Mary Kay Magistad

Host & Creator; On China's New Silk Road
Mary Kay Magistad Crosscut Festival 2021

Session: The End of American Exceptionalism

6 p.m. Thursday, May 6

America is faced with a myriad of profound crisis; recovering from an uneven and often embarrassing response to the global pandemic, disorder with our traditional foreign allies, economic and political disarray at home, climate emergencies, unending wars in the middle east, the emergence of China as a true superpower that has invested and become indispensable to nations around the world, and unrelenting cyber attacks and hacks penetrating deep into our government’s most classified systems. All this has shaken our place as the exceptional nation. Robert Gates, Former Secretary of Defense for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, has a unique perspective and strong opinions on how to navigate this tough terrain with more than just military might. Join us for this conversation with moderator Mary Kay Magistand.


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About Mary Kay Magistad

Mary Kay Magistad is an award-winning journalist who lived and reported in East Asia for more than two decades, first in Southeast Asia, then in China for NPR (1995-99) and PRX’s The World (2003-13). Her podcast “On China’s New Silk Road” (2020), with the Global Reporting Centre, excerpted on PRX’s ‘The World’, explores how China’s global ambition and Belt & Road Initiative are seen and felt around the world. Her earlier podcast, “Whose Century Is It?", looks at ideas, trends, and power relationships shaping the 21st Century.


About Crosscut Festival 2021


Join journalists, politicians, authors, creators and newsmakers from our community and around the nation May 3-8, 2021 as we come together to take a hard look at the people, policy and events that shape our lives.


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Once you RSVP or purchase tickets, we’ll email you all the information you’ll need to attend the festival. 


Help shape our conversation!

Your submitted questions could help shape our conversations in May. We’ll accept questions until mid-April, then pass along popular and thought-provoking topics for moderators to potentially include in their scripts.