Past Shows

Good News for Bad Times: Gospel Music from Boston

In transition time, pre-inauguration, was there ever a clearer cue for Gospel music?  “Good news for bad times,” it’s been called. Sanctified music for a broken world. While Michele Obama’s hope is challenged, the giants ...

Beethoven at the Piano

This show originally aired December 2014.We’re getting the Beethoven fundamentals, as never before, at my own piano. At a short safe distance from the keyboard, I’m learning, among other things: As volcanic was the man’s ...

Post-Democracy in America

"Donald Trump is a post-democratic leader. The liberal democratic model—of which Obama was the last president—is completely dead."

Bob Dylan, The Poet

Bob Dylan, the poet, has been singing more than 50 years, but have you ever really stopped to listen to the words? Now that Dylan is a Nobel giant of literature, we asked Christopher Ricks, professor of English ...

Trump in the World

Trump says he knows more than the generals, so this week we’re talking to the colonels about the future of U.S. foreign policy.Col. Lawrence Wilkerson joins us to try and sort through all the noise and ...

Swingin’ with Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith is the writer who likes to say she learns more from dancers – Fred Astaire to Michael Jackson, Baryshnikov, Beyoncé – than from writers and a young lifetime of reading. Author of the ...

Normalize This!

Last week, the election of Donald J. Trump came as a thunderclap. This week, the echoes are still ringing in the ears of the American polity. Reports of the demise of the Republican party turned ...

Seeing Red in Trump’s America

So! It happened. Hillary Clinton failed. Donald J. Trump will become the 45th of the United States. His election marks an earthquake in American politics – one that the seismic monitors of Big Media political pundits, data ...

Etcetera

September 28, 2015

Thomas Mallon’s Real Reagan

“He’s still winking at us,” Thomas Mallon says of our 40th president. Ronald Reagan’s essential quality (as official biographer Edmund Morris discovered with some embarrassment) was being “ungraspable.” In Finale, Mallon’s panoramic fiction of “the ...
April 2, 2013

Kevin Powers and The Yellow birds: What...

In my own experience I had moments of lucidity when I recognized what was happening to me. And I recognized ways in which my own moral center was being knocked out of alignment… We were ...
April 10, 2014

Eric Schlosser: Nuclear Nightmares

Eric Schlosser, the investigative reporter of Fast Food Nation fame, has assembled what reads like a Letterman list of hair-raising nuclear bungles and close calls with catastrophe. Command and Control is smelling salts for historical amnesia if lived through the...
July 16, 2013

Gerald Shea’s Song Without Words

I wondered whether music might not be the unique example of what might have been — if the invention of language, the formation of words, the analysis of ideas had not intervened — the means ...
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What in James Joyce's Ulysses was so dangerously obscene? And why were the novel's greatest champions women? | Hear More
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