"No army can be compared with the power of an idea whose time has come." French writer Victor Hugo understood that ideas born at a proper time produce ideas shattering the universe, ideas that are doomed to be great. But greatness can be of different nature: great and beautiful, great and ugly, great and scary. A great idea may have all these qualities, thus producing admiration, disgust, or fear. This radio program presents various great ideas.
In 1908, Israel Zangwill wrote in his play "The Melting Pot": "America is God's Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and re-forming! Here you stand, good folk, think I, when I see them at Ellis Island, here you stand in your fifty groups, with your fifty languages and histories, and your fifty blood hatreds and rivalries. But you won't be long like that, brothers, for these are the fires of God you've come to – these are the fires of God. A fig for your feuds and vendettas! Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians – into the Crucible with you all! God is making the American."