Past Shows

American Socrates: The Life and Mind of Noam Chomsky (rebroadcast)

Noam Chomsky for 50 years has been America’s Socrates, our public pest with questions that sting … not the city-square of Athens but a vast global village in pain and now, it seems, in danger. ...

Unmasking Misogyny

The news in our scandal-sick USA is that a woman can complain of sexual oppression with some assurance that she will be heard. Toxic masculinity is now a firing offense, for a change. The women saying “no” ...

The Afterlife of Otis Redding

Otis Redding’s five magnificent years in showbiz transformed the sound of soul music. His grainy, growling, and “squawking” voice kept the music rooted in the older traditions of the black church and black life in America. Yet ...

The Coming Crisis in Opioid Nation

This Thanksgiving, we’re replaying our episode on the issue of opioids. Their epidemic running rampant has a 30-year back story and a grisly punch-line for 2017: drug deaths this year alone are heading toward the US ...

The Future of Food

It’s Thanksgiving season again, and the double shadow on our great American food holiday is feast and famine, both. A bounteous industrial food system is wasting the land and leaving a billion of us humans ...

Democracy After Facebook

It’s Mark Zuckerberg’s world, and we are just scrolling through it: 2 billion of us now, a quarter of all humanity. We’re the unpaid production staff of the fourth most valuable company in Silicon Valley, ...

Trump Goes to China

President Trump is on tour in Asia this weekend: relieved maybe to be “getting out of Dodge” as his campaign team is getting indicted in D.C.  But it’s awkward, and unprecedented over there, too, that our ...

The Scramble for Amazon

Amazon, the online everything store with the arrow-headed smile in its logo, is ready to build its second headquarters (outside Seattle this time) in a post-industrial urban dreamscape.  And there’s barely an American city out ...

Etcetera

September 28, 2015

Thomas Mallon’s Real Reagan

“He’s still winking at us,” Thomas Mallon says of our 40th president. Ronald Reagan’s essential quality (as official biographer Edmund Morris discovered with some embarrassment) was being “ungraspable.” In Finale, Mallon’s panoramic fiction of “the ...
July 29, 2015

New Ireland Says “Yes”

In today’s Ireland, yes means no. A democratic yes to same-sex marriage signaled no! to patriarchal priests and cane-wielding nuns; no to the bankers who led the country into a devastating crash; and no to the supposed ...
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 ...
November 26, 2014

The BSO’s Andris Nelsons: Maestro of ‘Emotionality’

The Boston Symphony’s new maestro Andris Nelsons is a boisterous young athlete in an old man’s job – one of the rising 30-somethings in front of the great orchestras of the world. And still he ...
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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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