The New Yorker Radio Hour

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Profiles, storytelling and insightful conversations, hosted by David Remnick.

Episode Date
David Remnick on Aretha Franklin
6:07
<p>Aretha Franklin brought Barack Obama to tears when she performed “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Carole King in December 2015. When video from that <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHsnZT7Z2yQ" target="_blank">event went viral</a>, it reawakened Aretha fans across the country.<em> The New Yorker</em>’s David Remnick, <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/04/aretha-franklins-american-soul" target="_blank">who wrote about Franklin</a>, looks back on the singer’s childhood in Detroit and reflects on her music’s unparalleled combination of “Saturday night and Sunday morning.”</p>
Aug 14, 2018
Weeding with Parker Posey
16:14
<p>Parker Posey has been a vivid presence in American film, especially indie film, for twenty-five years. She got her start in “Dazed and Confused,” and went on to appear in dozens of movies, including Christopher Guest’s cult-classic satires “Waiting For Guffman,” “Best in Show<em>,</em>” and “A Mighty Wind.”</p> <p>Like her performances, Parker Posey’s new memoir is surprising and funny. “You’re On an Airplane” is written as a monologue delivered by the author to her seatmate on a long flight. It’s also full of recipes, and it includes instructions for throwing pottery. Being so practical and resourceful—not to mention a former cheerleader—served Posey in good stead when she, <em>The New Yorker</em>’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-schulman">Michael Schulman</a>, and his producer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/alex-barron">Alex Barron</a> found themselves locked out of her building and trapped in the small yard behind it.  </p>
Aug 14, 2018
Lee Child, “Moby-Dick,” and Other Summer Reads
40:02
<p>We delve into the escapist joys of a great summer read. David Remnick talks with Lee Child, whose thrillers about Jack Reacher—twenty-three books and counting, with a hundred million copies in print—bring the mystique of the cowboy to modern America. Amanda Petrusich says that the start of “Moby-Dick” nails the desperation to get out of town that afflicts every New Yorker; Vinson Cunningham explains how the usually tragic plays of Eugene O’Neill help him loosen up and find his rhythm as a prose writer; and Helen Rosner pulls out a cookbook to make a strawberry fool—a luridly hued but beautiful dessert that perfectly captures the taste of summer.  </p>
Aug 10, 2018
David Remnick Interviews Lee Child, the Creator of Jack Reacher
15:49
<p>Lee Child didn’t start writing novels until he lost a prestigious job producing TV in England during a shakeup that he attributes to Rupert Murdoch. He tried his hand at writing a thriller, and found that the new career suited him: with a hundred million copies of his books in print in forty languages, Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels make up one of the most successful series in print. Every September 1st, he sits down to write a new one. He tells his longtime fan David Remnick that his all-American tough guy is a modern-day knight-errant wandering the land doing good deeds. But at sixty-three, Lee Child has thoughts about giving Reacher up. What would he do, instead? Catch up on his own reading, finally getting around to Jane Austen and other classics. “Remember, I’m from Europe,” he points out. “I have no work ethic.”  </p>
Aug 10, 2018
Vinson Cunningham Reads Eugene O’Neill
5:09
<p>Eugene O’Neill’s plays might not seem like everybody’s notion of a light read, featuring disillusionment and tragedy as pervasively as they do. For the <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/vinson-cunningham">Vinson Cunningham</a>, though, picking up a play helps in shedding some of the stress that he associates with writing prose. O’Neill’s work includes some little surprises meant just for those who read the plays, instead of watching them performed.  </p>
Aug 10, 2018
Weeding with Parker Posey
15:06
<p>Parker Posey has been a vivid presence in American film, especially indie film, for twenty-five years. She got her start in “Dazed and Confused,” and went on to appear in dozens of movies, including Christopher Guest’s cult-classic satires “Waiting For Guffman,” “Best in Show<em>,</em>” and “A Mighty Wind.”</p> <p>Like her performances, Parker Posey’s new memoir is surprising and funny. “You’re On an Airplane” is written as a monologue delivered by the author to her seatmate on a long flight. It’s also full of recipes, and it includes instructions for throwing pottery. Being so practical and resourceful—not to mention a former cheerleader—served Posey in good stead when she, <em>The New Yorker</em>’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-schulman">Michael Schulman</a>, and his producer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/alex-barron">Alex Barron</a> found themselves locked out of her building and trapped in the small yard behind it.  </p>
Aug 10, 2018
Karen Russell on Quests
5:41
<p>Karen Russell’s books blend elements of fantasy into literary fiction; she has never lost the keen sense she had as a young reader that a totally realistic plot wasn’t all that. When Russell began cranking through Pizza Hut’s “Book It!” program—earning free pizza as she made tracks through novel after novel—she eschewed school-approved literature in favor of Terry Brooks’s “Shannara” series, to the embarrassment of the adults around her. “Pride and Prejudice,” Russell says, is about “some sisters [who] vie to get their dance cards punched”; “Shannara,” on the other hand, is about a nuclear holocaust and two siblings on a quest to rekindle life on Earth! Russell’s essay, “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/06/04/quests-2">Quests</a>,” was published in <em>The New Yorker</em> in 2012.</p>
Aug 10, 2018
Helen Rosner Makes a Fool for Herself
7:43
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/helen-rosner">Helen Rosner</a>’s idea of a good read is to pull out a volume from her impressive collection of cookbooks, many of them vintage books that capture the personalities of their authors. On a hot summer day, her choice was “Living and Eating,” by the English architect John Pawson and the food writer Annie Bell. That’s where she found her recipe for strawberry fool—a custardy or gelatinous dessert that is primarily eaten in England. Made with fresh strawberries and blended to a lurid but beautiful “Pepto-Bismol pink,” the dessert, Rosner finds, perfectly evokes the taste of summer.  </p>
Aug 10, 2018
Lee Child, “Moby-Dick,” and Other Summer Reads
55:52
<p>We delve into the escapist joys of a great summer read. David Remnick talks with Lee Child, whose novels about Jack Reacher—twenty-two books and counting, with a hundred million copies in print—bring the mystique of the cowboy to modern America. Amanda Petrusich, Vinson Cunningham, and Helen Rosner share their idiosyncratic picks for summer reading. And Michael Shulman visits Parker Posey, ostensibly to talk about her new memoir, until they find themselves on an unexpected adventure.  </p>
Aug 10, 2018
William Finnegan Surfing, and Kristen Roupenian Among the Pilgrims
26:41
<p>William Finnegan’s memoir, “Barbarian Days,” from 2015, holds the distinction of being the one book about surfing to win a Pulitzer Prize. On a Sunday morning, not long past dawn, he took David Remnick to the Rockaways for his first and only surfing lesson. And Kristen Roupenian, the author of the story “Cat Person,” revisits her old stomping grounds of Plimoth Plantation, the living-history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where reënactors portray pilgrims from the early seventeenth century. Roupenian’s “Cat Person” revolves around online romance and consent, and it touched a nerve with readers in the #MeToo era, becoming one of the most-read stories ever on newyorker.com. It couldn’t be more of the moment, but Roupenian credits those Pilgrim reënactors for shaping her as a writer. Growing up near Plimoth Plantation, she says, you realize early that history isn’t a sequence of facts: it’s always a story someone is telling you.</p> <p> </p>
Aug 07, 2018
Astrid Holleeder’s Crime Family
29:07
<p><span>All her life, Astrid Holleeder knew that her older brother Willem was involved in crime; in their tough Amsterdam neighborhood, and as children of an abusive father, it wasn’t a shocking development. But she was stunned when, in 1983, Willem and his best friend, Cornelius van Hout, were revealed to be the masterminds behind the audacious kidnapping of the beer magnate Alfred Heineken. Although he served some time for the crime, it was only the beginning of the successful career of Holleeder. He became a celebrity criminal; he had a newspaper column, appeared on talk shows, and took selfies with admirers in Amsterdam. He got rich off of his investments in the sex trade and other businesses, but kept them well hidden. But when van Hout was assassinated and other of Holleeder’s associates started turning up dead, Astrid suspected that her brother had committed the murders. She decided to wear a wire and gather the evidence to put him away.f that didn't work, she told the <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/patrick-radden-keefe">Patrick Radden Keefe</a>, she would have to kill Willem herself. Willem is on trial now for multiple murders, and Astrid is testifying against him. Living in hiding, travelling in disguise, she tells Keefe the story of her complicity and its consequences. Keefe’s story about Astrid Holleeder, “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/08/06/how-a-notorious-gangster-was-exposed-by-his-own-sister">Crime Family</a>,” appears in this week’s magazine.</span></p>
Aug 03, 2018
A Surfing Lesson from William Finnegan
16:10
<p><span>A great wave might only last ten or fifteen seconds, and a dedicated surfer may spend a lifetime chasing that wave—and the next, and the next. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/william-finnegan">William Finnegan</a> has spent his writing life covering conflicts in Mexico, Sudan, and Somalia, and the rest of his life throwing responsibility to the wind and heading to the beach. Finnegan’s memoir, “Barbarian Days,” published in 2015, turned this pastime into literature—and won a Pulitzer Prize. On a Sunday morning, not long past dawn, he took David Remnick to the Rockaways, on the Atlantic shore of New York, for his first and only surfing lesson.</span></p> <p><em>This segment originally aired on November 13, 2015.</em></p>
Aug 03, 2018
Kristen Roupenian among the Pilgrims of Plimouth Plantation
8:12
<p>Kristen Roupenian’s short story “Cat Person” is the story of a date gone horribly wrong. Revolving around online romance and consent, it touched a nerve with readers in the #MeToo era, becoming one of the most-read stories ever on newyorker.com.</p> <p>Roupenian, who grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts, frequently visited the living-history museum Plimoth Plantation, where reënactors play characters from the early seventeenth century. “The older I got the more complicated I understood that was,” Roupenian says, of the depictions of settlers and Native Americans. Growing up near Plimoth Plantation, she says, you realize early that history isn’t a sequence of facts: it’s always a story that someone is telling you.</p> <p> </p>
Aug 03, 2018
Astrid Holleeder’s Crime Family
28:08
<p><span>All her life, Astrid Holleeder knew that her older brother Willem was involved in crime; in their tough Amsterdam neighborhood, and as children of an abusive father, it wasn’t a shocking development. But she was stunned when, in 1983, Willem and his best friend, Cornelius van Hout, were revealed to be the masterminds behind the audacious kidnapping of the beer magnate Alfred Heineken. Although he served some time for the crime, it was only the beginning of the successful career of Holleeder. He became a celebrity criminal; he had a newspaper column, appeared on talk shows, and took selfies with admirers in Amsterdam. He got rich off of his investments in the sex trade and other businesses, but kept them well hidden. But when van Hout was assassinated and other of Holleeder’s associates started turning up dead, Astrid suspected that her brother had committed the murders. She decided to wear a wire and gather the evidence to put him away.f that didn't work, she told the <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/patrick-radden-keefe">Patrick Radden Keefe</a>, she would have to kill Willem herself. Willem is on trial now for multiple murders, and Astrid is testifying against him. Living in hiding, travelling in disguise, she tells Keefe the story of her complicity and its consequences. Keefe’s story about Astrid Holleeder, “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/08/06/how-a-notorious-gangster-was-exposed-by-his-own-sister">Crime Family</a>,” appears in this week’s magazine.</span></p>
Aug 03, 2018
Crime Family
55:06
<p>Willem Holleeder was a celebrity criminal: a brash young hoodlum who pulled off a kidnapping plot and then wrote a newspaper column and took selfies with admirers in Amsterdam. But when his associates—including a member of his family—started turning up dead, his sister wore a wire to gather evidence against him. If that didn't work, she said, she would have to kill him herself. Plus: David Remnick gets a surfing lesson from a master, William Finnegan; and Kristen Roupenian, the author of the viral short story “Cat Person,” visits her old stomping grounds of Plimoth Plantation, in Massachusetts, and baits some pilgrims.</p> <p> </p>
Aug 03, 2018
Tommy Orange and the Urban Native Experience
25:01
<p>Tommy Orange had never read a book about what it means to be a Native American in a big city. In a conversation with <em>The New Yorker</em>’s fiction editor, Orange says that urban Native writers like himself—he is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma, and grew up in Oakland, California—may feel their own experience to be inauthentic, compared to stories set on the reservation. Orange’s début novel, “There There,” follows a small cast of Native characters whose lives converge at a powwow at the Oakland Coliseum. Plus, Vinson Cunningham on the particular joys of a New York wedding, complete with metal detectors.  </p>
Jul 31, 2018
Application to Be a Supreme Court Justice
3:01
<p>What would you say to a job with good pay, prestige, top-notch staff, and lifelong tenure? Maybe the vacant seat on the Supreme Court could be yours. Paul Rudnick performs his “Application to Be a Supreme Court Justice,” adapted from a piece in <em>The New Yorker</em>’<em>s</em> Shouts &amp; Murmurs.     </p>
Jul 27, 2018
Vinson Cunningham’s City Hall Wedding
9:47
<p>If he had ever thought about his wedding day, <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/vinson-cunningham">Vinson Cunningham</a> would have assumed it would be in a church. But when the time came to get married, Cunningham and his fiancée, Renée Chung, didn’t want anything too big or ambitious. So they did the real New York thing: a City Hall wedding. These ceremonies do not in fact take place in City Hall, but in the Manhattan Marriage Bureau, a municipal office that feels like a gussied up D.M.V. To enter, everyone—including bridal parties in pastels and stiletto heels—has to pass through metal detectors. But once bride and groom stand before the officiant, the power of the moment takes over. For Cunningham, the generic setting and lack of trappings allowed him to see more clearly the basic, binding commitment that makes a marriage.   </p>
Jul 27, 2018
Helsinki Fallout
30:30
<p>At the recent summit in Helsinki, Vladimir Putin proposed that, in exchange for letting Robert Mueller interrogate some G.R.U. agents who are linked to election hacking, the U.S. should turn over a group of officials and citizens to Moscow. The most senior of them was Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Russia during the Obama Administration—a time of chilly relations between the nations. McFaul and his family were subjected to treatment unthinkable for a diplomat: stalking, harassment, and surveillance.  The White House has said that it is no longer considering Putin’s overture, but McFaul tells David Remnick that Putin’s increasingly assertive behavior—and Trump’s reverential attitude towards Putin—has him concerned for his safety. Meanwhile, after Helsinki, bipartisan support is growing in the Senate for a bill that would impose severe sanctions on Russia to retaliate for election meddling. Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, is a co-sponsor of the DETER Act, and he tells staff writer Susan Glasser that the daylight between congressional Republicans and the President is growing.  </p>
Jul 27, 2018
Will the Senate Get Tough on Russia?
