The Gray Area with Sean Illing

By Vox

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.


Category: Philosophy

Open in Apple Podcasts


Open RSS feed


Open Website


Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 7541
Reviews: 22


 Nov 3, 2022


 Aug 16, 2021

Vinay
 Feb 28, 2021
podcast went to crap after Ezra left


 Sep 17, 2020

SS
 Jul 25, 2020
Provides engaging, thoughtful, and profound examinations of ideas and issues affecting politics and government.

Description

The Gray Area with host Sean Illing is a philosophical take on culture, politics, and everything in between. We don’t pretend to have the answers, but we do offer a space for real dialogue. Resist certainty, embrace ambiguity, and get some cool takes on a very hot world. Formerly the Vox Conversations podcast. New episodes drop every Monday and Thursday.

Episode Date
If society is making us sick, how can we heal?
3475
Sean Illing talks with Dr. Gabor Maté, a physician, speaker, and bestselling author who has written on subjects like addiction, stress, and attention deficit disorder. In Maté's new book, The Myth of Normal, he argues that the Western paradigm of health is fundamentally flawed in its attempt to separate inner, emotional well-being from bodily health. Sean and Dr. Maté discuss how our society and culture can contribute to illness. They also talk about the adverse effects of trauma, the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, and parenting. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Dr. Gabor Maté (@DrGaborMate), author; physician References:  The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture by Gabor Maté, MD, with Daniel Maté (Avery; 2022) "Mothers Are the 'Shock Absorbers' of Our Society" by Jessica Grose (New York Times; Oct. 14, 2020) "'It's Life or Death': The Mental Health Crisis Among U.S. Teens" by Matt Richtel (New York Times; Apr. 23) Scattered Minds: The Origin and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder by Gabor Maté, MD (Jan. 2023; Avery. Previously published as Scattered, 2000) "The brutal mirror: What the psychedelic drug ayahuasca showed me about my life" by Sean Illing (Vox; Feb. 19, 2018) "How to discipline your child and toddler, without hitting - Jordan Peterson" (YouTube; Mar. 15, 2018) Hold On to Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté, MD (Ballantine; 2006) "A Theory of Human Motivation" by Abraham H. Maslow (Psychological Review vol. 50; 1943)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 28, 2022
The free-market century is over
3433
Sean Illing talks with economic historian Brad DeLong about his new book Slouching Towards Utopia. In it, DeLong claims that the "long twentieth century" was the most consequential period in human history, during which the institutions of rapid technological growth and globalization were created, setting humanity on a path towards improving life, defeating scarcity, and enabling real freedom. But... this ran into some problems. Sean and Brad talk about the power of markets, how the New Deal led to something approaching real social democracy, and why the Great Recession of 2008 and its aftermath signified the end of this momentous era. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: J. Bradford DeLong (@delong), author; professor of economics, U.C. Berkeley References:  Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the Twentieth Century by J. Bradford DeLong (Basic; 2022) The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek (1944) The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi (1944) Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph Schumpeter (1942) "A Short History of Enclosure in Britain" by Simon Fairlie (This Land Magazine; 2009) "China's Great Leap Forward" by Clayton D. Brown (Association for Asian Studies; 2012) What Is Property? by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1840) The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order by Gary Gerstle (Oxford University Press; 2022) Apple's "1984" ad (YouTube) The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes (1936) "The spectacular ongoing implosion of crypto's biggest star, explained" by Emily Stewart (Vox; Nov. 18) "Did Greenspan Add to Subprime Woes? Gramlich Says Ex-Colleague Blocked Crackdown" by Greg Ip (Wall Street Journal; June 9, 2007) "Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same," from President Obama's 2010 State of the Union Address (Jan. 27, 2010) "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte" by Karl Marx (1852) Why We're Polarized by Ezra Klein (Simon & Schuster; 2020) The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion by Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing (U. Chicago; 2022)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 21, 2022
Your identity is a story you tell yourself
2708
Sean Illing talks with neuroscientist Gregory Berns, author of The Self Delusion. Berns claims that the idea of a unified, persistent self is a kind of illusion, and that we are better understood as multiple selves at different moments in time, tied together by a story — which is what we call our identity. Sean and Greg also talk about whether the brain is a computer, how perception works, the limits of thinking too much about thinking, and what psychedelics can do to disrupt and change the stories we tell about ourselves. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Gregory Berns (@gberns), author; professor of psychology and distinguished professor of neuroeconomics, Emory University References:  The Self Delusion: The New Neuroscience of How We Invent — and Reinvent — Our Identities by Gregory Berns (Basic; 2022) More on the "Ship of Theseus" by Noah Levin "Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness" by David Chalmers (Journal of Consciousness Studies 2; 1995) More on "The Hard Problem of Consciousness" by Josh Weisberg (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy) "The extraordinary therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs, explained" by Sean Illing (Vox; Mar. 8, 2019)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 17, 2022
James Carville unpacks the midterms
2962
Sean Illing talks with veteran political strategist James Carville about the U.S. midterm elections — and the surprising success for Democrats that was a far cry from the "red wave" of Republican victories widely predicted by pundits. They talk about why the results differed so vastly from these expectations, what lessons both parties should be drawing from the outcomes, and whether or not the Democratic party, despite their victories, still have a systematic problem with political messaging. This conversation took place mid-day on Wednesday, November 9th. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: James Carville (@JamesCarville), political strategist; co-host, Politics War Room podcast References:  Fall 2022 Harvard Youth Poll (Oct. 27) Exit poll data from ABC News and CNN "'Wokeness is a problem and we all know it': James Carville on the state of Democratic politics" by Sean Illing (Vox; Apr. 27, 2021) "GOP to use debt limit to force spending cuts, McCarthy says" by Eugene Robinson (Washington Post; Oct. 18) 2022 abortion-related ballot measures (Ballotpedia) "Democrats' Long Goodbye to the Working Class" by Ruy Teixeira (The Atlantic; Nov. 6) "Is John Fetterman the Future of the Democratic Party?" by Michael Sokolove (New York Times; May 18) On Carville's role in the abortion referendum campaign in Kansas: "The Most Consequential Vote in Recent American History is Happening Today and the News Media Is Ignoring It" by Colby Hall (Mediaite; Aug. 2nd) "How a 10-Year-Old Rape Victim Who Traveled for an Abortion Became Part of a Political Firestorm" by Solcyre Burga (Time; July 15) "Democrats still have a path to keep the House — but it's tough" by Andrew Prokop (Vox; Nov. 10)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 14, 2022
Why are billionaires prepping for the apocalypse?
3327
Sean Illing talks with technologist, media theorist, and author Douglas Rushkoff, whose new book Survival of the Richest explains how the ultra-wealthy are obsessed with preparing for the end of the world — and the troubling mindset that leads many rich and powerful people down this road. They discuss the blend of tech utopianism and fatalism behind this doomsday prepping, how Silicon Valley and "tech bro" culture have incentivized a kind of misanthropy, and why the world's billionaire class can't see that the catastrophes they fear are of their own making. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Douglas Rushkoff (@rushkoff), author; professor, media studies, CUNY Queens College References:  Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires by Douglas Rushkoff (W.W. Norton; 2022) "Epson boobytrapped its printers" by Cory Doctorow (Medium; Aug. 7) "Cosmism: Russia's religion for the rocket age" by Benjamin Ramm (BBC; Apr. 20, 2021) The Selfish Gene (1976) and The God Delusion (2006) by Richard Dawkins Francis Bacon, Redargutio Philosophiarum (1608), tr. by Benjamin Farrington in The Philosophy of Francis Bacon (1964): "Nature must be taken by the forelock . . . lay hold of her and capture her" (p. 130). "Power changes how the brain responds to others" by Jeremy Hogeveen, et al., Journal of Experiential Psychology (Apr. 2014) What We Owe the Future by William MacAskill (Basic Books; 2022) Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff (W.W. Norton; 2021)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 10, 2022
Today's Republicans were made in the 1990s
3974
Sean Illing talks with Nicole Hemmer, history professor and author of the new book Partisans. In it, she gives a reinterpretation of the Reagan presidency and what followed, and shows how the conservative political movement entangled with media figures and became what it is in the 1990s. They discuss the doomed but influential presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan, the rise to dominance of conservative talk radio, and the enduring dangers of political violence. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Nicole Hemmer (@pastpunditry), author; professor, Vanderbilt University References:  Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s by Nicole Hemmer (Basic; 2022) "The Man Who Won the Republican Party Before Trump Did" by Nicole Hemmer (New York Times; Sept. 8) Talk Radio's America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States by Brian Rosenwald (Harvard; 2019) On the Fairness Doctrine (First Amendment Center; MTSU) GOP Reagan Library Debate (CNN; Sept. 16, 2015)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 07, 2022
Yuval Noah Harari thinks humans are unstoppable
3730
Sean Illing talks with Yuval Noah Harari, historian and bestselling author, about how humanity came to be the dominant species on earth, and what our future might hold. Sean and Yuval discuss mankind's imaginative "superpower," the threats to democracy across the globe, the future of artificial intelligence — and plenty more. Yuval's new book Unstoppable Us adapts many of his macro-historical insights from Sapiens for younger readers, and is the first in a planned four-volume series. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Yuval Noah Harari (@harari_yuval), author; professor, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem References:  Unstoppable Us, Volume 1: How Humans Took Over the World by Yuval Noah Harari; illustrated by Ricard Zaplana Ruiz (Bright Matter; 2022) Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari (Harper; 2017) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Harper; 2015) "Nationalism vs. globalism: the new political divide | Yuval Noah Harari" (TED; YouTube)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 03, 2022
Dying with dignity
3584
Sean Illing talks with reporter Katie Engelhart, whose book The Inevitable is an up-close look at physician-assisted dying. This is the practice of receiving state-sanctioned medical aid to end one's life — a practice now legal in 10 U.S. states, Canada, and elsewhere around the world. They discuss the details of the procedure — including why people fight for this right and exercise it — as well as many of the moral and legal questions that it raises. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Katie Engelhart (@katieengelhart), journalist; author References:  The Inevitable: Dispatches on the Right to Die by Katie Engelhart (St. Martin's; 2021) Brittany Maynard's legislative testimony   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineers: Patrick Boyd, Paul Robert Mounsey Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 31, 2022
Finding hope in a world on the brink
3518
Sean Illing talks with Jonathan Lear, a psychoanalyst and philosopher, about his new book Imagining the End: Mourning and Ethical Life. How can we continue to live a good life in a world beset by catastrophe, crisis, and chaos? Sean and Jonathan discuss the role of imagination and culture in the ways we make meaning in the world, the idea of mourning as a confrontation with our uniquely human ability to love, and how to turn away from the path of despair, towards hope — and to what Lear calls "committed living towards the future." Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Jonathan Lear, author; professor, Committee on Social Thought & Dept. of Philosophy, University of Chicago References:  Imagining the End: Mourning and Ethical Life by Jonathan Lear (Harvard; Nov. 15, 2022) Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness unto Death (1849; published under the pseudonym Anti-Climacus) Sigmund Freud, Mourning and Melancholia (1917) "The Difficulty of Reality and the Difficulty of Philosophy" by Cora Diamond (2003) Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation by Jonathan Lear (Harvard; 2008) "Envy and Gratitude" by Melanie Klein (1957; published in The Writings of Melanie Klein, Volume III, Hogarth Press; 1975) "A Lecture on Ethics" by Ludwig Wittgenstein (lecture notes from 1929-1930, published in The Philosophical Review v. 74 no. 1, 1965)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 27, 2022
The new American Reconstruction
4022
Sean Illing talks with historian and author Peniel Joseph about his new book The Third Reconstruction, which argues that the time we're currently living in can be understood as on a continuum with the civil rights era of the '50s and '60s. and the original American Reconstruction following the Civil War. Sean and Peniel discuss the Black Lives Matter movement, the Obama presidency — and important differences between the two — as well as the dangers of American exceptionalism and the importance of maintaining hope in the ongoing fight for racial justice. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Peniel Joseph (@PenielJoseph), author; founding director, Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin References:  The Third Reconstruction: America's Struggle for Racial Justice in the Twenty-First Century by Peniel E. Joseph (Basic; 2022) "DeSantis claims it was only the American Revolution that caused people to question slavery" by Graig Graziosi (The Independent; Sept. 23) Black Reconstruction in America by W.E.B. Du Bois (1935) "The Undoing of Reconstruction" by W. Archibald Dunning (The Atlantic; Oct. 1901) Barack Obama's Speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (C-SPAN; YouTube) The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (New Press; 2010, updated 2020) Shelby County v. Holder (570 US 529; 2013), in which the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 "Harming Our Common Future: America's Segregated Schools 65 Years after Brown" by Gary Orfield, et al. (Civil Rights Project; 2019) Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (551 US 701; 2007) "A North Carolina city begins to reckon with the massacre in its white supremacist past" by Scott Neuman (NPR; Nov. 10, 2021) How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (One World; 2019) White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon; 2018) "Why I hope 2022 will be another 1866" by Manisha Sinha (CNN; Oct. 12) President Kennedy's Televised Address to the Nation on Civil Rights (June 11, 1963)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 24, 2022
Is America losing its religion?
3253
Sean Illing talks with Reza Aslan, scholar of religions and author of multiple bestselling nonfiction works, to discuss the state of religion in America today. Sean and Reza discuss the relationship between politics and religion, why it can be hard to separate the emotional experiences of faith from the symbolic language of organized religion, and how new religious identities are being forged along principles of Christian nationalism. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan), author References:  An American Martyr in Persia: The Epic Life and Tragic Death of Howard Baskerville by Reza Aslan (Norton; 2022) The Leftovers TV series (HBO; 2014–2017) "Can Religion & Reason Be Reconciled? | Reza Aslan & Sam Harris debate" (Jan. 25, 2007; C-SPAN YouTube) Pew Research Center Religious Landscape Study (Jan. 14, 2021) The 2020 Census of American Religion (PRRI; July 8, 2021) "'Pro-Life' Herschel Walker Paid for Girlfriend's Abortion" by Roger Sollenberger (The Daily Beast; Oct. 4) President George W. Bush's remarks on the morning of Sept. 12, 2001: "This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil. But good will prevail."   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 20, 2022
How we got to January 6th
3562
Sean Illing talks with war reporter and New Yorker contributing writer Luke Mogelson about his new book The Storm Is Here. In it, Luke shares his on-the-ground reporting across America — from anti-lockdown protests in Lansing, Michigan, to the uprising in Minneapolis after the murder of George Floyd — to explain how the forces that animated the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 came to gather strength. In this discussion, Sean and Luke talk about what happened, how it happened, and how Luke's experience at the Capitol on the 6th shaped his view of what's coming next. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Luke Mogelson, author; contributing writer, The New Yorker References:  The Storm Is Here: An American Crucible by Luke Mogelson (Penguin; 2022) "A Reporter's Footage from Inside the Capitol Siege | The New Yorker" (YouTube; Jan. 17, 2021) "Michigan Sheriff Compares Lockdown Order He's Supposed to Enforce to Mass Arrest" by Tracy Connor (The Daily Beast; May 19, 2020)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 17, 2022
Neil deGrasse Tyson gets political
3529
On this first episode of The Gray Area, Sean Illing talks with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who takes on many of our most vexing societal problems in his new book Starry Messenger. According to Neil, if we all were to adopt a more scientific approach to politics, many of our social problems would be easier to identify, talk about, and solve. In this conversation, Sean challenges that claim, and they discuss what the limits of both politics and science might be, as tools to use in crafting an improved society. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson), astrophysicist; author  References:   Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Henry Holt; 2022) "Neil deGrasse Tyson lets the science deniers have it: 'The beginning of the end of an informed democracy'" by Sean Illing (Salon; Oct. 20, 2015)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 13, 2022
Introducing The Gray Area
118
Resist certainty, embrace ambiguity. The Gray Area is a philosophical take on culture, politics, and everything in between with host Sean Illing. We don’t pretend to have the answers, but we do offer a space for real dialogue. Get some cool takes on a very hot world. New episodes drop every Monday and Thursday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 11, 2022
Best of: Why America's obsession with rights is wrong
3580
In this episode originally recorded in July 2021, Vox's Zack Beauchamp talks with Columbia law professor Jamal Greene about his book How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession With Rights Is Tearing America Apart. They discuss how the US obsession with rights and their protections gives too much power to judges and the courts, makes it difficult for ordinary citizens to find reasonable solutions to legitimate problems, and has made this country's legal system not only nonsensical but dangerous. Vox Conversations will return on Thursday, Oct. 13th — but under a new name, and with a new look. Stay tuned for The Gray Area with Sean Illing: a philosophical take on culture, politics, and everything in between. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Jamal Greene (@jamalgreene), Dwight Professor of Law, Columbia Law School References:  How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession With Rights Is Tearing America Apart by Jamal Greene (HMH Books; 2021) "From Guns to Gay Marriage, How Did Rights Take Over Politics?" by Kelefa Sanneh (New Yorker; May 24, 2021) Lochner v. New York, 198 US 45 (1905) Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 US __ (2018) District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570 (2008) "Texas's radical anti-abortion law, explained" by Ian Millhiser (Vox; Sept. 2, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 06, 2022
A GOP insider on why the party went Trump
3704
Sean Illing talks with former Republican strategist Tim Miller about his new book Why We Did It, which offers an inside look at Donald Trump's total capture of the Republican Party. Now a staff writer at The Bulwark, Miller shares detailed conversations he had with other party operators — who he criticizes as power- and fame-hungry enablers. He pulls back the curtain on a DC culture of identity and status, talks about the media's role in this transformation, and opens up honestly about the ways in which he and others like him are culpable. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Tim Miller (@Timodc), author; writer, The Bulwark References:  Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell by Tim Miller (Harper; 2022) "Unlocking the Conservative Closet" by Kerry Eleveld (The Advocate; Oct. 12, 2010) Losers: The Road to Everyplace but the White House by Michael Lewis (Vintage; 1998) "Elise Stefanik said she was one of the 'most bipartisan' members of Congress. Then she went all-in on Trump's false election claims" by Michael Kranish (Washington Post; May 12, 2021) "The Republican Triangle of Doom" by Sarah Longwell (The Bulwark; Sept. 27, 2021) "Breakfast with J.D. Vance, Anti-Trump Author Turned Pro-Trump Candidate" by Molly Ball (Time; July 7, 2021) "Social decay: what the conversation about Trump and the white working class misses" by Sean Illing (Vox; Nov. 1, 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 03, 2022
How do we fix the harm we cause?
3037
Vox’s Marin Cogan talks with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg about her new book On Repentance And Repair, which is about how to make amends in the modern world. They talk about the difference between repentance and forgiveness, why making amends is so important, and how a "five step plan" for repairing harm drawn from the Jewish tradition can serve as a guide even for navigating repair in modern, complex issues. And, merely apologizing . . . is not enough. Host: Marin Cogan (@marincogan), Senior Features Correspondent, Vox Guest: Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR), rabbi; author; scholar-in-residence, National Council of Jewish Women References:  On Repentance And Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World by Danya Ruttenberg (Beacon Press; 2022) The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1937) New Testament; Matthew 18:15–35 "Most harassment apologies are just damage control. Dan Harmon's was a self-reckoning" by Caroline Framke (Vox; Jan. 12, 2018) The Mishneh Torah of Maimonides (c. 1170–1180 CE); the laws of teshuvah Sacred Spaces Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 29, 2022
A new philosophy of love
3655
Sean Illing talks with Carrie Jenkins about her new book Sad Love, and her call to rethink the shape and boundaries of romantic love. In this far-ranging discussion about the meaning of romantic love, Sean and Carrie discuss the connection between love and happiness, what we should expect (and not expect) from our romantic partners, and whether or not loving a person must entail that we love only that person. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Carrie Jenkins (@carriejenkins), writer; professor of philosophy, University of British Columbia References:  Sad Love: Romance and the Search for Meaning by Carrie Jenkins (Polity; 2022) "A philosopher makes the case for polyamory" by Sean Illing (Vox; Feb. 16, 2018) What Love Is: And What It Could Be by Carrie Jenkins (Basic; 2017) Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (1949) Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle (see Book I, or Book X.6-8 for robust discussion of eudaimonia) Marina Adshade, economist Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (1946; tr. Ilse Lasch) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 26, 2022
The politics of 'Yellowstone'
1595
Into It is a new podcast from Vulture and New York Magazine hosted by Sam Sanders. Each week, Sam and his Vulture colleagues break down the pop culture they can't stop thinking about and help us all obsess . . . better. In this segment, Sam talks to New York Times columnist Tressie McMillan Cottom about the popular TV show Yellowstone and how it reflects our own identity politics. New episodes of Into It drop every Thursday. Listen on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/intoit Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6YRlgok1wcnIqhrQgH1Tjt?si=46df5a54f7934e17 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 23, 2022
How society sexualizes us
3416
Vox’s Emily St. James talks with the celebrated author and trans activist Julia Serano about her new book, Sexed Up. They talk about what "sexualization" really means, and why sexualizing behaviors are so pervasive and widespread throughout society. They also discuss why we're so prone to classify and categorize people, how patterns of what Julia calls "enforced ignorance" are communicated to children, and how we might build a society with a healthier sexual ethic — one that better protects marginalized people. Host: Emily St. James (@emilyvdw), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Julia Serano (@JuliaSerano), writer, musician, activist References:  Sexed Up: How Society Sexualizes Us, and How We Can Fight Back by Julia Serano (Seal Press; 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 22, 2022
The Parent Trap
3687
Sean Illing talks with Nate Hilger, economist, data scientist, and author of the new book The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis. The book explores what is expected of parents, and how a larger public investment in families and children beyond K-12 education could address inequality in America. Sean and Nate discuss parenting, the difference between caring and skill building, the pressure on parents to do it all, and the economic consequences that arise when they can’t.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Nate Hilger (@nate_g_hilger), economist and author References:  The Parent Trap: How To Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis by Nate Hilger (MIT Press; 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 19, 2022
40 Acres: Reaching reconciliation
2062
What good are piecemeal reparations? From Georgetown University, where school leadership once sold enslaved people, to Evanston, Illinois, where redlining kept Black residents out of homeownership, institutions and local governments are attempting to take reparations into their own hands. But do these small-scale efforts detract from the broader call for reparations from the federal government? Fabiola talks with Indigenous philanthropist Edgar Villanueva, founder of the Decolonizing Wealth Project and creator of the Case for Reparations fund, about the reparatory justice efforts underway across the country and the role that individual donors might be able to play in reparations. Fabiola also speaks with activist Kavon Ward, who worked to restore Bruce’s Beach, waterfront land in California, to the descendants of Black families who were pushed off the land by eminent domain. (Ward’s work was funded by Villanueva’s organization.) They discuss how jurisdictions are repaying Black people for what was taken from them — and if that repayment can be considered reparations at all. This series was made possible with support from the Canopy Collective and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To provide feedback, please take our survey here: https://forms.gle/w9vYsfFGvdJLJ3LY9 Host: Fabiola Cineas, race and policy reporter, Vox Guest: Kavon Ward, founder, Where Is My Land; Edgar Villanueva, founder, Decolonizing Wealth Project References:  Decolonizing Wealth, Second Edition: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance by Edgar Villanueva (Penguin Random House, 2021) How a California beachfront property now worth millions was taken from its Black owners (CBS, May 2021) Governor Newsom Signs SB 796, Authorizing the Return of Bruce’s Beach (California state Sen. Steven Bradford, September 2021)    How Black activist Kavon Ward found her calling in the fight for Bruce’s Beach (Orange County Register) 272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown. What Does It Owe Their Descendants? (The New York Times, April 2016) In Likely First, Chicago Suburb Of Evanston Approves Reparations For Black Residents (NPR, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jonquilyn Hill  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 15, 2022
40 Acres: The old Jim Crow
2918
Why slavery? Marxist scholar Adolph Reed argues that Jim Crow — not enslavement — is the defining experience for Black Americans today. Reed recounts his childhood in the segregation-era South in his book The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives. Fabiola speaks with Reed about his experience, his argument that reparations aren’t necessarily a healing balm, and what policies and resources are needed to create a more equitable society. This series was made possible with support from the Canopy Collective and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To provide feedback, please take our survey here: https://forms.gle/w9vYsfFGvdJLJ3LY9 Host: Fabiola Cineas, race and policy reporter, Vox Guest: Adolph L. Reed Jr., author of The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives References:  The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives by Adolph L. Reed Jr. (Verso, 2022) The Marxist Who Antagonizes Liberals and Left (New Yorker) Black Americans’ views of reparations for slavery (Pew Research) Library Visit, Then Held at Gunpoint (New York Times, 2015) The Racial Wealth Gap Is About the Upper Classes (People’s Policy Project, 2020) Income Inequality and the Persistence of Racial Economic Disparities (Robert Manduca, 2018)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jonquilyn Hill  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 12, 2022
40 Acres: $14 trillion and no mules
3020
Paying the price. One of the typical questions asked during conversations about reparations is how to pay for them. Fabiola talks with economist William “Sandy” Darity and folklorist Kirsten Mullen about how reparations could be executed. The husband-and-wife team lays out a comprehensive framework in their book, From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century, for who would qualify and how the federal government would afford the $14 trillion price tag. This is part of 40 Acres, a four-part series examining reparations in the United States. This series was made possible by a grant from the Canopy Collective and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To provide feedback, please take our survey here: https://forms.gle/w9vYsfFGvdJLJ3LY9 Host: Fabiola Cineas, race and policy reporter, Vox Guests: William “Sandy” Darity and Kirsten Mullen, authors of From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century References:  From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century by William A. Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen (The University of North Carolina Press; 2020) Homestead Act (1862) Disparities in Wealth by Race and Ethnicity in the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances (Federal Reserve; 2020) Evanston is the first U.S. city to issue slavery reparations. Experts say it's a noble start. (NBC News; 2021) The Root of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers (New York Times; 2020) ‘We’re Self-Interested’: The Growing Identity Debate in Black America (New York Times; 2019)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jonquilyn Hill  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 08, 2022
40 Acres: The original promise
3313
Fabiola Cineas talks with Nkechi Taifa, the founder and director of the Reparation Education Project, about the history of the fight for reparations in America. Though they came to the forefront during the 2020 election in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, activists have been fighting for repayment for slavery since the practice was abolished. This is part of 40 Acres, a four-part series examining reparations in the United States. This series was made possible by a grant from the Canopy Collective and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To provide feedback, please take our survey here: https://forms.gle/w9vYsfFGvdJLJ3LY9 Host: Fabiola Cineas, race and policy reporter, Vox Guest: Nkechi Taifa, founder and director of the Reparation Education Project References:  WMUR, 2019: Joe Biden discusses China-US trade talks, gun violence The N'COBRA movement and HR 40 Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: The Truth Behind “40 Acres and a Mule” Summer of Change: The Civil Rights Story of Glen Echo Park Los Angeles Times, 1995: Inspired by Marcus Garvey, Audley Moore has struggled to lift up African Americans The Republic of New Africa The Atlantic: Martin Luther King Makes the Case for Reparations HR 442 — Civil Liberties Act of 1987 HR 40 — Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act Pew Research Center: Black Americans Have a Clear Vision for Reducing Racism but Little Hope It Will Happen Gallup polling on American attitudes and race Belinda Sutton and Her Petitions No Pensions for Ex-Slaves: How Federal Agencies Suppressed Movement To Aid Freedpeople Wall Street Journal, 2019: "Reparations Ray" Blazed Lonely Trail Associated Press, 2019: New Orleans mayor to apologize for 1891 lynching of 11 Italian Americans NPR, 2009: Senate Apologizes For Slavery ABC News: Advocates call on Biden to act on reparations study by Juneteenth NPR, 2006: COINTELPRO and the History of Domestic Spying Washington Post, 2000: In Aetna's Past: Slave Owner Policies New York Times, 2016: Insurance Policies on Slaves: New York Life's Complicated Past   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jonquilyn Hill  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 01, 2022
What Clarence Thomas really thinks
3889
Sean Illing talks with Corey Robin, author of a recent article — as well as a 2019 book — about the life and thought of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Robin discusses how Thomas, whose concurring opinion in the case that overturned Roe v. Wade garnered recent attention, developed the ideological basis of his extremist judicial philosophy, how his views went from the hard-right fringe to more mainstream over the course of his thirty years on the Supreme Court, and how the failures of the 1960's movements shaped his fundamental pessimism about racial progress in America. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Corey Robin (@CoreyRobin), author; professor of political science, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center References:  The Enigma of Clarence Thomas by Corey Robin (Metropolitan; 2019) "The Self-Fulfilling Prophecies of Clarence Thomas" by Corey Robin (New Yorker; July 9) Clarence Thomas's opening statement, Anita Hill hearing (C-SPAN; Oct. 11, 1991) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952) Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (2022); Thomas's concurrence American Negro Slave Revolts by Herbert Aptheker (1943) Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution - 1863–1877 by Eric Foner (1988; updated 2014) The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations by Christopher Lasch (Norton; 1979) The Rhetoric of Reaction by Albert O. Hirschman (Harvard; 1991)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 29, 2022
Even Better: Don't call it a budget
2830
Every Thursday in August, you'll hear Even Better on Vox Conversations, a special series focused on helping people live better lives individually and collectively. In the fourth and final episode, host Julia Furlan talks with financial planner Paco de Leon, author and illustrator of Finance for the People, an accessible, real-talk guide to taking control of your finances. They discuss why it can be emotional to talk about money, the difficult historical realities of financial planning usually avoided by most financial advice-givers, and some real, practical steps for how to face your financial fears and take control of your money — right now. Host: Julia Furlan (@juliastmi) Guest: Paco de Leon, author; illustrator; founder, The Hell Yeah Group References:  Finance for the People: Getting a Grip on Your Finances (Penguin Life; 2022)   Even Better is here to offer deeply sourced, actionable advice for helping you live a better life. Follow Even Better at vox.com/even-better. Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 25, 2022
The quest for authenticity
3105
Sean Illing talks with Skye Cleary, philosopher and author of the new book How to Be Authentic. The book is an examination of how to live an authentic life through the lens of the life and thought of the great French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986). Sean and Skye discuss what authenticity really means — and how it's often a misused term today, why we should resist performing roles predetermined for us by society, and how to have a truly intimate relationship without surrendering yourself — or your freedom. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Skye Cleary (@Skye_Cleary), author, philosopher References:  How to Be Authentic: Simone de Beauvoir and the Quest for Fulfillment by Skye Cleary (St. Martin's; 2022) "Existentialism Is a Humanism" by Jean-Paul Sartre (1946) The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir (1949; tr. 2011 by Constance Borde & Sheila Malovany-Chevallier) Aristophanes's speech in Plato's Symposium, 189c–193e The Useless Mouths, play by Simone de Beauvoir (1945) Inseparable by Simone de Beauvoir (tr. Sandra Smith; published for the first time by Ecco; 2021) "Before She Loved Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir loved Zaza" by Leslie Camhi (New York Times; Aug. 27, 2021) After The Second Sex: Conversations with Simone de Beauvoir by Alice Schwarzer (Pantheon; 1984) Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir (1958) Pyrrhus et Cinéas by Simone de Beauvoir (1944)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 22, 2022
Even Better: Setting your boundaries
2686
Every Thursday in August, you'll hear Even Better on Vox Conversations, a special series focused on helping people live better lives individually and collectively. In the third episode, host Julia Furlan talks with Nedra Glover Tawwab, licensed therapist, relationship expert, and author of the NYT best-seller Set Boundaries, Find Peace. Nedra's focus is on the importance of setting boundaries in your relationships, and she talks about many strategies for doing this that are much more nuanced than simply saying "no" or cutting ties. Julia and Nedra talk about how to get over the fear of disappointing people, the ethics of "ghosting" someone, and how even small changes in our patterns of behavior can lead to better, more fulfilling relationships. Host: Julia Furlan (@juliastmi) Guest: Nedra Glover Tawwab (@NedraTawwab), therapist; author References:  Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab (TarcherPerigee; 2021)   Even Better is here to offer deeply sourced, actionable advice for helping you live a better life. Follow Even Better at vox.com/even-better. Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 18, 2022
Your gut instinct is usually wrong
3322
Sean Illing talks with former Google data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of Don't Trust Your Gut. Seth argues that the way we make decisions is wrong, outdated, and based on methods or conventional wisdom that lead us astray from getting what we want. Sean and Seth discuss the idea of using data in place of our own intuition and reason to help us through things like online dating, picking a place to live, and being a better parent. Plus, how can we trust "experience sampling" studies that rely on self-reporting, when — after all — everybody lies? Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (@SethS_D), author References:  Don't Trust Your Gut: Using Data to Get What You Really Want in Life by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (Dey Street; 2022) Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (Dey Street; 2018) Moneyball (dir. Bennett Miller, 2011); based on the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton; 2004) "Capitalists in the Twenty-First Century" by Matthew Smith et al. (Quarterly Journal of Economics v. 134 (4); 2019) The Mappiness Project, created by George MacKerron and Susanna Mourato "Machine learning uncovers the most robust self-report predictors of relationship quality across 43 longitudinal couples studies" by Samantha Joel et al. (PNAS v. 117 (32); 2020) "Are You Happy While You Work?" by Alex Bryson and George MacKerron (The Economic Journal v. 127 (599); Feb. 2017) "Experienced well-being rises with income, even above $75,000 per year" by Matthew Killingsworth (PNAS v. 118 (4); 2021) "The Amount and Source of Millionaires' Wealth (Moderately) Predicts Their Happiness" by Grand Edward Donnelly et al. (Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin v. 44 (5); May 2018) “When Choice Is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing?” by Sheena S. Iyengar and Mark R. Lepper (J. of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(6); 2000) "The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New EvidenceFfrom the Moving to Opportunity Project" by Raj Chetty et al. (American Economic Review v. 106 (4); 2016) "Education Doesn't Work" by Freddie deBoer (Substack; Apr. 12, 2021) "Predicting political elections from rapid and unreflective face judgments" by Charles C. Ballew and Alexander Todorov (PNAS v. 104 (46); 2007) Dataclysm: Love, Sex, Race, and Identity — What Our Online Lives Tell Us About Our Offline Selves by Christian Rudder (Crown; 2015)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 15, 2022
Even Better: Workplace equality 2.0
3206
Every Thursday in August, you'll hear Even Better on Vox Conversations, a special series focused on helping people live better lives individually and collectively. In the second episode, host Julia Furlan talks with author and CEO Minda Harts about how to fight for equality in the workplace. Harts’s work has focused on empowering people, particularly women of color, to find their voice and secure a seat at the table. Julia and Minda discuss the failures of "Lean In" to meaningfully address these issues, how to overcome common workplace obstacles and stereotypes, and how to achieve success through enrolling your coworkers and colleagues in the project of creating a truly equitable and respectful workplace. Host: Julia Furlan (@juliastmi) Guest: Minda Harts (@MindaHarts), author; founder and CEO of The Memo References:  You Are More Than Magic: The Black and Brown Girls' Guide to Finding Your Voice by Minda Harts  The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table by Minda Harts Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg   Even Better is here to offer deeply sourced, actionable advice for helping you live a better life. Follow Even Better at vox.com/even-better. Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 11, 2022
Why we're still postmodern (whatever that means)
3520
