Past Shows

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 — ...

Write Like the Russians

The invitation this hour, or maybe the dream, is to learn how to write short stories with the poignancy and power of the old Russian Masters, and how to become better versions of ourselves in ...

Malcolm X in Boston and Beyond

This show first aired on February 13, 2020. 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 ...

Market Mania

Casino capitalism is the polite old phrase for the rigged game of high finance. Shark tank frenzy is a better fit for the action on Wall Street this winter. You notice in the GameStop trading ...

Presidential Poetry

Amanda Gorman did more than steal the show, more than capture Joe Biden’s inaugural moment. She may have opened a new road in poetry as well as politics with her ode to “a nation that ...

Moral Prophecy

Thomas Jefferson said: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.” That is eighteenth-century American language for an intuition that never quite dies – the idea that people and nations are ...

The Abyss

The omens are powerful and clear for the American future—that is, for a reputedly sane and stable multi-racial democracy. It’s just that the two auguries of January 6 cut both ways and collide head on. ...

St. Louis Blues

The city of St. Louis is the story of this hour. At the heart of North America, where the great Missouri River joins the Mississippi, it was the gateway to Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase—to Indian ...

Etcetera

April 16, 2020

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 ...
January 4, 2018

Mark Blyth’s State of the Union

The people’s economist Mark Blyth is a perpetual fan favorite for Open Source listeners. The Brown University professor, who never left behind his working-class Scottish roots, brings a vernacular wisdom and wit to his deep ...
June 14, 2018

Two Guys Walk Into a Summit in...

From “fire and fury” to a “terrific relationship” in less than a year sound like a happy turn in the Trump-Kim dance around nukes and North Korea. Better news coming is implied in the Singapore ...
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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