14:52
<p>American sanctions on Russia—the Magnitsky Act, in particular—probably motivated the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 election. But in the wake of the summit in Helsinki, and facing the threat of Russian meddling in the 2018 midterms, the Senate is now mulling even more sanctions. The <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/susan-glasser">Susan Glasser</a> spoke with Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, who is a co-sponsor (with Marco Rubio of Florida) of the DETER Act—“Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines.” The legislation says that, if the Director of National Intelligence determines that a foreign power has interfered in an election, that finding would trigger a series of crippling sanctions on key sectors of the adversary nation’s economy. That’s an action far harsher than anything the President has done to respond to the threat of Russia. Van Hollen tells Glasser that, on Russia, the gap between the President and his party continues to widen.  </p>
Jul 27, 2018
A Former U.S. Ambassador Is Back in Putin’s Crosshairs
14:13
<p>At the recent summit in Helsinki, Vladimir Putin proposed that, in exchange for letting Robert Mueller interrogate some G.R.U. agents who are linked to election hacking, the U.S. should turn over a group of officials and citizens to Moscow. The most senior of them was Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Russia during the Obama Administration—a time of chilly relations between the nations. McFaul and his family were subjected to treatment unthinkable for a diplomat: stalking, harassment, and surveillance.  The White House has said that it is no longer considering Putin’s overture, but McFaul tells David Remnick that Putin’s increasingly assertive behavior—and Trump’s reverential attitude towards Putin—has him concerned for his safety.</p>
Jul 27, 2018
Tommy Orange and the Urban Native Experience
10:25
<p>Tommy Orange had never read a book about what it means to be a Native American living in a big city. In a conversation with <em>The New Yorker</em>’s fiction editor Deborah Treisman, Orange says that urban Native writers like himself—he is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma, and grew up in Oakland, California—may not write those stories, because they feel their own experience is less authentic than that figured in stories set on a reservation. Orange’s début novel aims to change that. “There There” follows a small cast of characters, all Native people, whose lives converge at a powwow at the Oakland Coliseum. The novel, which was just published to glowing reviews, was <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/26/the-state">excerpted</a> in <em>The New Yorker</em> in March.</p>
Jul 27, 2018
Helsinki Fallout
55:48
<p>Vladimir Putin would like the U.S. to turn over the former ambassador Michael McFaul for interrogation in Russia. The White House has refused, for now, but McFaul is concerned for his safety. Meanwhile, after Helsinki, bipartisan support is growing in the Senate for a proposed bill that would impose severe sanctions on Russia to retaliate for election meddling. The novelist Tommy Orange wrote the book he never got to read, about the experience of Native Americans living in a multi-tribal community in a big city. And we attend the wedding of a <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer—a New York-style ceremony, complete with metal detectors.  </p>
Jul 27, 2018
Thomas McGuane and Callan Wink Go Fishing
20:06
<p>Thomas McGuane, the acclaimed author of “The Sporting Club,” thinks fiction set in the American West could stand to lose some of its ranching clichés. The novelist, a consummate outdoorsman and devoted fisherman, met up with the writer Callan Wink, who recently published his first book of stories and works as a fishing guide on the Yellowstone River.  McGuane and Wink discussed the state of the short story and the late author Jim Harrison, a mutual friend, all while sitting in a fifteen-foot drift boat. And, yes, they caught a few fish, too. </p>
Jul 24, 2018
Philip Roth’s American Portraits and American Prophecy
55:36
<p>The novelist and short-story writer Philip Roth died in May at the age of eighty-five. In novels like “Portnoy’s Complaint,” “The Human Stain,” and “American Pastoral,” Roth anatomized postwar American life—particularly the lives of Jewish people in the Northeast. And in works like “The Ghost Writer” and “The Plot Against America,” he speculated on how the shadow of authoritarianism might fall over the United States. The breadth and depth of Roth’s work kept him a vital literary figure throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and established him among the most respected writers of fiction in American history. David Remnick speaks with Roth’s official biographer, Blake Bailey, about Roth’s life and career. Judith Thurman, Claudia Roth Pierpont, and Lisa Halliday discuss the portrayals of women in Roth’s work and the accusations of misogyny that he has faced. And, finally, we hear an interview with the author, from 2003, when he sat down with David Remnick for the BBC. Plus: the actor Liev Schreiber reads excerpts from Roth’s fiction.</p>
Jul 20, 2018
The Many Literary Lives of Philip Roth
17:47
<p>Philip Roth published his first novella, “Goodbye, Columbus,” in 1959. The work was a piece of social satire, skewering the mores of Jewish communities in New Jersey, where Roth himself was raised. What followed was a series of similar novels, straightforward narratives run through with the kind of humor and insight that would become Roth’s hallmarks throughout his career. When “Portnoy’s Complaint” was published in 1969, it stunned the literary world. A stream-of-consciousness look into the mind of, as Roth put it, “a lust-ridden, mother-addicted young Jewish bachelor,” it bore little resemblance to Roth’s early work. It became a runaway best- seller. Then came the satirical “Our Gang,” which was itself a departure from “Portnoy.” The story of Roth’s literary career is the story of perpetual redefinition—from the Jamesian realism of the early work, through the metafictional experimentation of his middle period, to the grand scope of his American Trilogy. It was that redefinition that helped keep Roth a central voice in American letters for decades. And it is that redefinition, says Roth’s biographer, Blake Bailey, that will keep him in the American canon for decades to come. “There’s such a breadth of achievement there,” Bailey says. “I think Philip will wear well over time.”</p> <p> </p> <p>This segment features excerpts from Roth’s work, read for <em>The New Yorker Radio Hour </em>by Liev Schreiber. Special thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and The Wylie Agency.</p>
Jul 20, 2018
Philip Roth in the #MeToo Era
21:49
<p>Among the examinations of Philip Roth’s work that followed his death, in May, were several that leveled a familiar charge at the author and his work: that of misogyny. Long known as a vivid chronicler of male sexual desire, Roth’s work, some argued, sidelined female characters, and conceived of them as simply objects of lust for Roth’s more rounded male protagonists. The writers Judith Thurman, Claudia Roth Pierpont and Lisa Halliday were all friends of Philip Roth’s, and all agree that to read Roth’s work as misogynistic is to misunderstand what Roth was after. “He wanted to know humanity and reflect it, not to change it or make it into a moral project,” Halliday says. They join David Remnick for a conversation about Roth’s relationship with women, on and off the page.</p> <p>This segment features excerpts from Roth’s work, read for <em>The New Yorker Radio Hour </em>by Liev Schreiber. Special thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the Wylie Agency.</p>
Jul 20, 2018
For Philip Roth, Writing Bred Wisdom
14:15
<p>In 2003, David Remnick interviewed Philip Roth for the BBC. In preparation for the interview, Roth reread his acclaimed American Trilogy of novels: “American Pastoral,” “I Married a Communist,” and “The Human Stain.” Roth told Remnick, “I can’t honestly say I was displeased by what I read.” Decades of writing novels, Roth said, hadn’t made him a more masterful writer, but it had made him a more patient writer. “Over the years, I think what you develop is a tolerance for your own crudeness, and a patience with your own crap. And a belief in your crap. Just stay with your crap, and it will get better.”</p> <p>For Roth, writing was both a vocation and a habit he couldn’t shake off. “I don’t know what else to do,” Roth said. “I don’t know how else to do anything.” It was his means of better understanding the world. Roth believed that knowledge and wisdom were forged in the act of writing. “When I’m not writing,” Roth said, “I don’t know anything.”</p> <p> </p> <p>This segment features excerpts from Roth’s work, read by Liev Schreiber. Special thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the Wylie Agency.</p> <p><br><br></p>
Jul 20, 2018
Philip Roth’s American Portraits and American Prophecy
55:36
<p>The novelist and short-story writer Philip Roth died in May at the age of eighty-five. In novels like “Portnoy’s Complaint,” “The Human Stain,” and “American Pastoral,” Roth anatomized postwar American life—particularly the lives of Jewish people in the Northeast. And in works like “The Ghost Writer” and “The Plot Against America,” he speculated on how the shadow of authoritarianism might fall over the United States. The breadth and depth of Roth’s work kept him a vital literary figure throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and established him among the most respected writers of fiction in American history. David Remnick speaks with Roth’s official biographer, Blake Bailey, about Roth’s life and career. Judith Thurman, Claudia Roth Pierpont, and Lisa Halliday discuss the portrayals of women in Roth’s work and the accusations of misogyny that he has faced. And, finally, we hear an interview with the author, from 2003, when he sat down with David Remnick for the BBC. Plus: the actor Liev Schreiber reads excerpts from Roth’s fiction.</p>
Jul 20, 2018
The Rezneck Riders
26:58
<p>The Navajo Nation covers over twenty-seven thousand square miles in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico; it’s an area roughly the size of West Virginia. Vincent Salabye grew up there, in a community troubled by memories of conquest by the United States Army and by persistent poverty, addiction, and despair. To grapple with these hereditary demons, Salabye came up with a novel idea: he hopped on a bike. As a kid, he once rode all the way to Texas and back: almost three thousand miles. “That's my horse,” says Vincent. “It takes me places. That's always ingrained in me. That's how my mind-set is, trying to explore the lands that I always grew up on.”</p> <p>Now a new crop of cyclists on the Navajo Nation are following Salabye’s impulse, and making a new kind of bike riding called Enduro their own. It’s a dangerous, difficult, and extremely intense form of high-speed downhill racing. Enduro has given some Navajo men a new way to connect with their ancient tribal lands and to defy the hard prospects and low expectations that too often characterize coming of age on the rez.</p>
Jul 17, 2018
Brazil, Bruce Lee, and Black Lives in the Music of Kamasi Washington
14:06
<p>For anyone who thinks of jazz as classic compositions played in dimly lit clubs, the music of the saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington will come as a surprise and revelation. Washington’s concerts are wild dance parties. His albums draw on influences from Coltrane to Stravinsky to Fela Kuti to N.W.A. His eclectic style has made him a star in the jazz world, and has attracted some high-profile collaborators, including Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar. And the political messages in some of his music led one critic to call him “the jazz voice of Black Lives Matter.” “The major effect that music has is it connects people,” Washington tells David Remnick, “That’s kind of the extent of what the music can do. In the end, the world changes as people decide to change.”</p>
Jul 13, 2018
Carmen Maria Machado Spends “A Very Pennsylvania Day” at the Allentown Farmers’ Market
4:48
<p>The writer Carmen Maria Machado has a gift for capturing the small, sensory details of everyday life. When she tries to trace that gift back to its origin, she finds herself thinking about the Allentown Fairground Farmers’ Market—a place she and her mother visited often when she was a child. Machado spends a day at the farmers’ market, and finds that the sights and sounds of its shops and stalls are as vivid to her now as they were in her youth.</p>
Jul 13, 2018
Brazil, Bruce Lee, and Black Lives in the Music of Kamasi Washington, and the Uncertain Future of the Democratic Party
29:34
<p>Benjamin Wallace-Wells provides a survey of some key midterm races and considers what they tell us about the direction of the Democratic Party. And David Remnick speaks with the saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington. For anyone who thinks of jazz as just classic compositions played in dimly lit clubs, Washington’s music will come as a surprise and revelation. His concerts are like dance parties. And his albums draws on influences from Coltrane to Stravinsky to Fela Kuti to N.W.A. His eclectic style has made him a star in the jazz world, and has attracted some high-profile collaborators, including Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. And the political message of some of his music led one critic to call him “the jazz voice of Black Lives Matter.” “The major effect that music has is it connects people,” Washington tells David Remnick, “That’s kind of the extent of what the music can do. In the end, the world changes as people decide to change.”</p>
Jul 13, 2018
The Democratic Party, Desperately Seeking an Identity
8:37
<p>In June, the ten-term congressman Joe Crowley lost the Democratic primary for New York’s Fourteenth District to a twenty-eight-year-old democratic socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This result was a shock to the Democratic establishment, who had thought of Crowley as a likely successor to Nancy Pelosi, the Party’s leader in Congress. Ocasio-Cortez’s win is a boon to the Party’s progressive wing, and it mirrors the rift between the moderate establishment once embodied by Hillary Clinton and the liberal insurgency championed by Bernie Sanders. Across the country, in voting booths and legislative chambers, Democrats are struggling to define a cohesive identity and to find a way forward. Benjamin Wallace-Wells provides a survey of some key midterm races and considers what they tell us about the direction of the Democratic party.</p>
Jul 13, 2018
The Rezneck Riders
25:55
