Past Shows

Against Despair

The subject, in a word, is despair, both public and private. The poets and spiritual seekers Christian Wiman and his wife Danielle Chapman are back to goad us, each with a new book. Their project ...

The Rebel’s Clinic

Frantz Fanon is our interest in this podcast. The man had charisma across the board in a short life and a long afterlife. A black man from the Caribbean, he went to France, first as ...

Algorithmic Anxiety

The question is how digital tech picks and chooses the content that comes to your phones and your brain, or, as Kyle Chayka puts it in a brave new book Filterworld: “how algorithms flattened culture.” ...

The Humbling of Harvard

Oldest and far the richest among American universities, Harvard is the apex, in some sense, of American intellectualism, and it will be a long time figuring out just how it lost a big game it ...

The Most Secret Memory of Men

The only way into this podcast is a long leap headfirst into postcolonial French fiction, of all things, and a novel titled The Most Secret Memory of Men. Our guest is the toast of literary ...

The Revolutionary

On the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, we’re face to face, almost, with an American political type that’s gone missing in our third century. Check this resume: he’s principled, he’s prepared, a two-fisted ...

Israel and Palestine Across History

With the historian John Judis we are looking for a longer timeline in the crisis of Gaza, Israel, Palestine. It has been, in fact, a century of layered conflict between Arabs and Jews, two peoples ...

Time’s Echo

The question that resurfaces in a time of horror may be what remains when memory is wiped out, when the unspeakable is left unspoken, in someone’s hope, perhaps, that it’ll be forgotten? Where does history ...

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 ...
September 22, 2022

Lovecraft Country

This show was first broadcast on October 31, 2019. H. P. Lovecraft’s frightful horror fiction—dated between Edgar Allan Poe’s and Stephen King’s—is the weirdest of the weird. Lovecraft found ravenous, man-eating rats in the walls ...
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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