Free To Choose Network | Turmoil & Triumph: The George Shultz Years
Turmoil & Triumph: The George Shultz Years
George Shultz (1920 - 2021)

I recently asked George Shultz, “Are there any statesmen left?” Without skipping a beat, he responded, “No. Because today’s politicians don’t listen to each other.”

He went on to talk about how trust is established when two people can have an open dialogue, not trying to use the information to do something behind each other’s back. We spun that concept into a new project for students with a working title of The Art of Statesmanship. We thought it would be great to have Sec. Shultz do a zoom conference with teachers across America to show them how to teach statesmanship, the art of listening, and the responsibility of negotiating from the moral high ground.

This was late autumn 2020, and George Shultz was a mere 99 years old. I’d broached the idea with him earlier that year when The Mont Pelerin Society met at the Hoover Institution and was looking forward to tackling this new project. Now, for most people that age, planning out a multi-year project would seem as likely as taking out a new 30-year mortgage. But this was George Shultz. The man was downright strategic in his way of thinking and always looking for long-term solutions to problems. And why would anyone think he wasn’t going to be active for another 4 or 5 years? Heck, his 100th birthday celebration was just around the corner, and his wife, Charlotte, assured us they were looking forward to celebrating in person for the 101st … Rest assured, Mr. Secretary, we will figure out a way to move this project forward.

Whenever I was on the Stanford campus, Sec. Shultz would always take a meeting. And George would gladly offer to autograph his latest book or another souvenir as I was leaving, but I would always wave it off and say, “Not today, George. I know I’ll see you again on my next visit.”

I wish I could say that just once more.

Robert Chatfield
President and CEO
 
Turmoil & Triumph: The George Shultz Years
56:32
Episode One introduces the new Secretary through the details of his early life, his service as a U.S. Marine, his academic career as a free-market economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and as Dean of the Business School at the University of Chicago, and his early Cabinet posts as Secretary of Labor and Treasury under President Nixon.
56:33
Inside the White House, Cabinet members continue to vie for the president’s attention, putting forth competing tactics to achieve the administration’s goals. Reagan is taken with the Contras, a group of rebels fighting the Communist government in Nicaragua. While Congress had ruled out the use of Defense Department or CIA funds to help the rebels, some advisors keep bringing the issue to Reagan’s attention.
56:32
As the Iran-Contra scandal grows, a summit meeting continues in Iceland as these two leaders meet each other face-to-face for a second time to determine the future of a nuclear world. Tempers flare as Shultz realizes that Reagan will not give up the Star Wars Space Defense Initiative even if Gorbachev agrees to destroy all Soviet nuclear weapons. Gorbachev says, “If we could agree to ban research in space, I'd sign in two minutes. It's laboratory or nothing!”
The Art of Listening
35:00

George Shultz, former Secretary of State, and Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union, were responsible for the initial meetings that led to melting the ice of the Cold War. In this conversation, the two diplomats talk about their first meeting and the impressions each had on the other. Their candid exchanges made it possible for the United States and the Soviet Union to begin the process of communication. You can sense the beginnings of a mutual respect. "This is a different man. This is an agile mind… you can have a conversation with this man. He's terrific." This was George Shultz's first impression of Gorbachev, and what it led to is discussed in The Art of Listening, originally recorded in 2009.

Idea Channel Discussions
37:16
Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Abraham D. Sofaer discuss Shultz’s career and his thoughts on issues that have transpired since his time within the Reagan administration.
38:28
Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Founder of Free To Choose Network Bob Chitester discuss Shultz’s career and his thoughts on issues that have transpired since his time within the Reagan administration.
40:55
Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Georgetown University Professor of Strategic Studies Chester Crocker discuss Shultz’s career and his thoughts on issues that have transpired since his time within the Reagan administration.
 
38:25
Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Santa Clara University Law Professor David D. Friedman discuss Shultz’s career and his thoughts on issues that have transpired since his time within the Reagan administration.
40:36
Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Nobel laureate Gary Becker discuss Shultz’s career and his thoughts on issues that have transpired since his time within the Reagan administration.
32:58
Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Stanford Professor Emeritus Henry Rowen discuss foreign policy and national security, particularly the organizational question of the proper roles of the State Department and the White House in running U.S. foreign policy.
 
27:46
Kelly Shultz discusses George Shultz’s career and his thoughts on issues that have transpired since his time within the Reagan administration.
44:37
Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Max Pam Professor Emeritus of American & Foreign Law at the University of Chicago Kenneth W. Dam discuss Shultz’s career and his thoughts on issues that have transpired since his time within the Reagan administration.
27:17
Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Harvard University Professor Emeritus of History Richard Pipes discuss Shultz’s career and his thoughts on issues that have transpired since his time within the Reagan administration.
43:20
Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Hoover Institution Fellow Robert Conquest discuss their unique perspectives on the Soviet Union. From economics to architecture, to culture, hear from two people who were able to get a glimpse behind the Iron Curtain, like few others.
34:34
Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Hoover Institution Research Fellow Shelby Steele discuss their experience with race and discrimination. Shultz shares his role within the Nixon Administration in addressing the race problem in the U.S.