<p>The Navajo Nation covers over twenty-seven thousand square miles in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico; it’s an area roughly the size of West Virginia. Vincent Salabye grew up there, in a community troubled by memories of conquest by the United States Army and by persistent poverty, addiction, and despair. To grapple with these hereditary demons, Salabye came up with a novel idea: he hopped on a bike. As a kid, he once rode all the way to Texas and back: almost three thousand miles. “That's my horse,” says Vincent. “It takes me places. That's always ingrained in me. That's how my mind-set is, trying to explore the lands that I always grew up on.”</p> <p>Now a new crop of cyclists on the Navajo Nation are following Salabye’s impulse, and making a new kind of bike riding called Enduro their own. It’s a dangerous, difficult, and extremely intense form of high-speed downhill racing. Enduro has given some Navajo men a new way to connect with their ancient tribal lands and to defy the hard prospects and low expectations that too often characterize coming of age on the rez.</p>
Jul 13, 2018
The Extreme Bikers of the Navajo Nation and the Uncertain Future of the Democratic Party
55:52
<p>Philip Gourevitch reports on Navajo athletes who practice an extreme form of downhill bike racing as a way to connect with their harsh landscape and to survive the legacy of trauma in their culture. Benjamin Wallace-Wells examines the struggle between the mainstream and the progressive wings of the Democratic Party; the saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington discusses the eclectic influences that inspired his original style of jazz music; and Carmen Maria Machado visits her favorite place: a farmers’ market next to the hospital where she was born.</p>
Jul 13, 2018
Love, War, and the Magical Lamb-Brain Sandwiches of Aleppo, Syria
29:23
<p>When<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/adam-davidson"> Adam Davidson</a> was a reporter in Baghdad during the Iraq War, he started dating a fellow-reporter, Jen Banbury, of Salon. On a holiday break, they left the war zone and traveled to Aleppo, Syria—then a beautiful, ancient, bustling city—and, while there, they ate the best sandwiches that they had ever had. They were shockingly good, so much so that Adam and Jen never quite registered what was in them or where they came from. The couple, now married, told this story to many friends over the years, but none was more interested than Dan Pashman, the host of the food podcast “<a href="http://www.sporkful.com/">The Sporkful</a>.” Fascinated by the mystery, Pashman set out on a quest to find and re-create the sandwiches. He talked to Syrian emigrés, a political refugee, and finally to Imad Serjieh, the owner of the family sandwich shop that bears his last name. Pashman found that the Serjieh sandwiches—preferably the one made with boiled, spiced lamb brain—aren’t just a local favorite; they capture the essence of the city, and, as long as they are still being made, Pashman thinks, Aleppo lives. Plus, the writer and monologuist<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jenny-allen"> Jenny Allen</a> has something she’d like to say to you—or, rather, some things she’d like you to stop saying.</p> <p><em>This episode originally aired on November 10, 2017</em></p>
Jul 10, 2018
Tina Brown on Vanity Fair, the Eighties, and Harvey Weinstein
26:20
<p>Tina Brown is a legend in New York publishing. She was barely thirty years old when she was recruited from London to take over a foundering <em>Vanity Fair</em>. Take over she did, becoming one of the power centers of New York culture by bringing together the intellectual world and the celebrity world of entertainment. She later brought enormous change to <em>The New Yorker</em> (including, for the first time, photographs); she launched <em>Talk</em> magazine with Harvey Weinstein; and she helped launch the Daily Beast. Her new book, “The Vanity Fair Diaries, 1983-1992” is a kind of coming-of-age story about a pre-Internet era of unruffled ambition, unlimited budgets, big shoulders, big hair, and fabulous parties.</p> <p>Tina Brown tells David Remnick that her experience with Weinstein, as unpleasant as it was—she found the mogul “bullying [and] duplicitous,” profane and erratic—did not prepare her for the revelations of brutality and intimidation that have been published in <em>The New Yorker </em>and elsewhere. The experience has shaken her. “I have friends who’ve been accused of things who I want instinctively to defend, but I’ve held back,” Brown says. “Because I don’t know what’s coming next. The truth is, you realize you don’t really know anybody.” Plus, the cartoonist Emily Flake on the joys of Rudy’s Bar, where the combo of a shot and a beer costs five bucks. The sense of history and ritual, and the troubles confessed across generations, remind her of church—but at church, Flake points out, “they’re not going to let you sit around for six hours and drink.”</p> <p><em>This episode originally aired on November 10, 2017</em></p>
Jul 06, 2018
Love, War, and the Magical Lamb-Brain Sandwiches of Aleppo, Syria
24:56
<p>When <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/adam-davidson">Adam Davidson</a> was a reporter in Baghdad during the Iraq War, he started dating a fellow-reporter, Jen Banbury, of Salon. On a holiday break, they left the war zone and traveled to Aleppo, Syria—then a beautiful, ancient, bustling city—and, while there, they ate the best sandwiches that they had ever had. They were shockingly good, so much so that Adam and Jen never quite registered what was in them or where they came from. The couple, now married, told this story to many friends over the years, but none was more interested than Dan Pashman, the host of the food podcast “<a href="http://www.sporkful.com/">The Sporkful</a>.” Fascinated by the mystery, Pashman set out on a quest to find and re-create the sandwiches. He talked to Syrian emigrés, a political refugee, and finally to Imad Serjieh, the owner of the family sandwich shop that bears his last name. Pashman found that the Serjieh sandwiches—preferably the one made with boiled, spiced lamb brain—aren’t just a local favorite; they capture the essence of the city, and, as long as they are still being made, Pashman thinks, Aleppo lives.</p> <p><em>This segment originally aired on November 10, 2017</em></p>
Jul 06, 2018
Tina Brown on Vanity Fair, the Eighties, and Harvey Weinstein
17:39
<p>Tina Brown is a legend in New York publishing. She was barely thirty years old when she was recruited from London to take over a foundering <em>Vanity Fair</em>. Take over she did, becoming one of the power centers of New York culture by bringing together the intellectual world and the celebrity world of entertainment. She later brought enormous change to <em>The New Yorker</em> (including, for the first time, photographs); she launched <em>Talk</em> magazine with Harvey Weinstein; and she helped found the Daily Beast. Her new book, “The Vanity Fair Diaries, 1983-1992” is a kind of coming-of-age story about a pre-Internet era of unruffled ambition, unlimited budgets, big shoulders, big hair, and fabulous parties.<br><br>Tina Brown tells David Remnick that her experience with Weinstein, as unpleasant as it was—she found the mogul “bullying [and] duplicitous,” profane and erratic—did not prepare her for the revelations of brutality and intimidation that have been published in <em>The New Yorker</em> and elsewhere. The experience has shaken her. “I have friends who’ve been accused of things who I want instinctively to defend, but I’ve held back,” Brown says. “Because I don’t know what’s coming next. The truth is, you realize you don’t really know anybody.”</p> <p><em>This segment originally aired on November 10, 2017</em></p>
Jul 06, 2018
Emily Flake Goes to Church at Rudy’s Bar
6:46
<p>On the west side of Manhattan, a little past Times Square, there’s a big pink pig on the sidewalk, waving one hoof to beckon us in to Rudy’s Bar. In a neighborhood that has seen an enormous degree of change, Rudy’s has been a touchstone since Prohibition ended. The combo of a shot and a beer costs five bucks, and hot dogs come free. Uncharitably, you might call it a dive, since some of the booths are upholstered in duct tape. For the <em>New Yorker </em>cartoonist<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/emily-flake"> Emily Flake</a>, Rudy’s is a classic, a place where ritual connects the drinker to generations before and generations to come, a place to tell your troubles or listen to someone else’s, like church. But at church, Flake points out, “they’re not going to let you sit around for six hours and drink.”</p> <p> </p> <p><em>This segment originally aired on November 10, 2017</em></p>
Jul 06, 2018
Would Everybody Please Stop?
2:40
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jenny-allen">Jenny Allen</a> has something she’d like to say to you—or, rather, some things she’d like you to stop saying. “Would Everybody Please Stop?,” a litany of cutesy phrases and figures of speech that bug the crap out of her, is the title piece in Allen’s 2017 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Would-Everybody-Please-Stop-Reflections/dp/B071W7DD9W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1510096975&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=jenny+allen">collection</a>, performed for The New Yorker Radio Hour by the author.</p> <p><em>This segment originally aired on November 10, 2017</em></p>
Jul 06, 2018
Love, War, and Sandwiches
55:22
<p>A legend in New York publishing, Tina Brown talks about her encounters with Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein, and tells David Remnick how she came to understand sexism in the workplace. Adam Davidson and his wife Jen Banbury recount the best sandwich they ever ate—a local specialty of the ancient city of Aleppo, Syria—and Dan Pashman sets out to re-create it. And Emily Flake drops in on her favorite dive bar.    </p> <p><em>This episode originally aired on November 10, 2017</em></p>
Jul 06, 2018
Naomi Klein Interviewed by Jia Tolentino
23:19
<p>The author of “No Logo” and “The Shock Doctrine,” Naomi Klein has become what Noam Chomsky was to an earlier generation of leftists. Her theories tie inequality and climate change together, arguing that capitalists use disasters to advance the agenda of neoliberalism. In a conversation with the staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jia-tolentino">Jia Tolentino</a> at the 2017 New Yorker Festival, Klein makes the case that, by embracing billionaire “saviors” like Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, liberals helped pave the way for Donald Trump. She is clearly a partisan of the left, but she thinks we could all benefit from reflecting on the ways that each of us—on social media, for example—is a little bit Trumpish.  </p> <p>  </p>
Jul 03, 2018
Hasan Minhaj Interviewed by Vinson Cunningham
32:56
<p>On a high-school speech-and-debate team, Hasan Minhaj learned the value of a joke: “If I made the judges laugh, I automatically saw an increase in the amount of points that I would get. And so I was like, ‘Oh, that’s a really powerful tool to get people on your side.’ ”  Now a “Daily Show” correspondent, Minhaj was asked to host the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner during the first year of the Trump Administration. “No one wanted to do this,” he said. “So, of course, it lands in the hands of an immigrant.” But he is increasingly aware of the limits of comedy. After performing at the Moth’s story-slam events, he wrote the special “Homecoming King,” now on Netflix, which describes the hate crimes that his Indian immigrant family endured after September 11th.  He spoke with the staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/vinson-cunningham">Vinson Cunningham</a> at the 2017 New Yorker Festival. Plus, Yotam Ottolenghi finished a graduate program in philosophy; he tells Jane Kramer why he left it for a life in the kitchen.  </p>
Jun 29, 2018
Naomi Klein Interviewed by Jia Tolentino
21:55
<p>The author of “No Logo” and “The Shock Doctrine,” Naomi Klein has become what Noam Chomsky was to an earlier generation of leftists. Her theories tie inequality and climate change together, arguing that capitalists use disasters to advance the agenda of neoliberalism. In a conversation with the staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jia-tolentino">Jia Tolentino</a> at the 2017 New Yorker Festival, Klein makes the case that, by embracing billionaire “saviors” like Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, liberals helped pave the way for Donald Trump. She is clearly a partisan of the left, but she thinks we could all benefit from reflecting on the ways that each of us—on social media, for example—is a little bit Trumpish.  </p>
Jun 29, 2018
Yotam Ottolenghi Interviewed by Jane Kramer
14:47
<p>Yotam Ottolenghi’s background might not compute for Americans: an Israeli of Italian origin, he’s a connoisseur of Middle Eastern cuisines who made his name with a series of restaurants in London. he author of six books, Ottolenghi talks with the staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jane-kramer">Jane Krame</a>r about the challenges of translating cookbooks across cultures <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jane-kramer">r</a>.Here in the United States [?], he says, most people don’t even know how to measure properly.  </p>
Jun 29, 2018
Hasan Minhaj Interviewed by Vinson Cunningham
16:21
<p>On a high-school speech-and-debate team, Hasan Minhaj learned the value of a joke: “If I made the judges laugh, I automatically saw an increase in the amount of points that I would get. And so I was like, ‘Oh, that’s a really powerful tool to get people on your side.’ ”  Now a “Daily Show” correspondent, Minhaj was asked to host the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner during the first year of the Trump Administration. “No one wanted to do this,” he said. “So, of course, it lands in the hands of an immigrant.” But he is increasingly aware of the limits of comedy. After performing at the Moth’s story-slam events, he wrote the special “Homecoming King,” now on Netflix, which describes the hate crimes that his Indian immigrant family endured after September 11th.  He spoke with the staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/vinson-cunningham">Vinson Cunningham</a> at the 2017 New Yorker Festival.</p>
Jun 29, 2018
Hasan Minhaj, Naomi Klein, and Yotam Ottolenghi
55:18
<p>Onstage at the 2017 New Yorker Festival, the comedian Hasan Minhaj talks about learning the value of humor—and when to stop being funny. Naomi Klein connects the dots between capitalism and natural disaster. And Yotam Ottolenghi talks about giving up philosophy for a life in the kitchen.  </p>
Jun 29, 2018
Molly Ringwald, Judd Apatow, and #MeToo
32:57
<p>The John Hughes films that made Molly Ringwald famous—“Sixteen Candles,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “The Breakfast Club”—look very different to their star now that she has a teen-age daughter of her own. Speaking with the writer and director Judd Apatow, who was heavily influenced by Hughes, Ringwald says, “I don’t want to imagine a world where somebody basically mistreats my daughter and she doesn’t expect an apology.”  But Apatow is well aware that, in time, audiences may judge his own body of work critically: “People will watch it in the future and go, ‘Whoa, how did they think that was O.K. to do?’ ” Plus, Autumn Miles, a survivor of domestic abuse who has become an evangelical activist, says that churches need to stop encouraging women to submit to abuse. If male church leaders are guilty of sexism, she tells Eliza Griswold, they need to “repent.”</p>
Jun 26, 2018
The Government Took Her Son. Will It Give Him Back?
