Past Shows

Lessons from Nixonland

Welcome back to Nixonland: After four decades, the Oval Office is once again the seat of empire, occupied by a paranoid pilot hellbent on an unremittingly personal fight, and no holds are barred. Between US Presidents ...

JFK Turns 100

In John F. Kennedy’s hundredth birthday spring, we’re looking again at the family portrait we all know, by the painter Jamie Wyeth.His canvas summoned the late president as a ruddy sort of ghost, face aglow against deep brown ...

The ‘Pivot to Asia’ Continued

What did we learn in Vietnam?

Building the People’s Party

100 days of Donald Trump in the White House, 100 days of Democrats in the wilderness, 100 dumbfounded days of dismay at the New York Times, 100 days for a lot of white America to ...

Robert Lowell and the Poetry of a Suffering Mind

Robert Lowell was the last of his kind: a New England aristocrat of Olympian thunder and civic weight, dead-set from boyhood on artistic greatness, “the pure air of the mountain peak,” he said.  All the ...

An American Sickness

With Barack out of the White House, Obamacare now looks something like a 7-year-old orphan: the unwanted child of yesterday’s Washington; a needy patchwork mega law with holes in its coverage.  Strange part is that Obamacare ...

American (De)generations

Is American history a cyclical thing; a series of concentric circles endlessly repeating? Are its contours defined by temporary revivals of old hopes and old fears, inevitably renewed and repeated every 80 years or so? Or ...

The Russian Riddle

"Conspiracy thinking is our response to the unimaginable."

Etcetera

March 17, 2014

Edna O’Brien: Literature Against Loneliness

In celebration of Saint Patrick's Day: Edna O'Brien is my fair embodiment of a writer's gifts and the pleasures of reading. Her prose, as Philip Roth once remarked, is "like a piece of fine meshwork, a net of perfectly observed...
December 15, 2016

Post-Democracy in America

"Donald Trump is a post-democratic leader. The liberal democratic model—of which Obama was the last president—is completely dead."
April 3, 2014

Phil Klay: Redeployment

Phil Klay has assembled a remarkable group of fictional short stories in a collection called Redeployment. A Dartmouth alum with two brothers in the military, he joined the Marine Corps, serving as a Public Affairs Officer in Iraq's Anbar Province...
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 ...
Listen to this

For our podcast, George Scialabba is speaking about philosophy, life, and his decades-long bout with depression on the occasion of an article he wrote for The Baffler magazine, “The Endlessly Examined Life.” | Hear More
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