Past Shows


Black Lives On Campus

What does the second civil rights movement look like? Is a new struggle for equality, in feelings as well as rights, afoot on American campuses? It seemed possible this week when frustrated students toppled the president and ...

Moneyball For City Hall

Dan Koh, the new chief of staff to Boston’s mayor, wants city government to work like Brad Pitt’s team in Moneyball. The Oakland A’s broke through when they broke away from the old way and started crunching the numbers. To ...

Our First Dance with the Devil

As John Winthrop, Massachusetts’ first governor, first came to our shores, he gave the famous address, “A Modell of Christian Charity.” When Winthrop declared, “we shall be as a city upon a hill — the eyes ...
Srdjan Zivulovic/Reuters, migrants walk across Slovenia.

Second-Guessing Syria

Syria has been burning now for four years — with millions displaced into Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq, more than 250,000 dead, and no end in sight. In March of 2014, Stephen Walt, Harvard’s “realist” foreign-policy hand, warned against ...

Women After Prison

Two weeks ago, we spoke to incarcerated men reentering society about lives full of panic and the hard road ahead. But women are the news of mass incarceration right now — so we’re following up. ...

Demonic Males

What if Barack Obama — once a troubled young man, by his own admission — came to see the violence problems vexing the end of his administration, as male problems? One week after Christopher Harper Mercer killed ...

Life After Incarceration

We’re going inside the almost invisible world of American prisons, following President Obama and Pope Francis. This month we met and spoke to four survivors of mass incarceration — Azan Reid, Unique Ismail, Douglas Benton, and ...

The New New Deal

To close out our series on work, produced in partnership with The Nation, we’re looking ahead to the big proposals and spiritual realignments that might spell a major change for working and middle-class people who ...


January 22, 2014

David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Boston

Here’s how to read David Foster Wallace’s thousand-page door stop and masterpiece Infinite Jest: it’s a Boston novel the way Ulysses is a Dublin novel, as Les Miserables is a Paris novel. Infinite Jest is a novel about Wallace’s alcohol...
June 5, 2014

How Would Burke Makeover the GOP?

Next time on Open Source, the conservative hero Edmund Burke, the 18th-century British statesman who befriended the American Revolution, hated the French version, loved liberty and hated violence, and believed that empires like his and ours must answer to the...
Richard Rhodes
April 11, 2014

Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes is the go-to analyst of nuclear weapons for most of thirty years now ever since the publication of his acclaimed history of the Manhattan project and the mostly men and the science and the political emergency behind it....
July 1, 2015

Gunther Schuller, RIP: A Life Inside Music

When he was just a young musician, Gunther Schuller decided on four hours of sleep a night. At 18, Schuller told us, “I figured out, ‘God damn it: if I sleep eight hours a night, I’m ...
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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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