22:57
<p>Border Patrol, which has forcibly separated families in border detention, has put some immigrant children in the care of a separate agency, the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Although a recent executive order modified the Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of child separation, it said nothing about reuniting the more than two thousand children still in detention with their families. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jonathan-blitzer">Jonathan Blitzer</a> has reported on the bureaucratic nightmare facing mothers and fathers when the government is unable or unwilling to tell them where their children are. At an ICE facility in El Paso, Blitzer spoke with Ana Maritza Rivera, whose five-year-old son, Jairo, was taken from her. Through sheer luck, she found a case worker who knew his location, but it isn’t clear whether the government will reunite them before deporting Rivera to her native Honduras. Blitzer says that Rivera told an official, “If I get to the airport and my son is not there, you’ll be killing me.” And two crossword-puzzle constructors explain to David Remnick how they are crafting clues for a younger, more diverse audience of “solvers.” “I want to see more bands that I like,” Kameron Austin Collins says. “I want to see more black people—black people who aren’t Jay-Z or Nas, who are common in crossword puzzles because of the letter combinations.”  </p>
Jun 22, 2018
To Build a Better Crossword
9:24
<p>The answer is “fashionista.” What’s the clue? David Remnick talks with Anna Shechtman and Kameron Austin Collins, two of the crossword constructors who contribute to the recently launched <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/crossword/puzzles-dept">puzzle</a> on newyorker.com. These experts walk us through the process of devising the perfect clue for a word that they want to use.  Although a crossword puzzle may seem like a slightly anachronistic feature to launch in 2018, Collins and Shechtman both beg to differ; they are creating puzzles with a younger and more diverse audience of “solvers” in mind. “I want to see more bands that I like,” Collins says. “I want to see more black people—black people who aren’t Jay-Z or Nas, who are common in crossword puzzles because of the letter combinations.”  </p>
Jun 22, 2018
Molly Ringwald, Judd Apatow, and #MeToo
16:54
<p>Molly Ringwald recently wrote an <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/culture/personal-history/what-about-the-breakfast-club-molly-ringwald-metoo-john-hughes-pretty-in-pink">essay</a> for <em>The New Yorker</em> about the John Hughes teen dramas that made her famous: “Sixteen Candles,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “The Breakfast Club.” Hughes depicted teens, and especially teen-age girls, with an uncommon insight and empathy, but he seemed to have blind spots about how those girls were treated by the boys around them. As much as Ringwald admires the late filmmaker, the movies look different to her now that she’s the mother of a teen. Speaking with the writer and director Judd Apatow, who was heavily influenced by Hughes, she says, “I don’t want to imagine a world where somebody basically mistreats my daughter and she doesn’t expect an apology.” Apatow is well aware of how many comedies, even from recent decades, now seem sexist and racist. He says that, as times change, “I assume that will happen with my work—people will watch it in the future and go, ‘Whoa, how did they think that was O.K. to do?’ ”</p>
Jun 22, 2018
An Evangelical Activist Embraces #MeToo
13:57
<p>When Autumn Miles filed for divorce from an abusive spouse, the church that she belonged to told her to return to her husband—or face expulsion. Since then, Miles has been on a crusade to call attention to the treatment of women in the evangelical community. She tells <em>The New Yorker’s</em> <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/eliza-griswold">Eliza Griswold</a> that a Biblical scripture about wives “submitting” to their husbands has often been used to justify mistreatment. Although Miles isn’t an egalitarian—she opposes the ordination of women as head pastors—the lack of female leaders in the church strikes her as a problem. “Are we not elevating women to positions because of pride? Because of religion? Because of tradition?” she says. “If any of those things are the case . . . our pastors might need to repent.” And, if that causes a rift in a largely conservative community, she says, so be it.  </p>
Jun 22, 2018
The Government Took Her Son. Will It Give Him Back?
11:43
<p>Border Patrol, which has forcibly separated families in border detention, has put some immigrant children in the care of a separate agency, the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Although a recent executive order modified the Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of child separation, it said nothing about reuniting the more than two thousand children still in detention with their families. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jonathan-blitzer">Jonathan Blitzer</a> has reported on the bureaucratic nightmare facing mothers and fathers when the government is unable or unwilling to tell them where their children are. At an ICE facility in El Paso, Blitzer spoke with Ana Maritza Rivera, whose five-year-old son, Jairo, was taken from her. Through sheer luck, she found a case worker who knew his location, but it isn’t clear whether the government will reunite them before deporting Rivera to her native Honduras. Blitzer says that Rivera told an official, “If I get to the airport and my son is not there, you’ll be killing me.”</p>
Jun 22, 2018
Molly Ringwald on #MeToo, and the Tragedy of “Zero Tolerance” at the Border
55:19
<p>As the #MeToo movement courses through American life, an evangelical activist and a Hollywood star start to see their respective worlds differently. David Remnick gets a lesson in crossword-puzzle construction from two experts. And, at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility, in El Paso, a reporter speaks with a woman who fears that she will be deported before officials return her five-year-old, whom they separated from her.  </p>
Jun 22, 2018
The Comedian Hannah Gadsby Goes Big Time, and Renounces Comedy
24:05
<p>Hannah Gadsby is a headlining comedian in Australia, a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is about to become a very big deal in America with a special on Netflix called “Nanette.”  It’s a full-length comedy show, and at the same time, a carefully structured critique of stand-up comedy. “Nanette” reflects her experiences as an overweight woman, a lesbian, a native of Tasmania, and an adult diagnosed with autism, and addresses subjects as serious as Gadsby’s sexual assault..  She tells <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Emily Nussbaum that comedy contains a kind of violence, and she might be done with it.  Plus: Amanda Petrusich picks three outdoor music festivals worth sweating for.</p>
Jun 19, 2018
James Wood Is Done “Prosecuting Wars”
32:36
<p>Jane Mayer explains why Charles and David Koch are willing to spend as much as thirty million dollars on advertising that opposes Donald Trump’s campaign of tariffs—right as the midterm elections offer voters a referendum on his Presidency. And David Remnick speaks with James Wood, the literary critic and occasional novelist. When Wood joined <em>The New Yorker</em> as a literary critic, he promised that he wouldn’t “go soft”: he had been well known at <em>The New Republic</em> for battles with prominent writers whose styles he found flawed. Wood tells David Remnick that he now regrets that choice of words. Changing his mind or expanding his taste needn’t be seen as form of capitulation. Criticism itself, Wood says, has been, to some degree, a detour from his calling: writing his own fiction. Wood’s new novel, “Upstate,” follows a father—an Englishman, like Wood—as he spends time with his adult daughters. One is an energetic corporate executive, the other a melancholy professor of philosophy. The book is a meditation on what it means to be a parent, and Wood notes that male novelists, including Karl Ove Knausgaard and Michael Chabon, are finally beginning to write about the experience of parenting as a central concern.  </p>
Jun 15, 2018
I Work Hard and I Play Soft
2:25
<p>The most ruthless shark who ever sat in a corner office might just have a softer side. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/03/25/i-work-hard-and-i-play-soft">Teddy Wayne’s piece</a> for <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Shouts &amp; Murmurs was performed for Radio Hour by Ed Helms, the actor formerly of “The Office” and more recently of the film “Chappaquiddick.”  </p>
Jun 15, 2018
Amanda Petrusich on the Summer Music Festivals Worth Sweating For
7:20
<p>Summer means, among other things, outdoor music festivals. All across the country, by the hundreds, music festivals of every genre pack thousands of mostly young people onto huge fields to see back-to-back concerts while trying to avoid heatstroke. The <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/amanda-petrusich">Amanda Petrusich</a> tells David Remnick about three that might be worth sweating for: Sonic Seasonal, in Philadelphia; the Pitchfork festival in Chicago; and Pickathon, in Happy Valley, Oregon.</p>
Jun 15, 2018
The Koch Brothers Say No to Tariffs
10:43
<p>Charles and David Koch are two of the ten richest Americans. They’ve been major donors to conservative and libertarian causes, funding candidates for office, the Tea Party movement, and even university economics departments. They sat out Donald Trump’s campaign for President, characterizing his race against Hillary Clinton as the choice between cancer and a heart attack. Now Trump has promised a wave of tariffs on products from China, Mexico, Canada, and the European Union, which violates their principles and would hurt the business of Koch Industries.  <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jane-mayer">Jane Mayer</a> has reported on the Kochs and their political activities for years. She tells David Remnick that the brothers plan to spend thirty million dollars on advertising against the tariffs, right as the midterm elections offer voters a referendum on the Trump Presidency. But, as much as trade is a flash point in the Republican Party, Mayer thinks that, in the most critical areas of environmental deregulation and corporate taxes, the Kochs have every reason to be satisfied with the Administration.  </p>
Jun 15, 2018
James Wood Is Done “Prosecuting Wars”
17:13
<p>When <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/james-wood">James Wood</a> joined <em>The New Yorker</em> as a literary critic, he promised that he wouldn’t “go soft”: he was well known at <em>The New Republic</em> for battles with prominent writers whose styles he found flawed.  Wood tells David Remnick that he now regrets that choice of words. Changing his mind or expanding his taste needn’t be seen as form a of capitulation.  Criticism itself, Wood says, has been, to some degree, a detour from his calling: writing his own fiction. Wood’s new novel, “Upstate,” follows a father—an Englishman, like Wood—as he spends time with his adult daughters. One is an enesrgetic corporate executive, the other a melancholy professor of philosophy. The book is a meditation on what it means to be a parent, and Wood notes that male novelists, including Karl Ove Knausgaard and Michael Chabon, are finally beginning to write about the experience of parenting as a central concern.  </p>
Jun 15, 2018
The Comedian Hannah Gadsby Goes Big Time, and Renounces Comedy
15:21
<p>Hannah Gadsby is a headlining comedian in Australia and a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Now she is about to become a very big deal in America, with a special on Netflix called “Nanette.” It’s a full-length comedy show, and, at the same time, it’s a carefully structured critique of standup comedy. “Nanette” reflects her experiences as an overweight woman, a lesbian, a native of Tasmania, and an adult diagnosed with autism; it addresses subjects as serious as Gadsby’s sexual assault. She tells <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Emily Nussbaum that comedy contains a kind of violence, and she might be done with it.  </p>
Jun 15, 2018
Hannah Gadsby Against Comedy, and James Wood on Writing a Novel
55:37
<p>Hannah Gadsby talks with Emily Nussbaum about “Nanette,” a full-length comedy show that’s a critique—and a renunciation—of comedy.  Jane Mayer looks at the tension between the Koch brothers and Donald Trump’s economic policy; James Wood explains why he’s done “prosecuting wars”; and Amanda Petrusich suggests three outdoor festivals worth sweating for.  </p>
Jun 15, 2018
In the Civil Service, Loyalty Now Comes Before Expertise
20:54
<p>Donald Trump came into office promising to make so many cuts to the government that “your head will spin.” <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/evan-osnos">Evan Osnos</a> has been reporting from Washington on how the Administration is radically changing the civil service, and he’s found that, to a degree unprecedented in modern times, political loyalty is prized over qualifications and experience. In many departments, senior officials deemed insufficiently loyal have been “turkey-farmed”—reassigned to jobs that are meaningless or less important than their previous posts. (The practice was known in the Nixon Administration as the “new activity technique.”) Osnos spoke with Matthew Allen, who was, until recently, the communications director at the Bureau of Land Management. And Bob Odenkirk, who played a newsman in “The Post,” reminds you of some headlines you may have missed.  </p>
Jun 12, 2018
Another Fiasco for American Soccer, and Praying for Tangier
34:29
<p>The 2018 World Cup begins this week in Russia, and America is taking a powder. The men’s team failed to qualify for the tournament after a stunning upset loss to Trinidad and Tobago, which is considered to be one of the worst teams in competition. Perhaps no fan was more upset than Roger Bennett, an English soccer commentator and new U.S. citizen, who has rather quixotically devoted himself to the sport as it’s played in America. Bennett is the co-host of the podcast “Men in Blazers” from NBC Sports, and recently hosted “<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/american-fiasco/id1389231303?mt=2">American Fiasco</a>” for WNYC Studios—a longform exploration of the epic U.S. failure in the 1998 World Cup. Bennett spoke with Michael Luo, the editor of newyorker.com, about why the same problems keep casting a shadow over the sport’s future in America. Plus, a visit to Tangier, Virginia. The island is washing out to sea, and its residents may be among the first American refugees of climate change. But that’s not how they see the loss of their island.</p>
