Past Shows

Reviving Reconstruction

We’re transfixed, all of us, looking at a collision of deadly viruses, racial hatred and a pandemic disease. Suddenly what commands attention is the black push-back, with a lot of white support, against an injustice ...

Moral Economics

John Maynard Keynes was a philosophical giant in twentieth-century England. In his day job, he was a public economist; in America he was a political football for the very idea of “deficit spending” to charge ...

Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach

The force of art to rescue a world breaking down; the power of music in particular to heal people one by one, perhaps all together: this was Yo-Yo Ma’s breathtaking mission for himself in his ...

Coronavirus Conspiracism

What we’re learning again in coronavirus time is that when the medical system stumbles in a pandemic – and when the media machinery, the chattering class stumbles on top it – watch out! Something like ...

COVID’s Cold War?

The coronavirus may have arrived just in time to punctuate a 50 year turn in the grand tide of events. It could mark, that is, a fresh fixation in American minds on an external enemy. ...

Public Health Across the Pacific

There’s a shocking big truth in those coronavirus numbers – hidden in plain sight, as the saying goes. It comes down to this: China and various neighbors in East Asia beat the lethal virus to ...

Questions of Leadership

The Andrew Cuomo Daily Show has become the high ground of coronavirus talk: all kinds of numbers, trend lines, and family feeling, too. The Donald Trump Show has typically been a carnival of rage, boasting, ...

The Many Faces of Ferrante

This is a rerun, prompted by the HBO series My Brilliant Friend, based on the  “Neapolitan Novels” of Elena Ferrante. Ferrante’s identity remains beguilingly unknown, but she has put so much of her life and ...

Etcetera

August 30, 2016

Claudia Rankine’s Citizen

In the time of Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charleston, the poet Claudia Rankine has been the lyric teller of our deepest hurt. Her new book, Citizen: An American Lyric, was a best-seller and something of a lifeline this year, ...
March 7, 2019

On Becoming Who You Are

A conversation with John Kaag and Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen on Nietzsche, philosophy, and life. The news about Nietzsche, as you may have heard, is that the nastiest old name in German philosophy doesn’t scare us anymore. ...
May 10, 2018

Trump Goes Rogue In Iran

Dropping out of the Iran nuclear deal has the feel of dropping into the John Bolton phase of the Trump era.  Trump in Full. Trump Extra. The theme is No More Mr. Nice Guy, or ...
August 31, 2017

Amiri Baraka: Ennobled by Coltrane

Amiri Baraka‘s death prompts me to repost a conversation we had about the music of John Coltrane, which inspired Baraka and ennobled the ambitions of his Black Arts movement. “Trane was our flag,” Baraka remembered ...
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