Past Shows

Behind the “Leonine Gaze” of Frederick Douglass

Historian David Blight on his new biography of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass, scarred and tormented seeing men made slaves, set the course of his life to show how a slave became a man. In the ...

Hothouse Earth

A conversation with Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, environmental policy expert Adil Najam, and social and political theorist Ajay Singh Chaudhary. We’re closer than we knew to falling off the cliff into climate hell – not ...

Farewell Tour

TDS is the acronym. Trump Derangement Syndrome is the full name: a distaste for Donald Trump so severe that sufferers abandon all logic and reason, all sense of proportion. But what if the breakdown they ...

A Less Perfect Union

“What’s past is prologue,” Shakespeare’s phrase from “The Tempest,” is carved in stone in front of the National Archive in Washington. Ronald Reagan liked to say that what it means about America is “you ain’t ...

Original Sin

The Roman Catholic Church is staring transfixed at a cascading scandal of crime and non-punishment. Sex crimes by priests against children are turning up now in far corners of the world, and a pattern of ...

Game, Set, Match!

It’s only a game, we used to say, but this season, between the US Open in tennis and pro-football’s opening games, our wide world of sports is an arena for every kind of cultural politics ...

A New Labor Movement

It’s Labor Day week 2018, and “The American Worker” doesn’t fit any single poster shot. Is it the Uber driver – working flex time in the ‘gig’ economy, for a magic dispatcher of taxis around ...

Black Film, White Voice

A new wave of black arts has surfaced in the mainstream of American popular culture. It’s not your standard entertainment, and not “art for art’s sake” either. On big screens and tiny ones, in music ...

Etcetera

May 24, 2016

Ferrante Fever

This week: beach reading and classic literature intersect in one long literary shocker. The books are the four “Neapolitan Novels” of Elena Ferrante—from My Brilliant Friend to The Story of a Lost Child, published late ...
January 27, 2015

Steve Brill’s Bitter Pill

Steve Brill is our guest. He’s an old-fashioned reporter at book length – out of the David Halberstam school. He’s taken apart the passage of Obamacare in an investigation he titled America’s Bitter Pill: Money, ...
August 13, 2015

Trump This!

If Jeb Bush were caught, on a secret recording, dissing John McCain for getting captured by the North Vietnamese, he’d be denounced by every Republican living, even his dad. If Ted Cruz told a female staffer she’d look ...
April 8, 2016

John Luther Adams: Music at the End...

John Luther Adams is our gentle wood thrush in this conversation. He’s bracing us with the mystery that humbled him on first hearing the ecstatic songster (Thoreau’s “Shakespeare among birds”) in Georgia, once upon a ...
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Our podcast with Sven Beckert, whose new book, Empire of Cotton, is an exhilarating, 250-year profile of the commodity that came to model and drive modern capitalism. | Hear More
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