Jun 09, 2018
Another Fiasco for American Soccer
13:17
<p>The 2018 World Cup begins this week in Russia, and America is taking a powder. The men’s team failed to qualify for the tournament after a stunning upset loss to Trinidad and Tobago, which is considered to be one of the worst teams in competition. Perhaps no fan was more upset than Roger Bennett, an English soccer commentator and new U.S. citizen, who has rather quixotically devoted himself to the sport as it’s played in America. Bennett is the co-host of the podcast “Men in Blazers” from NBC Sports, and recently hosted “<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/american-fiasco/id1389231303?mt=2">American Fiasco</a>” for WNYC Studios—a longform exploration of the epic U.S. failure in the 1998 World Cup. Bennett spoke with Michael Luo, the editor of newyorker.com, about why the same problems keep casting a shadow over the sport’s future in America.  </p>
Jun 08, 2018
Tangier Island, On the Front Lines of Climate Change
20:38
<p>Residents of Tangier Island, in the Chesapeake Bay, live through each hurricane season in fear of a major storm that would decimate their land. With its highest point only four feet above sea level, the island loses ground to erosion every year, and its residents may be among the first climate-change refugees of the United States. “I do believe in climate change,” Trenna Moore, a schoolteacher, says. “But I believe in what it says: centimeters a year. We’re losing feet.” <em>The New Yorker’s</em> <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/carolyn-kormann">Carolyn Kormann</a> and the Radio Hour’s Sara Nics travelled to the island, and spent time with James Eskridge, a commercial crabber and mayor of the town of Tangier, Virginia. A stalwart supporter of Donald Trump, Eskridge told the President of the residents’ desire for a seawall around the entire island. Based on his own observations, Eskridge disputes the entire scientific community that sea-level rise is a threat, but he sees that the danger is real: “If we were to get a hurricane to come in, it would wipe out the whole harbor here, and probably a good chunk of the island.”</p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on December 4, 2017</em></p>
Jun 08, 2018
Headlines You May Have Missed
3:30
<p>Bob Odenkirk isn’t a newshound, although he did once play one in a movie: the reporter Ben Bagdikian in “The Post.” In his downtime on set, the actor has been catching up on the news that most of us missed in the Trump-dominated cycle—and he has a few things to share. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/bob-odenkirk">Odenkirk</a> wrote “Headlines You May Have Missed” for <em>The New Yorker</em>’s Shouts &amp; Murmurs, and he performed it for the New Yorker Radio Hour.  </p>
Jun 08, 2018
In the Civil Service, Loyalty Now Comes Before Expertise
17:15
<p>Donald Trump came into office promising to make so many cuts to the government that “your head will spin.” <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/evan-osnos">Evan Osnos</a> has been reporting from Washington on how the Administration is radically changing the civil service, and he’s found that, to a degree unprecedented in modern times, political loyalty is prized over qualifications and experience. In many departments, senior officials deemed insufficiently loyal have been “turkey-farmed”—reassigned to jobs that are meaningless or less important than their previous posts. (The practice was known in the Nixon Administration as the “new activity technique.”) Osnos spoke with Matthew Allen, who was, until recently, the communications director at the Bureau of Land Management.</p>
Jun 08, 2018
Anthony Bourdain’s Interview with David Remnick
19:20
<p>Anthony Bourdain—the chef turned author, food anthropologist, and television star—died this week, at sixty-one. Bourdain made his début in <em>The New Yorke</em>r in 1999, with an essay called “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1999/04/19/dont-eat-before-reading-this">Don’t Eat Before Reading This,</a>” about working in the restaurant industry. It was an account of what really goes on in restaurants—extremely vivid, funny, gross, and, in parts, genuinely disturbing. After the success of that article, Bourdain went on to publish his best-selling memoir, “Kitchen Confidential,” and it’s no exaggeration to say that a star was born. When he took to television, it wasn’t for a typical celebrity-chef “stand and stir” show, but for a much more ambitious endeavor. On “Parts Unknown,” Bourdain travelled the world with a film crew, in search of authenticity.  It was never just about the food: his focus was on the people who make it and the people who eat it—from the farmers to the cooks to the diners, including President Obama, who Bourdain shared a meal with in Vietnam.</p> <p>He spoke with David Remnick in 2017.  </p>
Jun 08, 2018
Another Fiasco for American Soccer
55:22
<p>Roger Bennett, an English sports commentator who loves American soccer, explains why he’s feeling a little abashed by his team’s ignominious failure to qualify for the World Cup. Evan Osnos interviews a high-ranking civil servant who was “turkey-farmed” by the Trump Administration. We visit Tangier Island, in Virginia, where every hurricane season is an existential threat. And Bob Odenkirk, who played a newsman in “The Post,” reminds you of some headlines you may have missed.</p>
Jun 08, 2018
Anthony Bourdain’s Interview with David Remnick
19:20
<p>Anthony Bourdain—the chef turned author, food anthropologist, and television star—died this week, at sixty-one. Bourdain made his début in <em>The New Yorke</em>r in 1999, with an essay called “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1999/04/19/dont-eat-before-reading-this">Don’t Eat Before Reading This,</a>” about working in the restaurant industry. It was an account of what really goes on in restaurants—extremely vivid, funny, gross, and, in parts, genuinely disturbing. After the success of that article, Bourdain went on to publish his best-selling memoir, “Kitchen Confidential,” and it’s no exaggeration to say that a star was born. When he took to television, it wasn’t for a typical celebrity-chef “stand and stir” show, but for a much more ambitious endeavor. On “Parts Unknown,” Bourdain travelled the world with a film crew, in search of authenticity.  It was never just about the food: his focus was on the people who make it and the people who eat it—from the farmers to the cooks to the diners, including President Obama, who Bourdain shared a meal with in Vietnam.</p> <p>He spoke with David Remnick in 2017.  </p>
Jun 08, 2018
Angélique Kidjo and David Byrne on “Remain in Light”
22:56
<p>When a young <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/amanda-petrusich">Amanda Petrusich</a>, now a staff writer who covers music, first heard Talking Heads’ “Remain in Light,” she felt “almost like it was being beamed in from outer space.” The record, released in 1980, was strikingly original—a hybrid of experimental rock, Afrobeat, and seventies funk, reimagined by a white American rock band and their English producer. Nearly forty years later, the Beninese pop star Angélique Kidjo has chosen to release her own, track-by-track cover version of “Remain in Light,” working with the producer Jeff Bhasker, who is known for his collaborations with Kanye West and Beyoncé. Kidjo has figuratively brought the record back to Africa, with lyrics in Yoruba and Fon, languages of her native Benin. Nonetheless, she is skeptical of the idea of cultural appropriation, broadly defined.  “Who are we to own any culture?” she asks. “Even our [own] culture doesn’t belong to us.” Petrusich spoke with Kidjo and with David Byrne, formerly of Talking Heads, about the impulses behind both versions, and the large influence of Fela Kuti. And the food correspondent Helen Rosner recommends a baking show, a book, and a perfect summer cake recipe.  </p> <p> </p>
Jun 05, 2018
Glenda Jackson, Retired from Parliament, Returns to Broadway
14:26
<p>In this country, the best-known actors to enter politics are probably Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the U.K., though, the precedent is a little different. Glenda Jackson was a Tony nominee and a winner of two Oscars (for her roles in “Women in Love” and “A Touch of Class”) when she gave up acting, in 1992. Reacting to the impact of Thatcherism, Jackson ran for a seat in Parliament, representing a district in the London area, and served in the Labour Party for more than twenty years. After stepping down, she returned to theatre and is now nominated for another Tony for the role of A in Edward Albee's “Three Tall Women.” She talks with David Remnick about her long-ago difficulties with Albee, the emotional demands of his work, and the state of British politics.  </p>
Jun 01, 2018
Helen Rosner Picks Three
6:14
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/helen-rosner">Helen Rosner</a> is a food correspondent for <em>The New Yorker</em>’s website, writing about trends, recipes, and culinary culture on TV and everywhere else. (She nearly broke the Internet this spring when she <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-gastronomy/yes-i-use-a-hair-dryer-to-make-roast-chicken">suggested</a> using a hair dryer to prepare a chicken for roasting.)  She recommends “Nailed It,” a baking show like no other; “The Sausage of the Future,” a possibly-tongue-in-cheek design book; and a no-fail cake recipe that’s perfect for summer. </p>
Jun 01, 2018
Angélique Kidjo and David Byrne on “Remain in Light”
16:20
<p>When a young <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/amanda-petrusich">Amanda Petrusich</a>, now a staff writer who covers music, first heard Talking Heads’ “Remain in Light,” she felt “almost like it was being beamed in from outer space.” The record, released in 1980, was strikingly original—a hybrid of experimental rock, Afrobeat, and seventies funk, reimagined by a white American rock band and their English producer. Nearly forty years later, the Beninese pop star Angélique Kidjo has chosen to release her own, track-by-track cover version of “Remain in Light,” working with the producer Jeff Bhasker, who is known for his collaborations with Kanye West and Beyoncé. Kidjo has figuratively brought the record back to Africa, with lyrics in Yoruba and Fon, languages of her native Benin. Nonetheless, she is skeptical of the idea of cultural appropriation, broadly defined.  “Who are we to own any culture?” she asks. “Even our [own] culture doesn’t belong to us.” Petrusich spoke with Kidjo and with David Byrne, formerly of Talking Heads, about the impulses behind both versions, and the large influence of Fela Kuti.</p>
Jun 01, 2018
Marco Rubio: “Modernizing” Conservatism
20:07
<p>Not so long ago, Senator Marco Rubio was seen as the shining future of the G.O.P.: a staunch, national-security-minded conservative who was young, charismatic, and a popular Latino politician in a crucial swing state. That was before Donald Trump’s instinct for insult rendered him “Little Marco.”  </p> <p>Since the election of 2016, Rubio—like many traditional conservatives—has been weighing what it means to be a Republican in the age of Trump. Rubio spoke with the <a href="http://newyorker.com">newyorker.com</a> columnist <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/susan-b-glasser">Susan B. Glasser</a> about the threat of China and the future of his party. “We’re modernizing,” Rubio tells her. “Just like every couple weeks I get an update that there’s a software update on my phone that I should download. I think we have to update it, because there’s new ideas and new realities.” “Do you always update those?” Glasser wonders. “Generally,” Rubio replies. “Depends what the fix is.”</p>
Jun 01, 2018
Glenda Jackson Onstage, and Marco Rubio on “Modernizing” Conservatism
35:34
<p>Glenda Jackson, who has played both Queen Elizabeth and King Lear, served as a humble member of Parliament for more than two decades in between those roles; she talks with David Remnick about performing at eighty-two and about the state of British politics. And Marco Rubio talks with Susan B. Glasser about the threat of China and how to be a conservative in Trump’s Washington.  </p>
Jun 01, 2018
Glenda Jackson Onstage, and Marco Rubio on “Modernizing” Conservatism
58:09
<p>Glenda Jackson, who has played both Queen Elizabeth and King Lear, served as a humble member of Parliament for more than two decades in the middle of a long acting career. She talks with David Remnick about performing at eighty-two and the state of British politics. Marco Rubio talks with Susan B. Glasser about the threat of China and how to be a conservative in Trump’s Washington. And David Byrne and Angélique Kidjo join a discussion about Talking Heads’ 1980 masterpiece, “Remain in Light,” which Kidjo has reimagined as her own.    </p>
Jun 01, 2018
Malcolm Gladwell on the Sociology of School Shooters
24:52
<p>Malcolm Gladwell spoke with <em>The New Yorker’s </em>Dorothy Wickenden in 2015 about the social dynamics of school shootings. Studying the literature of sociology, Gladwell compares shootings to a riot, in which each person’s act of violence makes the next act slightly more likely. And David Remnick speaks with the Columbia professor Mark Lilla, whose book “The Once and Future Liberal” argues provocatively that identity politics and support for marginalized groups are costing the Democrats election after election. “We cannot do anything for these groups we care about if we do not hold power—it is just talk,” Lilla says. “An election is not about self-expression—it’s a contest.”</p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
May 29, 2018
Paul Schrader: Movies as Religion
31:16
<p>Paul Schrader made an auspicious début as the screenwriter of “Taxi Driver” and the director of “Blue Collar” and “American Gigolo.” But as Hollywood turned away from serious drama, Schrader struggled. Schrader is, above all, serious about filmmaking: the product of a strict Dutch Calvinist upbringing in which movies were forbidden, he first fell in love with directors like Robert Bresson and Ingmar Bergman— icons of the European, intellectual tradition in cinema. <em>The New Yorker</em>’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/richard-brody">Richard Brody</a> considers Schrader to be a true auteur and one of the greats of American film. They spoke about religion and movies on the occasion of Schrader’s new film, “First Reformed.” It stars Ethan Hawke as the troubled pastor of a small church, and it reflects Schrader’s obsession with morality in a fallen world. Plus: on-the-job horror stories from three great writers—Gillian Flynn, Akhil Sharma, and Alison Bechdel.</p>
May 25, 2018
Is Identity Politics Killing the Democratic Party?
