Past Shows

Adapting to Disaster

An eerie suspense hangs over this Post-Puerto Rico moment.  Seas rising, spirits falling.  Awareness dawning, self-destruction by carbon, full-steaming ahead.  This week, we’re staring down climate dystopias with a motley crew of imaginative thinkers.The “cli-fi” novelist ...

Unnatural Disaster

Puerto Rico, a territory of three-and-a-half million US citizens, is unplugged, de-sheltered and desperate for months to come. This tiny little island in the Caribbean, with more people than the Dakotas, Wyoming, Alaska and Vermont ...

Rethinking Schools in the DeVos Era

Betsy Devos’s “Rethinking School” tour can feel like a mission to dismantle the whole system, public schools first. Choice, charters and change are DeVos’s keynotes, along with a call for more and more crushing competition. ...

Mutually Assured Madness

At the brink of who knows what with North Korea, we seem to be back on the scary ledge as in the old Cold War cartoon: enemy rock-climbers hanging off a cliff by the same ...

Let Us Now Praise John Ashbery

John Ashbery seemed to lower, not raise, his voice when he spoke his poems. “Hammer and tongs, as it were, tended to drive ideas and meanings away,” he thought.  “They only come back in when ...

The Plague of Fascism in America

It’s plague time in America. We’ve reacquainted ourselves with the wannabe centurions of white supremacy: their faces, their weapons, their torches. We have a new notion of what homegrown American fascism could look like in the ...

Harder, Better, Faster, CRISPR

The dawn of a new age flashed across the news this summer – dateline Oregon: scientists from the US, China and South Korea together had tweaked the genes of a living human embryo to correct ...

This is Your Brain on Trump

If you can believe your eyes, and ears, your screens, your Twitter feed, this is your mind, your country, our very public American life, “on Trump.”  There is no following this story, this confounding condition, this ...

Etcetera

October 28, 2015

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 of ...
May 28, 2015

James Wood: The Book(s) of Life

The book critic James Wood doesn’t worry about the fate of the novel — after years of reading them, writing them, reviewing them in The New Yorker and teaching them at Harvard.In his new book, The Nearest Thing ...
November 4, 2015

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 ...
March 20, 2014

Gunther Schuller: A Life in Pursuit of...

We're picking up the thread of a long conversation with Gunther Schuller. He’s the man who first mapped a Third Stream of “jazzical” music between classical and jazz temperaments. In this second half of our conversation, I’m asking a question...
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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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