Sean Illing talks with Stuart Jeffries, journalist and author of Everything, All the Time, Everywhere, about why postmodernism is so hard to define, and why — as Jeffries argues — it's still a very active presence in our culture and politics today. They discuss whether our desire should be understood as subversive or as a tool of capitalism, how postmodernism is inextricably linked with neoliberalism, and how to navigate our current culture of ubiquitous consumption and entertainment. What should we watch on TV: Boris Johnson's resignation speech, or the reality show Love Is Blind? Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Stuart Jeffries, author; feature writer, The Guardian References:  Everything, All the Time, Everywhere: How We Became Postmodern by Stuart Jeffries (Verso; 2021) "The post-truth prophets" by Sean Illing (Vox; Nov. 16, 2019) The Postmodern Condition by Jean-François Lyotard (Univ. of Minnesota Press; 1979, tr. 1984) Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard (Univ. of Michigan Press; 1981, tr. 1983) Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970–1990 (exhibition catalog, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; Sept. 24, 2011 – Jan. 15, 2012) "Postmodernism: from the cutting edge to the museum" by Hari Kunzru (The Guardian; Sept. 15, 2011) "You're sayin' a foot massage don't mean nothin', and I'm sayin' it does" by James Wood (Guardian Supplement; Nov. 19, 1994) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 08, 2022
Even Better: Activism when you don't know where to start
2936
Every Thursday in August, you'll hear Even Better on Vox Conversations, a special series focused on helping people live better lives individually and collectively. In this first episode, host Julia Furlan talks with activist, writer, and organizer Brea Baker. Brea's career has included student activism at Yale University, national organizing for the Women's March, and continues today through action-oriented work on behalf of progressive causes. Brea talks about how her work is informed by radical love, how she confronts obstacles in the movement on both personal and organizational scales, and how we can push back against despair and dread, and come into our power — no matter where we're at. Host: Julia Furlan (@juliastmi) Guests: Brea Baker (@Brea_Baker), activist; writer; Chief Equity Officer, Inspire Justice References:  "bell hooks Taught Us To Both Practice and Preach Radical Love" by Brea Baker (Elle; Dec. 20, 2021) The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (New Press; 2010) "Yale Announces a New Center for Race Studies. A Yale Senior Asks, Now What?" by Brea Baker (Elle; Feb. 23, 2016) "Why I Became an Abolitionist" by Brea Baker (Harper's Bazaar; Dec. 10, 2020) We Do This 'Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice by Mariame Kaba (Haymarket; 2021) Even Better is here to offer deeply sourced, actionable advice for helping you live a better life. Follow Even Better at vox.com/even-better. Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 04, 2022
The Supreme Court's power grab
3931
Sean Illing talks with Harvard Law professor Nikolas Bowie about the U.S. Supreme Court's recently-concluded term, which produced landmark opinions restricting the power of the EPA, expanding gun rights, and overturning Roe v. Wade. They discuss how the conservative court's arguments are structured and why they are in fact quite radical, what "legal liberalism" is and whether it has just been decisively repudiated, and whether there are any reforms that could stop the conservative majority from reshaping American jurisprudence. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Nikolas Bowie (@nikobowie), Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law, Harvard Law School References:  Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court, Public Meeting, Panel 1 (C-SPAN; June 30) "How the Supreme Court dominates our democracy" by Niko Bowie (Washington Post; July 16, 2021) A Twitter thread on the repudiation of legal liberalism, by @nikobowie Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health (SCOTUS; June 24) 42 U.S. Code §1983 - Civil action for deprivation of rights 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1868) New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen (SCOTUS; June 23) Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (SCOTUS; June 29, 1992) Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don't Talk about It) by Elizabeth Anderson (Princeton; 2017) "A new Supreme Court case is the biggest threat to US democracy since January 6" by Ian Millhiser (Vox; June 30) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 01, 2022
How middlemen took over the economy
3976
Vox's Emily Stewart talks with Kathryn Judge, professor at Columbia Law School and author of the new book Direct: The Rise of Middleman Economy and the Power of Going to the Source. They discuss how middlemen — which include real estate agents, stock brokers, but also Amazon and Walmart — came to assume such an outsized role in our economy, the pros and cons of middlemen in different market contexts, why Prof. Judge sees a fundamental difference between Etsy and Amazon, and how we consumers can change how we decide what to buy in order to help push the economy in a radically different direction. Host: Emily Stewart (@EmilyStewartM), senior correspondent, Vox Guests: Kathryn Judge (@ProfKateJudge), Harvey J. Goldschmid Professor of Law, Columbia University; author References:  Direct: The Rise of the Middleman Economy and the Power of Going to the Source by Kathryn Judge (Harper Business; 2022) "So Much for Cutting Out the Middleman" by Kathryn Judge (The Atlantic; June 9) "What Is Web3?" by Thomas Stackpole (Harvard Business Review; May 10) "The awful American consumer" by Emily Stewart (Vox; Apr. 7) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 28, 2022
The necessity — and danger — of free speech
3376
Sean Illing talks with Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan about his new book The Paradox of Democracy, which he co-authored with media studies professor Zac Gershberg. Sean and Margaret discuss the relationship between free expression and democratic society, talk about whether or not the January 6th hearings are doing anything at all politically, and discuss some potential ways to bolster democratic values in the media ecology of the present. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview), media columnist, Washington Post References:  The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion by Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing (Chicago; 2022) Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy by Margaret Sullivan (Columbia Global Reports; 2020) "Four reasons the Jan. 6 hearings have conquered the news cycle" by Margaret Sullivan (Washington Post; July 22) Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan (1964) Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman (1985) Newsroom Confidential: Lessons (and Worries) from an Ink-Stained Life by Margaret Sullivan (St. Martin's; Oct. 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 25, 2022
Hacking coral sex to save the reefs
3310
Vox's Benji Jones talks with marine biologist Hanna Koch about her team's efforts to repopulate the planet's coral reefs through cutting-edge scientific intervention. They discuss what makes coral so unique as organisms, how scientists understand their reproductive behavior, and how they are working to respawn corals and repopulate reefs. Hanna explains why this work is so imperative — not just for the diverse array of marine life that coral reefs are home to, but for the sustainability of human communities, as well. Host: Benji Jones (@BenjiSJones), Environmental reporter, Vox Guest: Hanna Koch (@DrHannaRKoch1), Marine biologist; postdoctoral research fellow, Coral Reef Restoration Program, Mote Marine Laboratory References:  "How to resurrect a coral reef" by Benji Jones (Vox; Apr. 22) "Restored Corals Spawn Hope for Reefs Worldwide" by Hanna R. Koch, Erinn Muller, & Michael P. Crosby (The Scientist; Feb. 1, 2021) "Herbivorous Crabs Reverse the Seaweed Dilemma on Coral Reefs" by A. Jason Spadaro & Mark Butler (Current Biology 31 (4); Feb. 22, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 21, 2022
The price of keeping secrets
3152
Sean Illing talks with professor Michael Slepian, author of The Secret Life of Secrets. This new book explores secret-keeping behavior and its consequences, as well as how secrecy relates to trust. Sean and Michael talk about what things we keep secret, why we're so worried about keeping them secret, and the toll that secret-keeping can have on us. They also talk about how the issue of secrecy relates to authenticity, and our fears of being judged by others. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Michael Slepian (@michaelslepian), author; professor, Columbia Business School References:  The Secret Life of Secrets: How Our Inner Worlds Shape Well-Being, Relationships, and Who We Are by Michael Slepian (Crown; 2022) "Why the Secrets You Keep Are Hurting You" by Michael Slepian (Scientific American; Feb. 5, 2019) "Spill the Beans" by Olga Khazan (The Atlantic; July 8, 2015) "Keeping Secrets Isn't So Bad for You After All — With One Exception" by Olivia Campbell (New York; May 3, 2017) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 18, 2022
Does China control Hollywood?
3846
Vox's Alissa Wilkinson talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Erich Schwartzel about Red Carpet, his new book detailing the myriad ways that Hollywood movies are affected by China. They discuss how Chinese markets are essential for the budgetary math of big blockbusters, the role of the Chinese Communist Party's censors play in shaping the content of American films, and what this complicated global relationship might for Hollywood's future — and the future of movies in general. Host: Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie), film critic and senior culture reporter, Vox Guests: Erich Schwartzel (@erichschwartzel), reporter, The Wall Street Journal; author References:  Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy by Erich Schwartzel (Penguin; 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 14, 2022
Steve Bannon is still at war
3049
Sean Illing talks with Jennifer Senior, the Pulitzer-winning staff writer at the Atlantic, about her recent piece on Steve Bannon called "American Rasputin." Through incredible firsthand access and detailed reporting, Senior shows how Bannon is still an effective media manipulator through his popular "War Room" podcast. Sean and Jennifer discuss what Bannon's true political beliefs might be, the role he played in plotting the January 6th attack on the Capitol, and the role he might already be playing in setting up the next insurrection. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Jennifer Senior (@JenSeniorNY), staff writer, The Atlantic References:  "American Rasputin" by Jennifer Senior (June 6; The Atlantic) UPDATE: "Bannon, Facing Jail and Fines, Agrees to Testify to Jan. 6 Panel" by Luke Broadwater and Maggie Haberman (July 10; New York Times) "Steve Bannon's 'We Build the Wall' Codefendants Plead Guilty" by Bob Van Voris (Apr. 21; Bloomberg) "Steve Bannon and U.S. ultra-conservatives take aim at Pope Francis" by Richard Engel and Kennett Werner (Apr. 12, 2019; NBC News) "'Flood the zone with shit': How misinformation overwhelmed our democracy" by Sean Illing (updated Feb. 6, 2020; Vox) The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion by Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing (2022; U. Chicago) American Dharma, dir. by Errol Morris (2019) The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny by William Strauss and Neil Howe (Crown; 1997) "The work" of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (d. 1949) "What I Learned Binge-Watching Steve Bannon's Documentaries" by Adam Wren (Politico; Dec. 2016) "McLuhan would blow hot and cool about today's internet" by Nick Carr (Nov. 1, 2007; The Guardian) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 11, 2022
The Fortress of Solitude saw it all coming
2391
Vox's Constance Grady talks with writer Jonathan Lethem about his 2003 work The Fortress of Solitude in this recording from a live Vox Book Club event. They discuss the prescient and still-relevant themes of the novel — like the issues of appropriation in art, gentrification, and superheroes, how Lethem approaches "realism" in his writing, and the role of music and comics in both his own life and the lives of his characters. Vox Conversations will be on summer break the week of July 4th, and will return on Monday, July 11th. Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox Guests: Jonathan Lethem, author References:  The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem (Vintage; 2003) "The Fortress of Solitude is a fraught and uneasy love letter to a vanished Brooklyn" by Constance Grady (Vox; May 20) "The Author Looks Inward: A Conversation with Jonathan Lethem" by Brian Gresko (LARB; Sept. 8, 2013) Another Country by James Baldwin (1962) Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (1901) Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (1977) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 30, 2022
The Philosophers: Stoic revival
3913
Sean Illing talks with author Ryan Holiday about Stoicism — a philosophy with roots in ancient Greece and which flourished in early imperial Rome — and how it can help us live fulfilling lives today. In addition to explaining what Stoicism is and how we can practice it, Holiday addresses the critical idea that Stoicism is a philosophy for elites, unpacks some of the parallels between Stoicism and Buddhism, and explains how being in touch with our mortality can relieve some of our modern anxieties. This is the fourth episode of The Philosophers, a monthly series from Vox Conversations. Each episode will focus on a philosophical figure or school of thought from the past, and discuss how their ideas can help us make sense of our modern world and lives today. Check out the other episodes in this series, on Albert Camus, Hannah Arendt, and pragmatism with Cornel West. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews writer, Vox Guest: Ryan Holiday (@RyanHoliday), author; creator of Daily Stoic References to works by Stoics:  Zeno of Citium (c. 334 – c. 262 BC) (about whom much is known from Diogenes Laërtius, c. 3rd c. AD, in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, VII) Epictetus (c. 50 – c. 125 AD): The Encheiridion (or Handbook) of Epictetus; The Discourses of Epictetus Seneca (c. 4 BC – 65 AD): Dialogues and letters Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 AD): Meditations (Penguin Classics ; MIT Internet Classics Archive) Other references:  The Daily Stoic podcast with Ryan Holiday Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman (Portfolio; 2020) Courage Is Calling by Ryan Holiday (Portfolio; 2021) Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus's Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior by James B. Stockdale (Hoover Institution Press; 1993) "Self-pity" by D.H. Lawrence The Stoic Life: Emotions, Duties, and Fate by Tad Brennan (Oxford; 2005) How to Be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci (Basic; 2017) Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience by Nancy Sherman (Oxford; 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 27, 2022
Station Eleven's creator on the end of the world
3169
Vox’s Alex Abad-Santos sits down with Patrick Somerville, the creator and showrunner of HBO's critically-acclaimed series Station Eleven, adapted from the novel by Emily St. John Mandel. They talk about the weirdness of making a show about a pandemic during a pandemic, what it was like to craft the show's intricate web of storylines, and why Patrick's body of work — which also includes Maniac, Made for Love, and co-writing The Leftovers — tends toward the dystopian. There's also a reflective discussion about . . . hugs. Host: Alex Abad-Santos (@alex_abads), Senior Culture Reporter, Vox Guest: Patrick Somerville (@patrickerville), creator and showrunner, Station Eleven References:  Station Eleven, created for television by Patrick Somerville (HBO Max; 2021) Station Eleven, novel by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf; 2014) "A syllabus for a new world" by Alissa Wilkinson (Vox; Jan. 13) "In Station Eleven, the end of the world is a vibrant, lush green" by Emily St. James (Vox; Jan. 10) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 23, 2022
The racist origins of fat phobia
3274
Vox’s Anna North talks with Da'Shaun Harrison, the activist, author, and 2022 Lambda Literary Award recipient for their book Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness. Da'Shaun explains the ways in which society's anti-fatness is structural, and connected —historically and politically — to the structures of anti-Blackness that took root alongside slavery in America. Anna and Da'Shaun discuss common misunderstandings and myths about fatness, how these pathologies insidiously infiltrate the criminal justice system, and why Da'Shaun envisions a liberatory future in the idea of destruction. Host: Anna North (@annanorthtweets), Senior Reporter, Vox Guest: Da'Shaun Harrison (@DaShaunLH), author; editor-at-large, Scalawag References:  Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness by Da'Shaun Harrison (North Atlantic; 2021) "The past, present, and future of body image in America" by Anna North (Vox; Oct. 18, 2021) "The paradox of online 'body positivity'" by Rebecca Jennings (Vox; Jan. 13, 2021) Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings (NYU; 2019) "CDC Study Overstated Obesity as a Cause of Death" by Betsy McKay (Wall Street Journal; Nov. 23, 2004) "Correction: Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000" (JAMA; Jan. 19, 2005) Killer Fat: Media, Medicine, and Morals in the American "Obesity Epidemic" by Natalie Boero (Rutgers; 2012) "The Bizarre and Racist History of the BMI" by Aubrey Gordon (Oct. 15, 2019) "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book" by Hortense J. Spillers (Diacritics, 17 (2); 1987) Joy James: Captive Maternals Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 16, 2022
The fight for Ukraine — and democracy
3292
Sean Illing talks with historian and author Timothy Snyder about the war in Ukraine, the stakes for Europe and the rest of the world, and the battle between Putin's autocracy and democracy being waged. They also discuss the enduring importance of history — and of ideas — in shaping events in our world. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Timothy Snyder (@TimothyDSnyder), author; Levin professor of history, Yale University References:  "The War in Ukraine Has Unleashed a New Word" by Timothy Snyder (New York Times Magazine; Apr. 22) On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder (Crown; 2017) The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder (Tim Duggan; 2018) Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder (Basic; 2010) "Vladimir Putin's politics of eternity" by Timothy Snyder (The Guardian; Mar. 16, 2018) Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism by Charles W. Mills (Oxford; 2017) "Who is Putin really fighting? Maxim Trudolyubov on the Russian president's ruthless war of generations" (Meduza; June 6) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 13, 2022
The war on trans people
3312
Vox’s Emily St. James talks with Chase Strangio of the ACLU about the assault on the rights of trans Americans taking place in many states across the country. They explain why laws that recently passed through state houses in Florida, Texas, and Alabama imperil trans people — or, in some cases, even criminalize their very existence. Chase and Emily discuss the ongoing legal battles to challenge these laws, the political and social obstacles facing the trans community, and how all Americans can help protect trans people through challenging some fundamental assumptions in our culture. Host: Emily St. James (@emilyvdw), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio), Deputy Director for Transgender Justice, ACLU References:  "The time to panic about anti-trans legislation is now" by Emily St. James (Vox; March 24) "Florida's law limiting LGBTQ discussion in schools, explained" by Amber Phillips (Washington Post; April 22) "Alabama law criminalizing care for transgender youth faces federal test" by Kimberly Chandler (AP; May 5) "Explaining the Latest Texas Anti-Transgender Directive" by Alene Bouranova (BU Today; March 3) Obergefell v. Hodges (U.S. Supreme Court; 2015) Bostock v. Clayton County (U.S. Supreme Court; 2020) "The Courts Won't Free Us — Only We Can" by Chase Strangio (Them; June 1) "Rising Model Hunter Schafer Is Fighting for the Future of Trans Individuals On and Off the Runway" by Katherine Cusumano (W Magazine; March 21, 2018) "HB 500 — Barring Transgender Girls in Sports" (ACLU Idaho; 2020) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 09, 2022
Michael Ian Black on being a better man
3371
Sean Illing talks with comedian and author Michael Ian Black about his book A Better Man, in which Black writes a letter to his son about masculinity, vulnerability, and the importance of empathy, among other things. They open the conversation discussing the tragic mass murder that took place at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Black was inspired to write this book in the wake of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and America's mass shootings are a subject throughout his book. Sean and Michael talk about how to confront these events as fathers of boys, the myth of what it means to be a "real man," and the elusive importance of deep, male friendship. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack), comedian; author References:  A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son by Michael Ian Black (Workman; 2020 - paperback, 2022) "America's troubled relationship with paid time off for dads" by Aimee Picchi (CBS News; Oct. 19, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 06, 2022
Carmen Maria Machado's haunted feminine
2523
Vox's Constance Grady talks with writer Carmen Maria Machado, whose 2017 short story collection Her Body and Other Parties was a National Book Award finalist. In this episode, which is a recording of a live Vox Book Club event, they discuss how this haunting genre-straddling collection conveys the underlying horrors of being an embodied woman, how the nation's shifting cultural mores around sexual violence are reflected in Law & Order: SVU, and how Machado's writing expresses what she just might start calling the "femme uncanny." Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox Guests: Carmen Maria Machado, author References:  Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf; 2017) Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (2002) Kelly Link "The Green Ribbon" by Alvin Schwartz, from In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories (1984) "'Law & Order' is lost without Stabler and Benson. Here's why their pairing works," by Carmen Maria Machado (LA Times; Apr. 8, 2021) "The Trash Heap Has Spoken" by Carmen Maria Machado (Guernica; Feb. 13, 2017) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 02, 2022
The rise and fall of America's monuments
3046
Jamil Smith talks with Erin Thompson, professor of art crime and author of Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America's Public Monuments. They discuss why we honor horrible people from the past in metal and stone, what effects these objects have on our present, and what's keeping so many of these monuments in place throughout America. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Erin Thompson (@artcrimeprof), author; associate professor of art crime, John Jay College of Criminal Justice References:  Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America's Public Monuments by Erin Thompson (Norton; 2022) A viral tweet (June 10, 2020) "What's the point of beheading a statue?" by Erin Thompson (Art News; June 22, 2020) "The Historian Scrutinizing Our Idea of Monuments" by Alexandra Schwartz (New Yorker; March 3) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 26, 2022
The Philosophers: America's philosophy, with Cornel West
3687
Sean Illing talks with Cornel West about the American philosophical tradition known as pragmatism. They talk about what makes pragmatism so distinctly American, how pragmatists understand the connection between knowledge and action, and how the pragmatist mindset can invigorate our understanding of democratic life and communal action today. Cornel West also talks about the ways in which pragmatism has influenced his work and life, alongside the blues, Chekhov, and his Christian faith. This is the third episode of The Philosophers, a new monthly series from Vox Conversations. Each episode will focus on a philosophical figure or school of thought from the past, and discuss how their ideas can help us make sense of our modern world and lives today. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews writer, Vox Guest: Cornel West (@CornelWest), author; Dietrich Bonhoeffer professor of philosophy & Christian practice, Union Theological Seminary References to works by American pragmatists:  Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882): "Self-Reliance" (1841) William James (1842–1910): Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (1907); The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902); "Is Life Worth Living?" (1895) Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914): "The Fixation of Belief" (1877) John Dewey (1859–1952): The Quest for Certainty (1929); "Emerson—The Philosopher of Democracy" (1903); The Public and Its Problems (1927) Richard Rorty (1931–2007): "Pragmatism, Relativism, and Irrationalism" (1979); "Solidarity or Objectivity?" (1989) Other references:  Cornel West Teaches Philosophy (MasterClass) The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism by Cornel West (Univ. of Wisconsin Press; 1989) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925) Plato, Republic (refs. in particular to Book 1 and Book 8) The Phantom Public by Walter Lippmann (1925) Leopardi: Selected Poems of Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837), tr. by Eamon Grennan (Princeton; 1997) "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus (1942; tr. 1955) Democracy & Tradition by Jeffrey Stout (Princeton; 2003) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 23, 2022
Why accidents aren't accidental
3181
Vox’s Marin Cogan talks with author and journalist Jessie Singer, whose book There Are No Accidents asks us to completely rethink our understanding of accidents as seemingly random, blameless, harm-inducing events. Marin and Jessie discuss what drug overdoses, car crashes, and apartment building fires have in common, the systemic structural vulnerabilities that lead to accidents, and how we can press for greater accountability. Host: Marin Cogan (@marincogan), Senior Features Correspondent, Vox Guest: Jessie Singer (@JessieSingerNYC), author; journalist References:  There Are No Accidents: The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster—Who Profits and Who Pays the Price by Jessie Singer (Simon & Schuster; 2022) "Stop calling them 'accidents'" by Marin Cogan (Vox; Apr. 12) "Nearly 43,000 people died on US roads last year, agency says" by Tom Krisher and Hope Yen (AP News; May 17) "NYC building space heater malfunction sparks fire that kills 19, including 9 children" by Maria Caspani (Reuters; Jan. 10) "Remembering Eric Ng" by Maura Roosevelt (The Nation; Feb. 7, 2014) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 19, 2022
Rethinking the "end of history"
3739
Sean Illing talks with political scientist and author Francis Fukuyama, whose ideas about the "end of history" and the ideological supremacy of liberal democracy became well-known through his 1989 essay "The End of History?". They discuss Fukuyama's new book, Liberalism and Its Discontents, as well as some of the modern challenges facing liberalism today, what Fukuyama thinks of the radically redistributive politics of the Bernie Sanders campaign, and whether he thinks it's still the case that liberal democracy stands victorious in the war of ideas. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Francis Fukuyama (@FukuyamaFrancis), author; professor, Stanford University References:  Liberalism and Its Discontents by Francis Fukuyama (FSG; 2022) "The End of History?" by Francis Fukuyama (The National Interest, v. 16; Summer 1989) The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama (Free Press; 1992) "Francis Fukuyama Predicted the End of History. It's Back (Again)," by Jennifer Schuessler (New York Times; May 10) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 16, 2022
Anita Hill finally gets even
3671
Vox's Fabiola Cineas talks with Anita Hill, whose testimony during the 1991 confirmation hearings for now-Justice Clarence Thomas highlighted the prominence of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. Hill discusses how those hearings changed her, whether or not she has respect for the Supreme Court as an institution, and how her fight to stop gender violence continues today. Host: Fabiola Cineas (@FabiolaCineas), Reporter, Vox Guest: Anita Hill (@AnitaHill), professor, Brandeis University References:  Getting Even with Anita Hill (Pushkin) Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence by Anita Hill (Viking; 2021) Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson (1994) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 12, 2022
Elites have captured identity politics
3509
Sean Illing talks with Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò, whose new book Elite Capture is about how the wealthy and powerful co-opt political movements, and use the language of progressive activism to further their ends. They discuss the history and meaning of "identity politics," the notion of "woke capitalism," and how to arrive at a more constructive politics — one that actually engages directly in redistributing social resources and power, rather than achieving merely symbolic gains. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò (@OlufemiOTaiwo), author; professor of philosophy, Georgetown University References:  Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (And Everything Else) by Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò (Haymarket; 2022) "Identity Politics and Elite Capture" by Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò (Boston Review; May 7, 2020) "Niani S. Phillips is an Environmentalist with a serious commitment to sustainability." (McDonald's YouTube; Mar. 31) The Combahee River Collective Statement (1977) "Until Black Women Are Free, None of Us Will Be Free" by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (New Yorker; July 20, 2020) "Black Lives Matter Secretly Bought a $6 Million House" by Sean Campbell (Intelligencer; Apr. 4) Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin (Melville House; 2017) "What's New About Woke Racial Capitalism (And What Isn't)" by Enzo Rossi and Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò (Spectre; Dec. 18, 2020) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 09, 2022
The moral dangers of dirty work
3594
Vox’s Jamil Smith talks with journalist and author Eyal Press about "dirty work" — the jobs Americans do that, as Press explains, can lead workers to perform morally compromising activities unwittingly. They discuss examples of this kind of work (drone pilots, meat packers, prison aides), talk about its relation to the term "essential workers" that gained prominence during the pandemic, and explain how certain jobs highlight the disparities of class, race, and gender in American society. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Eyal Press (@EyalPress), author; journalist References:  Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America by Eyal Press (FSG; 2021) "What does it mean to take America's 'jobs of last resort'?" by Jamil Smith (Vox; Apr. 22) Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe (Doubleday; 2021) The Social Network, dir. David Fincher (2010) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (1906) The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952) The Civilizing Process by Norbert Elias (1939) "Good People and Dirty Work" by Everett C. Hughes (Social Problems, vol. 10 (1); 1962) The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú (Riverhead; 2019) "Inside the Massive Jail that Doubles as Chicago's Largest Mental Health Facility" by Lili Holzer-Glier (Vera Institute of Justice; 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 05, 2022
Did the sexual revolution go wrong?
3521
Sean Illing talks with author and Washington Post columnist Christine Emba about whether or not we need to rethink sex. They discuss why, according to the research and reporting in Emba's new book Rethinking Sex, many Americans are unhappy with the sex they're having, and don't fully understand what they want. They also talk about how her Catholic faith informs her views on sex, why it's necessary to expand on the framework of "consent," and what kind of sexual culture Emba hopes to see in the world. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Christine Emba (@ChristineEmba), author & reporter References:  Rethinking Sex: A Provocation by Christine Emba (Sentinel; 2022) "Consent is not enough. We need a new sexual ethic," by Christine Emba (Washington Post; Mar. 17) "People Have Been Having Less Sex—whether They're Teenagers or 40-Somethings" by Emily Willingham (Scientific American; Jan. 3) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 02, 2022
Who decides how to conserve nature?
3419
Vox's Benji Jones talks with Indigenous leader Kimaren ole Riamit about the role of Indigenous peoples in the conservation movement. Bringing the perspective of his upbringing in the Kenyan Maasai pastoral community as well as advanced degrees earned at Western institutions, Kimaren discusses with Benji the power and potential of Indigenous knowledge in combating the climate crisis, and the challenges in bridging that knowledge with the global conservation effort. Host: Benji Jones (@BenjiSJones), Environmental reporter, Vox Guest: Kimaren ole Riamit, Maasai leader References:  "Growing up Maasai and the art of healing the Earth" by Benji Jones (Vox; Mar. 16) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 28, 2022
The Philosophers: Loneliness and totalitarianism
3814
Sean Illing talks with professor Lyndsey Stonebridge about the philosopher Hannah Arendt, author of The Origins of Totalitarianism. Arendt might be best known for coining the phrase “the banality of evil” in her reporting on the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961, but in this episode Sean and Lyndsey discuss Arendt's insights into the roots of mass movements, how her flight from Nazi occupation shaped her worldview, and how loneliness and isolation — which abound in our world today — can prepare a population for an authoritarian turn. The Philosophers is a new monthly series from Vox Conversations. Each episode will focus on a philosophical figure or school of thought from the past, and discuss how their ideas can help us make sense of our modern world and lives today. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews writer, Vox Guest: Lyndsey Stonebridge (@lyndseystonebri), author; professor of humanities and human rights, University of Birmingham Works by Hannah Arendt:  The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), with the inclusion of the chapter "Ideology and Terror" in 1953; Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963); The Human Condition (1958); "Home to Roost: A Bicentennial Address" (1975); "Personal Responsibility under Dictatorship" (1964) Other References:  The Judicial Imagination: Writing After Nuremberg by Lyndsey Stonebridge (Edinburgh University Press; 2011) Placeless People: Writings, Rights, and Refugees by Lyndsey Stonebridge (Oxford; 2018) Thinking Like Hannah Arendt by Lyndsey Stonebridge (Jonathan Cape; forthcoming 2022) "A 1951 book about totalitarianism is flying off the shelves. Here's why" by Sean Illing (Vox; updated Jan. 30, 2019) "Where loneliness can lead" by Samantha Rose Hill (Aeon; Oct. 16, 2020) The Lonely Crowd by David Riesman (1950) Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) for the "categorical imperative" Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 25, 2022
The War in Ukraine, Explained — Part 4: The future of Europe
3892
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of the biggest and most confusing political events of our lifetimes. We aim to bring some clarity in this special four-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp, The War in Ukraine, Explained. In part four, Zack speaks with author, political scientist, and scholar of European politics Ivan Krastev. They discuss the reverberations of Russia's invasion of Ukraine across Europe, from a sudden change of course in Germany and elections in France to the threatened intellectual foundations of the European Union nations' shared postwar identity, and how the war in Ukraine will shape the EU's future relations with the U.S. and China — and the future of Europe itself. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Ivan Krastev, political scientist; chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies; permanent fellow, Institute for Human Sciences, IWM Vienna References:  The Light That Failed: Why the West is Losing the Fight for Democracy by Stephen Holmes and Ivan Krastev (Pegasus; 2020) "We Are All Living in Vladimir Putin's World Now" by Ivan Krastev (New York Times; Feb. 27) "How the Weak Win Wars: A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict" by Ivan Arreguín-Toft (International Security, vol. 26 (1); 2001) Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt (Penguin; 2006) The Idea of India by Sunil Khilnani (FSG; 1997) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 21, 2022
Michael Lewis on why Americans distrust experts
3492
Sean Illing talks with writer Michael Lewis about why it is that Americans are so good at producing knowledge, but so bad at identifying and utilizing that knowledge — the central issue of the new season of his podcast "Against the Rules." They discuss who counts as an expert, some fundamental impediments to disseminating knowledge, and whether or not there is a possible future where Americans regain their trust in experts, institutions, and each other. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Michael Lewis, author References:  Against the Rules with Michael Lewis podcast (Pushkin) The Premonition: A Pandemic Story by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton; 2021 - paperback; 2022) The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton; 2018) The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium by Martin Gurri (Stripe; 2014) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 18, 2022
The War in Ukraine, Explained — Part 3: The nuclear threat
3404
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of the biggest and most confusing political events of our lifetimes. We aim to bring some clarity in this special four-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp, The War in Ukraine, Explained. In part three, Zack speaks with professor, blogger, and nuclear arms expert Jeff Lewis about the looming nuclear threat of the conflict in Ukraine. They discuss the probability of escalation by both Russia and the U.S., what "tactical" nuclear weapons really are and how they're misunderstood, the double-edged sword of deterrence, and some of the ethical, political, and psychological realities of managing large stockpiles of devastating nuclear weapons. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Jeff Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk), founder and contributor, Arms Control Wonk; director, East Asia Nonproliferation Program, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey References:  "Is Russia committing genocide in Ukraine?" by Zack Beauchamp (Vox; Apr. 13) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 14, 2022
The case for regret
3075
Sean Illing talks with writer Daniel Pink about his book The Power of Regret. They discuss why regret can be not only useful, but potentially the most valuable emotion we have. Daniel and Sean talk about the difference between regret and "wallowing," how to anticipate regrets and act accordingly, and Daniel shares his findings on the regrets that Americans most have in common. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Daniel Pink (@DanielPink), author References:  The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel H. Pink (Riverhead; 2022) Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff (William Morrow; 2015) The Art and Science of Personality Development by Dan P. McAdams (Guilford; 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 11, 2022
The War in Ukraine, Explained — Part 2: Sanctions
3691
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of the biggest and most confusing political events of our lifetimes. We aim to bring some clarity in this special four-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp, The War in Ukraine, Explained. In part two, Zack speaks with Dan Drezner, international relations professor and columnist for the Washington Post, about the massive slate of sanctions imposed upon Russia by the United States and other Western countries in the aftermath of Russia's invasion. They discuss how the sanctions actually affect the Kremlin and Russian citizens, the ripple effects on the larger global economy, and whether or not these sanctions signal a new global economic order. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Daniel Drezner (@dandrezner), columnist, Washington Post; professor, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University References:  "How robust is the global opposition to Russia's invasion of Ukraine?" by Daniel W. Drezner (Washington Post; March 29) Theories of International Politics and Zombies by Daniel W. Drezner (Princeton; 2014) The Sanctions Paradox: Economic Statecraft and International Relations by Daniel W. Drezner (Cambridge; 2010) "The World Is Splitting in Two" by Michael Schuman (Atlantic; March 28) The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War by Nicholas Mulder (Yale; 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 07, 2022
The spirituality of parenting
2952
Sean Illing talks with the author and self-described mystic David Spangler about parenting as a spiritual enterprise, where the parent communes in a radical way with the spirit of another and expands the limits of the self. They discuss what it means to adopt the "beginner's mindset" in parenting, relating to children as full individuals, and how to cope with obstacles that all parents experience — from misbegotten family dinners, to the perils of getting dressed in the morning. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David Spangler, spiritual director, Lorian Institute References:  Parent as Mystic, Mystic as Parent by David Spangler (Riverhead; 2000) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 04, 2022
The War in Ukraine, Explained — Part 1: Why did Putin go to war?
3665
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of the biggest and most confusing political events of our lifetimes. We aim to bring some clarity in this special four-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp, The War in Ukraine, Explained. In part one, Zack speaks with political scientist Yoshiko Herrera about the country responsible for the war: Russia. They explore why Vladimir Putin decided to launch the invasion, what Russians think about the war, and how this conflict might change Russia's future. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Yoshiko Herrera (@yoshikoherrera), professor of political science, University of Wisconsin-Madison References:  "9 big questions about Russia's war in Ukraine, answered" by Zack Beauchamp (Vox; Mar. 30) "The Bully in the Bubble: Putin and the Perils of Information Isolation" by Adam E. Casey and Seva Gunitsky (Foreign Affairs; Feb. 4) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 31, 2022
The Philosophers: Resisting despair
3408
Sean Illing talks with author and professor Robert Zaretsky about the French philosopher, novelist, and journalist Albert Camus (1913–1960). Though Camus might be best known for his novel The Stranger, Sean and Prof. Zaretsky explore the ideas contained in his philosophical essays "The Myth of Sisyphus," The Rebel, and in the allegorical novel The Plague, which saw a resurgence in interest over the past two years. They discuss the meaning of "the absurd," why one must imagine Sisyphus happy, and how the roots of mid-20th-century political nihilism (making sort of a comeback lately) can be found in one's relationship to abstract ideas. This is the first episode of The Philosophers, a new series from Vox Conversations. Each episode will focus on a philosophical figure or school of thought from the past, and discuss how their ideas can help us make sense of our modern world and lives today. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews writer, Vox Guest: Robert Zaretsky, author and professor, University of Houston Works by Camus:  The Rebel (1951) ; The Stranger (1942) ; The Plague (1947) ; "The Myth of Sisyphus" (1942) ; "The Century of Fear" (in Neither Victims Nor Executioners; 1946) ; "The Human Crisis" (1946) ; The First Man (uncompleted manuscript, pub. 1960) Other References:  "This is a time for solidarity" by Sean Illing (Vox; Mar. 15, 2020) "What Camus's The Plague can teach us about the Covid-19 pandemic" by Sean Illing (Vox; Jul. 22, 2020) A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning by Robert Zaretsky (Harvard University Press; 2016) Lo straniero, dir. by Luchino Visconti (Italian film adaptation of Camus's The Stranger; 1967 - English-dubbed version) Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1755; a.k.a. Rousseau's "Second Discourse") The Gay Science, by Friedrich Nietzsche (1882; passage on eternal recurrence: Bk. IV, sec. 341) Albert Camus's "The Human Crisis" read by Viggo Mortensen, 70 years later (Columbia University Maison Française; 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 28, 2022
