This Week's Show • April 24, 2014

What’s So Great About Mahler?

One of Gustav Mahler’s great conductors and champions Benjamin Zander takes us inside the irresistible, inexhaustible 9th Symphony. The Mahler farewell that’s never finished, Thursday, April 24th, at 9pm.

On the Veranda • May 1, 2014

The French Sensation: Income Inequality in 700 Pages and a Hundred Graphs

The hottest book everybody is talking about, that no one has read and no can get their hands on, is a giant, data-packed tome on income inequality covering three hundred years of history by the French economist Thomas Piketty. Is there a reason he’s getting the rock star treatment? Is it the symptoms that resonate so — our drift into oligarchy — or the cure — a progressive tax on wealth?

April 17, 2014

What Do We Make of The Big Bang?

In the beginning was the Bang. We’ve got visible proof of it now, thanks to blockbuster discoveries made at Harvard and predicted at MIT. But are our heads too cluttered with creation myths to come to grips with the beginning of everything? So we're clearing the deck to listen to wisdom of the physicists: where did we come from, what are we made of, what happens next, and why? And what do we do with what we're learning?

From the Archives • April 8, 2014

Cold Wars, and How to Survive Them

Ahead of our show with Elaine Scarry this week, we're reminding ourselves of how we got into the nuclear standoff called the Cold War, and how Ronald Reagan dreamed we would get out of it. With a nuclear cold war taking rhetorical shape between Israel and Iran, with Pakistan and India ever in range of the brink, it is no academic or merely historical question: how did the US and USSR get out of their four-decade staring contest without a single one of their many thousands of nuclear guns going off?

By the Way • April 4, 2014

In Search of a WordPress Wizard

We’re on the lookout for a reliable part-time programmer in the Boston area who knows Wordpress well and has a strong sense of design and UX. We also value experience with PHP, Javascript, and SEO/marketing practices.

April 3, 2014

Iraq: What’s Known, What’s Unknown, What We Don’t Want to Know

The best question about the Iraq war perhaps isn't for the architects, but for us: what does it say about our system, our media, our country, and our age that we haven't held anyone responsible for the catastrophe in Iraq apart from Chelsea Manning and a few enlisted men and women at Abu Ghraib? Isn't there a lesson for us in the life and times of Donald Rumsfeld?
Stephen Kinzer: Are the Dulles Brothers Finally Out of Power?
Lawrence Wilkerson: Why Does Rumsfeld Always Win?
Phil Klay: Redeployment
Rumsfeld, Snowflake by Snowflake

Podcast • April 3, 2014

Reading Chekhov V: “The Teacher of Literature”

We're reading and gabbing about a Chekhov story called "The Teacher of Literature," published in 1894; Chekhov was 34 years old. It's a story about a young man in love, at a crisis in his young marriage. I'd put this one in the folder of Chekov stories that ask essentially: "Should I stay or should I go?" Can I get out of the village, out of a loving relationship, so as to fulfill my dream and satisfy the mysterious urgings of my soul? The protagonist Nikitin in the story here might be teaching today in Lincoln-Sudbury High School out in the leafy western suburbs of our very own Boston.