of American Publisher’s PROSE award for U.S. history, was named one of the top twelve books of the year by Smithsonian magazine, and was selected for Oprah’s online book club.
Recent wildfire outbreaks make the dimensions of the climate change problem more compelling. The threats now include rising temperatures and sea levels as well as an increase in the death and destruction caused by hurricanes and wildfires.
The massive fires in Australia have burned for months. Twenty-five people have died. Homes, farms, and livestock were destroyed. The air in their major cities became too dangerous to breathe. An estimated one billion kangaroos, koalas, and other animals have burned to death.
Could the growing intensity of wildfires around the world – including those here in the U.S., persuade more of our citizens and political leaders to take global warming more seriously?
Straight Arrow PR is pleased to announce that Stephen J. Pyne, the world’s leading authority on the history of fire, is now available for interviews and public speaking. Pyne, a longtime professor at Arizona State University, has written several highly praised books on subjects related to fire.
Here are two of Professor Pyne’s observations on the relationship between fire and climate change:
“Thousands of fires blaze in the boreal Arctic and the Amazon, with seemingly endless flareups in between, from California to Gran Canaria – fire seems everywhere, and everywhere dangerous and destabilizing. With a worsening climate, the fires dappling Earth appear as the pilot flames of an advancing apocalypse.”
“Humans turned from burning living landscapes to burning lithic ones in the form of fossil fuels. That is the Big Burn of today, acting as a performance enhancer on all aspects of fire’s global presence. So vast is the magnitude of these changes that we might rightly speak of a coming Fire Age equivalent in stature to the Ice Ages of the Pleistocene. Call it the Pyrocene.”
Professor Pyne has twice been awarded NEH Fellowships, twice been a fellow at the National Humanities Center, enjoyed a summer Fulbright Fellowship to Sweden, and was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship.
In recent years, a growing number of prominent leaders in Washington, DC, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street have been exposed for deceiving American voters and consumers. There is also deception in our local communities that causes harm to our citizens. Many hospitals overcharge for medical procedures. Insurance and real estate agents often fail to disclose risks.
Are there ways to protect ourselves from those who attempt to deceive us?
Straight Arrow PR is pleased to announce that University of Alabama Professor Timothy R. Levine, author of the highly praised new book Duped: Truth-Default Theory and the Social Science of Lying and Deception, is now available for public speaking and private seminars to offer insights on this subject.
In his presentation, Professor Levine shares his research on:
- The different forms of deception including outright lies, omission, evasion, and equivocation
- The latest findings on behavioral “tells and cues” that challenge conventional wisdom
- Why some people lie and how often they attempt to deceive others
- Five proven ways to improve lie detection and avoid getting duped
According to Professor Levine, “Prior to our research, the widely accepted view was that lying was an everyday occurrence with most people lying once or twice a day. We learned this was accurate but misleading, the catch being – on average. This means the distribution of lying is highly skewed. Actually, most people are honest, and most lies are told by a small percentage of prolific liars.”
Levine’s extensive academic research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, US Department of Defense, and the FBI.
Straight Arrow PR is pleased to announce that Skidmore College English Professor Robert Boyers, author of the highly praised new book The Tyranny of Virtue: Identity, The Academy & The Hunt for Political Heresies (Scribner 2019), is now available for public speaking and classroom lectures.
Written by a leading liberal intellectual, The Tyranny of Virtue is an insider’s look at shifts in American culture – most especially in the American academy – that many people find alarming.
Part memoir and part polemic, an anatomy of important and dangerous ideas, and a cri de coeur lamenting the erosion of standard liberal values, Boyers’ collection of essays is devoted to such subjects as tolerance, identity, privilege, appropriation, diversity, and ableism that have turned academic life into a minefield.
Why, Robert Boyers asks, are a great many liberals, people who should know better, invested in the drawing up of enemies lists and driven by the conviction that on critical issues no dispute may be tolerated? Why do many educated persons labor in the grip of a poisonous fundamentalism?
Professor Robert Boyers’s insights and observations expressed in The Tyranny of Virtue have been well received; however, he has been challenged too. He invites pushback and controversy, and he has generated a lively debate on an important topic.
Attorney Frank DiStefano, author of the highly praised new book The Next Realignment: Why America’s Parties Are Crumbling and What Happens Next (2019), is now available for public speaking and private seminars to explain what’s really causing the disruptions in our political sphere. DiStefano’s new topic: The Coming Upheaval in American Politics, predicts our present turmoil will continue to play out for years to come.
Frank asserts, “It’s happening now because the political coalitions and ideologies that have divided America since 1932 are rapidly coming apart in this new information age. The post-New Deal political era, with its industrial economy and post-war geostrategic alignment, is over. This era of collapse and eventual renewal will change everything.”
Frank addresses the big questions: What will our new political coalitions and parties look like? What ideologies and people will they represent? What will the next era of America look like? Most important, what can we do to prepare—both to navigate its pitfalls and harness its opportunities?
Straight Arrow PR is pleased to announce that Jonathan D. T. Ward, author of the highly praised new book China’s Vision of Victory, is now available for public speaking.
Ward has been studying the rise of China for more than a decade. From travels with truck caravans in Tibet and across the South China Sea by cargo ship in his early twenties, to accessing Communist Party archives, now closed to the world, while working on his PhD at Oxford, he provides critical, timely insight on US-China relations not found anywhere else.
According to Jonathan, “China’s leaders envision a turning point in history, the breaking up of the American-led global order, and the vanquishing of American power in the Pacific and beyond. Only when China has returned to its seat at the head of all nations, both in Asia and around the world, as the supreme power of the 21st Century, can the ‘great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation’ as China’s leaders call it, then be complete.”
China’s Vision of Victory brings the reader to a new understanding of China’s grand-scale planning and ambitions. From seabed to space, from Africa to Antarctic, from subsurface warfare to the rise of China’s global corporations, this book illuminates the greatest challenge – the Chinese Communist Party’s ambition to end the American-led world and to bring about a century defined by Chinese power.
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