Past Shows

An American Sickness

With Barack out of the White House, Obamacare now looks something like a 7-year-old orphan: the unwanted child of yesterday’s Washington; a needy patchwork mega law with holes in its coverage.  Strange part is that Obamacare ...

American (De)generations

Is American history a cyclical thing; a series of concentric circles endlessly repeating? Are its contours defined by temporary revivals of old hopes and old fears, inevitably renewed and repeated every 80 years or so? Or ...

The Russian Riddle

"Conspiracy thinking is our response to the unimaginable."

The American Experiment

We’re looking for big answers from big thinkers this week, in the first episode of our series on the American Condition.Pick one: the American Experiment (A) has run its course, (B) is catching its breath ...

Welcome to Our Neoliberal World

In recent weeks, our comments section has been filled with request to define a term we use constantly on this show: neoliberalism. For people who like buzzwords parsed and spelled out, this hour’s for you.There ...

‘Deportation Nation’

The ICE age: ICE for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Federal agents that will swoop down if they think your citizenship is irregular. Suspense, surprise, and a certain arbitrary striking power are essentials in the ...

Return of the Prophet: Baldwin in the 21st Century

James Baldwin was the prophetic voice of an era that isn’t over. Fifty years ago, he was a young, bug-eyed man from Harlem who wrote, in essays and novels, his own version of the civil-rights movement. Now his words ...

The Fog of Trump

Should Donald Trump have spelled it out that what he really had in mind for Washington was regime-change?  The darkest truth about the squalling Trump administration is that nobody knows what’s happening.  Old-time news guy ...

Etcetera

December 7, 2016

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 ...
April 29, 2014

A Piketty Primer: “Capital” in 10 Graphs

In the Piketty surge to the top of the best-seller list, there's a misleading polemic evolving (and not from people who have read the book, it turns out): it's been attacked on the right as a new call for communism...
March 10, 2014

Steve Pinker’s “Better Angels”: Dodging Our Own...

Steven Pinker has written a game-changer on the little matter of how quickly humanity is headed for hell or redemption.Better Angels is a tour de force in 700 pages of dense, witty prose, distilling and explaining the ever-steeper downward trends...
July 8, 2014

Ruby Braff’s Tribute to Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong came out of the Colored Waifs’ Home in New Orleans and the honky-tonks of the red-light Storyville district. Then and ever after Louis Armstrong’s time and phrasing, his tone and spirit made him the most influential voice in...
Listen to this

For our podcast, George Scialabba is speaking about philosophy, life, and his decades-long bout with depression on the occasion of an article he wrote for The Baffler magazine, “The Endlessly Examined Life.” | Hear More
Contribute
Open Source is an open conversation. We depend on your contributions - your comments, ideas and your voice.

What's on your mind?

Comments