Past Shows

A Tale of Two Deltas

That blood-red full moon of July looked for sure to be on fire, but only because we saw it through smoke that had drifted thousands of miles east across North America. We’re sorting through glimpses ...

Five Stones for Goliath

You can’t help noticing the badge of success in American business has changed. Robber barons a century ago built monopolies, then palaces. In our second gilded age today, winners at the Bezos, Branson, and Elon ...

Liner Notes for the Revolution

We know their songs, not so much what they were going through, those Black women artists who wrote and sang so many anthems of American life: Bessie Smith’s “Gimme a Pigfoot” and Mamie Smith’s “Crazy ...

Moral Economics

This show first aired on May 28, 2020. 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 ...

Middlemarch at the Beach

This show first aired July 18, 2019. Middlemarch, a novel by the woman who gave herself a man’s by-line, “George Eliot,” may be the most honored masterpiece you’ve been avoiding all your life. Here’s the ...

A Disease of Humanity

What we call Alzheimer’s—the loss of memory, mind, autonomy—wasn’t always called a disease. It was an aspect of aging, a symptom, a condition: senile dementia. Shakespeare made it the last of his seven ages of ...

Netanyahus

If you’re still struggling to grasp Bibi Netanyahu’s downfall in Israel, listen to this: a Jewish-American novelist, a Palestinian-Arab screenwriter and a Canadian-American-Israeli pundit all walk into a Zoom room together, to pull the puzzle ...

Extraterrestrial Encounters

Stand by for news from outer space: news the government never said it was collecting or considered important, perhaps because people who take UFOs too seriously risk ridicule sooner or later. That taboo is lifting. ...

Etcetera

May 8, 2018

Lisa Halliday’s ‘Asymmetry’

This is an unlocked, bonus segment of Open Source. You can hear weekly conversations and extended interviews like this one by subscribing and supporting our work on Patreon. The writer Zadie Smith first clued us ...
October 25, 2018

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 ...
June 28, 2018

Our Borderline Disorder

The shock of migrant kids-in-cages on our border with Mexico is surfacing tough questions if you’re willing to look back at our history and ahead to an emerging world disorder. The issues run deep: why ...
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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