Past Shows


Plot-Twist Politics

In 2016, the presidential election became electric. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have separately disrupted the fixed matchup of another Clinton and another Bush, and flat-footed, for now, the mainstream consensus about everything from who ...

Black Mountain College: “The Grass-Roots of Democracy”

In 1933, a group of freethinking American educators and academics took a look at their fresh, interwar world — and set about trying to remake it. They set up a campus in idyllic countryside outside Asheville, North Carolina, and Black Mountain ...

Empire to Empire: Mary Beard’s Rome

The English classicist and historian, Mary Beard, has become a T.V. star and a bestselling author. SPQR, her new capsule history of the Roman empire, remains hard to find on bookstore and library shelves weeks after its ...

Our Postmodern Myth: “Star Wars” is Back

There’s a big old *spoiler alert* hanging over this whole radio show. You’ve been warned! We’re beginning 2016 by confronting what is already its biggest cultural phenomenon. The Force Awakens, the latest installment of Star Wars, on ...
Michael J.Lutch38May 04, 2015

The Art of Wildness

The quote, from Henry David Thoreau, often goes: “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.” Turns out Thoreau had been misheard. The real line is: “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Our guest Jedediah Purdy, ...

Prohibition, Then and Now

What do we remember about America’s thirteen-year war on alcohol at the end of the First World War? Hollywood reminds us of the glamor of both rum-runners and -drinkers, the psychopathic hubris of Al Capone, and the ingenuity ...

The New Nativism

It’s been a half century since John F. Kennedy declared this “a nation of immigrants,” since his successor Lyndon Johnson threw open the doors to a broad parade of people from all over the world ...
New Yorkers, native Parisians and many others gatherered for a vigil at Washington Square Park to reflect on the attack by Daesh terrorists in Paris on November 14th. Many held flags, put up signs, sang songs, shared emotions and banded together to show their support of Paris. Mayor DeBlasio visited the vigil to share time and speak words of encouragement. Photography by Adrian Cabrero. | Instagram | Tumblr | Flickr | Pinterest

What To Do After Paris?

Once again, France is reeling — after the second major terror attack upon defenseless Paris this year. Eight fighters — all of them young EU citizens supposed to be working for ISIS, or Daesh — took 129 ...


January 23, 2014

Sven Birkerts: Present at the Creation of...

Sven Birkerts is a literary critic and essayist as well as a professor at Boston University and the editor of the literary quarterly AGNI. He was very nearly present at the creation of David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite ...
mark tahrir 2
November 27, 2012

Tuesday in Tahrir: Field Notes, with Novelists

  CAIRO — On the way into the tumult in Tahrir Square today, we’re in conversation with the novelist Mona Prince of So You May See and My Name is Revolution. And on the way ...
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July 24, 2015

Behind the Persian Curtain

After two years, three “final” deadlines and a cabinet-level bike wreck, we have a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran. In Tehran, Boston, and the Security Council chamber it felt like a time to ...
March 24, 2014

Gustavo Dudamel: Stardust from El Sistema Heaven

This is how we make music in Gustavo Dudamel’s world: intense focus, intense fun together. For 60 minutes or so, El Sistema-trained teenagers from public schools in Boston, Somerville and nearby worked several times through Bizet’s “Farandole” and the finale...
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Chris Lydon's 1999 conversation on The Connection with the Yankees great, "catcher and aphorist" Yogi Berra. | Hear More
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