Episode 027: Steven A Cook

My conversation with Steven A. Cook was made possible by last episode’s guest, Bruce Mendelsohn. So, many thanks to Bruce for that. I did my research on Steven immediately when Bruce mentioned him. My first thought, frankly, was that he was going to be out of my league if or when we touched on things other than just about being Dads. I saw that he is the Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and I not only had no clue what all that meant, but it made me laugh a little at the idea of my having a political conversation with him. Kind of like those videos you sometimes see of a professional athlete playing against a little kid. Oh, isn’t that cute? Look how the pro is not even really trying and letting the kid feel like he’s good. Yeah, that would be me as the kid.

Our episodes prove me wrong. Which serves as a solid reminder in life, really. Not to get a certain 80’s song stuck in your head or anything, but People are People. It’s very true. Which isn’t to say that every human is as gracious as Steven is. But, we are all people… people with stories to tell, with feelings to share with others. It’s up to all of us whether we decide to share those or not, and how far we actually extend that, beyond our little circle of comfort within the people that we know and love.

Steven and I have something in common in that our Dads are both no longer with us. Steven’s Dad passed away 9 years ago, so his experience of loss is not only a bit more fresh than mine, but very different in the way that he experienced his Dad’s passing as an adult. We dug a bit into the grief we both feel and how it still affects us to this day. Steven had some great stories about his Dad and I’m so glad we were able to have this conversation. I think I’m not reaching when I speak for both of us in saying it offered a little bit of emotional healing.

I hope you all enjoy this episode with Steven. His latest book is coming out in a matter of months. So, make sure you keep an eye out for “False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East”. You can find his previous books on Amazon. Links to many things Steven A Cook are just below.

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All music proudly provided with a partnership by Umphrey’s McGee.

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Steven A Cook is on Amazon. Steven on Twitter: @stevenacook. Steven’s blog is called From the Potomac to the Euphrates.