12:14
<p>Hostility toward identity politics—nurtured by Steve Bannon and others—helped propel the rise of Donald Trump. But that feeling is not only to be found on the right. The Columbia professor Mark Lilla, a Democrat and a self-described liberal, says very much the same thing: that vocal opposition to racism, and support for gay and transgender rights, have been costing Democrats election after election all over America. In a controversial new book, “The Once and Future Liberal,” Lilla is highly critical of Black Lives Matter, and goes out of his way to antagonize activists on the left, who, he says, are oblivious to electoral reality. But his position, he tells David Remnick, is in the service of effecting liberal change: “We cannot do anything for these groups we care about if we do not hold power—it is just talk. Our rhetoric in campaigning must be focussed on winning so we can help these people. An election is not about self-expression—it’s a contest.”</p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on August 25, 2017</em></p>
May 25, 2018
Gillian Flynn’s Worst Job
6:16
<p><a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/10/be-kind-to-people-dressed-as-food">Gillian Flynn</a>—the author of “The Grownup,” “Gone Girl,” and other books—was a shy teen-ager when her boss at the frozen-yogurt shop asked to see her in the back. She didn’t quite get what he was showing her, but she knew she didn’t like it. “My first thought was, I think he’s killed someone? Am I going to be accessory for murder? This is such a bummer. I did not sign up for this.” It turned out to be a costume representing a human-size fro-yo, and Flynn had to wear it. In public.</p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on August 25, 2017</em></p>
May 25, 2018
Akhil Sharma Lies His Way Into a Job
5:35
<p>Akhil Sharma’s novels include “Family Life” and the PEN/Hemingway Award-winning “An Obedient Father,” and he has<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/contributors/akhil-sharma"> published</a> quite a few short stories and essays in <em>The New Yorker</em>. So we should all be thankful that his original plan didn’t quite work out. Sharma, who calls himself “deeply lazy” and “incredibly greedy,” heard that investment banking paid the most money, and he lined up for interviews. As he told The New Yorker Radio Hour, he didn’t know a thing about finance, but he had an ace up his sleeve. An enthusiastic, imaginative liar, Sharma spun tales about his experiences working in gas stations and 7-Elevens that he never set foot in, and charmed his interviewers. “I was playing right along with their expectations, which frankly I did not mind.”</p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on August 25, 2017</em></p>
May 25, 2018
Alison Bechdel’s Shortest-Ever Job
3:14
<p>One evening—years before her success as a cartoonist, with books like “Fun Home” and “Are You My Mother”—Alison Bechdel and her girlfriend were walking down the street minding their own business. “We were young lesbians in the New York City in the early eighties,” she told The New Yorker Radio Hour, “and we were dressed as such,” sporting Levi’s and denim jackets and short hair. Then a man called out to them: “You fellas want to earn five bucks?”</p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on August 25, 2017</em></p>
May 25, 2018
Paul Schrader: Movies as Religion
15:21
<p>Paul Schrader made an auspicious début as the screenwriter of “Taxi Driver” and the director of “Blue Collar” and “American Gigolo.” But as Hollywood turned away from serious drama, Schrader struggled. Schrader is, above all, serious about filmmaking: the product of a strict Dutch Calvinist upbringing in which movies were forbidden, he first fell in love with directors like Robert Bresson and Ingmar Bergman— icons of the European, intellectual tradition in cinema. <em>The New Yorker</em>’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/richard-brody">Richard Brody</a> considers Schrader to be a true auteur and one of the greats of American film. They spoke about religion and movies on the occasion of Schrader’s new film, “First Reformed.” It stars Ethan Hawke as the troubled pastor of a small church, and it reflects Schrader’s obsession with morality in a fallen world.  </p>
May 25, 2018
Malcolm Gladwell on Understanding School Shooters
11:14
<p>In his <em>New Yorker</em> story “<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/10/19/thresholds-of-violence">Thresholds of Violence</a>,” Malcolm Gladwell turned his attention to the psychology of school shooters. In a conversation with <em>The New Yorker’</em>s Dorothy Wickenden, Gladwell explains why the social dynamics of school shootings are comparable to those of a riot, where every act of violence makes the next one slightly more likely. He also explains why the problem is far too complex to be addressed through gun control.</p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on March 11, 2016</em></p>
May 25, 2018
Malcolm Gladwell on School Shootings, and the Return of Paul Schrader
55:34
<p>What drives a child to massacre his classmates and teachers?  Malcolm Gladwell turns to sociology to try to understand the contagion of senseless violence in our schools.  The director Paul Schrader talks about his struggles with Hollywood and his new film, starring Ethan Hawke. And Gillian Flynn, Akhil Sharma, and Alison Bechdel describe their most memorable summer jobs.  </p>
May 25, 2018
The Breeders on Sexism, Drugs, and Rock and Roll
30:22
<p>This year, the original members of the Breeders—indie-rock royalty—are back together, twenty-five years after “Last Splash,” an album that fans regard as a classic. Kim Deal, Kelly Deal, Josephine Wiggs, and Jim MacPherson joined David Remnick in the studio to play songs off their new record, “All Nerve.” They also talk about the toll of drugs and alcohol, about playing together after decades, and about the persistence of sexism in rock. Kim Deal once said that “misogyny is the backbone of the music industry,” and she remains bitter about how badly female musicians are treated—even by their friends. She recalls a remark that Charles Thompson, who led the Pixies under the name Black Francis, once made about her.  “I’m paraphrasing … he said, ‘Kim, all she would have to do was smile and the crowd would erupt in cheers.’ Of course that’s going to bother me.” For Deal, this comment minimized her work as a musician: “I’m sweating, I’m almost going to pass out with the heat, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth, the misogynist tour driver did not get sanitary napkins so I’m probably bleeding a little down my leg right then. I’m doing downstrokes, really fast, exhausting music … at the same time I have to find the pitch of the song because I’m singing a melodic harmony on top of everything … All that is happening, [but] all I did was just sit there and smile, and the crowd was clapping because I smiled?”</p> <p><span><br>The Breeders performed “Off You” live at WNYC Studios.  </span></p>
May 22, 2018
Diplomacy on the Rocks in Iran and North Korea
24:26
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/susan-b-glasser">Susan B. Glasser</a>, a staff writer for <em>The New Yorker</em> based in Washington, speaks with Wendy Sherman about the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran deal. As the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in the Obama Administration, Sherman helped write that agreement, and led the U.S. negotiating team in complex multilateral talks. She also has first-hand experience negotiating with the North Korean government, having visited Pyongyang with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during the Clinton Presidency.  </p> <p>The Iran deal seemed to be working: in exchange for curbing its nuclear program, as the International Atomic Energy Agency subsequently verified, Iran got relief from sanctions. But Donald Trump lambasted the deal throughout his campaign and Presidency; he called it overly generous and vowed to withdraw from it. John Bolton, his recently appointed national security adviser, opposed the deal on the grounds that verification was not “infallible.” Sherman has a sobering question for the Trump Administration, which now wishes to negotiate with Kim Jong Un about North Korea’s nuclear program: “How in God’s name can any verification or monitoring of North Korea be infallible?” <span>And Evan Osnos speaks with Victor Cha, the top North Korea adviser to George W. Bush, about the mixed signals on diplomacy coming from Pyongyang.  Might the Trump Administration, eager for a foreign-policy win, be led into giving up too much?</span></p>
May 18, 2018
North Korea Blows Hot and Cold on the Prospect of Talks
8:50
<p>No sitting American President has ever met a leader of North Korea. But Donald Trump’s Presidency is without precedent in many ways, and, after more than a year of swapping insults and schoolyard taunts, Trump and Kim Jong Un recently made a commitment to meet and discuss North Korea’s nuclear program. “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!” Trump wrote on Twitter. Yet this week, Kim’s regime called off talks with South Korea and threatened to cancel the June summit with the United States, citing a joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise.</p> <p>Victor Cha was George W. Bush’s top adviser on North Korea. He spoke with <em>The New Yorker</em>’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/evan-osnos">Evan Osnos</a> about the dizzying changes in the relationship with the North, how the prospect of talks is being received in Asia, and whether Trump—eager for a foreign-policy coup—might be tricked into giving up too much.</p> <p> </p>
May 18, 2018
The Breeders on Sexism, Drugs, and Rock and Roll
29:51
<p>This year, the original members of the Breeders—indie-rock royalty—are back together, twenty-five years after “Last Splash,” an album that fans regard as a classic. Kim Deal, Kelly Deal, Josephine Wiggs, and Jim MacPherson joined David Remnick in the studio to play songs off their new record, “All Nerve.” They also talk about the toll of drugs and alcohol, about playing together after decades, and about the persistence of sexism in rock. Kim Deal once said that “misogyny is the backbone of the music industry,” and she remains bitter about how badly female musicians are treated—even by their friends. She recalls a remark that Charles Thompson, who led the Pixies under the name Black Francis, once made about her.  “I’m paraphrasing … he said, ‘Kim, all she would have to do was smile and the crowd would erupt in cheers.’ Of course that’s going to bother me.” For Deal, this comment minimized her work as a musician: “I’m sweating, I’m almost going to pass out with the heat, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth, the misogynist tour driver did not get sanitary napkins so I’m probably bleeding a little down my leg right then. I’m doing downstrokes, really fast, exhausting music … at the same time I have to find the pitch of the song because I’m singing a melodic harmony on top of everything … All that is happening, [but] all I did was just sit there and smile, and the crowd was clapping because I smiled?”</p> <p><span><br>The Breeders performed “Off You” live at WNYC Studios.  </span></p>
May 18, 2018
An Architect of the Iran Deal Sees Her Work Crumbling
14:07
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/susan-b-glasser">Susan B. Glasser</a>, a staff writer for <em>The New Yorker</em> based in Washington, speaks with Wendy Sherman about the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran deal. As the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in the Obama Administration, Sherman helped write that agreement, and led the U.S. negotiating team in complex multilateral talks. She also has first-hand experience negotiating with the North Korean government, having visited Pyongyang with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during the Clinton Presidency.  </p> <p>The Iran deal seemed to be working: in exchange for curbing its nuclear program, as the International Atomic Energy Agency subsequently verified, Iran got relief from sanctions. But Donald Trump lambasted the deal throughout his campaign and Presidency; he called it overly generous and vowed to withdraw from it. John Bolton, his recently appointed national security adviser, opposed the deal on the grounds that verification was not “infallible.” Sherman has a sobering question for the Trump Administration, which now wishes to negotiate with Kim Jong Un about North Korea’s nuclear program: “How in God’s name can any verification or monitoring of North Korea be infallible?”</p> <p> </p>
May 18, 2018
The Breeders Are Back
55:07
<p><span>The Trump Administration wants to end diplomacy with Iran and start talks with North Korea—and Pyongyang is sending mixed signals. An architect of the Iran nuclear deal and a North Korea expert look at the upheavals in current foreign policy. Plus, the Breeders play live in our studio and talk sexism, drugs, and rock and roll. </span></p>
May 18, 2018
Dunya Mikhail on the Lives Stolen by ISIS
25:03
<p>Before she was placed on the list of Saddam Hussein’s enemies, the poet Dunya Mikhail worked as a journalist for the Baghdad <em>Observer</em>. In her new book, “The Beekeeper,” Mikhail tells the stories of dozens of Yazidi women who survived kidnapping and sexual slavery by the Islamic State, and the man—a beekeeper—who helped arrange their escapes. Plus, the novelist Michael Cunningham finds all of humanity on display in Washington Square Park, and the humorist Jack Handey asks the questions that have been baffling humorists since the beginning of time: What’s funny, and why?</p>
May 15, 2018
How to Contain the Threat of Russia
31:11
<p>Senator Mark Warner is the vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is trying to explore the possibility of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign while avoiding a partisan blowup. Warner fears that that, with Russia, we’re confronting twenty-first-century threats with twentieth-century tools. And Simon Parkin, who writes about gaming for <em>The New Yorker</em>, reports on how military officers and diplomats predict world events using a game that’s something like a cross between Dungeons &amp; Dragons, Risk, and a rap battle.</p>
May 11, 2018
Senator Mark Warner on the Threat of Russia
15:18
<p>In an atmosphere of toxic political partisanship, the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence is working very hard to maintain a functioning bipartisan investigation on Russian interference. The vice-chairman of that committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, is more informed about Russia’s role in the 2016 election—on social media and in communications with the Trump campaign—than just about anyone else in Washington. Warner is deeply frustrated that, after everything his committee and others have discovered about Russian hacking and manipulation, the White House is ignoring a clear and present danger. Russia has interfered with democracy in the United States and elsewhere “for less than the cost of one new F-35 airplane,” Warner tells David Remnick. “We’re buying the world’s best twentieth-century military, when in many ways, the conflict in the twenty-first century may be in the realm of cyber and misinformation,” he says. “And in those areas, Russia is our peer.”</p>
May 11, 2018
Rolling the Dice in a Battle with Russia
13:48
