Past Shows

The Soul of Care

Arthur Kleinman is a name that comes up again and again when you search around our big college town of Boston / Cambridge for people asking the great human questions, about our lived experience — ...

Malcolm X in Boston and Beyond

The life of Malcolm X is the classic hero’s journey, in a setting we almost know: a story of anointment, dedication, fate, faith, family, incredible risk and reversals.  There was spontaneous poetry in it, enough ...

The New Hampshire Primary

Say what you will about the cranky-Yankee New Hampshire primary, in a remote, mostly white state in the shape of a dunce cap on the map of New England. It’s still the place where presidential ...

The Age of Illusions

Soldier and citizen, Andrew Bacevich is the overqualified expert who turns the standard take on our distress inside out. It’s not President Trump that divides us, Bacevich says. Rather, Trump got to be president because ...

Greta Gerwig Meets Louisa May Alcott

In the Oscar-excitement around the new Little Women, director Greta Gerwig has a note for all of us: her hero at the party is still the woman who wrote the book a hundred and fifty ...

The Costs of War

A trillion dollars here, a trillion dollars there — pretty soon, as the man said, you’re talking real money. But you’re not even close to counting the costs of the US “forever wars” in the ...

2020 Hindsight on Iraq

We have a formal stand-down, meaning no war this week, between the US and Iran. On the long horizon of empires, rising and falling, it looks like an interval of restraint between hubris and nemesis—the ancient ...

The Inimitable Johnny Hodges

There’s a big difference between the two greatest jazz stars on the alto horn. Charlie Parker had imitators without number; Johnny Hodges was simply inimitable. Parker, known as Bird, broke frontiers of speed, harmonic invention, ...

Etcetera

July 14, 2016

Greil Marcus: America in Three Songs

Our country turned 240 last week—and yet it seems as if we’ve got so much growing up to do. In the 1960s—maybe the last moment in our history that felt so fraught with tension, inequity, and racism—the people turned, ...
October 17, 2019

Harold Bloom’s Spark

Harold Bloom sat for 60 inspired, combative years at the high table of the All-American book group. His passing this week can be said to mark the extinction of a very rare breed. He was ...
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."
December 21, 2016

Beethoven at the Piano

This show originally aired December 2014. We’re getting the Beethoven fundamentals, as never before, at my own piano. At a short safe distance from the keyboard, I’m learning, among other things: As volcanic was the ...
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