What happened to American conservatism?
3631
Vox’s Jamil Smith talks with Charlie Sykes — journalist, author, stalwart "never Trumper," and a founder and editor-at-large of The Bulwark. They talk about the Republican response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the attraction of some self-professed conservatives to Vladimir Putin, the efforts by Republican lawmakers to ban books and topics from schools, and the devolution of conservative values within the post-Trump GOP. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie), editor-at-large, The Bulwark References:  "Madison Cawthorn calls Ukraine government 'evil,' Zelenskyy 'a thug'" (WRAL.com; March 10) How The Right Lost Its Mind by Charles J. Sykes (St. Martins; 2017) "Florida's Ron DeSantis's CPAC speech champions pro-Covid policies" by Zeeshan Aleem (MSNBC Opinion; Feb. 25) "Trump-endorsed candidates struggling to raise money" by Josh Kraushaar (National Journal; Feb. 2) "Mitt Romney warns of 'extraordinary challenge' in preserving democracy" by Martin Pengelly (The Guardian; March 15) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Cristian Ayala Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 24, 2022
The limits of forgiveness
3144
Sean Illing talks with philosopher Lucy Allais about the nature, power, and limits of forgiveness. They talk about the role of forgiveness in the dissolution of apartheid in Allais's native South Africa, the distinction between forgiveness and punishment, and the prospect of using forgiveness as a political tool in order to move forward as a polarized democracy. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Lucy Allais, professor of philosophy, University of Witwatersrand and Johns Hopkins University References:  "Elective Forgiveness" by Lucy Allais (International Journal of Philosophical Studies, v. 21 (5); 2013) "Forgiveness and Mercy" by Lucy Allais (South African Journal of Philosophy, v. 27 (1); 2008) "Forgiveness and Meaning in Life" by Lucy Allais, in The Oxford Handbook of Meaning in Life, ed. Iddo Landau (Oxford University Press; 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Sofi LaLonde Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 21, 2022
The madness behind The Method
4106
Vox's Alissa Wilkinson talks with cultural critic and author Isaac Butler about his new book, The Method. They discuss the transformation that the craft of acting underwent, tracing its origins from Konstantin Stanislavski in post-revolution Russia, through Hollywood in the mid-twentieth century, up to today. They talk about some of the lesser-known influences and practices associated with The Method, evaluate some touchstone performances in the history of cinema, and speculate about what might happen at this year's Academy Awards. Host: Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie), film critic and senior culture reporter, Vox Guests: Isaac Butler (@parabasis), cultural critic, theater director, author References:  The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act by Isaac Butler (Bloomsbury; 2022) "Why the Oscars are so weird about real people roles" by Alissa Wilkinson (Vox; Feb. 22) "Remembering Hollywood's Hays Code, 40 Years On" by Bob Mondello (NPR; Aug. 8, 2008) United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. (334 U.S. 131; 1948) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 17, 2022
David Cross is disappointed in you guys
2971
Sean Illing talks with comedian David Cross, well-known for his decades-long stand-up career, as well as for his role on the cult hit TV show Arrested Development. They talk about the relationship between comedy and politics, whether comedy audiences are different than they used to be, what social media has done to us, and about his new special, I'm From the Future, which is available for streaming on David's website. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David Cross (@davidcrosss), comedian & actor References:  David's special, I'm From the Future (2022), is available for rental on officialdavidcross.com here. "David Cross on why his comedy tour pissed off people right and left" by Sean O'Neal (AV Club; Aug. 18, 2016) "Comedy's existential crisis" by Aja Romano (Vox; Feb. 8) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 14, 2022
Author Kiley Reid on why we read novels
2878
Vox's Constance Grady talks with Kiley Reid, author of the critically-acclaimed novel Such a Fun Age. In this episode, which is a recording of a live Vox Book Club event, they discuss what novels are really for, the ways that we all craft stories in our relationships and personal lives, and the nuanced ways in which Reid takes on race, class, and friendship in her engaging, fast-paced literary debut. Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox Guests: Kiley Reid (@kileyreid), author References:  Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (G.P. Putnam's Sons; 2019) "The smart political argument behind the satire Such a Fun Age" by Constance Grady (Vox; Nov. 19, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 10, 2022
The conversation about guns we're not having
3879
Sean Illing talks with firearms journalist Stephen Gutowski, founder of TheReload.com. They discuss the major barriers, principles, and blind spots on both sides of the largely stagnant national conversation on guns and gun control in the United States. The conversation touches on political, legal, and emotional arguments motivating both gun enthusiasts and gun opponents; the Dickey Amendment, and its effective twenty-year ban on federally-funded gun violence research, and whether or not guns are truly part of American identity. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski), firearms reporter and founder, TheReload.com References:  Global Firearms Holdings as of 2017 (Small Arms Survey; 2018) "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun" by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz (Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, v. 86 (1); 1995) "The Contradictions of the Kleck Study" (Virginia Center for Public Safety) "More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows" by Melinda Wenner (Scientific American; Oct. 1, 2017) "How The NRA Worked To Stifle Gun Violence Research" by Samantha Raphelson (NPR; Apr. 5, 2018) "The Dickey Amendment on Federal Funding for Research on Gun Violence: A Legal Dissection" by Allen Rostron (American Journal of Public Health, v. 108 (7); 2018) "Spending Bill Lets CDC Study Gun Violence; But Researchers Are Skeptical It Will Help" by Nell Greenfieldboyce (NPR; Mar. 23, 2018) District of Columbia v. Heller (U.S. Supreme Court, 554 US 570; 2008) "Gun rights are back at the Supreme Court for the first time in more than a decade" by Nina Totenberg (NPR; Nov. 3, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 07, 2022
Why does middle school suck?
3938
Hillary Frank, the creator of the podcasts The Longest Shortest Time and Here Lies Me, talks with journalist and author Judith Warner about middle school. They discuss the history of middle school in America and abroad, some of the formative social forces at play for middle schoolers, why the journey through middle school is akin to a kind of death, and why it is that children of this age — on the verge of adolescence — often act like such... jerks. Host: Hillary Frank (@hillaryfrank), podcast producer, author Guest: Judith Warner, author References:  And Then They Stopped Talking to Me: Making Sense of Middle School by Judith Warner (Crown; 2020, paperback, 2021) Here Lies Me podcast (written, produced, and directed by Hillary Frank; produced in collaboration with Lemonada Media) Weird Parenting Wins by Hillary Frank (TarcherPerigree; 2019) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 03, 2022
Russia's war with Ukraine — and reality
2356
Sean Illing talks with journalist, author, and Russian disinformation scholar Peter Pomerantsev about the invasion of Ukraine. Recorded on Friday, Feb. 25th, they discuss the current state of the conflict, whether or not the warped rationales for Putin's invasion are actually convincing to the Russian people, and what sanctions might possibly make a lasting difference for the future of both Russia and Ukraine. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Peter Pomerantsev (@peterpomeranzev), author; Senior Fellow, Agora Institute, Johns Hopkins University References:  This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev (Public Affairs; 2019) Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia by Peter Pomerantsev (Public Affairs; 2014) "Vladimir Putin: What's going on inside his head?" by Peter Pomerantsev (The Guardian; Feb. 26) "The Russian roots of our misinformation problem" by Sean Illing, in conversation with Peter Pomerantsev (Vox; Oct. 26, 2020) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 28, 2022
Robert Glasper on why Black Radio is back
3438
Vox’s Jamil Smith talks with musician Robert Glasper, four-time Grammy-winner, about the release of his new album Black Radio III. They discuss Glasper's distinctive genre-defying sound, his unique gift for musical collaboration, and how he blends elements of R&B, gospel, and rock to create music that might irk some members of the "jazz police." Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Robert Glasper (@robertglasper), musician References:  Robert Glasper's Black Radio III (available everywhere Feb. 25) Robert Glasper, "The Worst" (Jhené Aiko) Tour dates and more at robertglasper.com Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Efim Shapiro Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 24, 2022
Could we lose delicious foods forever?
3969
Vox's Benji Jones talks with food journalist and author Dan Saladino, whose new book Eating to Extinction documents rare foods and food cultures from around the world, showing how they are being affected by climate change, globalization, and industrial agricultural practices. Dan shares many incredible stories from his travels and reporting, including the last known garden growing a unique soybean, a 16-foot high corn that produces its own fertilizer, and a complex symbiosis between man, bird, and bee in remote Tanzania. Host: Benji Jones (@BenjiSJones), Environmental reporter, Vox Guest: Dan Saladino (@DanSaladinoUK), food journalist & author References:  Eating to Extinction: The World's Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them by Dan Saladino (FSG; 2022) The Food Programme (BBC Radio 4; also on Apple Podcasts) The Ark of Taste (Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity) "The Corn of the Future Is Hundreds of Years Old and Makes Its Own Mucus" by Jason Daley (Smithsonian; Aug. 10, 2018) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 17, 2022
What Don't Look Up is really about
3704
Sean Illing talks with David Sirota, the journalist turned Oscar-nominated co-writer (with director Adam McKay) of the film Don't Look Up. They talk about the movie and how it was originally received, who the truest targets of the film's critique were, and what the movie has to say about how we can actually solve the monumental problems that we face as a society. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David Sirota (@davidsirota), co-writer (with Adam McKay), Don't Look Up; journalist and founder, The Daily Poster References:  Don't Look Up, dir. by Adam McKay (Netflix; 2021) "Four ways of knowing the meta-crisis" by Jonathan Rowson (Perspectiva/YouTube; Jan. 25) Meltdown, a podcast narrative by David Sirota; produced by Jigsaw Productions & Transmitter Media (Audible; 2021) The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington by David Sirota (Crown; 2008) "Steve Bannon on How 2008 Planted the Seed for the Trump Presidency" by Noah Kulwin (New York; Aug. 10, 2018) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 14, 2022
Democracy in crisis, part 2: The two-party problem
3519
Just how worried should we be about the future of American democracy? This is the question at the center of a two-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp. For part two, Zack talks with political scientist Lee Drutman, author of Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop. They discuss the history of the two-party system in American politics, and examine a number of possible structural reforms that could work to get the U.S. out of the morass it's in, looking to several other countries' democracies for inspiration. And, if you missed it, check out part one in this series, a lively debate between Zack and the New York Times's Ross Douthat, on just how close we are to political violence, authoritarianism, and democratic breakdown. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Lee Drutman (@leedrutman), senior fellow, New America References:  "How does this end?" by Zack Beauchamp (Vox; Jan. 3) Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America (Oxford; 2020) "Democracy in America? Partisanship, Polarization, and the Robustness of Support for Democracy in the United States" by Matthew H. Graham and Milan W. Svolik (American Political Science Review, 114 (2); May 2020) "One way to reform the House of Representatives? Expand it" by Lee Drutman and Yuval Levin (Washington Post; Dec. 9, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 10, 2022
Why we can't pay attention anymore
3895
Sean Illing talks with the author Johann Hari about his new book Stolen Focus, which explores what's happening — and what's already happened — to our attention. They discuss how exactly Big Tech "stole" our ability to focus, what many leading scientists say about how we are psychologically and physiologically changed by the powerful new draws on our attention, and whether or not we need an "attention rebellion" to fight back against the tech giants, whose business models depend on us getting easily distracted. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Johann Hari (@johannhari101), author References:  Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention — and How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari (Crown; 2022) Companion site with audio excerpts from interviews with experts and additional endnotes: stolenfocusbook.com Getting Ahead of ADHD by Joel T. Nigg (Guilford; 2017) "Capitalism is turning us into addicts" by Sean Illing, interviewing David T, Courtwright (Vox; Apr. 18, 2020) Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan (1964) "Enhancing attention through training" by Michael Posner, et al. (Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences (4); 2015) "Facebook and texting made me do it: Media-induced task-switching while studying" by Larry Rosen, et al. (Computers in Human Behavior, 29 (3); 2013) "Accelerating dynamics of collective attention" by Sune Lehmann, et al. (Nature Communications; 2019) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 07, 2022
Democracy in crisis, part 1: Ross Douthat isn't too worried
3967
Just how worried should we be about the future of American democracy? This is the question at the center of a two-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp. For part one, Zack talks with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat about whether or not we'll soon see an increase in violent political conflict in the United States. They discuss the role of bellicose fringe groups in politics today, whether or not a recent spate of restrictive voting laws constitute creeping authoritarianism, and the prospects that we'll see future attempts to subvert elections modeled on Trump's efforts in 2020 — or even going further. Be sure to catch part two in this series, on breaking the two-party system in America and other possible democracy reforms, coming Thursday, Feb. 10th. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT), Opinion Columnist, New York Times References:  "How does this end?" by Zack Beauchamp (Vox; Jan. 3) "Let's Not Invent a Civil War" by Ross Douthat (New York Times; Jan. 12) How Civil Wars Start by Barbara F. Walter (Crown; 2022) "A Threat to Our Democracy: Election Subversion in the 2021 Legislative Session," Voting Rights Lab report (Sept. 29, 2021) "Republican Party moves to replace GOP board member who voted to certify Michigan election" by Paul Egan (Detroit Free Press; Jan. 18, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 03, 2022
Pod Save the Democrats
3641
Sean Illing talks with Dan Pfeiffer, former senior advisor to President Obama and co-host of the Pod Save America podcast, about what is wrong with the Democratic Party's brand right now. They discuss what Dan calls the "Democratic messaging deficit," as well as whether the Democrats' stated values are in line with their efforts while in control of the Congress and White House, and what the Dems are really in store for in the midterm elections later this year — and beyond. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer), co-host, Pod Save America from Crooked Media; former senior advisor to President Obama References:  "U.S. Political Party Preferences Shifted Greatly During 2021" by Jeffrey M. Jones (Gallup; Jan. 17) "Qualitative Research Findings - Virginia Post-Election Research" by Brian Striker and Oren Savir (ARG Research; Nov. 15, 2021) "Sununu says he skipped Senate bid to avoid being 'roadblock' to Biden for two years" by Lexi Lonas (The Hill; Jan. 18) "How the Media's Addiction to Bad News Hurts Dems" by Dan Pfeiffer (The Message Box; Jan. 3) "The most common words in Hillary Clinton's speeches, in one chart" by David Roberts (Vox; Dec. 16, 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 31, 2022
A Yellowjackets creator spills his guts
2684
Vox's Constance Grady talks with Bart Nickerson, the co-creator of new TV show Yellowjackets, which airs on Showtime. Yellowjackets follows a girls' soccer team, stranded in the Canadian wilderness in 1996 as teenagers — and also the present-day middle-aged women that some of the survivors become. Bart and Constance discuss the role of trauma on television, the process of crafting characters across two timelines, and why the struggle for survival (and cannibalism) fits a story about adolescence. Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox Guests: Bart Nickerson, co-creator (with Ashley Lyle) of Yellowjackets on Showtime References:  "The Case Against the Trauma Plot" by Parul Sehgal (New Yorker; Dec. 27, 2021) "Too many movies right now are 'about trauma.' The Matrix Resurrections actually does the work," by Emily VanDerWerff (Vox; Dec. 24, 2021) "Yellowjackets is prestige Pretty Little Liars. Hear me out," by Constance Grady (Vox; Jan. 7) "Yellowjackets brilliantly mixes teen angst, cannibalism, and midlife crises — with major Lost vibes" by Emily VanDerWerff (Vox; Nov. 12, 2021) "The slippery genius of the Cinderella story" by Constance Grady (Vox; June 5, 2019) "'Yellowjackets' Leans In to Savagery" by Alexis Soloski (New York Times; Nov. 12, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 27, 2022
A scientist's case for "woo-woo"
3634
Sean Illing talks with David Hamilton, a scientist and former research chemist turned author, about his new book Why Woo-Woo Works, in which he offers a scientifically-grounded defense of alternative practices like meditation, crystals, and the law of attraction. They discuss the placebo effect and its far-reaching consequences for our understanding of the mind-body connection, the therapeutic potential of positive thinking, and why so much of what is called "woo-woo" still lies mostly outside the bounds of conventional Western medicine. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Dr. David R. Hamilton (@DrDRHamilton), author References:  Why Woo-Woo Works: The Surprising Science Behind Meditation, Reiki, Crystals, and Other Alternative Practices by David R. Hamilton, PhD (Hay House; 2021) The Magic Power of Your Mind by Walter M. Germain (1940) "The mechanism of placebo analgesia" by J.D. Levine, N.C. Gordon, H.L. Fields (Lancet; Sept. 1978) How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body by David R. Hamilton, PhD (Hay House; 2018) The British Society of Lifestyle Medicine "Effects of Colorants and Flavorants on Identification, Perceived Flavor Intensity, and Hedonic Quality of Fruit-Flavored Beverages and Cake" by C.N. DuBose, A.V. Cardello, O. Maller (Journal of Food Science 45; 1980) "Writing About Emotional Experiences as a Therapeutic Process" by James W. Pennebaker (Psychological Science; 1997) "Psychology's Replication Crisis Is Running Out of Excuses" by Ed Yong (Atlantic; Nov. 19, 2018) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 24, 2022
Imagine a future with no police
3928
Vox's Fabiola Cineas talks with author, lawyer, and organizer Derecka Purnell about her recent book Becoming Abolitionists. They discuss Derecka's journey to defending the idea of police abolition, and what that position really entails. They explore questions about the historical and social role of policing in society, how to imagine a future where we radically rethink our system of criminal justice, and how we can acknowledge and incorporate current data about crime—while still rethinking our inherited assumptions about police. Host: Fabiola Cineas (@FabiolaCineas), reporter, Vox Guests: Derecka Purnell (@dereckapurnell), author References:  Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom by Derecka Purnell (Astra House; 2021) The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution by C.L.R. James (Vintage; 1989) Black Reconstruction in America 1860–1880 by W.E.B. Du Bois (1935) "One American city's model of policing reform means building 'social currency'" by Nathan Layne (June 12, 2020; Reuters) "The Camden Police Department is Not a Model for Policing in the Post-George Floyd Era" by Brendan McQuade (June 12, 2020; The Appeal) "Murder Rose by Almost 30% in 2020. It's Rising at a Slower Rate in 2021" by Jeff Asher (Sept. 22, 2021; New York Times) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 20, 2022
Novelist Lauren Groff on the other Matrix
2866
Vox's Constance Grady talks with novelist Lauren Groff about her latest book, the National Book Award finalist Matrix, before a virtual audience for the Vox Book Club. They discuss the enigmatic historical figure at the center of the novel, the politics of women-led power structures, and the pros and cons of writing a good sex scene. Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox Guests: Lauren Groff (@legroff), author References:  Matrix by Lauren Groff (2021; Riverhead) "In Lauren Groff's Matrix, medieval nuns build a feminist utopia" by Constance Grady (Oct. 15, 2021; Vox) Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (2016; Riverhead) The Lays of Marie de France (tr. Eugene Mason) Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman (2019; Norton) Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore (2014; Vintage) Arcadia by Lauren Groff (2012; Voice) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 13, 2022
Are we living in a simulation?
4112
Sean Illing talks with philosopher David Chalmers about virtual worlds and the nature of reality, and other topics that stem from Chalmers's new book Reality+. In this far-reaching discussion, Sean and Prof. Chalmers get into the makeup of human consciousness, the question of whether we're living in a computer simulation, and — of course — The Matrix. Are digital worlds genuine realities, or will their proliferation lead to a troublesome turning away from the physical world? Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David Chalmers, University Professor of Philosophy and Neural Science, NYU; co-director, Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness References:  Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy by David J. Chalmers (Norton; 2022) Meditations on First Philosophy by René Descartes (1641) "Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?" by Nick Bostrom (Philosophical Quarterly vol. 53 (211); 2003) The Matrix (1999), dir. by The Wachowskis; The Matrix Resurrections (2021), dir. by Lana Wachowski Free Guy (2021), dir. by Shawn Levy Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992) Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick (1974) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 10, 2022
Rep. Jamie Raskin on living through the unthinkable, twice
3470
Vox's Dylan Matthews talks with Congressman Jamie Raskin about the tragic loss of his son Tommy, who was twenty-five years old when he died at the end of 2020. Rep. Raskin also speaks about the insurrection on January 6th, 2021, and his role as floor manager for Trump's second impeachment trial. They discuss the passions that Tommy cultivated and shared with the world, the experience of being in the Capitol as it was stormed by rioters, and the ongoing work of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. Host: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin), U.S. Representative (D-MD, 8th District); author References:  Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy by Jamie Raskin (Harper; 2022) “Politics as a Vocation,” Max Weber (1919) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 06, 2022
Best of: Why fascism in America isn't going away
2973
Vox's Sean Illing talks to Yale professor and author Jason Stanley about why American democracy provides such fertile soil for fascism, how Donald Trump demonstrated how easy it was for our country to flirt with a fascist future and what we can do about it. Correction (2/1/21): Professor Stanley suggested in this conversation that West Virginia declined to expand the Medicaid option in 2013. In fact, the state did expand the program and has gradually added enrollment since 2013. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Jason Stanley (@jasonintrator), Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy, Yale University; author References:  How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them by Jason Stanley (Random House; 2018) How Propaganda Works by Jason Stanley (Princeton; 2015) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 03, 2022
Best of: Clint Smith III on confronting the legacy of slavery
3702
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with author Clint Smith III about his book How the Word Is Passed, which documents the writer's personal journey visiting sites that embody the legacy of American slavery. They discuss the power of this re-confrontation, how to bridge the gaps in education and awareness of America's past, and the experience of Black writers in a nation that is "a web of contradictions." Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Clint Smith III (@ClintSmithIII), Staff writer, The Atlantic References:  How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith (Little, Brown; 2021) "Why Confederate Lies Live On" by Clint Smith (The Atlantic; May 10) "The lost neighborhood under New York's Central Park" by Ranjani Chakraborty (Vox; Jan. 20, 2020) "The Statue of Liberty was created to celebrate freed slaves, not immigrants, its new museum recounts" by Gillian Brockell (Washington Post; May 23, 2019) "No, the Civil War didn't erase slavery's harm" by W. Caleb McDaniel (Houston Chronicle; July 12, 2019) Nikole Hannah-Jones Issues Statement on Decision to Decline Tenure Offer at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and to Accept Knight Chair Appointment at Howard University (NAACP Legal Defense Fund; July 6) Crash Course: Black American History, hosted by Clint Smith Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 30, 2021
Best of: We need to talk about UFOs. Seriously.
3809
Vox's Sean Illing talks with international politics professor and amateur ufologist Alex Wendt about why it's time to start thinking more seriously about the earth-shattering implications of discovering extraterrestrial life. They discuss the taboos against serious scientific inquiry into extraterrestrial existence, the US military's official UFO report and the inexplicable videos released by the Pentagon, and what the possible explanations might be for what's been seen. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Alexander Wendt, Professor of International Security and Political Science, The Ohio State University References:  "The Pentagon Released U.F.O. Videos. Don't Hold Your Breath for a Breakthrough" by Alan Yuhas (New York Times; June 3) "Sovereignty and the UFO" by Alexander Wendt and Raymond Duvall (Political Theory; 2008) "Wanted: A Science of UFOs" (TEDx Columbus; February 2020) The Pentagon UFO Report: "Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (June 25) "Experts Weigh In on Pentagon UFO Report" by Leonard David (Scientific American; June 8) "The Unexplained Phenomena of the U.F.O. Report" by Gideon Lewis-Kraus (The New Yorker; June 26) "Those amazing Navy UFO videos may have down-to-earth explanations, skeptics contend" by Andrew Dyer (San Diego Union-Tribune; May 29) Friedrich Nietzsche, Will to Power, Book One (1885-1886) Update: "DoD Announces the Establishment of the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG)" (Nov. 23) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 27, 2021
Chris Bosh on winning (and losing everything)
3531
Vox’s Jamil Smith talks with NBA legend Chris Bosh about his basketball career, his youth, and his legacy. They discuss Bosh’s transition to the NBA, his role on the controversial Miami Heat teams that won two championships (and lost two), and the psychological toll of the injuries that later sidelined him, leading to his retirement. Bosh reflects candidly on his hopes for post-basketball life, and his new book, Letters to a Young Athlete. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh), two-time NBA champion, eleven-time NBA all-star, National Basketball Hall-of-Famer; author References:  Letters to a Young Athlete by Chris Bosh (Penguin; 2021) Chris Bosh's Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech (NBA; Sept. 11) "Chris Bosh owned the Hall of Fame stage with a master class in closure" by Ben Golliver (Washington Post; Sept. 13) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 23, 2021
The cult of toughness
4019
Sean Illing talks with political commentator and author David French about modern conservatism and masculinity. They discuss the divergence between the Right's view of masculinity and what they fear the Left's view is, how Trump and politicians in his image have changed the conception of manliness within the GOP, and what the continued glorification of these revised ideals will mean for our political future in America. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David French (@DavidAFrench), senior editor, The Dispatch; contributing writer, The Atlantic References:  "The New Right's Strange and Dangerous Cult of Toughness" by David French (Atlantic; Dec. 1) American Sniper, dir. Clint Eastwood (2014) American Psychological Association, Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men (2018) Senator Hawley Delivers National Conservatism Keynote on the Left's Attack on Men in America "Madison Cawthorn: Society 'De-masculates' Men, Parents Should Raise Sons to Be Monsters" by Daniel Villarreal (Newsweek, Oct. 18) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 20, 2021
Is ethical investing a scam?
3458
Vox's Emily Stewart talks with Tariq Fancy about whether or not "socially responsible investment" is a scam. Fancy is a former executive who led sustainable investing at BlackRock, one of the world's largest asset management firms. The two discuss why these investment vehicles were developed and promoted, the failure of corporations to voluntarily self-regulate, and the need for government action to actually address the issues that ESG funds claim to be taking on. Host: Emily Stewart (@EmilyStewartM), Senior reporter, Vox Guest: Tariq Fancy (@sosofancy), founder & CEO, Rumie Initiative; former CIO for sustainable investing, BlackRock References:  "The thorny truth about socially responsible investing" by Emily Stewart (Vox; Oct. 10) "Blackrock's former sustainable investing chief now thinks ESG is a 'dangerous placebo'" by Silvia Amaro (CNBC; Aug. 24) "BlackRock's Message: Contribute to Society, or Risk Losing Our Support" by Andrew Ross Sorkin (New York Times; Jan. 15, 2018) "Harvard Will Move to Divest its Endowment from Fossil Fuels" by Jasper G. Goodman and Kelsey J. Griffin (The Crimson; Sept. 10) "The Illusory Promise of Stakeholder Governance" by Lucian A. Bebchuk and Roberto Tallarita (Cornell Law Review; Dec. 2020) "In His Final Shareholder Letter, Jeff Bezos Explains a Profoundly Simple Lesson Most Leaders Overlook" by Jason Aten (Inc.; Apr. 16) "Little Engine No. 1 beat Exxon with just $12.5 million" by Svea Herbst-Bayliss (Reuters; June 29) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 16, 2021
The good life is painful
3320
Sean Illing talks with psychologist Paul Bloom about his new book The Sweet Spot, and whether it's necessary to experience suffering in order to live a fulfilling, meaningful life. They discuss the rich philosophical history of the question: what does it mean to be happy? They also talk about why some people are drawn to scary movies, whether or not to plug in to the Matrix, and why a good paradigm for a well-lived life might be found in the example of... a stand-up comedian. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Paul Bloom (@paulbloomatyale), psychologist; author References:  The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning by Paul Bloom (Ecco; 2021) The Twilight Zone, season 1, episode 28: "A Nice Place to Visit" (1960) "Masochism as escape from self" by Roy Baumeister (Journal of Sex Research, 25 (1); 1988) Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick (Basic Books; 1974); an excerpt on the "experience machine" "If you like it, does it matter if it's real?" by Felipe de Brigard (Philosophical Psychology, 23 (1); 2010) "High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being" by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton (PNAS; 2010) Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Harper Perennial Modern Classics; 1990) "What Becoming a Parent Really Does to Your Happiness" by Paul Bloom (Atlantic; Nov. 2) "A psychologically rich Life: Beyond happiness and meaning" by Shigehiro Oishi and Erin C. Westgate (Psychological Review; 2021) "Happiness: The Three Traditional Theories" by Martin E.P. Seligman and Ed Royzman (2003) Trying Not to Try: Ancient China, Modern Science, and the Power of Spontaneity by Edward Slingerland (Crown; 2015) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 13, 2021
The father of environmental justice
3051
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with Dr, Robert Bullard, a pioneer in the crusade for environmental justice, about his more than four decades in the fight. They discuss how the movement to recognize environmental civil rights began, overcame some of its early opposition, and the landmark legal case that established a constitutional protection against racist environmental policies and practices. Bullard, a member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, also discusses how the Biden administration plans to address disproportionately affected communities. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Robert Bullard (@DrBobBullard), co-chair, National Black Environmental Justice Network; professor, Texas Southern University References:  "Another Reason We Can't Breathe" by Jamil Smith (Rolling Stone; Oct. 27, 2020) The 17 Principles of Environmental Justice (adopted by the NBEJN on Oct. 27, 1991) "Environmental Racism: Recognition, Litigation, and Alleviation" by Pamela Duncan (Tulane Environmental Law Journal, vol. 6, no. 2; 1993) Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality by Robert Bullard (Routledge; 1990) "One reason why coronavirus is hitting Black Americans the hardest" by Ranjani Chakraborty (Vox; May 22, 2020) "There's a clear fix to helping Black communities fight pollution" by Rachel Ramirez (Vox; Feb. 26) "The Path to Achieving Justice 40" by Shalanda Young, Brenda Mallory, and Gina McCarthy (White House; July 20) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 09, 2021
Jill Lepore on Elon Musk's imaginary world
3805
Sean Illing talks with historian Jill Lepore about her new podcast: The Evening Rocket explores Elon Musk and the new form of extravagant, extreme capitalism — which Lepore dubs "Muskism" — that he has ushered in. They discuss the formative role played by science fiction stories, why the super-wealthy are drawn to space travel, and why, according to Lepore, Elon Musk is not much of a futurist after all. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Jill Lepore, podcast host; professor, Harvard University References:  Elon Musk: The Evening Rocket by Jill Lepore (Pushkin/BBC; Nov. 2021) Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, dir. Werner Herzog (2016) The Mars Trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars) by Kim Stanley Robinson (Del Ray; 1992, 1993, 1996; re-issue 2021) Technocracy Digest issues on the Internet Archive "Science Fiction and Mrs. Brown" by Ursula K. Le Guin (1976) Elon Musk on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (Sept. 10, 2015) Elon Musk's Neuralink demonstration (Aug. 28, 2020) "Newt Gingrich trying to sell Trump on a cheap moon plan" by Bryan Bender (Politico; Aug. 19, 2019) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 06, 2021
E.O. Wilson's plan to save the world
3416
Vox's Benji Jones talks with the celebrated entomologist, biologist, and naturalist E.O. Wilson. They talk about Wilson's sixty-plus years as a leading thinker in his field, how his expeditions studying ant species around the world informed his understanding of human beings, and how his discoveries and ideas have mainstreamed the idea of biodiversity and inspired bold new conservation movements. Host: Benji Jones (@BenjiSJones), Environmental reporter, Vox Guest: E.O. Wilson, author; professor emeritus, Harvard University; chair, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation (@EOWilsonFndtn) References:  Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson (Harvard; 1975) "What 'extinction' really means — and what it leaves out" by Benji Jones (Vox; Sept. 30) "The case against the concept of biodiversity" by Clare Fieseler (Vox; Aug. 5) The Theory of Island Biogeography by Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson (Princeton; 1967) Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life by Edward O. Wilson (Liveright; 2017) The Half-Earth Project Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 02, 2021
Workers of the world, stay home!
3772
Sean Illing talks with Anne Helen Petersen and her partner Charlie Warzel about their new book, Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home. They talk about a new model of remote work, why Americans have a problematic relationship with work, and how to move toward a rational future (as opposed to a national emergency) of working from home. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guests: Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen) & Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel), authors References:  Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home by Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen (Knopf; Dec. 7, 2021) "How millennials became the burnout generation" by Sean Illing, in conversation with Anne Helen Petersen (Vox; Dec. 3, 2020) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 29, 2021
How progressives get back in the game
3788
Sean Illing talks with Briahna Joy Gray, the former national press secretary for the Bernie Sanders 2020 Presidential campaign, and current host of the Bad Faith podcast. They discuss the practical challenges facing the Left in the Biden era, untangle the ways in which race and class affect electoral outcomes and should influence messaging strategies, and assess the state of the ongoing effort for a platform of robust, material economic changes. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy), Host, Bad Faith podcast References:  "Looking for Obama's hidden hand in candidates coalescing around Biden" by Carol E. Lee, Kristen Welker, Josh Lederman and Amanda Golden (NBC News; Mar. 2, 2020) "'Accelerate the Endgame': Obama's Role in Wrapping Up the Primary" by Glenn Thrush (New York Times; Apr. 14, 2020) "Race and Realignments In Recent American Elections" by Michael Barber and Jeremy C. Pope (working paper; Nov. 8) "Commonsense Solidarity: How a working-class coalition can be built, and maintained" by Jared Abbott, Leanne Fan, et al. (Jacobin & Center for Working-Class Politics; Nov. 2021) Bad Faith, ep. 117: "Are Progressive Policies Really Popular? w/ Matt Bruenig, Eric Levitz, & Osita Nwanevu" (YouTube; Oct. 22) "A Problem for Kamala Harris: Can a Prosecutor Become President in the Age of Black Lives Matter?" by Briahna Joy Gray (The Intercept; Jan. 20, 2019) "How Barack Obama helped convince NBA players to end their strike and return to play" by Ricky O'Donnell (SB Nation; Aug. 29, 2020) White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon; 2020) Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin (Melville House; 2017) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 22, 2021
The highs and lows of the "creator economy"
2971
Vox's Rebecca Jennings talks with Taylor Lorenz, tech culture reporter for the New York Times, about the creator economy: what it is, who's in it, and why more people are paying attention to it. They also talk about the hidden toll of running your own individual media company, the elusive term "cheugy," and the perils of reporting on internet culture and becoming (as Taylor occasionally has) part of the story. Host: Rebecca Jennings (@rebexxxxa), senior correspondent, Vox Guest: Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz), technology reporter, New York Times References:  "For Creators, Everything Is for Sale" by Taylor Lorenz (New York Times; Mar. 11) "The sexfluencers" by Rebecca Jennings (Vox; Oct. 28) "my boss is an app and I owe it money" by @prophethusband (Mar. 23, 2018) "The D'Amelio kids are not all right" by Rebecca Jennings (Vox; Sept. 14) Chasing Cameron dir. Brandon Ayres (Netflix; 2016) "NFTs Weren't Supposed to End Like This" by Anil Dash (The Atlantic; Apr. 2) "What Is 'Cheugy'? You Know It When You See It" by Taylor Lorenz (New York Times; May 3) "What is cheugy? Here are 10 ways to know if you fit the description" by Alexander Kacala and Miah Hardy (The Today Show; May 6) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 18, 2021
Why Chris Hayes thinks we're all famous now
3630
Sean Illing talks with Chris Hayes, author, commentator, and host of All In With Chris Hayes on MSNBC. They discuss his recent essay in the New Yorker about fame and the internet, why we seek attention from strangers online, and how some German philosophers might offer guidance for our predicament. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes), host, All In With Chris Hayes on MSNBC References:  "On the Internet, We're Always Famous" by Chris Hayes (New Yorker; Sept. 24) “We Should All Know Less About Each Other” by Michelle Goldberg (New York Times; Nov. 1) Plato, Phaedrus (c. 370 BCE) Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman (Penguin; 2005) G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the "Phenomenology of Spirit" by Alexandre Kojève (1947; tr. 1969) The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu (Vintage; 2017) Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment by Robert Wright (Simon & Schuster; 2018) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 15, 2021
The stories soul food tells
3079
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with Caroline Randall Williams, academic, poet, and co-author (with her mother, Alice Randall) of Soul Food Love. They discuss the ways in which the African American culinary tradition is interpreted, how to tell stories through cooking, and why what we cook and eat is inextricably bound up with who we are. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Caroline Randall Williams (@caroranwill), author; writer-in-residence of Medicine, Health, and Society, Vanderbilt University References:  "You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument" by Caroline Randall Williams (New York Times; June 26, 2020) Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams (Clarkson Potter; 2015) High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, dir. by Roger Ross Williams, Yoruba Richen, and Jonathan Clasberry (Netflix; 2021) "Race, Ethnicity, Expressive Authenticity: Can White People Sing the Blues?" by Joel Rudinow (Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 52 (1); 1994) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 11, 2021