<p>The complexity of world events can’t be modelled by a flow chart or even the most sophisticated algorithms. Instead, military officers, diplomats, and policy analysts sometimes turn to an old but sophisticated set of tools: war games. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/simon-parkin">Simon Parkin</a> writes for <em>The New Yorker</em> on gaming, and he recently observed officials playing what’s known as a matrix game led by Major Tom Mouat, an expert on war games, at the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom. Parkin describes Mouat’s game as being a cross between Dungeons &amp; Dragons, Risk, and a rap battle. On the day of the game play, Britain had expelled Russian diplomats in retaliation for the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil, and the game focussed on trying to predict and contain Putin’s response.   </p>
May 11, 2018
Dunya Mikhail on the Lives Stolen by ISIS
15:08
<p>Before she was placed on the list of Saddam Hussein’s enemies, the poet Dunya Mikhail worked as a journalist for the Baghdad <em>Observer</em>. When threats against her became frequent, Mikhail left the country, and she now teaches Arabic at Oakland University, in Michigan. Mikhail returns to journalism in her new book, “The Beekeeper<em>.</em>” It tells the stories of dozens of Yazidi women who survived kidnapping and sexual slavery by the Islamic State, and the man—a beekeeper—who helped arrange their escapes. She spoke with <em>The New Yorker’s</em> executive editor, and the host of the <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/podcast/political-scene">Politics and More</a> podcast, Dorothy Wickenden.</p>
May 11, 2018
Michael Cunningham Makes a Case for Humanity
5:55
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-cunningham">Michael Cunningham</a> published his first piece of fiction in <em>The New Yorker</em> almost thirty years ago. Since then, he has published six novels, including “The Hours,” which won the Pulitzer Prize and was adapted into a film with Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep. Cunningham lives in Manhattan, and when he feels too alone with his writing he goes outside to take in the bustle of Washington Square Park: “Everything you need to know about what it’s like to be human is present within this small area.”</p>
May 11, 2018
Jack Handey Ponders the Mysteries of Humor
2:23
<p>Jack Handey is a veteran of the “Saturday Night Live” writers’ room, a former joke writer for Steve Martin, and the creator of the extremely popular book series “Deep Thoughts.” (The most recent one is called “Please Stop the Deep Thoughts.”) If anybody is qualified to weigh in on what’s funny and what’s not, it’s Handey. But there are some mysteries of humor that even Handey finds he cannot penetrate.</p>
May 11, 2018
How to Contain the Threat of Russia, and Jack Handey on the Mysteries of Humor
55:15
<p>Senator Mark Warner is the vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is trying to explore the possibility of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign without causing a partisan blowup. Warner fears that, with Russia, we’re confronting twenty-first-century threats with twentieth-century tools. Simon Parkin reports on how military officers and diplomats use a board game to model the complexity of world events. A poet tells the stories of women who have survived the nightmare of the Islamic State. And finally, the humorist Jack Handey asks the questions that have been baffling humorists since the beginning of time: What’s funny, and why?</p>
May 11, 2018
Glenn Close Doesn’t Play Evil (with One Exception)
19:05
<p>Last year, Glenn Close was on Broadway as Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard,” reprising a role she had originally played in 1993. Since 1974, when she made her début on Broadway, she has won three Tony Awards and three Emmys, and has been nominated six times for an Oscar.  Like Desmond, many of Glenn Close’s characters could be described as “difficult”: sometimes scary and possibly insane, but, above all, just complicated. But Close bridles at the notion that any of them—even Alex Forrest, the unhinged lover she played unforgettably in “Fatal Attraction”— villains.  “I don’t think of them as evil,” Close said to <em>The New Yorker</em> staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-schulman">Michael Schulman</a>,  at the New Yorker Festival in 2017. “The only evil character I’ve ever played was Cruella!”   </p>
May 08, 2018
Robert Caro on the Fall of New York
36:10
<p>In a career spanning more than forty years, the biographer Robert Caro has written about only two subjects.  But they’re very big subjects: Robert Moses, the city planner who brought much of New York under his control without holding elected office, in “The Power Broker”; and President Johnson, in “The Years of Lyndon Johnson,” of which Caro has completed four of a projected five volumes.  More than life histories, these books are studies of power, and of how two masters of politics bent democracy to their wills.</p> <p><br>Caro, who started out as a newspaper reporter, is a completist.  When he was writing about Johnson’s oath of office after the assassination of President Kennedy, Caro referred to a famous news photograph that showed twenty-six people in the room—and interviewed every person still living..  And when Caro realized he had forgotten the photographer, he interviewed him, too. This truly prodigious research is complemented by the elegance of Caro’s prose, which commands rhythm, mood, and sense of place in a way that resembles the work of a novelist.  When he appeared at the New Yorker Festival, in 2017, Caro was interviewed by one of the great novelists working today, Ireland’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/colm-toibin">Colm Tóibín</a>.</p>
May 04, 2018
Robert Caro on the Fall of New York
34:27
<p>In a career spanning more than forty years, the biographer Robert Caro has written about only two subjects.  But they’re very big subjects: Robert Moses, the city planner who brought much of New York under his control without holding elected office, in “The Power Broker”; and President Johnson, in “The Years of Lyndon Johnson,” of which Caro has completed four of a projected five volumes.  More than life histories, these books are studies of power, and of how two masters of politics bent democracy to their wills.</p> <p><br>Caro, who started out as a newspaper reporter, is a completist.  When he was writing about Johnson’s oath of office after the assassination of President Kennedy, Caro referred to a famous news photograph that showed twenty-six people in the room—and interviewed every person still living..  And when Caro realized he had forgotten the photographer, he interviewed him, too. This truly prodigious research is complemented by the elegance of Caro’s prose, which commands rhythm, mood, and sense of place in a way that resembles the work of a novelist.  When he appeared at the New Yorker Festival, in 2017, Caro was interviewed by one of the great novelists working today, Ireland’s <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/colm-toibin">Colm Tóibín</a>.</p>
May 04, 2018
Glenn Close Doesn’t Play Evil (with One Exception)
18:12
<p>Last year, Glenn Close was on Broadway as Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard,” reprising a role she had originally played in 1993. Since 1974, when she made her début on Broadway, she has won three Tony Awards and three Emmys, and has been nominated six times for an Oscar.  Like Desmond, many of Glenn Close’s characters could be described as “difficult”: sometimes scary and possibly insane, but, above all, just complicated. But Close bridles at the notion that any of them—even Alex Forrest, the unhinged lover she played unforgettably in “Fatal Attraction”— villains.  “I don’t think of them as evil,” Close said to <em>The New Yorker</em> staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-schulman">Michael Schulman</a>,  at the New Yorker Festival in 2017. “The only evil character I’ve ever played was Cruella!”   </p>
May 04, 2018
Robert Caro on the Fall of New York, and Glenn Close on Complicated Characters
55:08
<p>On stage at the 2017 New Yorker Festival, two masters of portraying difficult people: the biographer Robert Caro (“The Power Broker,” “The Years of Lyndon Johnson”) speaks with the novelist Colm Tóibín; and the actress Glenn Close (“Fatal Attraction,” “Sunset Boulevard,” and countless other roles) speaks with The New Yorker staff writer Michael Schulman.  </p>
May 04, 2018
Apocalypse Prepping, on a Budget
17:01
<p><span>Inspired by “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/doomsday-prep-for-the-super-rich">Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich</a>,” by <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Evan Osnos, <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/patricia-marx">Patricia Marx</a> gets herself ready for the apocalypse. The only problem: Marx is a writer, not a Silicon Valley mogul. She isn’t super-rich, or even regular-rich. Apocalypse prep on a budget, Marx discovers, is a whole other ball game. Plus: “I’m a Proud Nuclear-Missile Owner”—written by Teddy Wayne, and performed by Nick Offerman—takes the right to bear arms to a whole other level.</span></p>
May 01, 2018
ICE Comes to a Small Town in Tennessee
39:00
<p><span>This week, a reporter looks at a rural town where the largest immigration raid in a decade has ripped apart a community; Ronan Farrow talks about his reporting on Harvey Weinstein, which just won the Pulitzer Prize; and Jeffrey Toobin speaks with a romance novelist-turned-state lawmaker who hopes to become the governor of Georgia. She would be the first black woman to lead any state in the nation.</span></p>
Apr 27, 2018
ICE Comes to a Small Town in Tennessee
10:15
<p><span>Earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted its largest workplace raid in a decade, in the tiny town of Bean Station, Tennessee. The owner of a meat-packing plant was being investigated by the I.R.S., and was suspected of employing undocumented workers. Ninety-seven people, mostly from Mexico and Guatemala, were arrested. Most lived in Morristown, in Hamblen County, which voted seventy-seven per cent for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. This suggests that Hamblen is an inhospitable place for undocumented Latinos, but the reality that the staff writer Jonathan Blitzer found while <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/in-rural-tennessee-a-big-ice-raid-makes-some-conservative-voters-rethink-trumps-immigration-agenda">covering</a> the raid is more complicated; U.S.-born residents were quick to tell him that the community had quickly raised sixty thousand dollars for the families of detainees. Blitzer talked with David Williams, the pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church, in Morristown, who said that the raid has inspired conservative residents to reconsider what immigration enforcement should look like.</span></p>
Apr 27, 2018
The Right to Bear W.M.D.s
2:25
<p><span>“I’m a Proud Nuclear-Missile Owner” takes the Second Amendment to a whole other level.  It was written by the novelist and essayist <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/teddy-wayne">Teddy Wayne</a> for <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Shouts &amp; Murmurs, and is performed for the “Radio Hour” by Nick Offerman—best known as the gun-adoring Ron Swanson on “Parks and Recreation.”</span></p>
Apr 27, 2018
Apocalypse Prepping, on a Budget
13:36
<p><span>Inspired by “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/doomsday-prep-for-the-super-rich">Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich</a>,” by <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Evan Osnos, <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/patricia-marx">Patricia Marx</a> gets herself ready for the apocalypse. The only problem: Marx is a writer, not a Silicon Valley mogul. She isn’t super-rich, or even regular-rich. Apocalypse prep on a budget, Marx discovers, is a whole other ball game.</span></p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/1/Prepping2.jpg" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Apocalypse Prepping, on a Budget</div> <div class="image-credit">(Steven Valentino)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p><span> </span></p>
Apr 27, 2018
Stacey Abrams Runs to Make History in Georgia
13:09
<p><span>A groundswell of women are seeking congressional seats this year, as Margaret Talbot recently <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/2018-midterm-elections-women-candidates-trump">reported</a>, and an all-time high of seventy-eight women are expected to run for governor. Among them is Stacey Abrams, a lawyer, businesswoman, author, and former state representative. If elected governor of Georgia, Abrams would be the first black woman to lead a state, as well as one of the first fiction writers to hold that office; under the name Selena Montgomery, Abrams is the author of a number of romantic novels. Under her own name, Abrams wrote “Minority Leader,” a nonfiction account of her time as a lawmaker. “For me,” she told <em>The New Yorker’s</em> <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jeffrey-toobin">Jeffrey Toobin</a>, “there’s no clear roadmap for this.”</span></p>
Apr 27, 2018
America After Weinstein
14:02
<p>The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the highest prize in journalism, was recently awarded to the reporters who broke the first stories about alleged sexual assaults and harassment by Harvey Weinstein. Those reports, by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey for the New York <em>Times</em> and <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/ronan-farrow">Ronan Farrow</a> for <em>The New Yorker</em>, changed the culture, prompting a torrent of similar grievances against others and giving rise to the reckoning we now refer to as #MeToo. Not long after those stories were published, Farrow appeared on “The New Yorker Radio Hour” and spoke with David Remnick and the staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/alexandra-schwartz">Alexandra Schwartz</a>, who wrote about #MeToo as it became a movement. </p> <p><em>Originally broadcast on November 17, 2017.</em></p> <p><em> </em></p>
Apr 27, 2018
Shopping for the Apocalypse, and ICE in Tennessee
55:34
<p>Earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted its largest workplace raid in a decade, in rural Tennessee. After witnessing how it tore families apart, some Trump supporters in the community are reëvaluating their ideas about immigration enforcement. Plus: Jeffrey Toobin speaks with a gubernatorial candidate who hopes to be the first black woman to govern a state in America; and Patricia Marx tries to prep for the apocalypse, on a very tight budget.</p>
Apr 27, 2018
Andrew Sean Greer’s “It’s a Summer Day”
38:42
<p>Last week, Andrew Andrew Sean Greer's novel "Less" won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.  "Less" about a novelist in mid-life named Arthur Less, and his attempt to avoid the wedding of a younger ex-boyfriend by accepting invitations to literary events in other countries.  In 2017, The New Yorker published an excerpt from the book with the title “It’s a Summer Day.” Greer read from the excerpt on the New Yorker’s podcast <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-yorker-writers-voice-new-fiction-from-new-yorker/id1093570212?mt=2">The Writer’s Voice</a>, which features a short story from the magazine read by the author every week.  </p> <p> </p>
Apr 24, 2018
James Comey Makes His Case to America
74:32
