Past Shows


Plot-Twist Politics

In 2016, the presidential election became electric. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have separately disrupted the fixed matchup of another Clinton and another Bush, and flat-footed, for now, the mainstream consensus about everything from who ...

Black Mountain College: “The Grass-Roots of Democracy”

In 1933, a group of freethinking American educators and academics took a look at their fresh, interwar world — and set about trying to remake it. They set up a campus in idyllic countryside outside Asheville, North Carolina, and Black Mountain ...

Empire to Empire: Mary Beard’s Rome

The English classicist and historian, Mary Beard, has become a T.V. star and a bestselling author. SPQR, her new capsule history of the Roman empire, remains hard to find on bookstore and library shelves weeks after its ...

Our Postmodern Myth: “Star Wars” is Back

There’s a big old *spoiler alert* hanging over this whole radio show. You’ve been warned! We’re beginning 2016 by confronting what is already its biggest cultural phenomenon. The Force Awakens, the latest installment of Star Wars, on ...
Michael J.Lutch38May 04, 2015

The Art of Wildness

The quote, from Henry David Thoreau, often goes: “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.” Turns out Thoreau had been misheard. The real line is: “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Our guest Jedediah Purdy, ...

Prohibition, Then and Now

What do we remember about America’s thirteen-year war on alcohol at the end of the First World War? Hollywood reminds us of the glamor of both rum-runners and -drinkers, the psychopathic hubris of Al Capone, and the ingenuity ...

The New Nativism

It’s been a half century since John F. Kennedy declared this “a nation of immigrants,” since his successor Lyndon Johnson threw open the doors to a broad parade of people from all over the world ...
New Yorkers, native Parisians and many others gatherered for a vigil at Washington Square Park to reflect on the attack by Daesh terrorists in Paris on November 14th. Many held flags, put up signs, sang songs, shared emotions and banded together to show their support of Paris. Mayor DeBlasio visited the vigil to share time and speak words of encouragement. Photography by Adrian Cabrero. | Instagram | Tumblr | Flickr | Pinterest

What To Do After Paris?

Once again, France is reeling — after the second major terror attack upon defenseless Paris this year. Eight fighters — all of them young EU citizens supposed to be working for ISIS, or Daesh — took 129 ...


March 14, 2012

Thomas Mallon: a “puffect” little digression

Click to listen to the outtakes with Thomas Mallon (1 min, 500 kb) From the editing room floor after our Thomas Mallon conversation, there’s a quick ramble here on Mallon’s awfully good ear for voices ...
February 13, 2014

Dennis Lehane – Between Dorchester Ave and...

Dennis Lehane so rules the neighborhood of Noir (“Nwaaah,” as we say in Boston) that he gets street credit for work he didn’t write, like “The Departed” and “The Town.” But does the author of ...
Red Square
March 20, 2014

Putin, Ukraine and Reading the Russians

Russian troops are encircling naval bases, Crimea is locked down. We Americans are looking across an ocean, flummoxed in a familiar way by the mind and the mission of the Russian president and people. Why do we keep getting Russia...
August 25, 2014

WWI: Remaking Music

In the last show in our series on the Great War, we're listening to the sounds that emerged from its ashes. In Vienna concert halls and New York jazz clubs, from Maurice Ravel’s piano elegies to Igor Stravinsky’s explosive symphonies,...
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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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