August 2013

Gwen's Take: War and Peace and the President

Posted: Thu, 08/29/2013 - 5:02pm

President Obama sat down for an interview with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour on Wednesday [Photo: White House].

It never gets old slipping inside the gates at Pennsylvania Avenue and walking up the path to the White House. Over the years, Judy Woodruff and I have been privileged to do it countless times in our roles at some of the nation’s most prestigious news organizations.

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Remembering and Reimagining August 28, 1963

Posted: Thu, 08/22/2013 - 2:39pm

Two years ago, I wrote this piece about looking back and looking forward. Now, because we love our landmarks, the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington has allowed us to focus once again on a pivotal national event that did so much to shape the way we view ourselves and our nation.

Names have been lost in the popular retelling. Bayard Rustin was the organizer who somehow figured out a way to get a quarter of a million people to descend on the capital for a march that made some pretty radical demands. Walter Reuther and A. Philip Randolph were the labor organizers whose efforts ensured that the crowd was so racially diverse. Anna Arnold Hedgeman was the only woman on the organizing committee, and scolded the civil rights leaders who decided the day's speakers would all be male. She lost that fight.

I'm embarrassed to say I've learned, or re-learned, a lot of this recently as I was preparing for the series of conversations we've been having on the PBS NewsHour and Washington Week leading up to the anniversary. It puts nearly everything we are watching unfold in Washington now in context -- from economic stress to power politics to personal security. And it helps us to look forward, too.

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August 25, 2011

My daily commute takes me south along the Potomac River and past the neoclassical majesty of the Lincoln Memorial, a beautiful drive I try not to take for granted.

But I had been living and working in the nation's capital for more than two decades before I retraced the steps I had taken as a schoolchild, up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Gwen's Take: "Summer Reads"

Posted: Thu, 08/15/2013 - 2:57pm

Gwen Ifill shares what fiction and non-fiction books she is reading this summer including new political works from Washington Week panelists.

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Gwen’s Take: Making History – Turning a Page at the PBS NewsHour

Posted: Thu, 08/08/2013 - 2:18pm

Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff co-anchored all PBS NewsHour's  2012 special election coverage [Photo: PBS Newshour]. 

I am in the business of slapping together what we call the first draft of history every day, so it has been a little jarring to suddenly be making history myself.

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Gwen's Take: Toes in the Sand; Eyes on the Page

Posted: Thu, 08/01/2013 - 6:30pm

It is true that when I want a little getaway reading, I normally download or pack a nice piece of fiction. But this year, I couldn’t resist doing a deep dive into three really good books about Washington.

It helps that each is written by journalists I respect and, as important, like a great deal. Even better, the books expanded my mind. Each read took me into different corners of the world I spend a lot of time thinking about –- politics, politicians and the people who inhabit the nation’s capital.

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