<p>In a long career in law enforcement, the former F.B.I. Director James Comey aimed to be above politics, but in the 2016 election he stepped directly into it.  In his book, “A Higher Loyalty,” Comey makes the case to America that he handled the F.B.I. investigations into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails and Donald Trump’s campaign correctly, regardless of the consequences. Even after being fired by President Trump, the former F.B.I Director says he doesn’t dislike the President; he tells David Remnick that what he feels is more akin to sympathy.  Trump “has an emptiness inside of him, and a hunger for affirmation, that I’ve never seen in an adult,” Comey says. “He lacks external reference points. Instead of making hard decisions by calling upon a religious tradition, or logic, or tradition or history, it’s all, ‘what will fill this hole?’ ” As a result, Comey says, “The President poses significant threats to the rule of law,” and he chides Congressional Republicans for going along with the President’s aberrations. “What,” he rhetorically asks Mitch McConnell and others, “are you going to tell your grandchildren?”  Nevertheless, Comey remains hopeful about the resilience of American institutions. “There isn’t a ‘deep state,’ [but] there is a deep culture,” he believes. “It is [about] the rule of law and doing it the right way,” and it serves as “a ballast” during political turmoil. David Remnick’s interview with James Comey was taped live at New York’s Town Hall on April 19, 2018.</p>
Apr 20, 2018
James Comey Makes His Case to America
74:32
<p>In a long career in law enforcement, the former F.B.I. Director James Comey aimed to be above politics, but in the 2016 election he stepped directly into it.  In his book, “A Higher Loyalty,” Comey makes the case to America that he handled the F.B.I. investigations into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails and Donald Trump’s campaign correctly, regardless of the consequences. Even after being fired by President Trump, the former F.B.I Director says he doesn’t dislike the President; he tells David Remnick that what he feels is more akin to sympathy.  Trump “has an emptiness inside of him, and a hunger for affirmation, that I’ve never seen in an adult,” Comey says. “He lacks external reference points. Instead of making hard decisions by calling upon a religious tradition, or logic, or tradition or history, it’s all, ‘what will fill this hole?’ ” As a result, Comey says, “The President poses significant threats to the rule of law,” and he chides Congressional Republicans for going along with the President’s aberrations. “What,” he rhetorically asks Mitch McConnell and others, “are you going to tell your grandchildren?”  Nevertheless, Comey remains hopeful about the resilience of American institutions. “There isn’t a ‘deep state,’ [but] there is a deep culture,” he believes. “It is [about] the rule of law and doing it the right way,” and it serves as “a ballast” during political turmoil. David Remnick’s interview with James Comey was taped live at New York’s Town Hall on April 19, 2018.</p>
Apr 20, 2018
A Trans Woman Finds Her True Face Through Surgery
25:18
<p><span>The staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/rebecca-mead">Rebecca Mead</a> recently observed the seven-hour surgery of woman she calls Abby.  (To protect her privacy, Abby’s real name was not used, and her voice has been altered in the audio of our story.)  Abby, who is trans, had undergone hormone therapy, but her strong facial features still led people to refer to her as male, which caused her severe emotional pain. She decided to undergo a reconstructive procedure called facial feminization surgery, in which a specialist would break and reshape her bones.  Mead spoke with Abby before and after the surgery about what it would mean for the world to see her as she sees herself. Plus: The poet Ada Limón moved to Kentucky and fell in love with horses all over again.</span></p>
Apr 17, 2018
Ada Limón’s Day at the Racetrack
6:32
<p><span>The poet <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/ada-limon">Ada Limón</a> grew up going to the racetrack with her stepfather, who loved to play the ponies.  As an adult, she left the home she had made in New York to move to Lexington, Kentucky, with the man who is now her husband.  She fell in love with horses all over again—especially the fillies—and they found their way into her collection of poems “Bright Dead Things.”  This spring, she visited Keeneland Racecourse and read her poem “How to Triumph Like a Girl.”</span></p>
Apr 13, 2018
Pope Francis the Disruptor
31:36
<p>As a conservative columnist at the New York <em>Times</em>, Ross Douthat fills the post once held by no less a figure than William Kristol.  A devout Catholic, Douthat opposes the progressive direction in which Pope Francis is leading the Church—to prioritize caring for poor people and migrants over opposing abortion and the culture of sexual revolution—even though he acknowledges to David Remnick that this puts him at odds with the Church’s emphasis on mercy.  In his new book, “To Change the Church: Pope Francis of the Future of Catholicism,” Douthat provocatively compares Francis to Donald Trump, painting him as a disruptive figure who is determined to bring change fast and damn the consequences. Plus: a lawyer and former baseball player explains why a new federal law targets the wages of minor league players.</p>
Apr 13, 2018
A Trans Woman Finds Her True Face Through Surgery
17:04
<p><span>The staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/rebecca-mead">Rebecca Mead</a> recently observed the seven-hour surgery of woman she calls Abby.  (To protect her privacy, Abby’s real name was not used, and her voice has been altered in the audio of our story.)  Abby, who is trans, had undergone hormone therapy, but her strong facial features still led people to refer to her as male, which caused her severe emotional pain.  She decided to undergo a reconstructive procedure called facial feminization surgery, in which a specialist would break and reshape her bones.  Mead spoke with Abby before and after the surgery about what it would mean for the world to see her as she sees herself.</span></p>
Apr 13, 2018
Minor League Ballplayers versus Major League Baseball
11:48
<p><span>Hidden nearly two thousand-pages into the $1.3-trillion omnibus spending bill is a measure that has nothing at all to do with government spending.  The Save America’s Pastime Act addresses the wages that Major League Baseball pays to minor league players. M.L.B. has traditionally not compensated these players for many of the hours they work, claiming that they are trainees rather than employees. As a result, future M.L.B. players often spend years in poverty. This new piece of legislation seems to exempt the league from abiding by overtime laws and allows it to only pay players for the parts of the year when they are in season. Garrett Broshius, an attorney who pitched in in the minors for six years, is currently representing forty-five players in a lawsuit about their pay. The sports writer Mary Pilon, who <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/sporting-scene/what-the-spending-bill-could-mean-for-minor-league-baseball-players">covered</a> the new law, spoke with Broshius about how it could make his case harder. </span></p>
Apr 13, 2018
Ross Douthat on the Trumpian Side of Pope Francis
18:38
<p><span>As a conservative columnist at the New York <em>Times</em>, Ross Douthat fills the post once held by no less a figure than William Kristol.  A devout Catholic, Douthat opposes the progressive direction in which Pope Francis is leading the Church—to prioritize caring for poor people and migrants over opposing abortion and the culture of sexual revolution—even though he acknowledges to David Remnick that this puts him at odds with the Church’s emphasis on mercy.  In his new book, “To Change the Church: Pope Francis of the Future of Catholicism,” Douthat provocatively compares Francis to Donald Trump, painting him as a disruptive figure who is determined to bring change fast and damn the consequences.</span></p>
Apr 13, 2018
Pope Francis the Disruptor, and the New Law of Baseball
55:52
<p><span>In a new book, the conservative New York <em>Times</em> columnist Ross Douthat argues that Pope Francis is not a reformer but a radical, playing fast and loose with doctrine to the detriment of his Church.  Douthat goes so far as to compare the progressive pontiff to Donald Trump—no compliment intended.  A lawyer and former baseball player explains why a new federal law targets the wages of minor league players.  And Rebecca Mead observes a seven-hour procedure in which a surgeon reconstructs a trans woman’s face so that the world sees her as she sees herself.</span></p>
Apr 13, 2018
Frank Oz on Miss Piggy’s Secret Backstory and Jim Henson’s Legacy
24:02
<p>Frank Oz was a teenager when he started working with Jim Henson, the puppeteer and filmmaker behind the Muppets. Oz went on to create characters like Bert,  Cookie Monster, Miss Piggy, and Yoda from “Star Wars.”</p> <p><span>Michael Schulman is a contributor to <em>The New Yorker</em> and the magazine’s foremost authority on all things Muppet. He takes a trip uptown, to Frank Oz’s home in Manhattan, and talks with Oz about his most iconic characters, moving on after the death of Jim Henson, and what’s missing from today’s Muppets. Plus, <em>The New Yorker</em>’s Naomi Fry recommends three things not to miss on the Internet. </span></p>
Apr 10, 2018
Frank Oz on Miss Piggy’s Secret Backstory and Jim Henson’s Legacy
17:17
<p>Frank Oz was a teenager when he started working with Jim Henson, the puppeteer and filmmaker behind the Muppets. Oz went on to create characters like Bert,  Cookie Monster, Miss Piggy, and Yoda from “Star Wars.” He eventually started directing his own films, starring full-sized adult people: “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Bowfinger,” and more. His latest project is a documentary called “<a href="https://muppetguystalking.com/">Muppet Guys Talking</a>,” which features veteran Muppeteers sharing stories about their time working with Henson on the series.</p> <p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/michael-schulman">Michael Schulman</a> is a contributor to <em>The New Yorker</em> and the magazine’s foremost authority on all things Muppet. He takes a trip uptown, to Frank Oz’s home in Manhattan, and talks with Oz about his most iconic characters, moving on after the death of Jim Henson, and what’s missing from today’s Muppets.</p>
Apr 06, 2018
Emma González at Home, and a Crown Prince Abroad
31:57
<p><span>Emma González is a survivor of the Parkland attack, and a leader of the #NeverAgain movement. She talks with David Remnick about the ways her life has changed since the shooting, and why activism comes naturally to the teens spearheading the new push for gun control. And Dexter Filkins talks with David Remnick about the dynamic Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia—a young, energetic reformer who is forging close ties with the Trump White House.</span></p>
Apr 06, 2018
Naomi Fry Recommends Three Internet Treasures
5:55
<p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/naomi-fry">Naomi Fry</a> writes about Internet news and celebrity gossip.  Although she joined the staff of <em>The New Yorker</em> scarcely five weeks ago, she has already caused a frenzy on the Web with her writing: a piece titled “<a href="https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-appearances/the-great-sadness-of-ben-affleck">The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck</a>.”</p> <p><span>Fry stopped by David Remnick’s office recently with some suggestions about what’s new and noteworthy on the Internet: the Netflix show “Big Mouth”, a series of taste-making videos called “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEs0BP0i1Ro">Sneaker Shopping</a>,” and the Instagram account “<a href="https://www.instagram.com/shiasoutfits/?hl=en">Shia’s Outfits</a>.”</span></p>
Apr 06, 2018
A Saudi Prince Charms the West
14:22
<p>With the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor and Mike Pompeo as the Secretary of State, it seems as if the Trump Administration is going to take a hard line with Iran. That decision has been received with joy in Saudi Arabia, which is Iran’s chief rival in the Middle East and a close ally to the United States.</p> <p><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/dexter-filkins">Dexter Filkins</a>, a staff writer at <em>The New Yorker</em>, recently returned from Riyadh, where he was reporting on the new Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/09/a-saudi-princes-quest-to-remake-the-middle-east">Mohammed bin Salman</a>. Salman, commonly known as M.B.S., has established close ties Donald Trump and Jared Kushner with the intention of changing the way that America sees his home country. M.B.S represents a dramatic shift in Saudi leadership: he has promised to overhaul the oil-dependent economy, to usher in cultural reform, and to allow Saudi women to drive. There is, however, a dark side to his rule, says Filkins.  “The one thing that’s not on the table is political reform. This is all about saving the house of Saud.” M.B.S. has systematically eliminated his political opponents, cracked down on the press, and arrested human rights activists. Now, emboldened by the White House, Saudi Arabia is aggressively pushing to be the main power in the Middle East—and to oversee a united front against Iran.</p> <p> </p>
Apr 06, 2018
Emma González at the Head of #NeverAgain
16:17
<p>Emma González is a survivor of the Parkland attack and, in its aftermath, she has quickly become one of the most visible leaders of the new push for gun control in this country. In the last two months she has debated an N.R.A. spokesman on live television and faced a wave of extremist trolls.  And, seemingly overnight, she and her classmates from Marjory Stoneman Douglas forged a national movement, #NeverAgain, which gathered hundreds of thousands of protesters across the country in an event billed as the “March for Our Lives.”</p> <p>González spoke to David Remnick on the phone from her home in Florida. In their conversation, she explains how her life has changed since the shooting, and why activism comes surprisingly naturally to high-school students: “We know how to keep people's attention on us because we're teenagers, and we have the phones.”</p> <p> </p>
Apr 06, 2018
Emma González at Home, and a Crown Prince Abroad
55:39
<p><span>Emma González is a survivor of the Parkland attack, and a leader of the #NeverAgain movement. She talks with David Remnick about the ways her life has changed since the shooting, and why activism comes naturally to the teens spearheading this newest push for gun control. Then Dexter Filkins talks with David Remnick about the new Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia—a young, energetic reformer who’s forging close ties with the Trump White House. After, the staff writer Naomi Fry recommends three Internet treasures. And finally, <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Michael Schulman pays a visit to one of his heroes: Frank Oz.</span></p>
Apr 06, 2018
How Not to Write a Caption
21:40
<p>Every week, a <em>New Yorker</em> cartoon is posted online and printed in the magazine <a href="https://contest.newyorker.com/">without a caption</a>, and thousands of people write in with their suggestions.  Readers vote on a winner, and the top pick is printed in the following issue. Willy Staley and Matt Jordan submit a caption pretty much every week, working as a team. They’ve been doing it for years, but they never win—and they probably never will. