Past Shows

Tech Tyranny

You know you’re embedded in the Digital Age when you’re typing your anxieties into the Woebot app to get free, anonymous CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). It’s Digital Age anxiety we’re all cringing at in the ...

A Splice of Life

“The genie is out of the bottle,” says George Church, and he should know. Dr. Church at Harvard Medical School has been a respected keeper of the keys to the miracle, or monster, that is ...

Seeing America with Frederick Wiseman

A conversation with Frederick Wiseman on his new film, Monrovia, Indiana, and a lifetime of observing. We’re way back home in Monrovia, Indiana, in Frederick Wiseman’s deep cinematic dive into Red State America. This is corn-and-hog, ...

Midterm Scorecard

A conversation with David Bromwich, Jill Lepore, David Bosworth, Briahna Gray, and Mark Blyth. The political armies, red and blue, both won tough battles at the midterm. What plain people got, at a minimum, was ...

Whitey, We Hardly Knew Ye

A conversation with Howie Carr, David Boeri, and Richard Marinick. Jimmy Bulger, known as Whitey, was a nasty curse on the old Irish urban village of South Boston. At the same time, he was the ...

Trouble in the House of Saud

A conversation with Stephen Kinzer, Sarah Leah Whitson, Steve Simon, Chas Freeman, and Shireen Al-Adeimi. Speaking of Saudi Arabia, in the ghastly light of Jamal Kashoggi’s dismemberment: what more do we care to know, about ...

Behind the “Leonine Gaze” of Frederick Douglass

Historian David Blight on his new biography of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass, scarred and tormented seeing men made slaves, set the course of his life to show how a slave became a man. In the ...

Hothouse Earth

A conversation with Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, environmental policy expert Adil Najam, and social and political theorist Ajay Singh Chaudhary. We’re closer than we knew to falling off the cliff into climate hell – not ...

Etcetera

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 ...
August 12, 2018

V. S. Naipaul’s ‘Gloomy Clarity’ about Africa,...

This interview with V.S. Naipaul was released October 25, 2010. We are re-posting the podcast on the occasion of the author’s death Saturday. V. S. Naipaul, in the winter of his long writing life, doesn’t ...
March 24, 2016

Weimar America?

Pundits from Glenn Beck to Roger Cohen and Chris Hedges have one other discouraged democracy on their minds this election year. They’re thinking of the German government that rose as a fresh democracy in 1919 but failed — amid economic frailty and an uninspiring ...
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 ...
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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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