The paradox of American freedom
3443
Sean Illing talks with Sebastian Junger, journalist, filmmaker, and author of the recent book Freedom. Informed by his experience hiking (and trespassing) along America's rail lines, Junger discusses the paradoxes of a "free" society, his recent near-death experience, and how the definition of freedom can change over the course of a life. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Sebastian Junger (@sebastianjunger), author & filmmaker References:  Freedom by Sebastian Junger (Simon & Schuster; 2021) The Last Patrol dir. Sebastian Junger (HBO Films; 2014) Our Political Nature: Two Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us by Avi Tuschman (Rowman & Littlefield; 2013) Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger (Twelve; 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 08, 2021
Nonbinary parenthood
3651
Anna North talks with Krys Malcolm Belc, nonbinary transmasculine parent, essayist, and author of the memoir The Natural Mother of the Child. They talk about what it means to be a parent, our gendered assumptions about parenthood, and the dynamics of gender identity in having and raising children. Host: Anna North (@annanorthtweets), Senior Reporter, Vox Guest: Krys Malcolm Belc (@krysmalcolmbelc), author References:  The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood by Krys Malcolm Belc (Counterpoint; 2021) “A Few Words About Breasts” by Nora Ephron (Esquire; May 1972) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 04, 2021
John McWhorter, the anti-antiracist
3992
Sean Illing talks with John McWhorter, linguist, New York Times columnist, and author of Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America. They talk about the effects of modern antiracism, why McWhorter compares it to a religion, and the societal implications of the way we talk — and don't talk — about racism. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: John McWhorter (@JohnHMcWhorter), author References:  Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America by John McWhorter (Portfolio; 2021) How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (One World; 2019) White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon; 2020) “What Hope?” by John McWhorter (New Republic; Aug. 10, 2010), a review of Race, Wrongs, and Remedies by Amy Wax (Rowman & Littlefield; 2009) “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic; June 2014) The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks by Randall Robinson (Plume; 2001) “Alison Roman and Chrissy Teigen’s feud is about more than selling out” by Alex Abad-Santos (Vox; May 11, 2020) “Professor Not Teaching After Blackface ‘Othello’ Showing" by Colleen Flaherty (Inside Higher Ed; Oct. 11) “The Middle-Aged Sadness Behind the Cancel Culture Panic” by Michelle Goldberg (New York Times; Sept. 20) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 01, 2021
The overwhelming, invisible work of elder care
3801
Vox culture contributor Anne Helen Petersen talks with Liz O'Donnell, an advocate for working caregivers and the author of Working Daughter: A Guide to Caring for Your Aging Parents While Making a Living. They talk about the emotional and financial costs of elder care in America, how the burden disproportionately falls on women, and what everyone should know before taking on a caregiving role. Host: Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen), culture contributor, Vox Guest: Liz O'Donnell (@LizODTweets), founder, Working Daughter References:  "The staggering, invisible, exhausting costs of caring for America's elderly" by Anne Helen Petersen (Vox; Aug. 26) Working Daughter: A Guide to Caring for Your Aging Parents While Making a Living by Liz O'Donnell (Rowman & Littlefield; 2019) The Working Daughter Facebook group National Domestic Workers Alliance Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 28, 2021
How Big Tech benefits from the disinformation panic
3503
Sean Illing talks with Joe Bernstein of BuzzFeed News about online disinformation and what — if anything — can be done about it. They discuss the role of tech giants in the spread of propaganda, why it's been impossible for researchers to agree on what disinformation even is, and how the nature of both mass media and democracy means that disinformation is here to stay. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Joe Bernstein (@Bernstein), Senior Reporter, BuzzFeed News References:  "Bad News: Selling the story of disinformation" by Joseph Bernstein (Harper's; Sept. 2021) "Civil Society Must Be Defended: Misinformation, Moral Panics, and Wars of Restoration" by Jack Bratich (Communication, Culture & Critique 13 (3); Sept. 2020) "The Priest in Politics: Father Charles E. Coughlin and the Presidential Election of 1936" by Philip A. Grant Jr. (Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia 101 (1); 1990) "Lying in Politics: Reflections on The Pentagon Papers" by Hannah Arendt (NYRB; Nov. 18, 1971) Subprime Attention Crisis: Advertising and the Time Bomb at the Heart of the Internet by Tim Hwang (FSG Originals; 2020) "Does Instagram Harm Girls? No One Actually Knows" by Laurence Steinberg (New York Times; Oct. 10) The Radio Right: How a Band of Broadcasters Took on the Federal Government and Built the Modern Conservative Movement by Paul Matzko (Oxford; 2020) "What's so bad about scientism?" by Moti Mizrahi (Social Epistemology 31 (4); 2017) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 25, 2021
Fannie Lou Hamer and the meaning of freedom
3574
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with Keisha Blain, associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh and author of Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America. They discuss the legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper-turned-civil-rights-activist, whose speech about voting rights at the 1964 Democratic National Convention changed how the Democratic Party viewed Black activism. They talk about how Hamer's ideas influence movements for human rights and racial equity today. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Keisha Blain (@KeishaBlain), author; professor of history, University of Pittsburgh References:  Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America by Keisha Blain (Beacon Press; 2021) Fannie Lou Hamer's speech at the DNC (August 22, 1964) American Experience: Freedom Summer (dir. Stanley Nelson. PBS; 2014) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 21, 2021
What the internet took from us
3519
Sean Illing talks with writer and New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul about her book 100 Things We've Lost to the Internet and the ways, big and small, that the internet has changed our lives. They talk about the complicated relationship between change, innovation and loss, and how to understand who we are and who we've become in a world where we're never truly offline. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Pamela Paul (@PamelaPaulNYT), author and editor References:  100 Things We've Lost to the Internet by Pamela Paul (Penguin Random House; 2021) Pornified: How Pornography Is Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families by Pamela Paul (St. Martin's Griffin; 2006) "Let Children Get Bored Again" by Pamela Paul (New York Times; Feb. 2, 2019) "For Teen Girls, Instagram Is a Cesspool" by Lindsay Crouse (New York Times; Oct. 8) "The Moral Panic Engulfing Instagram" by Farhad Manjoo (New York Times; Oct. 13) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 18, 2021
Trapped inside with Susanna Clarke's Piranesi
2956
Vox's Constance Grady talks with novelist Susanna Clarke about her latest book, Piranesi, before a virtual audience for the Vox Book Club. They discuss how Clarke's novel engages with themes that have come to characterize the pandemic experience, such as solitude, confinement, and isolation from society. They explore the idea of being forced to step away from the world. and what we lose — and gain — when we do. Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox Guests: Susanna Clarke, novelist References:  Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury; 2021) Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke (Tor; 2006) "The meditative empathy of Susanna Clarke's Piranesi" by Constance Grady (Vox; Sept. 17) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 14, 2021
Bryan Stevenson on the legacy of enslavement
3780
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with attorney, author, and activist Bryan Stevenson about the newly expanded Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. They discuss the museum's project to connect America's history of enslavement with the contemporary realities of voter suppression, police brutality, and mass incarceration. They also talk about the museum's relationship to Stevenson's work with the Equal Justice Initiative, and legal advocacy on behalf of the wrongfully convicted. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director, Equal Justice Initiative References:  The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration (400 N. Court Street, Montgomery, Alabama) The National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Montgomery, Alabama) Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (Penguin Random House; 2015) "Images of Border Patrol's Treatment of Haitian Migrants Prompt Outrage" by Eileen Sullivan and Zolan Kanno-Youngs (New York Times; Sept. 21) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 07, 2021
What's your status?
3443
Sean Illing talks with writer Will Storr about his new book The Status Game, and its central idea: all human beings are constantly competing for status. They discuss how certain aspects of society "supercharge" our innate drive for status, how social media has hijacked these impulses, and the risks posed by the status game's most dangerous players. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Will Storr (@wstorr), author and journalist References:  The Status Game: On Social Position and How We Use It by Will Storr (Harper Collins UK; 2021) Discourse on the Origin of Inequality Among Men by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1755) Selfie: How the West became self-obsessed by Will Storr (Picador; 2018) "My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger" by Elliot Rodger (2014) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 04, 2021
Is there a hack for enlightenment?
3929
Vox's Sigal Samuel talks with scholars and authors Wesley Wildman and Kate Stockly about their book, Spirit Tech: The Brave New World of Consciousness Hacking and Enlightenment Engineering. They discuss high-tech tools like brain stimulation and neurofeedback-guided meditation that purport to enrich our spiritual lives, what possible risks they may pose to our psyches, and the ethical implications of technology-induced shortcuts to transformative meditative states. They also talk about whether such spiritual experiences are authentic rather than simulated, and whether brain-based spirit tech might help humans evolve as a species. Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), Senior Reporter, Vox Guests: Wesley Wildman (@WesleyWildman) and Kate Stockly (@KateJStockly), authors and researchers References:  Spirit Tech: The Brave New World of Consciousness Hacking and Enlightenment Engineering by Wesley Wildman and Kate Stockly (Macmillan; 2021) SEMA (Sonication Enhanced Mindful Awareness) Lab, University of Arizona Center for Consciousness Studies (Dr. Jay Sanguinetti & Shinzen Young, co-directors) VR Church; Bishop D.J. Soto Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 30, 2021
Fighting a world on fire with fire
3734
Sean Illing talks with climate scholar Andreas Malm about his book How to Blow Up A Pipeline. They discuss the failure of decades of protests and appeals to curb the actions of the fossil fuel industry. And they explore why, despite dire evidence like the increasingly common scourge of wildfires and disastrous weather events, the climate change movement hasn't moved beyond peaceful protest — and why Malm argues the time for escalation is now. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Andreas Malm, associate professor, Lund University References:  How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire by Andreas Malm (Verso; 2021) "Uganda, Tanzania, oil firms sign accords to build $3.5 billion pipeline" by Elias Biryabarema (Reuters; Apr. 11) "The Energy Future Needs Cleaner Batteries" by Drake Bennett (Bloomberg; Sept. 23) "Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition" by Rupert Way, Matthew Ives, Penny Mealy, and J. Doyne Farmer (INET Oxford Working Paper No. 2021-01; Sept. 14) "Fossilised Capital: Price and Profit in the Energy Transition" by Brett Christophers (New Political Economy; May 12) The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson (Hachette; 2020) "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus (1942) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 27, 2021
Revolutionary Love
3437
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with author, activist, and filmmaker Valarie Kaur about her memoir See No Stranger and the Revolutionary Love Project. They discuss Kaur's personal experiences of the racism that followed 9/11, the idea of responding to violence and hatred with love, and why, two decades after 9/11, her project is more relevant than ever. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Valarie Kaur (@valariekaur), author, activist, and filmmaker References:  See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valarie Kaur (One World; 2020) Divided We Fall, dir. by Valarie Kaur (2008) "Indianapolis Sikh Community Mourns 4 Of Its Members Killed In Shooting" by Jeannette Muhammad (NPR; Apr. 18) "How 9/11 convinced Americans to buy, buy, buy" by Emily Stewart (Vox; Sept. 9) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 23, 2021
How to make meaning out of suffering
3363
Vox’s Sean Illing talks with David Wolpe, senior rabbi of the Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, about the role and nature of God, how religion and spirituality can address our modern problems, and how to make sense and meaning out of the suffering and pain we experience. This episode was recorded in the summer of 2020 and first appeared as part of the Future Perfect series The Way Through. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David Wolpe (@RabbiWolpe), senior rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles References:  "Religion without God: Alain de Botton on 'atheism 2.0'" by Sean Illing (Vox; Feb. 24, 2018) Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times by David Wolpe (Penguin Random House; 2000) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producers: Jackson Bierfeldt & Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 20, 2021
Ken Burns's latest on The Greatest
4052
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with acclaimed documentary filmmakers Ken and Sarah Burns. The father-daughter team discuss their latest documentary about The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, trying to say something new about a famous and already well-documented figure, how to tell the best story from 500 hours of raw footage, and what it's like when filmmaking centered around American history is the family business. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guests: Ken Burns (@KenBurns) & Sarah Burns (@sarah_l_burns), documentary filmmakers References:  Muhammad Ali, a film by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, & David McMahon (premieres Sept. 19) King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero by David Remnick (Vintage; 1999) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 16, 2021
The road from 9/11 to Donald Trump
4082
Sean Illing talks with national security reporter Spencer Ackerman, author of the new book Reign of Terror. They discuss the staggering changes to our country in the 20 years since 9/11; the flaws, misdeeds, and injustices of the “war on terror” and the regimes that have executed it; and how America was led by the worst act of domestic terror on its own soil down a vicious, bellicose, and anti-democratic path to an authoritarian president like Trump. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman), national security reporter, author References:  Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump by Spencer Ackerman (Viking; 2021) "The Fight Over the 'Ground Zero Mosque' Was a Grim Preview of the Trump Era" by Tim Murphy (Mother Jones; Sept. 9) "Trump Ramped Up Drone Strikes in America's Shadow Wars" by Spencer Ackerman (The Daily Beast; Nov. 26, 2018) "The Lessons of Anwar al-Awlaki" by Tim Shane (New York Times Magazine; Aug. 27, 2015) Power Wars: The Relentless Rise of Presidential Authority and Secrecy by Charlie Savage (Hachette; 2015) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 13, 2021
Rep. Pramila Jayapal on immigrants and America after 9/11
3084
Aarti Shahani, host of the WBEZ Chicago podcast Art of Power and author of the memoir Here We Are, talks with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) about how 9/11 changed the relationship between immigrants and America. They discuss Jayapal's experience on 9/11 as a first-generation Indian migrant, as well as how her reaction to the attacks and their aftermath shaped her political trajectory and professional career as an activist — and, eventually, a member of Congress. Host: Aarti Shahani (@aarti411), Host, Art of Power Guest: Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal), U.S. Representative (D-WA) References:  Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman's Guide to Politics and Political Change by Pramila Jayapal (New Press; 2020) "Without A Country: Pramila Jayapal On The Problems Immigrants Face" by Madeline Ostrander (The Sun; Nov. 2008) Jama v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 543 US 335 (2005) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 09, 2021
Why America's obsession with rights is wrong
3506
Vox's Zack Beauchamp talks with Columbia law professor Jamal Greene about his book How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession With Rights Is Tearing America Apart. They discuss how the US obsession with rights and their protections gives too much power to judges and the courts, makes it difficult for ordinary citizens to find reasonable solutions to legitimate problems, and has made this country's legal system not only nonsensical but dangerous. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Jamal Greene (@jamalgreene), Dwight Professor of Law, Columbia Law School References:  How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession With Rights Is Tearing America Apart by Jamal Greene (HMH Books; 2021) "From Guns to Gay Marriage, How Did Rights Take Over Politics?" by Kelefa Sanneh (New Yorker; May 24) Lochner v. New York, 198 US 45 (1905) Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 US __ (2018) District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570 (2008) "Texas's radical anti-abortion law, explained" by Ian Millhiser (Vox; Sept. 2) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 02, 2021
The news is by — and for — rich, white liberals
3758
Vox’s Sean Illing talks with professor and media researcher Nikki Usher about her new book News for the Rich, White, and Blue, which documents systemic problems in the ways journalists and institutions decide what counts as news and whom the news is for. They discuss racial, gender, and class biases in the industry, developing a “post-newspaper consciousness,” and the role of place in shaping our civic life. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Nikki Usher (@nikkiusher), senior fellow, Open Markets Institute Center for Liberty and Journalism; professor, University of Illinois References:  News for the Rich, White, and Blue by Nikki Usher (Columbia University Press; 2021) Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics by Nicole Hemmer (U. Penn Press; 2018) "Leslie Moonves on Donald Trump: 'It May Not Be Good for American, but It's Damn Good for CBS'" by Paul Bond (Hollywood Reporter; Feb. 29, 2016) Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America by Alec MacGillis (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2021) Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress toward Racial Equality by Patrick Sharkey (U. Chicago Press; 2013) "The Media's Post-Advertising Future Is Also Its Past" by Derek Thompson (The Atlantic; Dec. 31, 2018) Prism Reports MLK50: Justice Through Journalism The 19th City Bureau Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 30, 2021
Clint Smith III on confronting the legacy of slavery
3676
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with author Clint Smith III about his book How the Word Is Passed, which documents the writer's personal journey visiting sites that embody the legacy of American slavery. They discuss the power of this re-confrontation, how to bridge the gaps in education and awareness of America's past, and the experience of Black writers in a nation that is "a web of contradictions." Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Clint Smith III (@ClintSmithIII), Staff writer, The Atlantic References:  How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith (Little, Brown; 2021) "Why Confederate Lies Live On" by Clint Smith (The Atlantic; May 10) "The lost neighborhood under New York's Central Park" by Ranjani Chakraborty (Vox; Jan. 20, 2020) "The Statue of Liberty was created to celebrate freed slaves, not immigrants, its new museum recounts" by Gillian Brockell (Washington Post; May 23, 2019) "No, the Civil War didn't erase slavery's harm" by W. Caleb McDaniel (Houston Chronicle; July 12, 2019) Nikole Hannah-Jones Issues Statement on Decision to Decline Tenure Offer at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and to Accept Knight Chair Appointment at Howard University (NAACP Legal Defense Fund; July 6) Crash Course: Black American History, hosted by Clint Smith Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 26, 2021
Was the cruelty the point?
3667
Vox's Sean Illing talks with Adam Serwer, whose new book The Cruelty Is the Point documents the role of cruelty in American politics, the way it was weaponized by the GOP during the Trump administration, and how these tactics could continue to shape the future of America. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Adam Serwer (@AdamSerwer), staff writer, The Atlantic References:  The Cruelty is the Point: The Past, Present, and Future of Trump's America by Adam Serwer (One World; 2021) "The Cruelty Is the Point" by Adam Serwer (The Atlantic; Oct. 3, 2018) "The Great Awokening" by Matt Yglesias (Vox; Apr. 1, 2019) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 23, 2021
How seashells shaped the world — and predict our future
3480
Vox's Benji Jones talks with author and environmental journalist Cynthia Barnett about seashells and her new book, The Sound of the Sea. They discuss the evolutionary function and human appeal of seashells, the surprising role shells played in ancient trade and commerce, and how climate change threatens the creatures that call them home. Host: Benji Jones (@BenjiSJones), Environmental reporter, Vox Guest: Cynthia Barnett (@cynthiabarnett), author References:  “Seashells changed the world. Now they’re teaching us about the future of the oceans” by Benji Jones (Vox; Jul. 10) The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans by Cynthia Barnett (W.W. Norton; 2021) The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum (Sanibel Island, FL) Evolution & Escalation: An Ecological History of Life by Geerat J. Vermeij (Princeton; 1993) Cowrie Shells and Cowrie Money: A Global History by Bin Yang (Routledge; 2020) Scallops in motion (YouTube) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 19, 2021
Bill Maher on free speech, comedy, and his haters
3045
Vox's Sean Illing talks with comedian Bill Maher about the risks and challenges of political comedy today, free speech, and whether ideology undermines humor. They discuss how Maher — who's been out front on issues like animal rights and climate change — has become such a lightning rod for a certain species of progressive. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Bill Maher (@billmaher), comedian; host of Real Time with Bill Maher References:  Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO and Youtube Bill Maher: stand-up tour schedule "10 Percent of Twitter users create 80 percent of tweets, study finds" by Ren LaForme (Poynter; Apr. 24, 2019) "Americans and 'Cancel Culture': Where Some See Calls for Accountability, Others See Censorship, Punishment" by Emily A. Vogels et al. (Pew Research; May 19) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 16, 2021
Robert Reich wants you to take on the system
3217
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with former labor secretary, author, and social media gadfly Robert Reich about how our elected officials have fallen victim to the interests of the wealthy, what the pandemic exposed about our political and economic systems, and his vision of healthy civic education. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Robert Reich (@RBReich), Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley; co-founder, Inequality Media References:  The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It by Robert Reich (Penguin Random House; 2021) "The 1994 Midterms: When Newt Gingrich Helped Republicans Win Big" by Lesley Kennedy (History; Oct. 9, 2018) The Common Good by Robert Reich (Penguin Random House; 2019) "Mississippi Justice" on the 1964 murder of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman (American Experience; Oct. 15, 2020) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 12, 2021
Marty Baron on the future of news
3295
Vox's Sean Illing talks with former Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron about the state of journalism. They discuss Baron's post-retirement reflections on both the Post and the profession at large, what's gone wrong with the way news gets made in this country, and how deep the problems we're facing really are. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Marty Baron (@PostBaron), former Executive Editor, Washington Post References:  "Marty Baron, executive editor who oversaw dramatic Washington Post expansion, announces retirement" by Paul Farhi (Washington Post; Jan. 26) Spotlight, dir. Tom McCarthy (2015) "Has Anyone Seen the President? Michael Lewis goes to Washington in search of Trump and winds up watching the State of the Union with Steve Bannon" by Michael Lewis (Bloomberg; Feb. 9, 2018) "President Trump has made more than 20,000 false or misleading claims" by Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly (Washington Post; July 13, 2020) "'You might not like it, but it's smart politics'" by Jay Rosen (PressThink; Sept. 28, 2020) "Bannon on Trump era technique: 'Flood the zone with sh*t'" (Brian Stelter on CNN's Reliable Sources; Nov. 1, 2020) "'Flood the zone with shit': How misinformation overwhelmed our democracy" by Sean Illing (Vox; Feb. 6, 2020) "Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal" by Jo Becker and Mike McIntire (New York Times; Apr. 23, 2015) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 09, 2021
The death of cool
2935
Vox culture contributor Anne Helen Petersen talks with writer Safy-Hallan Farah about the concept of 'cool.' They discuss different generations' approaches to determining what's cool, how the concept of 'cool' gets tangled up with class, capital, and consumption, and the ineffable process of cultivating taste in a digital world, where nothing's obscure and everything's available. Host: Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen), culture contributor, Vox Guest: Safy-Hallan Farah (@SafyHallanFarah), writer and artist References:  “The great American cool” by Safy-Hallan Farah (Vox; July 14) Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste by Pierre Bourdieu (tr. Richard Nice. Harvard; 1987) Let’s Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste by Carl Wilson (Bloomsbury; 2014) “What Gen Z’ers Really Think of Millennials” by Diyora Shadijanova (VICE; June 18, 2020) @on_a_downward_spiral (Instagram) The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett (Princeton; 2018) "Xanga, we hardly knew ye: Ode to the angstiest social network ever" by Kate Knibbs (Digital Trends; June 4, 2013) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 05, 2021
We need to talk about UFOs. Seriously.
3777
Vox's Sean Illing talks with international politics professor and amateur ufologist Alex Wendt about why it's time to start thinking more seriously about the earth-shattering implications of discovering extraterrestrial life. They discuss the taboos against serious scientific inquiry into extraterrestrial existence, the US military's official UFO report and the inexplicable videos released by the Pentagon, and what the possible explanations might be for what's been seen. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Alexander Wendt, Professor of International Security and Political Science, The Ohio State University References:  "The Pentagon Released U.F.O. Videos. Don't Hold Your Breath for a Breakthrough" by Alan Yuhas (New York Times; June 3) "Sovereignty and the UFO" by Alexander Wendt and Raymond Duvall (Political Theory; 2008) "Wanted: A Science of UFOs" (TEDx Columbus; February 2020) The Pentagon UFO Report: "Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (June 25) "Experts Weigh In on Pentagon UFO Report" by Leonard David (Scientific American; June 8) "The Unexplained Phenomena of the U.F.O. Report" by Gideon Lewis-Kraus (The New Yorker; June 26) "Those amazing Navy UFO videos may have down-to-earth explanations, skeptics contend" by Andrew Dyer (San Diego Union-Tribune; May 29) Friedrich Nietzsche, Will to Power, Book One (1885-1886) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 02, 2021
Philadelphia's progressive prosecutor
3310
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with Larry Krasner, the former civil rights attorney who's been district attorney of Philadelphia since 2018. They talk about the bold agenda of criminal justice reform that Krasner's office has been trying to implement, the recent upturn in violent crime across the country, and how to stare down the seemingly unshakable system and make real change happen. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Larry Krasner (@DA_LarryKrasner), District Attorney of Philadelphia References:  Philly D.A. documentary miniseries (Independent Lens; 2021) "Krasner finds 'horrendous abuses of power' among cops, prosecutors in special report" by Katie Meyer (WHYY; June 15) "The day Philadelphia bombed its own people" by Lindsey Norward (Vox; Aug. 15, 2019) "The battle in Philly DA's Office: Conviction Integrity Unit report shows rocky path to reform" by Samantha Melamed (Philadelphia Inquirer; June 15) For the People: A Story of Justice and Power by Larry Krasner (Penguin Random House; 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 29, 2021
Fareed Zakaria on the fate of democracy
4262
Vox's Sean Illing talks with CNN's Fareed Zakaria about the global trend in democratic decline, and whether we should worry about America. They discuss why the Republican Party has become an existential threat to our constitutional system, whether he thinks Democrats are capable of rising to the challenge, and what reasons we have for optimism. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Fareed Zakaria (@FareedZakaria), Host of CNN's GPS, Washington Post columnist References:  “Fareed Zakaria on the most important lesson of the Trump presidency” by Sean illing (Vox; Jan. 19, 2018) “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy” by Fareed Zakaria (Foreign Affairs; 1997) “The Biggest Threat to Democracy Is the GOP Stealing the Next Election” by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt (The Atlantic; July 9) Parties and Politics in America by Clinton Rossiter (Cornell; 1960) “The Institutionalization of the U.S. House of Representatives” by Nelson Polsby (American Political Science Review; 1968) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 26, 2021
Jane Goodall on the power of hope
3745
Vox's Sigal Samuel talks with world-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall about what six decades of studying chimpanzees has taught her about humans. They discuss the work people can do to protect animals and the environment, and the immense power of hope. Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), Senior Reporter, Vox Guest: Jane Goodall (@JaneGoodallInst), primatologist and author References:  Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees (1965) Jane (dir. Brett Morgen; 2018) The Mentality of Apes by Wolfgang Köhler (1917; tr. by Ella Winter, 1925) Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey by Jane Goodall (with Phillip Berman; 2000) Jane Goodall Receives 2021 Templeton Prize The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying TImes by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams (Celadon; October 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 22, 2021
Why we love drugs
3815
Vox's Sean Illing talks with author Michael Pollan about his new book This Is Your Mind on Plants, why some societies condemn drugs that other societies condone, what will happen as the war on drugs draws to a close, and whether or not taking psychedelic drugs can improve humankind. We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes about five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: vox.com/survey Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Michael Pollan (@michaelpollan), author References:  This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan (Penguin; 2021) How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan (Penguin; 2018) The Natural Mind: A Revolutionary Approach to the Drug Problem by Andrew T. Weil (HMH; 2004) "Opium, Made Easy" by Michael Pollan (Harper's; Apr. 1997) "The intoxicating garden: Michael Pollan on growing psychoactive plants" by Michael Pollan (Financial Times; July 9) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 19, 2021
The rugged majesty of revision
3626
Vox's Jamil Smith speaks with novelist and author Kiese Laymon in a far-ranging conversation about Laymon's reacquiring the rights to his own books, the struggle of retelling our own stories, and the challenges of articulating American narratives that include all Americans accurately. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Kiese Laymon (@KieseLaymon), author References:  "What we owe and are owed" by Kiese Laymon (Vox; May 17) Long Division by Kiese Laymon (Scribner; 2021) How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon (Scribner; 2020) Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon (Scribner; 2018) "Why I Paid Tenfold to Buy Back the Rights for Two of My Books" by Kiese Laymon (Literary Hub; Nov. 10, 2020) "'RS Interview: Special Edition' With Ta-Nehisi Coates" by Jamil Smith (Rolling Stone; Nov. 20, 2020) "The Roots of Structural Racism Project: Twenty-First Century Racial Residential Segregation in the United States" by Stephen Menendian, Arthur Gailes, and Samir Gambhir (Othering & Belonging Institute; 2021) "Black churches taught us to forgive white people. We learned to shame ourselves" by Kiese Laymon (The Guardian; June 23, 2015) "Now Here We Go Again, We See the Crystal Visions" by Kiese Laymon (Vanity Fair; Nov. 19, 2020) We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes about five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: vox.com/survey Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 15, 2021
How to forgive
3554
Vox's Sean Illing talks with Elizabeth Bruenig about how hard it is to forgive, how to balance our desire for justice with our humanity, and about how the age-old moral framework of forgiveness has met new challenges in the modern forum of social media. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Elizabeth Bruenig (@ebruenig), staff writer, The Atlantic References:  “Not that Innocent” by Elizabeth Bruenig (The Atlantic; June 9) “The Man I Saw Them Kill” by Elizabeth Bruenig (New York Times; Dec. 17, 2020) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 12, 2021
What makes a great conversation?
1365
Here's a look ahead at what's to come for Vox Conversations. Vox's Sean Illing welcomes colleague Jamil Smith to the podcast as an additional regular host. They talk about what drew each of them into journalism, their shared craft of interviewing, and about what qualities make for great conversations. Plus, they share some of the ideas and upcoming guests they're looking forward to in the coming weeks. Look for new episodes of Vox Conversations twice a week, starting Monday, July 12th. Hosts: Sean Illing (@seanilling) & Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 08, 2021
Introducing: Now & Then
3531
Now & Then is a new podcast from CAFE hosted by award-winning historians Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman. Every Tuesday, Heather and Joanne use their encyclopedic knowledge of US history to bring the past to life. Together, they make sense of the week in news by discussing the people, ideas, and events that got us here today. Learn more: https://cafe.com/now-and-then/ Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6wDS3Y2t0RyQ3ncCUxiNs6?si=nx7w7exNRZ-AWHLv9T1qZg&dl_branch=1 Listen on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1567665859 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 01, 2021
The science of dating
3277
Relationships journalist and podcast host Andrea Silenzi talks with Logan Ury, behavioral scientist-turned-dating coach, and author of How to Not Die Alone. They discuss the decision-making that gets in the way of our dating lives, the case for finding a life partner, and what dating looks like in a post-pandemic, app-driven world. Host: Andrea Silenzi (@andreasilenzi), podcast host  Guest: Logan Ury (@loganury), author; director of relationship science, Hinge References:  How to Not Die Alone by Logan Ury (2021; Simon & Schuster) Irrational Labs Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find — and Keep — Love by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller (2010; TarcherPerigee) Why Oh Why, podcast   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 24, 2021
Honoring Juneteenth with Ibram X. Kendi
3199
In this special edition of Vox Conversations in honor of the Juneteenth holiday, Vox race reporter Fabiola Cineas spoke with author and podcast host Ibram X. Kendi before a virtual audience about the big ideas around being antiracist. They discussed where we are after a year protesting racism and police brutality, Kendi's approach to defining and fighting racism, and how we all can work to enact change. Host: Fabiola Cineas (@FabiolaCineas), Reporter, Vox  Guest: Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram), Author; director and founder of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research References:  Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi (Pushkin) How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (One World; 2019) “Juneteenth, explained” by Fabiola Cineas (June 16; Vox) The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee (One World; 2021) Dying of Whiteness by Jonathan Metzl (Basic Books; 2019)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 17, 2021
Digital dictatorship
3570
The internet was first conceived as a tool to promote free expression, to foster and enliven debate, and to strengthen democratic ideals. But it didn’t quite work out that way. In this episode, Vox’s Zack Beauchamp talks with Steven Feldstein, author of The Rise of Digital Repression, about how governing regimes use digital technology to repress their citizens; the threats posed by surveillance, disinformation, and censorship; and how democracies can backslide into authoritarianism. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Steven Feldstein (@SteveJFeldstein), Author; senior fellow, Carnegie Endowment References:  The Rise of Digital Repression: How Technology is Reshaping Power, Politics, and Resistance by Steven Feldstein (Oxford University Press; 2021) “Maria Ressa: Philippine journalist found guilty of cyber libel” (June 15, 2020; BBC) “[Senator Leila] De Lima’s four-year struggle in prison” by Vince Ferreras (Mar 16; CNN Philippines) “Sandvine Technology Used to Censor the Web in More Than a Dozen Nations” by Ryan Gallagher (Oct. 8, 2020; Bloomberg) “Social media is rotting democracy from within” by Zack Beauchamp (Jan. 22, 2019; Vox)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts.  Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 10, 2021
The man who proposed reparations in the 1860s
4054
Vox’s Dylan Matthews talks with historian Bruce Levine about his book Thaddeus Stevens: Civil War Revolutionary and Fighter for Racial Justice. They discuss how Stevens — a person with anti-racist ideals so far outside the mainstream of his time — managed to be so effective, how he developed those ideals in the first place, and how to continue his fight today. Host: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Bruce Levine, Author; Professor (emeritus) of History, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign References:  Thaddeus Stevens: Civil War Revolutionary and Fighter for Racial Justice by Bruce Levine (Simon & Schuster; 2021) Lincoln (2012; directed by Steven Spielberg; written by Tony Kushner, based on Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns-Goodwin) The Birth of a Nation (1915; directed by D.W. Griffith; written by D.W. Griffith and Frank E. Woods) Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy (1956) The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution that Transformed the South by Bruce Levine (2014; Random House)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 03, 2021
What pandemic recovery should look like
3379
Vox's Emily Stewart talks with Janelle Jones, chief economist at the Labor Department, about what's actually going on with the US economy — and who are the workers most dramatically affected by the pandemic. They discuss the tasks ahead in an economic recovery, who should receive the most help, and how to put policies in place that do more than just return to the status quo. Host: Emily Stewart (@EmilyStewartM), Senior Reporter, Vox Guest: Janelle Jones (@janellecj), Chief Economist, Department of Labor References:  “U.S. Labor Shortage? Unlikely. Here’s Why” by Heidi Shierholz (May 4, The Commons blog, Initiative for Public Discourse) “Lumber mania is sweeping North America” by Emily Stewart (May 3, Vox) “Black workers have made no progress in closing earning gaps with white men since 2000” by Elise Gould, Janelle Jones, and Zane Mokhiber (Sept. 12, 2018, Working Economics Blog) “The U.S. economy could use some ‘overheating’” by Josh Bivens (Jan. 14, Working Economics Blog)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 27, 2021
The gift of getting old
3503
Vox’s Sean Illing talks with Max Linsky, host of the new podcast 70 Over 70, which features intimate conversations with people over 70 years old. They discuss Max’s relationship with his aging father, the sometimes desperate search for wisdom, and the contradictions inherent in embracing life, while accepting the inevitable reality of death. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox  Guest: Max Linsky (@maxlinsky), Host, 70 Over 70 podcast; co-founder, Pineapple Street Studios   References:  70 Over 70 on Apple Podcasts  Arthur Schopenhauer, “On the Sufferings of the World” (1913)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 20, 2021
Freedom, and what it means to have a body
3386
Vox's Anna North talks with author Olivia Laing about her book Everybody: A Book About Freedom. Through the surprisingly connected lives of artists, activists, psychoanalysts, and sexologists, they discuss the different ways our bodies are persecuted, imprisoned, and policed — and the ways our physical selves can be liberated. Host: Anna North (@annanorthtweets), Senior Reporter, Vox Guest: Olivia Laing, Author References:  Everybody: A Book About Freedom (Picador, 2021) The Lonely City (Picador, 2017) “Wilhelm Reich: the man who invented free love” by Christopher Turner (The Guardian, July 8, 2011) Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor (1978) “Overlooked No More: Ana Mendieta, a Cuban Artist Who Pushed Boundaries” by Monica Castillo (New York Times, Sept. 19, 2018) Agnes Martin, 1912–2004 (MoMA) Philip Guston, 1913–1980 (MoMA) “Cloudbusting” by Kate Bush (1985), music video dir. by Julian Doyle   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 13, 2021
Why are we so worried about Satan?
3868
Vox's Sean Illing talks with Sarah Marshall, co-host of the You're Wrong About podcast, about the Satanic Panic of the early 1980s. They discuss America's penchant for moral panics, why the country latches onto outlandish stories, and what the Satanic panic and its echoes today say about America's collective psyche. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling) Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Sarah Marshall (@Remember_Sarah) Author; host of the You're Wrong About podcast References:  You’re Wrong About, “The Satanic Panic” (May 2018) “Why Satanic Panic never really ended” by Aja Romano (Vox, March 31) “Michelle Remembers and the Satanic Panic” by Megan Goodwin (The Revealer, Feb. 4) “There’s a bear in the woods” (Ronald Reagan campaign ad, 1984) The McMartin preschool trial “Baseless Wayfair child-trafficking theory spreads online” by Amanda Seitz and Ali Swenson (AP, July 2020) The Mann Act (a.k.a. “White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910”) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 06, 2021
How to be wrong less often
3242
Vox's Dylan Matthews talks with Julia Galef, host of the podcast Rationally Speaking, and author of The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't. They discuss how we can overcome the ways our own minds deceive us and change the way we think to make more rational decisions. Host: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), Senior Correspondent, Vox   Guest: Julia Galef (@juliagalef), Author; host of Rationally Speaking podcast References:  The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't by Julia Galef (Apr. 2021)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts.   Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Mounsey VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 29, 2021
The complicated history of wildlife conservation
4026
Vox environmental reporter Benji Jones talks with journalist and author Michelle Nijhuis about her book Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction. They talk about the history of the conservation movement and its many characters, the standout successes and ugly truths, and why, even with millions of species under threat, there's still reason to hope. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 22, 2021
How to replace everything in the industrialized world
3818
Climate writer and Vox contributor David Roberts talks with Jessika Trancik, Associate Professor at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society at M.I.T. They discuss many aspects of the vast undertaking to remake our world in response to the realities of climate change. They survey the technologies and innovations that are being deployed in this effort, and talk about what sorts of policy initiatives would be best-suited for the road ahead. While we might feel like our future will be full of sacrifices we're asked to make, Trancik explains that now is the time to shape a world in which we could live more equitably, efficiently, and comfortably. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 15, 2021
Patricia Lockwood's big, beautiful internet brain
3434
Writer and Vox contributor Anne Helen Petersen talks with poet and novelist Patricia Lockwood about the experience of being extremely online. They discuss Lockwood's book No One Is Talking About This, writing and religious upbringing, the parts of life perfectly suited to the internet, and the human experiences that glitch the system. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 08, 2021
Who is the real George Soros?
3521
Vox's Worldly host Zack Beauchamp talks with author and New Statesman editor Emily Tamkin about the life and legacy of George Soros. How did a Hungarian billionaire philanthropist become the No. 1 boogeyman of right-wing nationalist movements on both sides of the Atlantic? They unpack the meaning of the smear campaign against him, and the inherent contradictions of a wealthy man trying to use his influence to make societies more democratic. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 01, 2021
Introducing Unexplainable
1691
Unexplainable is a new podcast from Vox about everything we don’t know. Each week, the team look at the most fascinating unanswered questions in science and the mind-bending ways scientists are trying to answer them. New episodes drop every Wednesday.  Learn more: vox.com/unexplainable  Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unexplainable/id1554578197 Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0PhoePNItwrXBnmAEZgYmt?si=Y3-2TFfDT8qHkfxMjrJL2g Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 27, 2021
The border, explained by someone who knows it intimately
3420
Aarti Shahani, NPR journalist and host of WBEZ podcast Art of Power, talks with investigative journalist and author Alfredo Corchado about the US-Mexico border. Trump's actions created a new urgency for the political establishment to better understand the border, and Biden's challenges there continue to grow. Corchado, a former child farmworker and a Mexican-American with identities on both sides of the border wall, discusses the reality, politics, history, and future of the border. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 25, 2021
"Wintering," wisdom, and weathering life's darkest times
4087
Vox's Sigal Samuel talks with the author of Wintering, Katherine May, about the lessons we can learn during life's darkest seasons. They talk about our long collective pandemic winter, about how times of retreat can allow for personal and political transformation, and about how we might carry new wisdom with us as we emerge into spring. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 18, 2021
Reframing America's race problem
3288
Vox's Sean Illing talks with the author of The Sum of Us, Heather McGhee, about the costs of racism in America — for everyone. They discuss what we all lose by buying into the zero-sum paradigm that progress for some has to come at the expense of others, and why the left needs to reframe the country's race problem and persuade the other side with a more compelling story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 11, 2021
Who owns the Western?
3075
Vox book critic Constance Grady talks with Vox gender identities reporter and novelist Anna North about Anna's new book Outlawed. They discuss creating an alternative history, reimagining the Western, and having fun with the usually fraught topics of gender and identity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 04, 2021
A Watchmen writer on race, TV, and tech giants
3268
The Undefeated's culture critic Soraya Nadia McDonald talks with Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer Cord Jefferson. They discuss the transition from journalism to TV, delving into Jefferson's move from Gawker to writing for hit shows like Succession, The Good Place, and Watchmen. They also touch on what needs to change about TV writer's rooms, and what our current era of streaming giants and tech barons means for news and pop culture. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 25, 2021
Uncovering the history of psychedelics in Christianity
3221
Vox's Sean Illing talks about the the little-known history of psychedelics and spirituality in the Western world with Brian Muraresku, author of The Immortality Key. What role did psychedelic drugs play in the rise and spread of Christianity — and could they save the church today? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 18, 2021
Biden's immigration architect on racism, reform, and the Obama legacy
3856
NPR journalist, memoirist, and host of the upcoming WBEZ podcast The Art of Power Aarti Shahani talks with Cecilia Muñoz, a former aide to Obama and part of Biden's transition team. It's a conversation about immigration policy reform and the challenges ahead for President Biden — and for a country wrestling with changing demographics, racism, and its history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 11, 2021
The Capitol Siege and American Revolution
2819
Vox's Dylan Matthews talks with author and Revolutions podcaster Mike Duncan about what history can tell us about the insurrection at the US Capitol. Is America experiencing a true moment of revolution? So many republics throughout history have crumbled - could this one be next? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 04, 2021
Why fascism in Post-Trump America isn't going away
2735
Vox's Sean Illing talks to Yale professor and author Jason Stanley about why American democracy provides such fertile soil for fascism, how Donald Trump demonstrated how easy it was for our country to flirt with a fascist future and what we can do about it. Correction 2/1: Professor Stanley suggested in this conversation that West Virginia declined to expand the Medicaid option in 2013. In fact, the state did expand the program and has gradually added enrollment since 2013. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 28, 2021
The Joe Biden experience
4026
Ezra Klein is joined by Evan Osnos, a staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now to discuss our new president. President Biden has been in national politics for almost five decades. And so, people tend to understand the era of Joe Biden they encountered first — the centrist Senate dealmaker, or the overconfident foreign policy hand, or the meme-able vice president, or the grieving, grave father. But Biden, more so than most politicians, changes. And it’s how he changes, and why, that’s key to understanding his campaign, and his likely presidency.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 25, 2021
What it means to be a "good" rich person
3014
Vox columnist Anne Helen Petersen talks with sociologist Rachel Sherman about her research into the anxieties of wealthy people and their desire to be seen as "middle class." Sherman's work exposes the flawed stories we tell ourselves about who qualifies as middle class and who qualifies as "good" in the US. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 21, 2021
Peter Kafka and Kevin Roose on big tech's power and responsibility
1809
Recode’s Peter Kafka speaks with New York Times’s Tech columnist Kevin Roose about big tech’s power and responsibility - and whether it is going to have accountability. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 18, 2021
Sam Sanders and Olivia Nuzzi on President Trump’s last days
2792
New York magazine's Washington correspondent Olivia Nuzzi spent the past four years covering the Trump White House. In this inaugural episode of Vox Conversations, Nuzzi talks to guest host Sam Sanders, host of NPR's It’s Been a Minute, about the perils of anonymous sourcing, some unexpected job hazards (self-loathing), and why Trump didn’t ultimately create, but instead activated, the crowd of insurgents that breached the Capitol last week. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 14, 2021
Best of: We don’t just feel emotions. We make them.
5757
How do you feel right now? Excited to listen to your favorite podcast? Anxious about the state of American politics? Annoyed by my use of rhetorical questions? These questions seem pretty straightforward. But as my guest today, psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett, points out there is a lot more to emotion than meets the mind. Barrett is a superstar in her field. She’s a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, holds appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and has received various prestigious awards for her pioneering research on emotion. Her most recent book How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain argues that emotions are not biologically hardwired into our brains but constructed by our minds. In other words, we don’t merely feel emotions — we actively create them. Barrett’s work has potentially radical implications. If we take her theory seriously, it follows that the ways we think about our daily emotional states, diagnose illnesses, interact with friends, raise our children, and experience reality all need some serious adjusting, if not complete rethinking. If you enjoyed this episode, you should check out: A mind-expanding conversation with Michael Pollan The cognitive cost of poverty (with Sendhil Mullainathan) Will Storr on why you are not yourself  A mind-bending, reality-warping conversation with John Higgs Book recommendations:  Naming the Mind by Kurt Danzinger  The Island of Knowledge by Marcelo Gleiser  The Accidental Species by Henry Gee Sense and Nonsense by Kevin L. Laland Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Recording engineer - Cynthia Gil Field engineer - Joseph Fridman The Ezra Klein Show is a production of the Vox Media Podcast Network Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 07, 2021
Best of: Ending the age of animal cruelty, with Bruce Friedrich
4885
You often hear that eating animals is natural. And it is. But not the way we do it. The industrial animal agriculture system is a technological marvel. It relies on engineering broiler chickens that grow almost seven times as quickly as they would naturally, and that could never survive in the wild. It relies on pumping a majority of all the antibiotics used in the United States into farm animals to stop the die-offs that overcrowding would otherwise cause. A list like this could go on endlessly, but the point is simple: Industrial animal agriculture is not a natural food system. It is a triumph of engineering. But though we live in a moment when technology has made animal cruelty possible on a scale never imagined in human history, we also live in a moment when technology may be about to make animal cruelty unnecessary. And nothing changes a society’s values as quickly as innovations that make a new moral system easy and cheap to adopt. And that’s what this podcast is about. Bruce Friedrich is the head of the Good Food Institute, which invests, connects, advises, and advocates for the plant and cell-based meat industries. That work puts him at the hot center of one of the most exciting and important technological stories of our age: the possible replacement of a cruel, environmentally unsustainable form of food production with a system that’s better for the planet, better for animals, and better for our health. I talk a lot about animal suffering issues on this podcast, and I do so because they’re important. We’re causing a lot of suffering right now. But I don’t believe that it’ll be a change in morality or ideology that transforms our system. I think it’ll be a change in technology, and Friedrich knows better than just about anyone else alive how fast that technology is becoming a reality. In a rare change of pace for the Ezra Klein Show, this conversation will leave you, dare I say it, optimistic. Book Recommendations: Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World by Paul Shapiro Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 04, 2021
Best of: The moral philosophy of The Good Place
6259
After creating and running Parks and Recreation and writing for The Office, Michael Schur decided he wanted to create a sitcom about one of the most fundamental questions of human existence: What does it mean to be a good person? That’s how NBC's The Good Place was born. Soon into the show’s writing, Schur realized he was in way over his head. The question of human morality is one of the most complicated and hotly contested subjects of all time. He needed someone to help him out. So, he recruited Pamela Hieronymi, a professor at UCLA specializing in the subjects of moral responsibility, psychology, and free will, to join the show as a “consulting philosopher” — surely a first in sitcom history. I wanted to bring Shur and Hieronymi onto the show because The Good Place should not exist. Moral philosophy is traditionally the stuff of obscure academic journals and undergraduate seminars, not popular television. Yet, three-and-a-half seasons on, The Good Place is not only one of the funniest sitcoms on TV, it has popularized academic philosophy in an unprecedented fashion and put forward its own highly sophisticated moral vision. This is a conversation about how and why The Good Place exists and what it reflects about The Odd Place in which we actually live. Unlike a lot of conversations about moral philosophy, this one is a lot of fun.   References: Dylan Matthews' brilliant profile on The Good Place Dylan Matthews on why he donated his kidney Book recommendations: Michael Schur: Ordinary Vices by Judith N. Shklar The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré  Beloved by Toni Morrison Pamela Hieronymi: What We Owe to Each Other by T.M. Scanlon Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre Mortal Questions by Thomas Nagel Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 31, 2020
Best of: Michael Lewis reads my mind
6416
Michael Lewis needs little introduction. He’s the author of Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Big Short, The Blind Side, The Fifth Risk. He’s the host of the new podcast “Against the Rules.” He’s a master at making seemingly boring topics — baseball statistics, government bureaucrats, collateralized debt obligations — riveting. So how does he do it? What I wanted to do in this conversation was understand Lewis’s process. How does he choose his topics? How does he find his characters? How does he get them to trust him? What is he looking for when he’s with them? What allows him to see the gleam in subjects that would strike others, on their face, as dull? Lewis more than delivered. There’s a master class in reporting — or just in getting to know people — tucked inside this conversation. As in the NK Jemisin episode, Lewis shows how he does his work in real time, using me and something I revealed as the example. Sometimes the conversations on this show are a delight. Sometimes they’re actually useful. This one is both. Book recommendations: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain A Collection of Essays by George Orwell The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 28, 2020
Best of: Tracy K. Smith changed how I read poetry
5430
It’s the rare podcast conversation where, as it’s happening, I’m making notes to go back and listen again so I can fully absorb what I heard. But this conversation with Tracy K. Smith was that kind of episode. Smith is the chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, a Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, and a two-time poet laureate of the United States (2017-19). But I’ll be honest: She was an intimidating interview for me. I often find myself frustrated by poetry, yearning for it to simply tell me what it wants to say and feeling aggravated that I can’t seem to crack its code. Preparing for this conversation and (even more so) talking to Smith was a revelation. Poetry, she argues, is about expressing “the feelings that defy language.” The struggle is part of the point: You’re going where language stumbles, where literalism fails. Developing a comfort and ease in those spaces isn’t something we’re taught to do, but it’s something we need to do. And so, on one level, this conversation is simply about poetry: what it is, what it does, how to read it. But on another level, this conversation is also about the ideas and tensions that Smith uses poetry to capture: what it means to be a descendent of slaves, a human in love, a nation divided. Laced throughout our conversation are readings of poems from her most recent book, Wade in the Water, and discussions of some of the hardest questions in the American, and even human, canon. Hearing Smith read her erasure poem, “Declaration,” is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful moments I’ve had on the podcast. There is more to this conversation than I can capture here, but simply put: This isn’t one to miss. And that’s particularly true if, like me, you’re intimidated by poetry. References:  Smith’s lecture before the Library of Congress  Smith’s commencement speech at Wellesley College  Book recommendations:  Notes from the Field by Anna Deavere Smith  Quilting by Lucille Clifton  Bodega by Su Hwang  Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 24, 2020
What I’ve learned, and what comes next.
2497
As strange as it is to write, this is my last podcast here at Vox. In January, I'll be starting at the New York Times as a columnist on the opinion page, doing a reported column on policy and launching an interview podcast. Meanwhile, Vox will be building something new and better atop this show's DNA in this feed. In this episode, I wanted to reflect on the almost five years I’ve spent doing this show. This project has changed my work, and my life, in unexpected ways. So here are the four lessons this show has taught me and, of course, the three books that have influenced me, and that I'd recommend to the audience.  Thank you for everything, and you can reach me at ezrakleinshow@gmail.com. See you on the other side.  Book recommendations: Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin Working by Studs Terkel Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 21, 2020
Best of: An inspiring conversation about democracy with Danielle Allen
4379
This conversation with Harvard political theorist Danielle Allen in fall 2019 is one of my all-time favorites.    Allen directs Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. She’s a political theorist, a philosopher, the principal investigator of the Democratic Knowledge Project, and the co-chair of a two-year bipartisan commission of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, which just this year released “Our Common Purpose,” a report with more than 30 recommendations on how to reform American democracy. Her 2006 book Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education, which forms the basis for this conversation, is the most important exploration of what democracy demands from its citizens that I've ever read. I talk about democracy a lot on this show, but it’s her life’s work   I tried a bunch of different descriptions the first time this episode was released and they all failed the conversation. I had no better luck this time. I loved this one, and, at a moment when the future of democracy looks even darker than it did a year ago, I think you will too. Don’t make me cheapen it by describing it. Just download it. References: "Building a Good Jobs Economy" by Dani Rodrik and Charles Sabel Book recommendations: "Politics and the English Language" by George Orwell "What America Would Be Like Without Blacks" by Ralph Ellison Men in Dark Times by Hannah Arendt Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 17, 2020
Michael Pollan on the psychedelic society
4585
On November 3, as the country fixated on the incoming presidential election results, voters in Oregon approved a seemingly innocuous ballot measure with revolutionary potential. Proposition 109, which passed with 56 percent of the vote (the same margin by which Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in the state), legalizes the use of psilocybin, the main psychoactive compound found in magic mushrooms, in supervised therapeutic settings.    Multiple studies have found that use of psilocybin in a medical context has the power to cure depression, addiction, and anxiety at rates that no existing drug or therapy can boast (although these results still need to be replicated with larger sample sizes before drawing definitive conclusions). Scores of renowned scholars, artists, and entrepreneurs talk about their use of psychedelic drugs as one of the most important experiences of their entire lives. The details of how the Oregon initiative will be implemented still need to be worked out, but the prospect of making these drugs widely available in a therapeutic context could have transformative impacts on American mental health care and, perhaps, on our culture writ large.    There isn’t anyone I’d rather discuss this new law and its implications with than Michael Pollan. Pollan is the author of dozens of landmark books, but his most recent, How To Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, is the best exploration of the transformative therapeutic potential of psychedelics to date.   My first conversation with Pollan in 2018 was one of my favorites of all time on the show, and this one didn’t disappoint either. We discuss how Pollan’s work inspired the Oregon ballot initiative, what Proposition 109 actually does and the challenges it will face, the lost history of psychedelics being used as a therapeutic tool in the 1950s, why the mental health profession in America is so excited about the revolutionary possibilities of psychedelic treatment, why the “noetic experience” induced by psychedelics has such incredible healing potential, whether widespread psychedelic use would create massive population-level changes in society, and much more. References: My first conversation with Pollan Recent Johns Hopkins study on psychedelics and depression "What the psychedelic drug ayahuasca showed me about my life" by Sean Illing Book recommendations: The Overstory by Richard Powers  The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 14, 2020
Best of: Robert Sapolsky on the toxic intersection of poverty and stress
4838
Robert Sapolsky is a Stanford neuroscientist and primatologist. He’s the author of a slew of important books on human biology and behavior, including most recently Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst. But it’s an older book he wrote that forms the basis for this conversation. In Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Sapolsky works through how a stress response that evolved for fast, fight-or-flight situations on the savannah continuously wears on our bodies and brains in modern life. But stress isn’t just an individual phenomenon. It’s also a social force, applied brutally and unequally across our society. “If you want to see an example of chronic stress, study poverty,” Sapolsky says. I often say on the show that politics and policy need to begin with a realistic model of human nature. This is a show about that level of the policy conversation: It’s about how poverty and stress exist in a doom loop together, each amplifying the other’s effects on the brain and body, deepening their harms. And this is a conversation of intense relevance to how we make social policy. Much of the fight in Washington, and in the states, is about whether the best way to get people out of poverty is to make it harder to access help, to make sure the government doesn’t become, in Paul Ryan’s memorable phrase, “a hammock.” Understanding how the stress of poverty acts on people’s minds, how it saps their will and harms their cognitive function and hurts their children, exposes how cruel and wrongheaded that view really is. Sapolsky and I also discuss whether free will is a myth, why he believes the prison system is incompatible with modern neuroscience, how studying monkeys in times of social change helps makes sense of the current moment in American politics, and much more. It’s worth your time. Book Recommendations: The 21 Balloons by William Pene Dubois Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit by Melvin Konner Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 10, 2020
Joe Biden and "the new progressivism"
3810
It’s often said that Joe Biden has an instinct for finding the political center — that of his party, and that of the country. To understand how Biden has changed, and how he might govern, we need to understand how the ideological context of American politics is changing, and why.   Felicia Wong is the President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, a progressive think tank that has done some of the best work on the way the ideological firmament of politics is shifting. Wong believes that the set of governing assumptions behind both conservative and progressive policymaking, what broadly gets called “neoliberalism,” is devolving. And she, and Roosevelt more broadly, have done some of the best work mapping the different worldviews and factions competing to take its place.  We discuss what neoliberalism was and wasn’t, how a focus on markets is giving way to a focus on power, the four main groups that make up “the new progressivism,” where Biden himself has affinities with the changing worldview, what he can (and can’t) do without congress, the case for and against student debt cancellation, how the new administration could wield its antitrust power, why Elizabeth Warren’s brand of economic thinking holds particular promise for a Biden administration, and more.  References: "What Is the Current Student Debt Situation?" by Matt Bruenig "The Emerging Worldview: How New Progressivism Is Moving Beyond Neoliberalism" by Felicia Wong Book recommendations: Suburban Warriors by Lisa McGirr From Counterculture to Cyberculture by Fred Turner  State of Resistance by Manuel Pastor Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 07, 2020
Best of: Frances Lee on why bipartisanship is irrational
3561
There are few conversations I’ve had on this show that are quite as relevant to our current political moment as this one with Princeton political scientist Frances Lee. Joe Biden will occupy the White House come January, but pending the results of two runoff Senate elections in Georgia, Democrats either won’t control the Senate at all or will face a 50-50 split. In either case, an important question looms large over the incoming administration: Will Republican senators negotiate with Biden in good faith? Lee’s work is an indispensable framework for thinking about that inquiry. In her most recent book, Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Perpetual Campaign, Lee makes a point that sounds strange when you hear it but changes everything once you understand it. For most of American history, American politics has been under one-party rule. For decades, that party was the Republican Party. Then, for decades more, it was the Democratic Party. It’s only in the past few decades that control of Congress began flipping back and forth every few years, that presidential elections became routinely decided by a few percentage points, that both parties are always this close to gaining or losing the majority. That kind of close competition, Lee writes, makes the daily compromises of bipartisan governance literally irrational. "Confrontation fits our strategy,” Dick Cheney once said. "Polarization often has very beneficial results. If everything is handled through compromise and conciliation, if there are no real issues dividing us from the Democrats, why should the country change and make us the majority?” Why indeed? This is a conversation about that question, about how the system we have incentivizes a politics of confrontation we don’t seem to want and makes steady, stable governance a thing of the past. . Book Recommendations: The Imprint of Congress by David R. Mayhew Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time by Ira Katznelson Congress's Constitution: Legislative Authority and the Separation of Powers by Josh Chafetz Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 03, 2020
The most important book I've read this year
5813
If I could get policymakers, and citizens, everywhere to read just one book this year, it would be Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future.  Best known for the Mars trilogy, Robinson is one of the greatest living science fiction writers. And in recent years, he's become the greatest writers of what people now call cli-fi — climate fiction. The name is a bit of a misnomer: Climate fiction is less fictitious speculation than an attempt to envision a near future that we are likely to inhabit. It’s an attempt to take our present — and thus the future we’re ensuring — more seriously than we currently do. Robinson’s new book does exactly that.  In The Ministry for the Future, Robinson imagines a world wracked by climate catastrophe. Some nations begin unilateral geoengineering. Eco-violence arises, as people begin to begin experience unchecked climate change as an act of war against them, and they respond in kind, using new technologies to hunt those they blame. Capitalism ruptures, changes, and is remade. Nations, and the relations between them, transform. Ultimately, humanity is successful, but it is a terrifying success — a success that involves making the kinds of choices that none of us want to even think about making.  This conversation with Robinson was fantastic. We discuss why the end of the world is easier to imagine than the end of capitalism; how changes to the biosphere will force humanity to rethink capitalism, borders, terrorism, and currency; the influence of eco-Marxism on Robinson’s thinking; how existing power relationships define the boundaries of what is considered violence; why science-fiction as a discipline is particularly suited to grapple with climate change; what a complete rethinking of the entire global economic system could look like; why Robinson thinks geoengineering needs to be on the table; the vastly underrated importance of the Paris Climate Agreement; and much more. References: "'There is no planet B': the best books to help us navigate the next 50 years" by Kim Stanley Robinson My conversation on geoengineering with Jane Flegal The Ezra Klein Show climate change series Book recommendations: Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver  The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem  Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 30, 2020
Best of: Alison Gopnik changed how I think about love
5743
Happy Thanksgiving! We will be back next week with brand new episodes, but on a day when so many of us are thinking about love and relationships I wanted to share an episode that has changed the way I think about those topics in a profound way.  Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of California Berkeley. She’s published more than 100 journal articles and half a dozen books, including most recently The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children. She runs a cognitive development and learning lab where she studies how young children come to understand the world around them, and she’s built on that research to do work in AI, to understand how adults form bonds with both children and each other, and to examine what creativity is and how we can nurture it in ourselves and — more importantly — each other. But this conversation isn’t just about kids -- it's about what it means to be human. What makes us feel love for each other. How we can best care for each other. How our minds really work in the formative, earliest days, and what we lose as we get older. The role community is meant to play in our lives. This episode has done more than just change the way I think. It’s changed how I live my life. I hope it can do the same for you. Book recommendations: A Treatise of Human Natureby David Hume Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll The works of Jean Piaget Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 26, 2020
Best of: Vivek Murthy on America’s loneliness epidemic
4904
At the holidays, I wanted to share some of my favorite episodes of the show with you (we’ll be back next week with brand new episodes). My conversation with Vivek Murthy tops that list, and it has particular force this Thanksgiving, when so many are alone on a day when connection means so much. As US surgeon general from 2014 to 2017, Murthy visited communities across the United States to talk about issues like addiction, obesity, and mental illness. But he found that what Americans wanted to talk to him about the most was loneliness. In a 2018 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 22 percent of all adults in the US — almost 60 million Americans — said they often or always felt lonely or socially isolated. Murthy went on to write Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, and was recently named one of the co-chairs of Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force. Those projects may sound different, but they connect: Coronavirus has made America’s loneliness crisis far worse. Social distancing, while necessary from a public health standpoint, has caused a collapse in social contact among family, friends, and entire communities. And the people most vulnerable to the virus — the elderly, the disabled, the ill — are also unusually likely to suffer from loneliness.  Murthy’s explanation of how loneliness acts on the body is worth the time, all on its own — it’ll change how you see the relationship between social experience and physical health. But the broader message here is deeper: You are not alone in your loneliness. None of us are. And the best thing we can do for our own feeling of isolation is often to help someone else out of the very pit we’re in. Book recommendations: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch Dear Madam President by Jennifer Palmieri Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 23, 2020
What Democrats got wrong about Hispanic voters
3973
Donald Trump has built his presidency on top of racial dog whistles, xenophobic rhetoric, and anti-immigrant policies. A core belief among liberals was that this strategy would help Trump with whites but almost certainly hurt him with Latinos, and people of color more broadly. Then the opposite happened: In 2020, Trump gained considerable support among voters of color, particularly Latinos, relative to the 2016 election. What happened? Ian Haney López is a legal scholar at UC Berkeley and the author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. In 2017, he partnered with the leftist think tank Demos and various polling groups to better understand the effectiveness of racial dog whistles and how Democrats could combat them. The results were sobering, even to the experts who commissioned the polls. As Haney López documented in his 2019 book Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America, 60 percent of Latinos and 54 percent of African Americans have found Trumpian dog-whistle messages convincing, right in step with the 61 percent of whites who did. This conversation is about the complicated reality of racial politics in America. It’s about the fact that the electorate isn’t divided into racists and non-racists — most voters, including Trump supporters, toggle back and forth between racially reactionary and racially egalitarian views — and a more robust theory of how race operates in American politics that follows. And it’s about the kinds of race- and class-conscious messages that Haney López’s research suggests work best with voters of all backgrounds. Book recommendations: Racial Realignment:The Transformation of American Liberalism, 1932–1965 by Eric Schickler The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú Born a Crime by Trevor Noah  Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 19, 2020
Antitrust, censorship, misinformation, and the 2020 election
3675
I’ve been fascinated by the sharp change in how the tech platforms — particularly the big social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and to some degree, YouTube — are acting since the 2020 election. It’s become routine to see President Donald Trump’s posts tagged as misinformation or worse. Facebook is limiting the reach of hyper-viral stories it can’t verify, Twitter is trying to guard against becoming a dumping ground for foreign actors trying to launder stolen secrets, and conservatives are abandoning both platforms en masse, hoping to find more congenial terrain on newcomers like Parler.  So is Big Tech finally doing its job, and taking some responsibility for its role in our democracy? Are they overreaching, and becoming the biased censors so many feared? Are they simply so big that anything they do is in some way the wrong choice, and antitrust is the only solution? Casey Newton has spent the past decade covering Silicon Valley for The Verge, CNET, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Today, he writes Platformer, a daily blog and newsletter focused primarily on the relationship between the big tech platforms and democracy. He’s my go-to for questions like these, and so I went to him. We discuss:  The lessons the platforms learned the hard way in 2016  What Facebook and Twitter got right -- and wrong -- this election cycle The dissonance between Facebook and Twitter’s progressive employees and broader user base  The problem of trying to be neutral when both sides really aren’t the same Whether Facebook and Twitter handled the Hunter Biden New York Post story correctly Whether major tech platforms are biased against conservatives Why YouTube has been so much less aggressive than Facebook and Twitter on moderation The recent rise of Parler, the Twitter alternative that conservatives are flocking to by the hundreds of thousands  What Biden administration’s tech agenda could look like  The Section 230 provision at the heart of the debate over content moderation  How the big tech CEOs differ from each other ideologically  The problems that antitrust enforcement against tech platforms will solve -- and the problems it won’t solve  And much more Book recommendations: Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier Caste by Isabel Wilkerson  Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 16, 2020
The crisis isn’t Trump. It’s the Republican Party.
3980
If the past week — and past four years — have proven anything, it’s that we are not as different as we believed. No longer is the question, "Can it happen here?" It’s happening already. As this podcast goes to air, the current president of the United States is attempting what — if it occurred in any other country — we would call an anti-democratic coup. This coup attempt will probably not work. But the fact that it is being carried out farcically, erratically, ineffectively does not mean it is not happening, or that it will not have consequences. The most alarming aspect of all this is not Donald Trump’s anti-democratic antics; it’s the speed at which Republican elites have consolidated support around him. Some politicians, like Lindsey Graham, have wholeheartedly endorsed Trump's claims. On Monday, Graham said that Trump should not concede the election and that "Republicans win because of our ideas and we lose elections because [Democrats] cheat." Others — including Mike Pence, Marco Rubio, and Josh Hawley — have signaled solidarity with the president, while not quite endorsing his conspiracies. The message is clear: When faced with the choice of loyalty to Trump and the legitimacy of the democratic process, Republicans are more than willing to throw democracy under the bus. Anne Applebaum is a staff writer for the Atlantic, a senior fellow of international affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and most recently the author of Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. In it, Applebaum, once comfortable in center-right elite circles, grapples with why so many of her contemporaries across the globe — including right here in America — have abandoned liberal democracy in favor of strongman cults and autocratic regimes. We discuss:  How the media would be covering Trump’s actions — and the GOP’s enabling of him — if this were taking place in a foreign country  How the last four years have shattered the belief in the idea that America is uniquely resistant to the lure of authoritarianism Why most politicians under increasingly autocratic regimes choose to collaborate with the regime, and why a select few choose to dissent  The “apocalyptic pessimism” and “cultural despair” that undergirds the worldview of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters  How Lindsey Graham went from outspoken Trump critic to one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in the US Senate  Why the Republican Party ultimately took the path of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, not John McCain and Mitt Romney Why what ultimately separates Never Trumpers from Trump enablers is a steadfast commitment to American democracy What we can expect to happen if and when a much more competent, capable demagogue emerges in Trump’s place Whether the Biden administration can lower the temperature of American politics from its fever pitch  The one thing that gives me a glimmer of hope about the Biden presidency    References: "Trump is attempting a coup in plain sight" by Ezra Klein, Vox "History Will Judge the Complicit" by Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic “Laura Ingraham’s Descent Into Despair” by Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic My EK Show conversation with Marilynne Robinson Book recommendations: Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner  All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren  Gilead by Marilynne Robinson  Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 12, 2020
The Joe Biden experience
4127
Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States. And — counting the votes of people, not just land — it won’t be close. If current trends hold, Biden will see a larger popular vote margin than Hillary Clinton in 2016, Barack Obama in 2012, or George W. Bush in 2004.  Commentary over the past few days has focused on the man he beat, and the incompetent coup being attempted in plain sight. But I want to focus on Biden, who is one of the more misunderstood figures in American politics — including, at times, by me.  Biden has been in national politics for almost five decades. And so, people tend to understand the era of Joe Biden they encountered first — the centrist Senate dealmaker, or the overconfident foreign policy hand, or the meme-able vice president, or the grieving, grave father. But Biden, more so than most politicians, changes. And it’s how he changes, and why, that’s key to understanding his campaign, and his likely presidency.  Evan Osnos is a staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now, a sharp biography of the next president. Osnos and I discuss:  The mystery of Joe Biden’s first political campaign Why the Joe Biden who entered the Senate in 1980 is such a radically different person than the Joe Biden who ran for president in 2020  What the Senate taught Biden Biden’s ideological flexibility, and the theory of politics that drives it The differences between Biden’s three presidential campaigns -- and what they reveal about how he’s grown The way Biden views disagreement, and why that’s so central to his understanding of politics  How Biden’s relationship with Barack Obama changed his approach to governance The similarities — and differences — between how Obama and Biden think about politics  Why Biden is “the perfect weathervane for where the center of the Democratic party is.”  Biden’s relationship with Mitch McConnell How Biden thinks about foreign policy Why Biden has become more skeptical about the use of American military might in the last decade  And much more. Book recommendations: Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman The Field of Blood by Joanne B. Freeman The Ideas That Made America by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen  Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 07, 2020
Chris Hayes and I process this wild election
3905
This is not the post-election breakdown I expected to have today, but it's definitely the one that I needed. Chris Hayes is the host of the MSNBC primetime show, “All In," and the podcast "Why is this Happening? With Chris Hayes." He's also one of the most insightful political analysts I know. We discuss the purpose of polling, the problems of polling-driven coverage, the epistemic fog of the results, the strategy behind Trump's inroads with Latino voters, how Democrats might have won the presidency but lost democracy, what happens if Trump refuses to accept the election results, and much more. More than anything else, this conversation has helped me make sense of everything that's happened in the last 24 hours. I think it will do the same for you. References: "How Democrats Lost the Cuban Vote and Jeopardized Their Future in Florida." by Noah Lanard, Mother Jones Chris's podcast on "Understanding the 'Latino Vote' with Chuck Rocha" Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 05, 2020
Stacey Abrams on minority rule, voting rights, and the future of democracy
4259
We’re one day away from the election, though who-knows-how-many days from finding out who won it. But there’s more at stake than whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden will be our next president.  There is a fight behind the fight, a battle that will decide all the others. America is not a democracy, and Republicans want to keep it that way. America is not a democracy, and Democrats — at least some Democrats — want to make it more of one.  Democracy has, in particular, become Stacey Abrams’ animating mission. In 2018, Abrams lost the George gubernatorial race by a razor-thin margin amidst rampant voter suppression. Since then, as the founder of Fair Fight, she’s turned her attention to the deeper fight, the one that sets the rules under which elections like her plays out. In her recent book, Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America, Abrams makes the case that the fight over democracy is the central question of our politics right now with more power and clarity than any other politician I’ve heard.  In my view, Abrams is right. And so she’s exactly the person to hear from on the eve of the election. We discuss the GOP’s turn against “rank democracy,” the role of demographic change, how Republicans have cemented minority rule across America political institutions, why we potentially face a “doom loop of democracy,” the changing face of voter suppression in the 21st century, what a system that actually wanted people to vote would look like, why democracy and economic equality are inextricably linked, and much more. One thing to note in this conversation: You won't hear Trump's name all that much. It's the Republican Party, not just Trump, that has turned against democracy, and that is implementing the turn against democracy. And it's the Democratic Party, not just Joe Biden, that will have to decide whether democracy is worth protecting, and achieving. Democracy is on the ballot in 2020 and beyond, but it's not just on the presidential voting line. References: "The fight is for democracy." Ezra Klein, Vox The Dictator's Learning Curve by William Dobson My previous EK Show conversation with Abrams Book recommendations: Ida by Paula Giddings  Charged by Emily Bazelon  The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 02, 2020
Nate Silver on why 2020 isn't 2016
4287
As you may have heard, there's a pretty important election coming up. That means it's time to bring back the one and only Nate Silver.  Silver, the founder and editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, boasts one of the best election forecasting records of any analyst in the last 15 years. His forecasting models successfully predicted the outcomes in 49 of the 50 states in the 2008 US presidential election and all 50 states in 2012. And in 2016, Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gave Donald Trump a 28 percent chance of victory — a significantly higher percentage than virtually any other prominent analyst at the time. He knows what he’s talking about, and it shows in this conversation. We discuss:  What went wrong with the polls in 2016 — and whether pollsters today have corrected for those mistakes  Why a 2016-sized polling error in 2020 would still hand Joe Biden the election Why the 2020 race has been so incredibly steady despite a global pandemic, an economic crisis, and the biggest national protest movement in US history  The possibility of a Biden landslide   The not-so-small chance that Biden could win Texas and Georgia  The massive Republican advantage in the Senate, House, and Electoral College — and how that affects our national politics  Why the Senate would still advantage Republicans, even if Democrats added five blue states.  Whether the Bernie Sanders left took the wrong lessons from 2016  Why Biden’s unorthodox 2020 campaign strategy has been so successful  Whether Sanders would be doing just as well against Trump as Biden is doing  How a more generic, non-Trump Republican would be faring against Biden  Why Silver is generally optimistic that we will avoid an electoral crisis on November 3  And much more. References: “How FiveThirtyEight’s 2020 Presidential Forecast Works — And What’s Different Because Of COVID-19." Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight "The Senate’s Rural Skew Makes It Very Hard For Democrats To Win The Supreme Court." Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College by Jesse Wegman "Toby Ord on existential risk, Donald Trump, and thinking in probabilities." The Ezra Klein Show "The Real Story of 2016" by Nate Silver Book recommendations: The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom The Precipice by Toby Ord   Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 29, 2020
Sarah Kliff grades Biden and Trump's health care plans
4710
There are few issues on which the stakes in this election are quite as stark as on health care. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden plans to pass (and Democrats largely support) a massive health care expansion that could result in 25 million additional individuals gaining health insurance. The Trump administration, as we speak, is pushing to get the Supreme Court to kill the Affordable Care Act, which would strip at least 20 million Americans of health care coverage.    There's no one I'd rather have on to discuss these issues than Sarah Kliff. Kliff is an investigative reporter for the New York Times focusing on health care policy, and my former colleague at the Washington Post and Vox where we co-hosted The Weeds alongside Matt Yglesias. She's one of the most clear, incisive health care policy analysts in media today and a longtime friend, which made this conversation a pleasure. We discuss:  The legacy of Obamacare 10 years later Why the fiercely fought over “individual mandate” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be  What Biden’s health care plan would actually do — and where it falls short  Whether a Biden administration would be able to pass massive health care reform — and why it might still have a chance even if the filibuster remains intact  The ongoing Supreme Court case to dismantle Obamacare  Whether Donald Trump has a secret health care plan to protect those with preexisting conditions (spoiler: he doesn’t)  The hollow state of Republican health care policy  The academic literature showing that health insurance is literally a matter of life and death  Which social investments would have the largest impact on people’s health (hint: it’s probably not expanding insurance)    And much more References: "If Trump wins, 20 million people could lose health insurance. If Biden wins, 25 million could gain it." by Dylan Scott, Vox “Obamacare Turns 10. Here’s a Look at What Works and Doesn’t.” by Sarah Kliff, et al. New York Times "The I.R.S. Sent a Letter to 3.9 Million People. It Saved Some of Their Lives." by Sarah Kliff, New York Times "Republicans Killed the Obamacare Mandate. New Data Shows It Didn’t Really Matter." by Sarah Kliff, New York Times "Without Ginsburg, Supreme Court Could Rule Three Ways on Obamacare" by Sarah Kliff and Margot Sanger-Katz, New York Times Book recommendations: The Healing of America by TR Reid  And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts  Dreamland by Sam Quinones  I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen Credits: Producer/Audio wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 26, 2020
Trumpism never existed. It was always just Trump.
3645
In 2016, Julius Krein was one of Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters. In Trump’s critiques of the existing Republican and Democratic establishments, Krein saw the contours of a heterodox ideology he believed could reshape American politics for the better. So he established a pro-Trump blog and, later, a policy journal called American Affairs, which his critics claimed was an attempt to “understand Trump better than he understands himself.” Today Krein finds himself in an unusual position. Upon realizing Trump was not committed to any governing vision at all (but was as racist as his critics suggested), Krein disavowed the president in 2017. But as the editor of American Affairs, he’s still committed to building an intellectual superstructure around the ideas that were threaded through Trump’s 2016 campaign. This conversation is about the distance between Trump and the ideology so many tried to brand as Trumpism. We also discuss Krein’s view that the US has always functionally been a one-party system, the disconnect between Republican elites and voters, what a new bipartisan economic consensus could look like, whether Joe Biden and the Democrats take Trump’s ideas more seriously than Trump does, which direction the GOP will go if Trump loses in a landslide in November, why Republicans lost interest in governance, whether media coverage is the true aim of right-wing populists, why Krein thinks the true power lies with the technocrats, and more. References: “I Voted for Trump. And I Sorely Regret It." by Julius Krein "The Three Fusions" by Julius Krein Book recommendations: Innovation in Real Places by Dan Breznitz  History has Begun by Bruno Maçães The Hall of Uselessness by Simon Leys  Credits: Producer/Audio wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 22, 2020
What should Democrats do about the Supreme Court?
5217
If Democrats win back power this November, they will be faced with a choice: Leave the existing Supreme Court intact, and watch their legislative agenda — and perhaps democracy itself — be gradually gutted by 5-4 and 6-3 judicial rulings; or use their power to reform the nation’s highest court over fierce opposition by the Republican party. Ganesh Sitaraman is a former senior advisor to Elizabeth Warren and a law professor at Vanderbilt. He’s also the author of one of the most hotly debated proposals for Supreme Court reform, as well as the fairest and clearest analyst I’ve read regarding the benefits and drawbacks of every other plausible proposal for Supreme Court reform. So in this conversation, we discuss the range of options, from well-known ideas like court packing and term limits to more obscure proposals like the 5-5-5 balanced bench and a judicial lottery system. But there’s another reason I wanted Sitaraman on the show right now. Supreme Court reform matters — for good or for ill — because democracy matters. In his recent book, The Great Democracy, Sitaraman makes an argument that's come to sit at the core of my thinking, too: The fundamental fight in American politics right now is about whether we will become a true democracy. And not just a democracy in the thin, political definition we normally use — holding elections, and ensuring access to the franchise. The fight is for a thicker form of a democracy, one that takes economic power seriously, that makes the construction of a certain kind of civic and political culture central to its aims.  So this is a conversation about what that kind of democracy would look like, and what it would take to get there – up to and including Supreme Court reform. References: Jump-Starting America by Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson  "How to save the Supreme Court" by Daniel Epps and Ganesh Sitaraman Sitaraman's tweet threads about expanding the court , term limits , the 5-5-5 Balanced bench, lottery approach, supermajority voting requirements, jurisdiction stripping, legislative overrides, and what the best approach is. Book recommendations: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn The Public and Its Problems by John Dewey The Anarchy by William Dalrymple  Credits: Producer/Audio wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 19, 2020
Marilynne Robinson on writing, metaphysics, and the Donald Trump dilemma
4538
Marilynne Robinson is one of the greatest American novelists alive today. She’s the author of the Pulitzer-prize winning Gilead — one of my favorite books, ever — as well as Housekeeping, Home, Lila, and her latest, Jack. She’s also produced four brilliant collections of nonfiction essays.  But Robinson is not simply a beautiful writer; her work is inextricably bound up with the most important issues of our times: race, religion, education, geography, and democracy — so much so that in 2015, Barack Obama chose to interview her on the state of the country while he was still the sitting president. This was a joy of a conversation to have right now, and it covers vast amounts of ground, including: • Robinson’s obsession with the doctrine of predestination  • What we know -- and all we don’t know -- about the nature of reality  • The power of loneliness • How, for all the talk of polarization, there are certain ideas that Americans widely, quietly share • How the logic of efficiency and growth has come to invade every aspect of our lives • The differences between writing fiction and nonfiction  • How to train yourself to notice the world around you • The sobering purpose of studying history • What it will take to keep American democracy alive and well   • The particular problem that Donald Trump poses • The baseline assumptions and practices a democracy demands we share And much more. I found this conversation a tonic to have in this moment. I hope it’s the same for you. Book recommendations: Birdman of Alcatraz by Thomas E. Gaddis Credits: Producer - Jeff Geld Audio engineer - Jackson Bierfeldt Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 15, 2020
The case for Trump’s foreign policy
4459
As we approach the 2020 election, I want to make sure the conversation on this show reflects the actual choice the country is facing. So we are going to be doing a few episodes, including this one, with guests who believe Donald Trump is the better candidate this November.  I wanted to start with foreign policy because that’s where Trump has been most influential. Trump has successfully broken the previous bipartisan consensus on key foreign policy issues. The way Republicans — and now even Democrats — talk about trade, alliances, Russia, and China has changed dramatically over the last four years. That’s an important shift, whether or not you agree with it.  Rebeccah Heinrichs is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute where she specializes in nuclear deterrence and missile defense, a former adviser to congressional Republicans, and one of the sharpest defenders of Donald Trump’s foreign policy. Heinrichs sees a clear foreign policy worldview animating the Trump administration — one with more successes to its name than critics are willing to admit. I see a worldview that is inconsistently applied, and whose goals are often undermined, by the President’s impulsive, anti-strategic behavior on the world stage. So I asked Heinrichs to come on the show and persuade me that I’m wrong.  In this conversation Heinrichs and I discuss how Trump shattered the foreign policy consensus that preceded him, why he sees China as such a central threat to American interests, the trade-offs that come with engaging in multilateral agreements and institutions, whether the threats America faces require global cooperation to address, the importance (or lack thereof) of how other countries view America, the ways that Trump undermines his own purported foreign policy aims, Trump’s ally-bashing, the US-Saudi Arabia alliance, the Trump administration's stance on human rights, what we can expect from Trump in his second term, and much more. Book recommendations: The World America Made by Robert Kagan  The False Promise of Liberal Order by Patrick Porter  Exercise of Power by Robert Gates  Credits: Producer - Jeff Geld Audio engineer - Jackson Bierfeldt Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 12, 2020
Fareed Zakaria on how Biden and Trump see the world
4903
Fareed Zakaria is the host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, a columnist for the Washington Post, and one of the most astute foreign policy thinkers of our time. So much of this conversation is focused on just that: How Biden and Trump respectively see the world and want to shape it. In particular, the ways Biden’s foreign policy differs from Obama’s and has changed over the years, whether Trump has a coherent foreign policy at all, and why the most important US foreign policy question is “What is an acceptable level of influence for China to have?” But I also wanted to talk to Zakaria about some broader trends — trends he’s been tracking for some time. Zakaria’s 2003 book The Future of Freedom anticipated the rise of illiberal democracies across the globe long before anyone paid it much attention. His 2008 book The Post-American World described the multipolar international order that, in many ways, we now inhabit. And just recently he authoredTen Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World which forecasts how Covid-19 will change the trajectory of our world.  So in this conversation we also discuss the state of journalism, the dangers of great power war in the 21st century, why Zakaria believes rise of China is far less of a threat than either Republicans or Democrats seem to believe, why a global spike of economic inequality in an already unequal world is perhaps the most important pandemic trend, whether Zakaria has lost faith in America, whether anything short of violent catastrophe can upend concentrations of wealth, how the world’s views of China and America are changing, and much more. References: "The definitive case for ending the filibuster" by Ezra Klein The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century by Walter Scheidel Book recommendations: Cultural Evolution by Ronald F. Inglehart  American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony by Samuel P. Huntington The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon Credits: Producer - Jeff Geld Audio engineer - Jackson Bierfeldt Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 08, 2020
How a climate bill becomes a reality
5259
Helluva week in politics, huh? And yet, in the background, the world is still warming, the fires still burning, the future still dimming. There will be plenty of episodes to come on the election. But I wanted to take a step back and talk about a part of policymaking that is often ignored, but which our world may, literally, depend on. In campaign season, candidates make extravagant promises about all the bills they will pass. The implicit promise is the passage of those bills will solve the problems they’re meant to address. But that’s often not how it works. Between passage and reality lies what Leah Stokes calls “the fog of enactment”: a long, quiet process in which the language of bills is converted into the specificity of laws, and where interest groups and other actors can organize to gut even the strongest legislation. This is where wins can become losses; where historic legislative achievements can be turned into desultory, embarrassing failures. Stokes is a political scientist at UC Santa Barbara, and author of Short Circuiting Policy: Interest Groups and the Battle Over Clean Energy and Climate Policy in the American States. Her book tracks the fate of a series of clean energy standards passed in the states in recent decades, investigating why some of them failed so miserably, and how others succeeded. But her book is more than that, too: It’s a theory of how policymaking actually works, where it gets hijacked, how power is actually wielded, and how to do policymaking better. So this is a conversation that’s about policymaking broadly — we talk about far more than climate, and the principles here apply to virtually everything — but is also about the key question of the next few years narrowly: How do we write a climate bill that actually works? Book recommendations: Rising by Elizabeth Rush The Education of Idealist by Samantha Power War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy Credits: Producer - Jeff Geld Audio engineer- Jackson Bierfeldt Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 05, 2020
The meat we eat affects us all
2104
In this special episode of the Future Perfect podcast, neuroscientist Lori Marino helps us understand how arbitrarily we draw the lines between animals as pets and animals as food, and how we might redraw those lines. Subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week. Further listening and reading:  Lori Marino has done in-depth round-ups of all the research on chicken cognition and pig cognition. You might also enjoy this study, where students who worked with chickens were surprised by their intelligence In the piece, we used clips from this BBC Earth segment on how pig intelligence compares to toddler intelligence, and a Compassion in World Farming piece on pigs and video games Dylan Matthews has written in depth about unnecessarily painful pig castration. He’s also written about the practice of mass-culling male chicks.  For more on what labels like “wild caught,” “organic,” and “grass-fed” actually mean for the food you eat, Rachel Krantz wrote a comprehensive guide. We also have more information on what it means for eggs to be “cage-free.”  We always want to hear from you! Please send comments and questions to futureperfect@vox.com.  This podcast is made possible thanks to support from Animal Charity Evaluators. They research and promote the most effective ways to help animals. Featuring: Lori Marino, Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox  More to explore: Follow all of Future Perfect’s reporting on the Future of Meat. Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. Follow Us: Vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 02, 2020
A dark, dangerous debate
4465
In a special, post-debate episode, I'm joined by Matt Yglesias to discuss the most unnerving presidential debate I've ever seen. Hosts: Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior correspondent, Vox Ezra Klein (@ezraklein), Editor-at-large, Vox Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 30, 2020
A radical — or obvious? — plan to save American democracy
4313
We talk a lot on this show about the problems with American political institutions. But what if all those problems are actually just one problem: the two-party system. Lee Drutman is a political scientist, senior fellow in the Political Reform program at New America, co-host of the podcast Politics in Question, and most recently the author of Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America, which makes the best case against America’s two-party system that I’ve ever read.  In Drutman’s telling, the reason our politics have gotten so toxic is simple: Toxicity is the core incentive of any two-party system. American democracy was only stable at mid-century because we functionally had a four-party system that kept the temperature of political combat from overheating, and the only way to achieve a similar homeostasis is by recreating that kind of system (which Drutman has a four-part plan to do). I'm convinced by a lot of Drutman’s analysis, but I tend toward skepticism that the two-party system is the source of our political ills, which makes this a really fun, dynamic conversation. Book recommendations: The Semi-Sovereign People by E.E. Schattschneider Uncivil Agreement by Liliana Mason  A Different Democracy by Steven L. Taylor, Matthew Soberg Shugart, Arend Lijphart, Bernard Grofman  We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 28, 2020
RBG, minority rule, and our looming legitimacy crisis
4315
The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, just weeks before a presidential election, leaves us in dangerous waters. It’s easy to imagine a scenario in which the election outcome is contested by one side and is ultimately determined by a Supreme Court with the deciding vote cast by Trump's recent appointee. Indeed, both Sen. Ted Cruz and President Donald Trump have named this scenario as driving their urgency to replace Ginsburg. At that point, a legitimacy crisis looms. Suzanne Mettler is the John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions at Cornell University. Her work has focused on trust between citizens and their governments, but recently, she’s co-written, with Robert Lieberman, a book that is tailor-made for this moment: Four Threats: The Recurring Crisis of American Democracy. Its thesis is a dark one: America’s most dangerous political crises have been driven by four kinds of threat -- political polarization, democratic exclusion, economic inequality, and executive power. But this is the first time all four threats are present simultaneously.   “It may be tempting to think that we have weathered severe threats before and that the Constitution protected us,” they write. “But that would be a misreading of history, which instead reveals that democracy is indeed fragile, and that surviving threats to it is by no means guaranteed.”  We discuss where Ginsburg's passing leaves us, what 2020 election scenarios we should be most worried about, what the tumultuous election of 1800 can teach us about today, how this moment could foster exactly the democratic reckoning this country needs, whether court packing and filibuster elimination will save American democracy or destroy it, when people know they’re benefiting from government programs and when they don’t, and more. Book recommendations: Good Enough for Government Work by Amy Lerman  Fragmented Democracy by Jamila Michener With Ballots and Bullets by Nathan Kalmoe  We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 24, 2020
David French and I debate polarization, secession, and the filibuster
5588
David French is a senior editor at the Dispatch, a columnist at Time, and one of the conservative commentators I read most closely. French and I have rather different politics — he's a Christian conservative from Tennessee and I’m a secular liberal from California — but his upcoming book, Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation, tracks some of the same problems that I’ve been obsessing over for years: political polarization and the way it's cracking America apart.   But French goes further than I do: He fears not just governmental dysfunction and paralysis, but full-on secession and even civil war. He constructs two in-depth scenarios — one quite violent — by which America fractures into two separate red and blue nations following secession, and argues the only viable solution is a supercharged form of federalism in which both sides accept that in a nation this polarized, America can only hang together if it permits different regions to govern apart. But is that an answer to our problems, or simply a form of submission to them?   In important ways, French's solution is the opposite of the path I tend to favor, and the result is a constructive debate about the nature of group polarization, the possibility of secession, the importance of the filibuster, what we can learn from James Madison, the virtues and vices of democracy, and the feedback loops of governance. There are, of course, no perfect answers here. But perhaps we can discover the least-terrible solution on offer.  (One note: This conversation was recorded shortly before Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death. But as you'll hear, much of what we talk about is unnervingly relevant to the kind of political crisis, and particularly the questions of minoritarian vs. majoritarian rule, that we're now facing.) Book recommendations: The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay Dune by Frank Herbert  We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 21, 2020
The Matt Yglesias Show
5626
Matt Yglesias is a co-founder and senior correspondent at Vox, my co-host on The Weeds podcast, and my oldest friend in journalism. Matt’s college blog was an inspiration for my own, and since then we’ve worked together, podcasted together, and even started Vox together. I've learned an enormous amount from him, both when we agree and when we disagree. A lot has changed since Matt and I started blogging in the early 2000s — and we’ve changed, too. So we start this conversation by discussing how social media has altered American politics, why Matt went from a war hawk to near-pacifist on US foreign policy, what it’s like to go from attacking the establishment to being seen as part of the establishment, and the way the Obama administration disillusioned him.  But Matt has also recently written a new book, One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger. In it, he argues that the path to ensure American greatness and preeminence on the world stage is a combination of mass immigration, pro-family policy, and overhauling America’s housing and transportation systems. We discuss how to reconcile that vision with the reality of climate change, what a genuinely progressive pro-family agenda would look like, Donald Trump’s housing policy dog-whistling, why we should be allowing a lot more legal immigration, and much more. Book recommendations: Justice, Gender and the Family by Susan M. Okin Political Order and Political Decay by Francis Fukuyama A Farewell to Alms by Gregory Clark We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 17, 2020
Race, policing, and the universal yearning for safety
3226
Our conversation over race and policing — like our conversations over virtually everything in America — is shot through with a crude individualism. Talking in terms of systems and contexts comes less naturally to us, but that means we often miss the true story. Phillip Atiba Goff is the co-founder and CEO of the Center for Policing Equity, as well as a professor of African-American studies and psychology at Yale University. At CPE, Goff sits atop the world’s largest collection of police behavioral data. So he has the evidence, and he knows what it tells us — and, just as importantly, what it doesn’t even attempt to measure. He knows what we can say with confidence about race and policing, and what we wish we knew, but simply don’t. He thinks in systems, in contexts, in uncertainty — in the bigger, harder picture.  That’s what this conversation is about. What do we know about racial bias in policing? At what levels does it operate? Where has it been measured, and what haven’t we even tried to measure? How much of policing is driven by crime rates? How do we think about the conditions that create crime in this analysis, and what do we miss when we ignore them? What do we know about the investments that actually make people safe? How do we balance the reality that police do reduce violent crime with the fury communities have at being over-policed, or victimized by police? How do we experiment with other models of safety carefully and systematically? There’s a lot in this one. This conversation could’ve gone for hours longer. But these are tough issues, and they deserve someone who understands both the micro-level data and the macro-level context. Goff does, and he shares that knowledge generously and clearly here. Book recommendations: Wounded in the House of a Friend by Sonia Sanchez Evicted by Matthew Desmond  Uneasy Peace by Patrick Sharkey No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 14, 2020
How to think about coronavirus risk in your life
4185
Coronavirus has turned life into an endless series of risk calculations. Can I take my child to see his grandparents, even if it means getting on a plane? Is it okay to begin seeing friends or dating? Should I attend religious services even if they are held inside? Do I have to wear a mask around my roommates? The profusion of these questions reflects public health failures, but we live in the wreckage of those failures. So how are we best to live? Julia Marcus is an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and a contributing writer for The Atlantic who has penned a brilliant series of essays about how to think about risk amidst this pandemic. Marcus’s starting point, which emerges from her previous work on HIV prevention, is that an all-or-nothing approach is blindly unrealistic: Everything is a trade-off. Shaming is a terrible public health strategy. And we can’t have a conversation about risks that ignores the reality of benefits, too.  In this conversation, Marcus offers a framework for making key life decisions while also managing coronavirus risk at the same time. We also discuss what the risk calculation for someone living in Germany or South Korea looks like, how the US government’s abdication of responsibility has shifted the burden of risk management onto individuals, the kinds of activities we tend to underestimate and overestimate the riskiness of, the principles that should guide us in the age of coronavirus, how long we can expect this pandemic to last, and much more. References: “Quarantine Fatigue Is Real”, Julia Marcus, The Atlantic “Americans Aren’t Getting the Advice They Need”, Julia Marcus, The Atlantic “Colleges Are Getting Ready to Blame Their Students”, Julia Marcus, The Atlantic Book recommendations: Momo by Michael Ende Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed  The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 10, 2020
Black Republicans, Donald Trump, and America's "George Floyd moment"
5314
The Republican Party began losing the Black vote around 1936. Since then, Republicans have commissioned reports, hired consultants, and spent huge sums of campaign dollars trying to win back Black voters. The project continues today: This year’s Republican National Convention presented a lineup of speakers far more diverse than the Republican Party itself, making the case for the “Party of Lincoln.” A third of African Americans, after all, self-identify as “conservative.” And yet, no Republican presidential candidate has won more than 15 percent of the Black vote since 1964 (many have received well under 10).   Leah Wright Rigueur is a historian and public policy scholar at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the author of The Loneliness of the Black Republican, a remarkable study of the distinct ideologies woven through the Black conservative and Black Republican traditions. The book traces the history of why Black voters left the GOP and what the Republican Party has tried to do — and what it has refused to do — to win them back.   Rigueur has also spent the past decade teaching classes on racial protests, riots, and how they shaped American politics in the 20th century. We discuss the historical analogues for today’s protest movement, what’s different now than in 1968, the complex relationship between protesters and electoral politics, how these movements can lead to both lasting change and white backlash, and more. Book recommendations: Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State by Megan Ming Francis Don't Blame Us by Lily Geismer One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 07, 2020
Andrew Yang on UBI, coronavirus, and his next job in politics
5353
The last time Andrew Yang was on the podcast, he was just beginning his long shot campaign for the presidency. Now, he’s fresh off a speaking slot at the Democratic convention, and, as he reveals here, talking to Joe Biden about a very specific role in a Biden administration.  Which is all to say: A lot has changed for Andrew Yang in the past few years. And even more has changed in the world. So I asked Yang back on the show to talk through this new world, and his possible role in it. Among our topics: - Could a universal basic income be the way we rebuild a fairer economy post-coronavirus?  - What’s changed in AI, and its likely effect on the economy, over the past five years?  - What’s the one mistake Yang wishes the Democratic Party would stop making?  - What did he learn from the surprising success of his own campaign?  - What job is he talking to Joe Biden about taking if Democrats win in November?  - Democrats think of themselves as the party of government. So why don’t they care more about making government work?  - How can Democrats get away with endlessly claiming to support ideas they have no actual intention of passing? - Do progressives have an overly dystopic view of technology? - Is there a way to pull presidential campaigns out of value statements, and into real plans for governing? - The unusual power Joe Biden holds in American politics And much more. References: Vox's Kelsey Piper's piece on GPT-3 My previous podcast with Andrew Yang Ezra's piece on "Why we can't build" Book recommendations: Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee They Don't Represent Us by Lawrence Lessig  Humankind by Rutger Bregman This podcast is part of a larger Vox project called The Great Rebuild, which is made possible thanks to support from Omidyar Network, a social impact venture that works to reimagine critical systems and the ideas that govern them, and to build more inclusive and equitable societies. You can find out more at vox.com/the-great-rebuild We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 03, 2020
Why the hell did America invade Iraq?
4862
In 2003, America invaded Iraq. The war cost trillions of dollars, thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and destabilized the both the US and the Middle East. And for what? Iraq had no WMDs. Even if they had, they posed no threat to us. Why did we do it? What do we need to learn from it? That’s the question Robert Draper has spent years trying to answer. In 2007, Draper wrote Dead Certain, a study of the Bush administration with access to the President himself. But there was a hole at the center of that book, and Draper knew it: He still didn't quite understand what had led Bush to invade Iraq. And so he set out to fill the hole. Draper’s To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq is based on interviews with more than 300 people involved in the run-up to the Iraq War, and the stories they tell offer the clearest, most damning, most useful account of that decision to date.  There’s a reason I wanted to have this conversation right now. The Iraq War isn’t just past. It’s present. It’s part of how George W. Bush’s Republican Party fell to Donald Trump. It’s a study in the ways a president led by conviction and dismissive of expertise can warp the federal government (sound familiar?). It’s a reminder that belief can be as dangerous as cynicism. It's a lesson in the way that, when information is uncertain, assumptions rule all. And for all the differences between Bush and Trump personally, closely studying the Iraq War reveals a key continuity between them, and a reason Republican administrations keep leading to catastrophe.  References: Ezra's piece on why Republican administrations keep leading to catastrophe Book recommendations: The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner The False Cause by Adam H. Domby Young Heroes of the Soviet Union by Alex Halberstadt Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Searcher and Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 31, 2020
How to decarbonize America — and create 25 million jobs
4257
Saul Griffith knows the US energy system better than just about anyone on this planet. He’s an inventor, a MacArthur genius fellow, and the founder and CEO of Otherlab where his team was contracted by the Department of Energy to track and visualize the entirety of America’s energy flows. I had Griffith on the show last year for our climate series to lay out what it would look like for America to decarbonize. It was an awesome episode, but it was just a start.    Last month, Griffith formed an organization called Rewiring America and released an e-book of the same name that details the path to effectively decarbonize the US economy by 2035 without forcing Americans to sacrifice their current lifestyles and without having to invent any new technology. Just as importantly — and this is why it fits our mobilization series — Griffith worked with economists to come up with an estimate of how many new jobs this kind of mobilization could create: 25 million over the next five years, they found. More than that: They looked at what kinds of jobs these would be and where they’d be created.    Griffith’s plan is just about the boldest I’ve seen — and there are real questions about whether our political system is up for the task. But those are, crucially, political questions; part of answering them is showing that they can be answered and that they can be answered in ways that make working Americans better off rather than worse. We are in the midst of an unprecedented triple crisis: A public health crisis, an economic crisis, and a climate crisis each unlike anything we’ve ever faced. If there is a time to be bold, this is it. References: Rewiring America's Jobs Report Study on animal agriculture and emissions Dave Robert's Vox explainer on the "Rewiring America" plan My previous conversation with Saul Griffith You can check the Ezra Klein Show's climate change series here. Book recommendations Debt: A 5,000 Year History by David Graeber This podcast is part of a larger Vox project called The Great Rebuild, which is made possible thanks to support from Omidyar Network, a social impact venture that works to reimagine critical systems and the ideas that govern them, and to build more inclusive and equitable societies. You can find out more at vox.com/the-great-rebuild Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Searcher and Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 27, 2020
Isabel Wilkerson wants to change how we understand race in America
5922
Isabel Wilkerson is an intimidating guest. She’s a former New York Times reporter, Pulitzer Prize recipient, Guggenheim fellow, and hands-down one of the best writers of our time. Her 2010 book The Warmth of Other Suns, a beautiful narrative history of the Great Migration, was a landmark achievement, and remains one of the all-time most recommended books on this show.    Wilkerson worked for years on her new book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, which grapples with a question that has become all the more relevant in recent months: What does America look like when the myths we tell ourselves about who we are, who we’ve been, and what we’ve created fall away? How should we understand the way the racial hierarchies of our past still shape our present?   Caste is a book built around a big theory: that America is a caste system and that, to understand it, we need to drop our sense of exceptionalism and analyze ourselves the way we analyze caste systems in other countries. But it is also a book built around dozens — hundreds — of smaller stories. Wilkerson’s genius as a writer is her ability to connect the macro and the micro, to tell you the big story of what happened but to make that story matter by linking it to the lives of those who survived it. That is, to me, her unique contribution: What in the hands of another writer would feel like an abstraction attains, in her work, the vividness and emotional power of lived experience.    This is a big conversation, and it’s not always an easy one. But it is one you will not forget. References: My conversation with David Williams on why Covid-19 is so deadly for Black America Book recommendations: Annihilation of Caste by B.R. Ambedkar Deep South by Allison Davis and Burleigh Gardner  The Heart of Man by Eric Fromm Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Searcher and Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 24, 2020
