American Resilience

Programs 139, 140 • 58 mins


CDs available via special order.    HumanMedia ®

Free Podcast Available

From deep recession to global warming, terrorism to pandemic illness, a remarkable confluence of challenges calls America to summon its inner strengths. But this is not the first time our nation has faced a heavy burden. Historically, how has America risen to the occasion of adversity and bounced back? An inspiring, thought-provoking programNature Needs Kidshear historians, archival audio from FDR to Obama, psychologists, and stories of ordinary Americans. Among those featured:

Leuchtenburg, Johnson, Flynn, Fredrickson, Molitor

  • Prof. William Leuchtenburg: author and historian of the FDR era featured in many Ken Burns films
  • Selma Johnson: lost her home and business in recent hard times, is now bouncing back
  • Stephen Flynn: Council on Foreign Relations fellow on strengthening communities for preparedness
  • Prof. Barbara Fredrickson: Univ. of North Carolina psychologist on the new science of human resilience
  • Nancy Molitor: Therapist who has counseled people under financial strain

What is similar between the downturn today and the Great Depression is a sense of anxiety. We all know that the Great Depression came to an end, but the people who lived through it did not know that.”

—Prof. William Leuchtenburg, Univ. of North Carolina, author of “In the Shadow of FDR”

I think people are already asking themselves, ‘What is important in life? You know, what is truly important, and how much is enough? And where am I going to put my time and energy? I’m seeing a lot of people making decisions, life changes, and they didn’t want to. They weren’t asking to be laid off. But now that they are… people are really re-prioritizing. They’re really re-calibrating.”

—Dr. Nancy Molitor, American Psychological Association

This country has had so much adversity in its past and we’ve always been able to rise above it as a population, as a people.”

—An airplane passenger


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