Past Shows

Political Football

In the strangeness of mid-summer 2024, the cosmopolitan novelist Joseph O’Neill is our bridge between the Republican convention in Milwaukee and the Summer Olympics in Paris. He knows both sides of that gap: politics and ...

American Bloods

In a forlorn Fourth of July week, in the pit of an unpresidential, anti-presidential campaign year, 2024, we welcome back John Kaag, who writes history with a philosophical flair, never more colorful than in his ...

The Zionism Riddle

Zionism has been the question that keeps changing. Once it was: “How to build a safe home for the Jews of the world?” Today it’s more nearly: “How to build a safe neighborhood around the ...

Chasing Beauty

We’re on a hometown spree along the famous Fenway in the heart of Boston. Fenway Park is where the Red Sox play, John Updike’s “lyric little bandbox of a ballpark.” Fenway Court, built around the ...

Nicholson Baker Finds a Likeness

We’re taking a drawing lesson with Nicholson Baker—yes, the multifarious writers’ writer Nick Baker; the COVID lab leak detective; the pacifist historian of World War II in his book Human Smoke; he’s also the cherubic ...

Campus Uproar

We’re sampling the uproar rising from American campuses: it’s a full blown, leaderless movement by now, in an established American tradition, but still contested, still finding its way, looking for its pattern. Columbia and USC ...

American Disorder

The key battle taking place in this American crisis year of 2024 is happening in our heads, according to the master historian Richard Slotkin. He’s here to tell us all that we’re in a 40-year ...

Lessons from Hannah Arendt

We’re calling on Hannah Arendt for the twenty-first century—could she teach us how to think our way out of the authoritarian nightmare? Arendt wrote the book for all time on Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet ...

Etcetera

January 13, 2022

Sensible Negotiation

Vladimir Putin’s threat to invade Ukraine is the first headline crisis of the new year. The headlines and the ‘crisis’ word come almost automatically when the story is Russia and its wily autocrat. We see ...
February 25, 2021

Billie Holiday at 100

This show first aired July 30, 2015. The astonishment about Billie Holiday in her 100th birthday summer is how differently we hear her. Back in the day — in her music, in her autobiography — ...
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