What it would take to end child poverty in America
3239
In 2019, about one in six children in America — 12 million kids nationwide — lived in poverty. That’s a rate about two or three times higher than in peer countries. And that was before the worst economic and public health crisis in modern history.    The scale of child poverty in America is a disgrace, not only because of the suffering it creates and the potential it drains from our society, but because it’s easily avoidable. Child poverty is not an inevitability; it’s a policy choice. And we’ve been making the wrong choice for far too long.    So for the second episode of our economic remobilization series, I wanted to focus on a simple set of questions: What if we started taking our moral responsibility to America’s kids seriously? What would that world look like? How would we get there?    Congress member Barbara Lee is the chair of the Majority Leader Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity — and she’s someone who raised two kids, as a single mom on public assistance. In 2015, Lee and her colleague Lucille Roybal-Allard commissioned a landmark report from the National Academy of Sciences to better understand child poverty in America and what we could do to reduce it. Released last year, the report lays out a series of concrete policy proposals that would cut child poverty in half while paying for themselves 10 times over in social benefits.   In this conversation, Lee and I discuss the psychological impact that poverty has on kids, why investing in children is one of the best investments a society can make, what other countries do right on this front that we can learn from, what it would take to end child poverty as we know it, and much more — including why Lee, a hero to many progressives, was an early backer of now-VP nominee Kamala Harris. This podcast is part of a larger Vox project called The Great Rebuild, which is made possible thanks to support from Omidyar Network, a social impact venture that works to reimagine critical systems and the ideas that govern them, and to build more inclusive and equitable societies. You can find out more at vox.com/the-great-rebuild References: "A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty" by the National Academies of Sciences A great Vox explainer on the child poverty report Book recommendations: The End of White Politics by Zerlina Maxwell Say It Louder! by Tiffany Cross  Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Jack-of-all-audio-trades - Jeff Geld Searcher and Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 20, 2020
Hannah Gadsby on comedy, free speech, and living with autism
5610
Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby became a global star with her Netflix special Nanette. It’s a remarkable piece of work, and it does what great art is supposed to do: Give you a sense, however fleeting, of what it is like to live inside another human’s experience. Gadsby’s new special, Douglas, takes that a step further: It explores her autism diagnosis and gives you a sense of what it is like to experience the world through another person’s mind.  The first half of my episode with Gadsby is about her experience moving through the world as a neurodiverse person. Gadsby didn't receive her autism diagnosis until she was almost 40 years old, after decades of struggling to navigate systems, institutions, and norms that weren't built for people like her. Her story of how she got to comedy — and how close she was to simply falling off the map — is searing, and it helped me see some of the capabilities and social conventions I take for granted in a new light. As in her shows, Gadsby, here, renders an experience few of us have had emotionally legible. It’s a powerful conversation. Then, we turn to the topics of free speech, safety, and cancel culture. For years, comedy has been undergoing many of the very same debates that have recently become front and center in the journalism world, and Gadsby has done some of the most powerful thinking I've heard on these issues. We discuss what it means for people in power to take responsibility for their speech, how to navigate the complex relationship between creator and audience members, why Twitter is a “bullying pulpit,” the role of recording technology, and the new skills those of us privileged with a platform are going to need to develop. This is one of those conversations I’ve been thinking about since I had it. Don’t miss it. Book (and painting) recommendations: Saint Sebastian as a Woman by Louise Bourgeois The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben  The New Tsar by Steven Lee Myers Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Jack-of-all-audio-trades - Jeff Geld Researcher/Learner of all things - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 17, 2020
What would Keynes do?
6258
The novel coronavirus — and America’s disastrously inept response — has shuttered the economy, leaving factories quiet, businesses closed, workers unable to do their jobs. Pulling out of this hole will require an economic effort unlike anything in recent history. We don’t just need a bit of stimulus. We will need a remobilization. But towards what end? This is the first episode in a four-part series exploring how to rebuild the economy after COVID. Future episodes will look at a Green New Deal, a children-centric economy, and a universal basic income. But I wanted to start at the beginning. What can the government do? What is the economy for? Why should we trust politicians, rather than markets, to allocate resources on this scale? Zach Carter is a senior reporter at HuffPost and the author of a new book, The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes. The book, which has widely been hailed as one of the year’s best, is a remarkable biography animated by a question many of us have forgotten Keynes asked: What values should guide an economy? What are the higher purposes economic policy should serve? Carter and I discuss: What Keynes would advise the US government to do if he were alive today How good domestic economic management can reduce the risk of global war Whether economics should be about maximizing consumer preferences or pursuing a social purpose The limits of democracy The role advertising plays in economic preferences Why the gold standard was — and is — a terrible idea Why Democratic politicians are stuck in the 1990s when it comes to their thinking on budget deficits Modern Monetary Theory (and its discontents) And much more. Book recommendations: The Globaists by Quinn Slobodian The Deluge by Adam Tooze  Nova by Samuel R. Delany John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics by Richard Parker  This podcast is part of a larger Vox project called The Great Rebuild, which is made possible thanks to support from Omidyar Network, a social impact venture that works to reimagine critical systems and the ideas that govern them, and to build more inclusive and equitable societies. You can find out more at vox.com/the-great-rebuild Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio fanatic - Jeff Geld Researcher- Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 13, 2020
A devastating indictment of the Republican Party
3691
For 30 years, Stuart Stevens was one of the most influential operatives in Republican politics. He was Mitt Romney’s top strategist in 2012, served in key roles on both of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, and worked on dozens of congressional and gubernatorial campaigns — building one of the best winning records in politics. Then Stevens watched his party throw its support behind a man who stood against everything he believed in, or thought he believed in.  Most dissidents from Trumpism take a familiar line: They didn’t leave the Republican Party; the Republican Party left them. But for Stevens, Trump forced a more fundamental rethinking: The problem, he believes, is not that the GOP became something it wasn’t; it’s that many of those within it — including him — failed to see what it actually was. In his new book, It Was All a Lie, he delivers a searing indictment of the party he helped build and his role in it.  This is a conversation about the Republican Party’s past, present, and future. We discuss the differences between the Democratic and Republican coalitions, whether party elites could have prevented Trump’s rise, the power the GOP base holds, the relationship between tax cuts for the rich and white identity politics for the poor, where the party can and can’t go after Trump, the GOP operatives trying to put Kanye West on the 2020 ballot, how Stevens played the race card in his first campaigns, why Romney lost while Trump won, and much more. Book recommendations: The memoirs of Franz von Papen Black Cross by Greg Iles  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio fanatic - Jeff Geld Researcher- Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 10, 2020
How inequality and white identity politics feed each other
4723
Conservative parties operating in modern democracies face a dilemma: How does a party that represents the interests of moneyed elites win mass support? The dilemma sharpens as inequality widens — the more the haves have, the more have-nots there are who want to tax them. In their new book, Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality, political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson argue that three paths are possible: Moderate on economics, activate social divisions, or undermine democracy itself. The Republican Party, they hold, has chosen a mix of two and three. “To advance an unpopular plutocratic agenda, Republicans have escalated white backlash — and, increasingly, undermined democracy,” they write. On some level, it’s obvious that the GOP is a coalition between wealthy donors who want tax cuts and regulatory favors, and downscale whites who fear demographic change and want Trump to build that wall. But how does that coalition work? What happens when one side gains too much power? If the donor class was somehow raptured out of politics, would the result be a Republican Party that trafficked less in social division, or more? And has the threat of strongman rule distracted us from the growing reality of minoritarian rule? In this conversation, we discuss how inequality has remade the Republican Party, the complex relationship between white identity politics and plutocratic economics, what to make of the growing crop of GOP leaders who want to abandon tax cuts for the rich and recenter the party around ethnonationalism, how much power Republican voters have over their party, and much more. Paul Pierson's book recommendations: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo Evicted by Matthew Desmond The Social Limits to Growth by Fred Hirsch Jacob Hacker's book recommendations: Tocqueville's Discovery of America by Leo Damrosch The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro The Internationalists by Oona A. Hathaway and Scott J. Shapiro Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher in chief - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 06, 2020
Best of: Jia Tolentino on what happens when life is an endless performance
6358
The introduction to Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, hit me hard. In her investigation of how American politics and culture had collapsed into “an unbearable supernova of perpetually escalating conflict,” she became obsessed with five intersecting problems: “First, how the internet is built to distend our sense of identity; second, how it encourages us to overvalue our opinions; third, how it maximizes our sense of opposition; fourth, how it cheapens our understanding of solidarity; and, finally, how it destroys our sense of scale." Yeah, me too. My conversation with Tolentino was one of my favorites of last year -- and it has become all the more relevant in the midst of a pandemic that has collapsed most human communication into Zoom calls, Twitter feeds, and Instagram stories. This is a conversation about what happens when technology combines with the most powerful forces of human psychology to transform the nature of human interaction itself. It’s about how we construct and express our core sense of self, and what that’s doing to who we really are. References: The art of attention (with Jenny Odell) Book Recommendations: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher in chief - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 03, 2020
Dadding out with Mike Birbiglia
4764
Mike Birbiglia is one of my favorite comedians. He’s behind the specials. “Thank God for Jokes” and “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” the movies “Sleepwalk With Me” and “Don’t Think Twice,” and now the book The New One. The New One is on a subject close to my heart: Fatherhood. Birbiglia didn’t intend to be a father. He didn’t want to be a father. But he became one. And it was hard — on him, on his wife, on his marriage. The New One is a memoir of that time — funny, but brutally honest, and touching on some of the hardest truths of parenthood. It’s the kind of book that you can’t quite believes anyone would write. I mean, who would admit that? Or that? And did you read the part where…? So this is a conversation with a very funny person about some very tender subjects. Something Birbiglia and I both found becoming fathers is that there’s a lot less discussion of the emotional and relational dimensions of fatherhood than you might think. Our experiences were different. But these are topics that should be discussed more, whether you’re a parent or not. Book recommendations: Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb Feel Free by Zadie Smith Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher in chief - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 30, 2020
A rabbi explains how to make sense of suffering
3457
In this special crossover episode of Vox's Future Perfect series, The Way Through, Co-host Sean Illing talks to David Wolpe, senior rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, about God and how to make sense of suffering in human life. Relevant resources:  Making Loss Matter : Creating Meaning in Difficult Times by Rabbi David Wolpe Religion without God: Alain de Botton on "atheism 2.0." by Sean Iling Featuring: David Wolpe (@RabbiWolpe), senior rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles Host: Sean Illing (@Seanilling), senior interviews writer, Vox More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down the big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts. Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 27, 2020
The crisis in the news
3122
There’s been a lot of discussion lately — including on this show — of the problems facing national news. Cries of fake news, illiberalism in the administration, fractured audiences, the cancel culture debate, shaky business models, and more. But the truest crisis in news isn’t in national news. It’s in local news.  American newspapers cut 45 percent of newsroom staff between 2008 and 2017. From 2004 to 2015, the U.S. newspaper industry lost over 1,800 print outlets to closures and mergers. And it’s only gotten worse since then. This is truest crisis in American news media: That so many places are losing the institutions that gather the news, that bind the community together, that hold public officials accountable ands bring public concerns visibility. Vast swaths of the country are now news deserts — and it’s happening at the same time that the average news consumer feels like they’re drowning in more information than ever before. Margaret Sullivan was the award-winning chief editor of the Buffalo News, then the public editor of the New York Times, and now the media columnist for the Washington Post. She’s also the author of Ghosting The News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of Democracy. This is a conversation about the economic, technological, and political forces that led to the devastation of local news; what happens to communities in the absence of health local news institutions; and, just as importantly, what we can do to save and revitalize local journalism. Book recommendations: Democracy’s Detectives by James T. Hamilton Still Here by Alexandra Jacobs  Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir by Joyce Johnson Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher in chief - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 23, 2020
Bryan Stevenson on how America can heal
4878
What would it take for America to heal? To be the country it claims to be? This is the question that animates Bryan Stevenson’s career. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a clinical professor at the New York University School of Law, a MacArthur genius, and the author of the remarkable book Just Mercy — which was recently turned into a feature film, where Stevenson was played by Michael B. Jordan.  I admire Stevenson tremendously. He has lived a life dedicated to justice. Justice for individuals — some of whom he has rescued from death row — and justice for the society he lives in. He’s one of the fairly few people I’ve found with vision for how America could find justice on the far shore of our own history. That vision is particularly needed now and so I asked him to return to the show to share it. To my delight, he agreed. This conversation is about truth and reconciliation in America — and about whether truth would actually lead to reconciliation in America. It’s about what the process of reckoning with our past sins and present wounds would look and feel and sound like. It’s about what we can learn from countries like Germany and South Africa, that have walked further down this path than we have. And it’s about the country and community that could lie on the other side of that confrontation.  Book recommendations: The Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B Du Bois  The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson  From Slavery to Freedom by John Hope Franklin Evelyn Higginbotham  The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky Gilead by Marilyne Robinson  Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 20, 2020
What a post-Trump Republican Party might look like
4910
Five years ago, Oren Cass sat at the center of the Republican Party. Cass is a former management consultant who served as the domestic policy director for the Mitt Romney campaign and then as a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute. But then he launched an insurgency.  Today, Cass is the founder and executive director of American Compass, a new think tank created to challenge the right-wing economic orthodoxy. Cass thinks conservatism has lost its way, becoming obsessed with low tax rates and a quasi-religious veneration of markets. What conservatives need, he thinks, are clear social goals that can structure a radically new economic agenda: a vision that puts families first, eschews economic growth as the be-all-end-all of policymaking, and recognizes the inescapability of government intervention in the economy. Trump is likely — though not certain — to lose in 2020. And then, Cass thinks, Republicans will face a choice: to return to a “pre-Trump” consensus, or to build a “post-Trump future” — one that, he hopes, will prevent more Trump-like politicians from rising.  In this conversation, Cass and I discuss how current economic indicators fail, the relationship between economics and culture, why Cass believes production — not consumption — should be the central focus of public policy, the problems with how our society assigns status to different professions, the role that power plays in determining market outcomes, the conservative case against market fundamentalism, why Cass supports labor unions and industrial policy but not a job guarantee or publicly funded childcare, what the future of the Republican Party after Donald Trump looks like, whether Cass’s policies are big enough to solve the problems he identifies, and more. References: The Once and Future Worker by Oren Cass "Removing the Blinders from Economic Policy" by Oren Cass Book recommendations: The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom  The Value of Everything by Mariana Mazzucato  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy  Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 16, 2020
Free speech, safety, and ‘the letter’
5463
Last week, Harper’s published an open letter arguing that “the free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.” The letter had a long list of signatories, and triggered an instant controversy, not so much for what it said as a text as for how it was being used as a political document. This is a hot debate on both sides because it traces the issue most central not just to journalists’ hearts, but to our jobs: Can we speak the truth, as best we understand it? And who, even, is “we”? I believe in the free exchange of information and ideas. I’ve committed my life to it. But I also worry those values are sometimes deployed as political positioning rather than democratic practice. The term "free speech" is often used here, but we're not dealing with laws regulating speech. We're dealing with media platforms that make editorial decisions as a matter of course. No one has the right to a New York Times op-ed column, or a warm reception on social media. But fear of losing your job, or your status, can chill speech — as, of course, can fear of physical or legislative harm. As such, I've come to think the core of this debate isn't freedom, but safety. The word has become polarizing, but the yearning for it is ubiquitous. To speak freely, you must feel safe, or at least safe enough. That’s what the letter’s signatories are asking for. That’s also what its critics are asking for. Yascha Mounk is a political scientist at Johns Hopkins University, a columnist at the Atlantic, the host of the Good Fight podcast, and now the founder of a new journal, Persuasion, dedicated to pushing back on the illiberalism he sees infecting the discourse. Yascha and I agree on most issues, and I think hold similar values, but often find ourselves arguing over this topic. So I asked him on the show to see if we could figure out why. We discuss liberalism and illiberalism, what to do with speech that restricts others from speaking, the component parts of what gets called “cancel culture,” whether the zone of debate has widened or narrowed over the past 20 years, the differing cultures of Twitter and Reddit, The NYT's Tom Cotton controversy, whether safety and free speech are truly in tension, what the word “unsafe” means to people who have daily reason to fear for their freedom and futures, and much more.  Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 13, 2020
The frightening fragility of America's political institutions
4168
Masha Gessen grew up in the Soviet Union and spent two decades covering the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, before being driven from the country by policies targeting LGBT people. Watching Donald Trump win in 2016, Gessen felt like they had seen this movie before. Within forty-eight hours of Trump’s victory, Gessen’s essay “Autocracy: Rules for Survival” had gone viral, including lessons that in hindsight read as prophetic: Believe the autocrat. Do not be taken in by small signs of normality. Institutions will not save you. Now, Gessen is back with a new book, Surviving Autocracy, that is a collection of ideas they have been building over the course of the Trump presidency. We discuss the inherent fragility of American political institutions, Donald Trump’s autocratic aesthetic, how the language of liberal democracy paradoxically undermines genuine liberal democracy, what lessons Gessen learned from covering the rise of Vladamir Putin, why Gessen believes the US is currently in the first stage of the three part descent to autocracy, whether George W. Bush was a more damaging president than Donald Trump, the counterintuitive roots of Trumpian post-truthism, and much more. Book recommendation: The Post-Communist Mafia State by Balint Magyar Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer/ Audio Master Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 09, 2020
Can artificial intelligence be emotionally intelligent?
4684
When we talk about AI, we’re often talking about a very particular, narrow form of intelligence — the sort of analytical competence that can win you games of GO or solve complex math equations. That type of intelligence is important, but it’s incomplete. Human affairs don’t operate on reason and logic alone. They sometimes don't operate on reason and logic at all. In 1995, computer scientist Rosalind Picard wrote a paper and subsequent book making the case that the fields of computer science and AI should take emotion seriously, and providing a framework for how machines could come to understand, express and monitor emotion. That project launched the field of “Affective Computing” and today Picard is the founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at MIT, and a leading inventor and entrepreneur in affective computing.  In this conversation, Picard and I discuss the importance of emotional cognition to human decision-making, how emotion-tracking technology is being used to help disadvantaged populations (but could also be used to bring about dystopian results), how affective computing deals with the subjective expressions of human emotions, what studying affective computing taught her about interacting with other humans, why Picard believes the goal of AI technology should be to “empower the weak”and “reduce inequality,” and much more. Book recommendations: The Bible (stick around for the reasoning behind this one) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer/ Jack-of-all-audio-trades Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 06, 2020
Danielle Allen on the radicalism of the American revolution — and its lessons for today
4359
My first conversation with Harvard political theorist Danielle Allen in fall 2019 was one of my all-time favorites. I didn’t expect to have Allen on again so soon, but her work is unusually relevant to our current moment. She’s written an entire book about the deeper argument of the Declaration of Independence and the way our superficial reading and folk history of the document obscures its radicalism. (It’ll make you look at July Fourth in a whole new way). Her most recent book, Cuz, is a searing indictment of the American criminal justice system, driven by watching her cousin go through it and motivated by the murder that ended his life. Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, which Allen directs, has released the most comprehensive, operational road map for mobilizing and reopening the US economy amidst the Covid-19 crisis. And to top it all off, a two-year bipartisan commission of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, which Allen co-chaired, recently released a report with more than 30 recommendations on how to reform American democracy — and they’re very, very good. This is a wide-ranging conversation for a wide-ranging moment. Allen and I discuss what “all men are created equal” really means, why the myth of Thomas Jefferson’s sole authorship of the Declaration of Independence muddies its message, the role of police brutality in the American revolution, democracy reforms such as ranked-choice voting, DC statehood, mandatory voting, how to deal with a Republican Party that opposes expanding democracy, the case for prison abolition, the various pandemic response paths before us, the failure of political leadership in this moment, and much more. References: My first conversation with Danielle Allen Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center's Covid-19 work "Our Common Purpose" report on reinventing democracy for the 21st century Book recommendations: To Shape a New World by Brandon Terry and Tommie Shelby  Solitary by Alfred Woodfox  The Torture Letters by Laurence Ralph Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer/ Jack-of-all-audio-trades Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 02, 2020
Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect
1077
Land of the Giants is a podcast from our friends at Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network that examines the most powerful tech companies of our time.   The second season is called The Netflix Effect, and it’s hosted by Recode editors Rani Molla and Peter Kafka.   The Netflix Effect explores how a company that began as a small DVD-by-mail service ultimately upended Hollywood and completely changed the way we watch TV.   It’s a fascinating look at what really goes on behind the scenes at Netflix, one of the few companies that’s actually growing during the pandemic, and how they’re continuing to transform entertainment for you and me.     New episodes are released every Tuesday morning.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 01, 2020
Nicholas Carr on deep reading and digital thinking
4320
In 1964, the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan wrote his opus Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. In it, he writes, “In the long run, a medium's content matters less than the medium itself in influencing how we think and act." Or, put more simply: "Media work their magic, or their mischief, on the nervous system itself." This idea — that the media technologies we rely on reshape us on a fundamental, cognitive level — sits at the center of Nicholas Carr's 2010 book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. A world defined by oral traditions is more social, unstructured, and multi-sensory; a world defined by the written written word is more individualistic, disciplined, and hyper-visual. A world defined by texting, scrolling and social feedback is addicted to stimulus, constantly forming and affirming expressions of identity, accustomed to waves of information. Back in 2010, Carr argued that the internet was changing how we thought, and not necessarily for the better. “"My brain, I realized, wasn't just drifting,” he wrote. “It was hungry. It was demanding to be fed the same way the net fed it — and the more it was fed, the hungrier it became.” His book was a finalist for the Pulitzer that year, but dismissed by many, including me. Ten years on, I regret that dismissal. Reading it now, it is outrageously prescient, offering a framework and language for ideas and experiences I’ve been struggling to define for a decade.  Carr saw where we were going, and now I wanted to ask him where we are. In this conversation, Carr and I discuss how speaking, reading, and now the Internet have each changed our brains in different ways, why "paying attention" doesn't come naturally to us, why we’re still reading Marshall McLuhan, how human memory actually works, why having your phone in sight makes you less creative, what separates "deep reading” from simply reading, why deep reading is getting harder, why building connections is more important than absorbing information, the benefits to collapsing the world into a connected digital community, and much more. The point of this conversation is not that the internet is bad, nor that it is good. It’s that it is changing us, just as every medium before it has. We need to see those changes clearly in order to take control of them ourselves.  Book recommendations: The Control Revolution by James R. Beniger The Four-Dimensional Human by Laurence Scott A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer - Jeff Geld Research Czar - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 29, 2020
Your questions, answered
5033
Believe it or not, we’re already halfway through 2020. What a great year so far, huh? Just a delight. That means it’s time for an AMA. Among the questions you asked: If Joe Biden is elected president, what should his administration's first legislative priority be?  What were the best critiques of Why We’re Polarized?  How much of today's political conflict comes down to the Boomer/Millennial divide? What’s your reading process? What does preparation for EK Show episodes look like? If you were only intellectually accountable to beauty and not truth, what religion would you choose?  What’s your favorite non-Vox podcast? What’s your biggest takeaway from year 1 of being a dad? East coast or west coast?  What are the episodes that you have the most fun doing?  What’s an important identity of yours that doesn’t usually come out on the show?  Roge Karma joins me for this one. References: "In praise of polarization" by Ezra Klein "Imagining the nonviolent state" by Ezra Klein Ezra's book recommendations: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Beyond Ideology by Francis Lee What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer  Most fun EK Shows: I build a world with fantasy master N.K. Jemisin The art of attention, with Jenny Odell Tracy K. Smith changed how I read poetry How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher/Guest host - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 25, 2020
Which country has the world's best healthcare system?
4227
I got my start as a blogger. But more specifically, I got my start as a health policy blogger. My first piece of writing I remember people really caring about was a series called “The Health of Nations,” in which I checked out books from college library, downloaded international reports, and profiled the world’s leading health systems. It was crude stuff, but it taught me a lot. The way we do health care isn’t the only way to do health care. It’s not the best way, or the second best, or the third. Ezekiel Emanuel is a bioethicist, oncologist, and co-director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Health Transformation Institute. He was a top health policy advisor in the Obama administration, he’s a senior fellow at the Center for American progress, he makes his own artisanal chocolate, and he’s got a new book — Which Country Has the World’s Best Healthcare? — where he goes into more detail than I ever did, or could, to profile other health systems and rank them against our own. So, yes, this is a conversation about which country has the world’s best health system. But it’s also about how innovation in health care actually works, whether there’s any evidence private insurers add actual value, whether health care is the best investment to make in improving health (spoiler: no), how do you improve a health system when half of the political system will fight like hell against those improvements, and much more. Emanuel has also been doing a lot of work on coronavirus policy, and so we spend some time there, discussing the question that’ tormenting me now: Are we simply giving up that fight? And is there even a politically viable option to giving up, given how much time the government has wasted and how exhausted the public is? Book recommendations: Master of the Senate by Robert Caro The Last Place on Earth by Roland Huntford On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller by Richard Norton Smith Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 22, 2020
The transformative power of restorative justice
4465
The criminal justice system asks three questions: What law was broken? Who broke it? And what should the punishment be? Upon that edifice — and channeled through old bigotries and fears — we have built the largest system of human incarceration on earth. America accounts for 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of its imprisoned population.  Restorative justice asks different questions: Who was harmed? What do they need? And whose obligation is it to meet those needs? It is a radically different model, with profoundly different results both for victims and perpetrators. Studies show restorative justice programs leave survivors more satisfied, cut recidivism rates, and cost less. If we’re thinking about rebuilding the criminal justice program, restorative justice should be central to that conversation.  sujatha baliga is the director of the Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice. She won a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2019. She’s a survivor of abuse herself. Her work points toward a new paradigm for criminal justice: one focused on repairing breaches, not exacting retribution. And it carries lessons for how our politics might function, how our society could heal some of its oldest wounds, and how we live our own precious lives.  References: "Imagining the nonviolent state" by Ezra Klein Healing Resistance: A Radically Different Response to Harm by Kazu Haga Book recommendations: For the Benefit of All Beings by the Dalai Lama  The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher extraordinaire - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 18, 2020
Ross Douthat and I debate American decadence
5724
In his new book, The Decadent Society, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat diagnoses America’s core problems as decadence: “a situation in which repetition is more the norm than innovation; in which sclerosis afflicts public institution and private enterprises alike; in which intellectual life seems to go in circles; in which new developments in science, new exploratory projects, underdeliver compared with what people recently expected.” Douthat argues that there is a kind of ideological exhaustion, a spiritual malaise, at the center of the American project. We are a victim of our own successes, undone by our own achievements, and unable to break free from our oldest debates. But is he right? Ross and I cover a lot of ground in this conversation. We discuss why conservative Catholics talk so much more about sex than poverty, the dangers of the expansionary impulse, whether psychedelic culture is an antidote to decadence, the importance of utopian ambition, the moral foundations of effective altruism, the problem with contemporary science fiction, whether political liberalism is dependent on Christian metaphysics, why America can’t build, whether war is necessary for existential meaning, how the New York Times op-ed page has changed over the past decade, and much more. Book recommendations: From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun The Illusion of the End by Jean Baudrillard The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood The Children of Men by PD James Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 15, 2020
A serious conversation about UFOs
5394
You may have been following — I hope you are following — the New York Times's recent UFO reporting. Videos that the Navy confirms are real show pilots seeing and marveling over craft they can't explain. And as former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put it, those videos “only scratch the surface” of the Pentagon's UFO research. UFOs are one of those topics that it’s hard to take seriously because they’re covered in kitsch and conspiracy. But there are those who take them seriously, which means approaching the question with humility. The history, frequency, and consistency of these events point toward something that merits study. But the explanations we force onto them — from religious visitations to aliens — confuse us further. We’re working backward from beliefs we already have, not forward from phenomena we don’t understand.  Diana Walsh Pasulka is a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion. In 2019, she published a fascinating book called American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology, in which she embeds in the world of UFO research and tries to understand it using the tools of religious scholarship. The results are revelatory in terms of theory but also in terms of the things she sees, learns, and is forced to confront. Sometimes it's healthy — and, to be honest, fun — to train our attention on what we can't explain, not just what we can. In this episode, we do just that. Book recommendations: Passport to Magonia by Jacques Vallee Authors of the Impossible by Jeffrey J. Kripal UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record by Leslie Kean Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 11, 2020
A former prosecutor's case for prison abolition
3992
In 2017, Paul Butler published the book Chokehold: Policing Black Men. For Butler the chokehold is much more than a barbaric police tactic; it is also a powerful powerful metaphor for understanding how racial oppression functions in the US criminal justice system.  Butler describes a chokehold as “a process of coercing submission that is self-reinforcing. A chokehold justifies additional pressure on the body because a body does not come into compliance, but a body cannot come into compliance because of the vice grip that is on it.” That, he says, is the black experience in the United States.  Butler knows that experience all too well. He began his legal career as a criminal prosecutor, a job that he describes in this conversation as “basically just locking up black men.” Then, the tables turned and Butler found himself falsely accused of a misdemeanor assault. "After that experience I didn’t want to be a prosecutor any more," he writes. "I don’t think every cop lies in court but I know for sure that one did."  That experience put Butler on a journey very different than the one he began. Butler, now a Georgetown Law professor, has come to believe that the criminal justice system is not merely broken and in need of repair; rather, it is working exactly as it was designed, and thus needs to be completely reimagined. Book recommendations: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison Sula by Toni Morrison Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Editor - Jackson Bierfeldt Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 08, 2020
Why Ta-Nehisi Coates is hopeful
5543
The first question I asked Ta-Nehisi Coates, in this episode, was broad: What does he see right now, as he looks out at the country? “I can't believe I'm gonna say this,” he replied, “but I see hope. I see progress right now.” Coates is the author of the National Book Award-winner Between the World and Me and The Water Dancer, among others. We discuss how this moment differs from 1968, the tension between “law” and “order,” the contested legacy of MLK, Trump's view of the presidency, police abolition, why we need to renegotiate the idea of “the public,” how the consensus on criminal justice has shifted, what Joe Biden represents, the proper role of the state, the poetry Coates recommends, and much more.  But there’s one thread of this conversation, in particular, that I haven’t been able to put down: There is now, as there always is amidst protests, a loud call for the protesters to follow the principles of nonviolence. And that call, as Coates says, comes from people who neither practice nor heed nonviolence in their own lives. But what if we turned that conversation around: What would it mean to build the state around principles of nonviolence, rather than reserving that exacting standard for those harmed by the state? Book recommendations: Punishment and Inequality in America by Bruce Western Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration by Devah Pager The Country Between Us by Carolyn Forche Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Editor - Jackson Bierfeldt Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 04, 2020
Are humans fundamentally good? (with Rutger Bregman)
5990
Dutch historian and De Correspondent writer Rutger Bregman got famous for the lashings he gave Tucker Carlson and the assembled plutocrats of Davos. But his work is far more utopian than polemical. The conversation we had on this show almost a year ago on his previous book Utopia for Realists is still one of my favorites. Bregman's new book, Humankind: A Hopeful History, is even more ambitious: it's an effort to establish that human beings, human nature, is kinder, friendlier, more decent, than we are given credit for. And that a new world could be built atop that understanding. I'm not convinced by everything in this book, to be honest. But that tension makes this conversation unusually generative. We discuss the deeply social, egalitarian lives of hunter-gatherers, whether the advent of human civilization was a huge mistake, and how our views toward religious faith have changed radically since our early 20s; and we debate whether humans have a nature at all, the implications of the Holocaust, whether we can build a society without CEOs, politicians, and bureaucrats, and more By the end, I'm still not sure I believe there is one human nature. But, I do think that if we believed Bregman's view of our nature, rather than, say, Donald Trump's view of our nature, maybe we could build something much more beautiful. Book recommendations: Affluence without Abundance by James Suzman Behind the Shock Machine by Gina Perry The Lost Boys by Gina Perry How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog) by Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 01, 2020
