Past Shows

Wagner and Wagnerism

Richard Wagner, man and musician, was the embodiment of excess—too much of a good thing if you loved him, something worse if you didn’t. Those weren’t just operas he was writing, but total works of ...

Look on the Blyth Side

Mark Blyth is stumped. He’s the people’s economist who speaks the people’s language through his thick working-class Scottish accent. He hasn’t gone silent in the pandemic ruins of our prosperity. He’s as noisy as ever, ...

The Neuro-Adventures of Oliver Sacks

This week, we’re replaying the conversation with Lawrence Weschler about his friend Oliver Sacks (it first aired on October 10, 2019). Oliver Sacks was the beloved doctor of strong souls in afflicted bodies. He was ...

The Unmaking of America

Did you believe the investor Warren Buffett (net worth $80 billion) when he let down his guard a bit and said, “There’s class warfare, all right . . . and it’s my class, the rich ...

Moby-Dick in 2020

Here’s why we read Moby-Dick—for the first time? for the eleventh time?— because it’s the Great American Novel about now, in 2020 more than ever. The giant fish story from Herman Melville in 1850 holds ...

Casino Capital

Enjoy our casino show, which first aired on July 11, 2019. Casino gambling makes an odd fit with old bean-and-codfish Boston, even with Boston today: the best big college town in the country, the leading ...

American Autocracy

The late innings of Donald Trump’s four-year campaign in the White House come to look stranger than the big-league baseball season—both of which are in the deep shadow of the pandemic (13 St. Louis Cardinals ...

Nicholson Baker Searches for Secrets

Nicholson Baker, prose writer beyond category, has a new book for COVID time, speaking directly to the dread of weaponized biology as only Nick Baker could treat it, in history and in his head. This ...

Etcetera

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 ...
February 6, 2020

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 ...
February 7, 2017

Stephen Kinzer: America’s Empire State of Mind

Why are we everywhere in the world, so often with guns drawn? The provocative reporter Stephen Kinzer has covered a number of our “regime-change” interventions in the world, from Guatemala to the Middle East. And ...
December 7, 2016

Bob Dylan, The Poet

Bob Dylan, the poet, has been singing more than 50 years, but have you ever really stopped to listen to the words? Now that Dylan is a Nobel giant of literature, we asked Christopher Ricks, professor of English ...
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