From politician to priest
7449
I first met Cyrus Habib at a conference a few years ago. You don't forget him. He's a Rhodes scholar. Iranian-America. As lieutenant governor of Washington state, he was the youngest Democrat elected to statewide office in the country. And he's blind. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I read a piece in the New York Times that I didn't expect: Habib, who had a clear shot to be the next governor of Washington, is leaving politics to become a Jesuit. He is going to take a vow of obedience, of poverty, of chastity. He is going to give up his phone for years. And most fascinating of all, he doesn’t think of it as an act of sacrifice. “I don’t see it as a shrinking of my world,” he told the Times. "I see it as a shrinking of my self.” That is not something you read every day. So I asked Habib if he would come on the podcast and talk to me about this decision. The result is a remarkable conversation about Habib’s intertwining faith and political journeys, what you can and can’t achieve through political service, whether religion is the modern counterculture, how the forces of meritocracy and achievement ensnare even their winners, what it means to lead a life of joy, whether freedom comes through choice or constraint, the Jesuit theory of social change, whether a decision like this is selfish or selfless, and so much more. This conversation takes a bit of a winding path. But where it goes is really, really worth it. Book recommendations: The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by James Martin Tattoos on the Heart by Greg Boyle Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon Laudato Si' by Pope Francis Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 28, 2020
Robert Frank's radical idea
4481
I’ve known Cornell economist Robert Frank for almost 15 years. And for as long as I’ve known him, Frank has been trying to convince his fellow economists of an idea that’s simple to state, but radical in its implications: social pressure is a fundamental economic force. We are not rational, individual economic agents; we are social animals trying to mimic, and best each other — oftentimes without even knowing it. The failure of the economics profession to see this is, in Frank's view, a crime against public policy. Frank’s new book, Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work, came out shortly before coronavirus reshaped daily life. But it is, for that very reason, extraordinarily timed: it’s an effort to show that the economics of social contagion could reshape the world, solving our hardest problems — from climate change to income inequality — and offering new ways to think about the power we have as individuals. Absent coronavirus, its argument might’ve seemed abstract, optimistic. But now we've seen it happen. We are watching a version of Frank’s thesis play out right now, in real time. In the wake of coronavirus, social pressure has driven perhaps the single fastest behavioral transformation in human history. It is the example and pressure we face from each other that has made social distancing so effective, so fast. And if social pressure can do that — what else can it do? What Frank offers here is a theory of how public policy can shape peer pressure for good and for bad. Some of the ideas in this podcast — "expenditure cascades," "positional goods" — are hard to unsee once you see them. Others — like his proposal to rebuild the tax system around a progressive consumption tax meant to curb the intra-wealthy competitions that drive inequality — would radically reshape vast swaths of the tax code. Book recommendations: The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells Micromotives and Macrobehavior by Thomas Schelling "How to solve climate change and make life more awesome" with Saul Griffith (podcast) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 25, 2020
Why “essential” workers are treated as disposable
4323
Grocery store clerks. Fast food cashiers. Hospice care workers. Bus drivers. Farm workers. Along with doctors and nurses, these are the people who are putting their own lives at risk to keep our society functioning day in and out amid the worst crisis of our lifetimes. We call them heroes, we label them “essential,” and we clap for their brave efforts -- even though none of them signed up for this monumental task, and many of them lack basic healthcare, paid sick leave, a living wage, cultural respect and dignified working conditions.  How did things get this way? Why did we end up with an economy that treats our most essential workers as disposable? And what does an alternative future of work look like?  Mary Kay Henry is the president of the Service Employees International Union, a 2 million person organization that represents a huge segment of America’s essential workers. If you ask a traditional economist why essential workers are paid so little, they’ll talk about marginal productivity and returns to education; ask Kay Henry and she’ll talk about something very different: power. Book recommendations: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo Lead from the Outside by Stacey Abrams The Dowry by Lorraine Paolucci Macchello Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 21, 2020
"The world’s scariest economist” on coronavirus, innovation, and purpose
5081
The Times of London called Mariana Mazzucato “the world’s scariest economist.” Quartz describes her as “on a mission to save capitalism from itself.” Wired says she has “a plan to fix capitalism,” and warns that “it’s time we all listened. ”Mazuccato is an economist at University College London and Founder and Director of UCL's Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. She’s the author of The Entrepreneurial State and The Value of Everything — two books that, together, critique some of the most fundamental economic assumptions of our time, and try and chart a different path forward. This is a moment that demands critique. The workers who are being called “essential” now were treated as disposable before — paid low wages, offered little respect. The difference between states with innovative, capable public sectors and states where government agencies have been dismissed and defunded is on terrible display.  The debates Mazzucato has been trying to open for years are now unavoidable. So let’s have them. Book recommendations: Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar  The Deficit Myth by Stephanie Kelton War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 18, 2020
A mind-bending conversation about quantum mechanics and parallel worlds
4940
While you read these words, the universe is splitting into countless copies. New realities, all with a version of you, exactly like you are now, but journeying off into their own branch of the multiverse. Maybe. Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at CalTech, the host of the Mindscape podcast, and author of, among other books, Something Deeply Hidden, which blew my mind a bit. He is also a believer in, and defender of, the “many-worlds” interpretation of quantum mechanics, which has to be one of the five most fun things in the world to think about. Science! This is a conversation where I get to do something I’ve always wanted to do: Ask a real quantum physicist all of my questions about quantum physics. And then ask again, when I don’t understand the answer, which I usually don’t. And then again, when I sort of understand, but there’s still a part tripping me up. Carroll is wonderfully patient and beautifully clear, and the result is a conversation I haven’t stopped telling friends about since I had it. This world sucks right now. Let’s think about some other ones. References: The Biggest Ideas in the Universe! YouTube series Book recommendations: How Physics Makes Us Free by J. T. Ismael How the Universe Got Its Spots by Janna Levin The Calculus Diaries by Jennifer Ouellette Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 14, 2020
Why the coronavirus is so deadly for black America
4949
In Michigan, African Americans represent 14 percent of the population, 33 percent of infections, and 40 percent of deaths. In Mississippi they represent 38 percent of the population, 56 percent of infections, and 66 percent of deaths. In Georgia they represent 16 percent of the population, 31 percent of infections, and just over 50 percent of deaths. The list goes on and on: Across the board, African Americans are more likely to be infected by Covid-19 and far more likely to die from it. This doesn’t reflect a property of the virus. It reflects a property of our society. Understanding why the coronavirus is brutalizing black America means understanding the health inequalities that predate it. For the last 25 years, David R. Williams, a professor of public health and chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has been studying those inequalities. He was named one of the top 10 most-cited social scientists in the world from 1995 to 2005, and Reuters ranked him as one of the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” in 2014. At the center of Williams’s work is an attempt to grapple with some of the most difficult and sensitive questions in public: Why do black Americans have higher rates of chronic illness, disease, and mortality than white Americans? Why do those disparities remain even when you control for variables like income and education? Consider this: The life expectancy gap between a white high school dropout and a black high school dropout? 3½ years. Between a white college graduate and a black college graduate? 4.2 years. In this conversation, Williams doesn’t just give the clearest account I’ve heard of the coronavirus’s unequal toll. He also gives the clearest account of how America’s institutional and social structures have led to the most profound and consequential inequality of all. References: "Are Ghettos Good or Bad" by David Cutler and Edward Glaeser David Williams's Ted Talk on racism and health Book recommendations: American Apartheid by Douglas S. Massey and Nancy A. Denton The Highest Stage of White Supremacy by John Whitson Cell The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 11, 2020
Jenny Odell on nature, art, and burnout in quarantine
4132
One of my favorite episodes of this show was my conversation with Jenny Odell, just under a year ago. Odell, a visual artist, writer, and Stanford lecturer, had just released her book How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy and we had a fascinating conversation about the importance of maintenance work, the problem with ceaseless productivity, the forces vying for our attention, the comforts of nature, and so much more.  A lot has changed since then. Odell’s book became a sensation: it captured a cultural moment, made it onto Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2019 list and became, for many, a touchstone. And then, a global pandemic hit, radically altering the world in ways that made the core themes of Odell’s work more prescient, and more difficult. What happens when, instead of choosing to “do nothing,” doing nothing is forced upon you? What happens when all you have access to is nature? What happens when the work of maintenance becomes not just essential, but also dangerous? So I asked Odell back, for a very different conversation in a very different time. This isn’t a conversation, really, about fixing the world right now. It’s about living in it, and what that feels like. It’s about the role of art in this moment, why we undervalue the most important work in our society, how to have collective sympathy in a moment of fractured suffering, where to find beauty right now, the tensions of productivity, the melting of time, our reckoning with interdependence, and much more.  And, at the end, Odell offers literally my favorite book recommendation ever on this show. And no, it’s not for my book.  References: My previous conversation with Jenny Odell on the art of attention "The Myth of Self-Reliance" by Jenny Odell, The Paris Review "I tried to write an essay about productivity in quarantine. It took me a month to do it." by Constance Grady, Vox The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman Book recommendations: Give People Money by Annie Lowrey Lurking: How a Person Became a User by Joanne McNeil What It's Like to Be a Bird by David Allen Sibley Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. The Ezra Klein Show is a finalist for a Webby! Make sure to vote at https://bit.ly/TEKS-webby New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 07, 2020
An unusually honest conversation about wielding political power
5212
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) is the co-chair of the 95-member House Progressive Caucus. That means, in the aftermath of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, she leads the most influential bloc of progressive power in the federal government. And one thing that separates Jayapal from other elected officials: She’s actually willing to talk about it. I know some of you skip over episodes with politicians because they’re interviews, not conversations. This one is a conversation, and it’s broadly about two things. First, how do we prevent a Great Depression? In particular, Jayapal has a bill — the Paycheck Guarantee Act — that would replace payroll up to incomes of $100,000 for businesses slammed by Covid-19. And if it sounds wishful to you, recalibrate: It’s been endorsed by Nobel prize-winning economists, a former Federal Reserve chair, and more. And there’s even Republican support for the broad idea.  Second, how does the left wield power? Are Democrats getting rolled by Republicans on stimulus? Why doesn’t the House Progressive Caucus act more like the Freedom Caucus? What leverage do Democrats or progressives have, and why don’t they seem willing to use it in the way Republicans do? I wasn’t sure if Jayapal would actually answer my questions here — most politicians don’t — but she did, and the result is an unusually frank discussion about how the left does, and doesn’t, wield power in Congress. Book recommendations: The Book of Joy by Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and Douglas Carlton Abrams The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen  The Rumi Collection by Kabir Helminski Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. The Ezra Klein Show is a finalist for a Webby! Make sure to vote at https://bit.ly/TEKS-webby New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 04, 2020
What should the media learn from coronavirus?
5799
The coronavirus is “a nightmare scenario” for media, wrote New York Times columnist Charlie Warzel. “It is stealthy, resilient and confounding to experts. It moves far faster than scientists can study it. What seems to be true today may be wrong tomorrow.” Warzel is right. We’ve talked a lot in recent years about fake news. But combatting information we know is false is a straightforward problem compared to covering a story where we don’t know what’s true, and where yesterday’s expert consensus becomes tomorrow’s derided falsehoods. In these cases, the normal tools of journalism begin to fail, and trust is easily lost. There’s been a lot of criticism of what the media missed in the run-up to coronavirus. Some of it has been unfair. But some of it demands attention, reflection, and change. There’s also a lot the media got right, and those successes need to be celebrated and learned from. The questions raised here are hard, and go to one of the trickiest issues in journalism: how does a profession that prides itself on reporting truth cover the world probabilistically? What do we do when we simply can't know what's true, and when some of what we think we know might become untrue? Warzel covers the way technology, information, and media interact with and change each other. He’s one of the people I turn to first when I’m churning over these questions, which is…not infrequent. And so what you’re going to hear in this podcast is a bit different than the normal fare: this is less an interview-with-an-expert, and more the kind of conversation that I — and others in the media — am having a lot of right now, and that I think we at least need to try and have in public.  References: What went wrong with the media’s coronavirus coverage? by Peter Kafka, Recode What we pretend to know about the coronavirus could kill us, by Charlie Warzel, NYT Book recommendations: The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener If you enjoyed this episode, check out: Is the media amplifying Trump's racism? (with Whitney Phillips) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. The Ezra Klein Show is a finalist for a Webby! Make sure to vote at https://bit.ly/TEKS-webby New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 30, 2020
Bill Gates’s vision for life beyond coronavirus
3254
In 2015, I asked Bill Gates a simple question: What are you most afraid of?  He replied by telling me about the death chart of the 20th century. There’s the spike for World War I. The spike for World War II. But between them sat a spike as big as World War II. That, he said, was the Spanish Flu, which killed an estimated 65 million people. Gates’s greatest fear was a flu like that, ripping through our hyperglobalized world.  Gates saw this coming, and he tried to warn the world. But the virus came, and we weren’t ready. Now, we all live in his nightmare.  Gates has reoriented his foundation and committed hundreds of millions of dollars to the world’s fight against coronavirus. He recently published a long essay detailing what we know and don’t know about the disease, and what we need to invent and deploy to safely return to normalcy. I spoke with Gates to explore those questions, plus a few more. What does it feel like to be at the center of so many coronavirus conspiracy theories? What happens if we reopen too soon? Why are different cities seeing such different outcomes? Do rich and poor countries need different responses? What are the true chances of a vaccine in 18 months? But above all, I wanted to ask him the inverse of the question I asked him in 2015: what does he hope for? What is his vision for life after coronavirus? Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. The Ezra Klein Show is a finalist for a Webby! Make sure to vote at https://bit.ly/TEKS-webby New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 27, 2020
An epic conversation with Madeline Miller
4971
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to introduce a conversation on this show as fun. But this one was. I needed it. Maybe you do, too. Madeline Miller has written some of my favorite novels of the past few years. Her books — the Orange Prize-winning The Song of Achilles and the New York Times No. 1 bestseller Circe, soon to be an HBO series — are brilliant reimaginings of some of the most revered texts in the Western canon. Miller’s also a trained classicist, a Shakespeare director, a Latin teacher, and a Greek mythology obsessive.  This is a conversation about story and myth, about how our conceptions of godliness and human nature have changed, about the difficulty of translation and the resonance of superheroes. We debate whether Achilles is the worst and agree that anyone who loves language should read Sandra Boynton. Miller reveals how to train yourself to write a beautiful sentence and how to steel yourself to tell the stories you burn to see but that the canon has wiped out. And we discuss what character from the Greek canon most resembles President Donald Trump. This one was a tonic for me. Hopefully, it will be for you, too. Book recommendations:  The Odyssey by Homer (translated by Emily Wilson) Mythos by Stephen Fry Heroes by Stephen Fry  If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho by Anne Carson Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson Mythology by Edith Hamilton  Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. The Ezra Klein Show is a finalist for a Webby! Make sure to vote at https://bit.ly/TEKS-webby New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 23, 2020
The loneliness pandemic/Betraying “essential workers”
2997
We have something a bit different today. Two episodes from our extraordinary colleagues at Today, Explained, both of them close to my heart.  The first is an episode that I worked with them on, and appear in: The Loneliness Pandemic. It’s about the social consequences of social distancing, and the toll that isolation and loneliness takes on our health. It's about how the people most vulnerable to isolation are being told to quarantine, and what that will do to their lives. And it's about what the rest of us can do to help. The second is simply one of the best, most important podcast episodes I’ve heard in ages: It’s about how we’re treating the same workers we call “essential” as disposable, endangering them and their families, and calling them heroes even as we refuse to give them raises. And it's about the possibility — and historical precedent — for labor action in this moment, to make sure essential workers are treated as essential. Do not miss it. And if you’re lucky enough to be working from home, think about what you can do to stand in solidarity with those making your safety possible.  You can, and should, subscribe to "Today, Explained," wherever you get your podcasts.  Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. The Ezra Klein Show is a finalist for a Webby! Make sure to vote at https://bit.ly/TEKS-webby New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 20, 2020
Why Bernie Sanders lost and how progressives can still win
6098
The Democratic presidential primary is over. Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee heading into the fall. And this week, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren endorsed their former competitor. On the left, the question is: What went wrong? How did Sanders lose to Biden? Why didn’t Warren catch fire? But too few of these postmortems have had sufficient data to build out their theories. And too many of them explain away strategic and tactical failures as media or establishment conspiracies. Sean McElwee has a different perspective. McElwee is the co-founder and executive director of Data for Progress, an organization that utilizes cutting-edge polling and data-analysis techniques to support progressive causes. His aim is to fashion an agenda that is both progressive and popular. But he also sits atop mountains of data that let him test hypotheses with a lot more rigor than most armchair pundits. As a result, McElwee has a fascinating, heterodox view of the 2020 primary, the Sanders and Warren campaigns, and what it will take for progressives to build power. We discuss the critical mistakes both major progressive candidates made, which progressive ideas are most popular with the American people, how the left’s theory of class politics interferes with its most obvious path to electoral victory, why maximalist policy agendas fail even when they look like they’re succeeding, what good (and bad) Overton Window politics look like, how progressives can shape Biden’s presidency, and much, much more. References: How Joe Biden won over Bernie Sanders — and the Democratic Party by Ezra Klein Book Recommendations: Deep Roots: How Slavery Still Shapes Southern Politics by Maya Sen Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. The Ezra Klein Show is a finalist for a Webby! Make sure to vote at https://bit.ly/TEKS-webby New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 16, 2020
Scott Gottlieb on how, and when, to end social distancing
3034
When will social distancing end? When will life return to “normal”? And what will it take to get there?  Scott Gottlieb is a physician and public health expert who served as Donald Trump’s first FDA commissioner, where he was the rare Trump appointee to win plaudits from both the left and the right. Now he’s a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute where he’s emerged as a leading voice on the coronavirus response.  Gottlieb is one of the lead authors of a comprehensive roadmap for what it would take to end social distancing and reopen the American economy. The report divides coronavirus response into four distinct phases (we are currently in phase one, which requires the strictest social distancing measures) and documents key “triggers” that states need to meet if they want to advance to a phase with less intense social distancing and a somewhat normal economy. It’s exactly what we need right now: a specific proposal for what comes next that we can actually analyze and debate.  Two themes drive this conversation. First, what are the challenges to simply getting out of lockdown? Why don’t we have enough tests yet? What’s stopping us from making more? And second, what does the world look like out of lockdown but before we get to a vaccine? What’s being imagined here isn’t a return to normal, either socially or economically, but a kind of limbo that it’s not clear we have the political will to sustain and that has few answers for the most vulnerable among us.  For more on this topic, I looked at not just the AEI plan but three others for this piece. I thought immersing myself in the plans to reopen the economy would be some comfort. Boy, was I wrong.  Resources: "A road map to re-opening" by Scott Gottlieb, Caitlin Rivers, Mark McClellan, Lauren Silvis, and Crystal Watson, AEI "I’ve read the plans to reopen the economy. They’re scary." by Ezra Klein, Vox The Weeds - How does this end? Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. The Ezra Klein Show is a finalist for a Webby! Make sure to vote at https://bit.ly/TEKS-webby New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 13, 2020
Toby Ord on existential risk, Donald Trump, and thinking in probabilities
5204
Oxford philosopher Toby Ord spent the early part of his career spearheading the effective altruism movement, founding Giving What We Can, and focusing his attention primarily on issue areas like global public health and extreme poverty. Ord’s new book The Precipice is about something entirely different: the biggest existential risks to the future of humanity. In it, he predicts that humanity has approximately a 1 in 6 chance of going completely extinct by the end of the 21st century. Wait! Stay with me! The coronavirus pandemic is a reminder that tail risk is real. We always knew a zoological respiratory virus could become a global pandemic. But, collectively, we didn’t want to think about it, and so we didn’t. The result is the reality we live in now.  But for all the current moment’s horror, there are worse risks than coronavirus out there. One silver lining of the current crisis might be that it gets us to take them seriously, and avert them before they become unstoppable. That’s what Ord’s book is about, and it is, in a strange way, a comfort.  This, then, is a conversation about the risks that threaten humanity’s future, and what we can do about them. It’s a conversation about thinking in probabilities, about the ethics of taking future human lives seriously, about how we weigh the risks we don’t yet understand. And it’s a conversation, too, about something I’ve been dwelling on watching President Trump choose to ratchet up tensions with China amidst a pandemic: Is Trump himself an existential risk, or at least an existential risk factor? Book recommendations: Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit Doing Good Better by William MacAskill Maps of Time by David Christian and William H. McNeill Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 09, 2020
Elizabeth Warren has a plan for this, too
3183
In January, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the first presidential candidate to release a plan for combatting coronavirus. In March, she released a second plan. Days later, with the scale of economic damage increasing, she released a third. Warren’s proposals track the spread of the virus: from a problem happening elsewhere and demanding a surge in global health resources to a pandemic happening here, demanding not just a public health response, but an all-out effort to save the US economy. Warren’s penchant for planning stands in particular stark contrast to this administration, which still has not released a clear coronavirus plan. There is no document you can download, no web site you can visit, that details our national strategy to slow the disease and rebuild the economy.  So I asked Warren to return to the show to explain what the plan should be, given the cold reality we face. We discussed what, specifically, the federal government should do; the roots of the testing debacle; her idea for mobilizing the economy around building affordable housing; why she thinks that this is exactly the right time to cancel student loan debt; why America spends so much money preparing for war and so little defending itself against pandemics and climate change; whether she thinks the Democratic primary focused on the wrong issues; and how this crisis is making a grim mockery of Ronald Reagan’s old saw about “the scariest words in the English language.” Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. The Ezra Klein Show is a finalist for a Webby! Make sure to vote at https://bit.ly/TEKS-webby New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 06, 2020
What social solidarity demands of us in a pandemic
4075
There is no doubt that social distancing is the best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But the efficacy of social distancing (or really any other public health measure) relies on something much deeper and harder to measure: social solidarity.  “Solidarity,” writes Eric Klinenberg, “motivates us to promote public health, not just our own personal security. It keeps us from hoarding medicine, toughing out a cold in the workplace or sending a sick child to school. It compels us to let a ship of stranded people dock in our safe harbors, to knock on our older neighbor’s door.” Klinenberg, a sociologist by trade, is the director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. His first book, Heat Wave, found that social connection was, at times, literally the difference between life and death during Chicago's 1995 heat wave. Since then, he’s spent his career studying trends in American social life, from the rise of adults living alone to the importance of “social infrastructure” in holding together our civic bonds.  This conversation is about what happens when a country mired in a mythos of individualism collides with a pandemic that demands social solidarity and collective sacrifice. It’s about preventing an epidemic of loneliness and social isolation from overwhelming the most vulnerable among us. We discuss the underlying social trends that predated coronavirus, what kind of leadership it takes to actually bring people together, the irony of asking young people and essential workers to sacrifice for the rest of us, whether there’s an opportunity to build a different kind of society in the aftermath of Covid-19, and much more. References  Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg  Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life by Eric Klinenberg  “We Need Social Solidarity, Not Just Social Distancing” by Eric Klinenberg “Marriage has become a trophy” by Andrew Cherlin  Book recommendations:  Infections and Inequalities by Paul Farmer  Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Hochschild  A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit  The Division of Labor in Society by Emile Dukheim  Confused about coronavirus? Here’s a list of the articles, papers, and podcasts we’ve found most useful. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 02, 2020
Coronavirus has pushed US-China relations to their worst point since Mao
3711
The COVID-19 pandemic is a grim reminder that the worst really can happen. Tail risk is real risk. Political leaders fumble, miscalculate, and bluster into avoidable disaster. And even as we try to deal with this catastrophe, the seeds of another are sprouting. The US-China relationship will define geopolitics in the 21st century. If we collapse into rivalry, conflict, and politically opportunistic nationalism, the results could be hellish. And we are, right now, collapsing into rivalry, conflict, and politically opportunistic nationalism.  The Trump administration, and key congressional Republicans, are calling COVID-19 “the Chinese virus,” and trying to gin up tensions to distract from their domestic failures. Chinese government officials, beset by their own domestic problems, are claiming the US military brought the virus to China. The US-China relationship was in a bad way six months ago, but this is a new level of threat. Evan Osnos covers the US-China relationship for the New Yorker, and is author of the National Book Award winner, The Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China. In this conversation, we discuss the past, present and future of the US-China relationship. What are the chances of armed conflict? What might deescalation look like? And we know what the US wants — what, in truth, does China want? Book recommendations: Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China by Alec Ash The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom by John Pomfret Confused about coronavirus? Here’s a list of the articles, papers, and podcasts we’ve found most useful. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 30, 2020
Is the cure worse than the disease?
4053
"We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself!" That was President Donald Trump, this week, explaining why he was thinking about lifting coronavirus guidelines earlier than public-health experts recommended. The "cure," in this case, is social distancing, and the mass economic stoppage it forces. The problem, of course, is COVID-19, and the millions of deaths it could cause. This is a debate that needs to be taken seriously. Slowing coronavirus will impose real costs, and immense suffering, on society. Are those costs worth it? This is the most important public policy question right now. And if the discussion isn't had well, then it will be had, as we're already seeing, poorly, and dangerously. I wanted to take up this question from two different angles. The first dimension is economic: Are we actually facing a choice between lives and economic growth? If we ceased social distancing, could we sustain a normal economy amidst a raging virus? Jason Furman, professor of the practice of economic policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School and President Obama's former chief economist, joins me for that discussion. But the economy isn't everything. What is a moral framework we can us when faced with this kind of question? So, in the second half of this show, I talk to Dr. Ruth Faden, the founder of the Berman Institute for Bioethics at Johns Hopkins. And then, at the end, I offer some thoughts on my own on the frightening moment we're living through, and the kind of political and social leadership it demands. Confused about coronavirus? Here’s a list of the articles, papers, and podcasts we’ve found most useful. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 26, 2020
An economic crisis like we’ve never seen
5105
“What is happening,” writes Annie Lowrey, “is a shock to the American economy more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced.”   It’s also different from what anyone alive has ever experienced. For many of us, the Great Recession is the closest analogue — but it’s not analogous at all. There, the economy’s potential was unchanged, but financial markets were in crisis. Here, we are purposefully freezing economic activity in order to slow a public health crisis. Early data suggests the economic crisis is going to far exceed any single week or quarter of the financial crisis. Multiple economists have told me that the nearest analogy to what we’re going through is the economy during World War II. I have a secret advantage when trying to understand moments of economic upheaval. I’m married to Annie Lowrey. I can give you the bio — staff writer at the Atlantic, author of Give People Money (which is proving particularly prophetic and influential right now) — but suffice to say she’s one of the clearest and most brilliant economic thinkers I know. Her viral piece on the affordability crisis is crucial for understanding what the economy really looked like before Covid-19, and she’s been doing some of the best work on the way Covid-19 will worsen the economic problems we had and create a slew of new ones. But this isn’t just a conversation about crisis. It’s also a conversation about how to respond. I wouldn’t call it hopeful — we’re not there yet. But constructive. References: "The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America" by Annie Lowrey If you enjoyed this episode, check out: "Fix recessions by giving people money," The Weeds Book recommendations: Severance by Ling Ma Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham Crashed by Adam Tooze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 23, 2020
"The virus is more patient than people are"
4842
Ron Klain served as the chief of staff to vice presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden. In 2014, President Barack Obama tapped him to lead the administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. He successfully oversaw a hellishly complex effort preparing domestically for an outbreak and surging health resources onto another continent to contain the disease.  But Klain is quick to say that the coronavirus is a harder challenge even than Ebola. The economy is in free fall. Entire cities have been told to shelter in place. And there’s no telling how long any of this will last. In this conversation, Klain answers my questions about the disease and how to respond to it, as well as questions many of you submitted. We discuss: How to change the virus’s reproduction and fatality rates Why you need to work backward from health system capacity What it means to “flatten the curve” Why social distancing will be with us for a long time to come The difference between “social distancing” and “self-quarantine” What the Trump administration needed to do earlier, and what they still can do now The testing debacle The economic policy necessary to make social distancing possible Why we need to remember not everyone can work at home What it would take to surge health care capacity in the US — and how fast we could potentially do it  The strengths and weaknesses of America’s particular health care system in responding to a pandemic like this one Whether the coronavirus is showing authoritarian systems perform better than liberal(ish) democracies What Joe Biden is like in a crisis  And much more. I’ve been covering the coronavirus nonstop, and this is one of the clearest, most useful conversations I’ve had. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, the clarity of Klain’s analysis will help.  Also: We want to know what kinds of coronavirus conversations you want to hear right now. Email us at ezrakleinshow@vox.com with suggestions for guests, or just angles. This is going to be a hard time, and we want this podcast to be as much a help as possible. Book recommendations: Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Michael Osterholm The Great Influenza by John Barry Confused about coronavirus? Here’s a list of the articles, papers, and podcasts we’ve found most useful. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 19, 2020
A master class in organizing
7323
The Bernie Sanders campaign is an organizing tour-de-force relative to the Joe Biden campaign; yet the latter has won primary after primary — with even higher turnouts than 2016. So does organizing even work? And, if so, what went wrong? Jane McAlevey has organized hundreds of thousands of workers on the frontlines of America’s labor movement. She is also a Senior Policy Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Labor Center and the author of three books on organizing, including, most recently, A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing, and the Fight for Democracy. McAlevey doesn’t pull her punches. She thinks the left builds political power all wrong. She thinks people are constantly mistaking “mobilizing” for “organizing,” and that social media has taught a generation of young activists the worst possible lessons. She thinks organized labor’s push for “card check” was a mistake, but that there really is a viable path back to a strong labor movement. And since McAlevey is, above all, a teacher and an organizer, she offers what amounts to a master class in organizing — one relevant not just to building political power, but to building anything. To McAlevey, organizing, at its core, is about something very simple, and very close to the heart of this show: how do you talk to people who may not agree with you such that you can truly hear them, and they can truly hear you? This conversation ran long, but it ran long because it was damn good. References: No Shortcuts by Jane McAlevey Raising Expectations and Raising Hell by Jane McAlevey Book recommendations: Democracy May Not Exist But We'll Miss it When its Gone by Astra Taylor I've Got the Light of Freedom Charles M. Payne On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder New to the show? Want to check out Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Credits: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 16, 2020
Weeds 2020: The coronavirus election
3282
This week, President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential contenders Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders each gave separate speeches in response to a rapidly escalating coronavirus outbreak in the United States. What did they say? How do their responses differ? And what do those speeches tell us about how their future (or current) administrations? Vox’s Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias discuss on this week’s 2020 election edition of The Weeds. Then, how will coronavirus impact the general election in November? Matt and Ezra run through the political science research on how economic growth correlates with electoral success, how analogous situations (like severe weather events) have impacted past elections and more. Hint: things don’t look so great for Donald Trump. For more conversations like this one, subscribe to The Weeds on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts! Resources: President Trump's oval office address Joe Biden's coronavirus address Bernie Sanders' coronavirus address Hosts: Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior correspondent, Vox Ezra Klein (@ezraklein), Editor-at-large, Vox About Vox Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Follow Us: Vox.com Facebook group: The Weeds Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 14, 2020
Dan Pfeiffer on Joe Biden, beating Trump, and saving democracy
5908
Before becoming the co-host of Pod Save America, Dan Pfeiffer spent most of his adult life in Democratic Party politics, which included serving as White House communications director for President Barack Obama. But in his new book Un-Trumping America, the former operative levels some sharp criticism toward the party he came of political age in.  Contrary to the rhetoric of the leading Democratic presidential candidate, Pfeiffer doesn’t think of Donald Trump as the source of our current social and political ills, and he doesn’t believe that beating Trump will bring about a return to “normalcy.” For Pfeiffer, Trump is a symptom of much deeper forces in our politics — forces that will continue to proliferate unless Democrats get serious about, among other things, genuine structural reform. Among the things we discuss:  - Pfeiffer’s view that Donald Trump is the favorite in 2020 - Why the core divide in the Democratic Party isn’t progressive vs. moderate - The flaws in both Sanders and Biden’s theories of institutional change  - The way Obama looms over the Democratic primary — perhaps even more than Trump does  - The case for, and against, filibuster reform - Pfeiffer’s biggest regret from inside the Obama administration - What working with Joe Biden is like - Why the Obama White House didn’t rally around Biden in 2016 - The damage the political consultant class does to Democrats - What the left got wrong about the Democratic Party - Why Democrats need to prioritize democracy itself References: Ezra's profile of Joe Biden Book recommendations: Nixonland by Rick Perlstein The Known World by Edward P. Jones No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin New to the show? Want to check out Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) The “Why We’re Polarized” tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Credits: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 12, 2020
Are you a "political hobbyist?" If so, you're the problem.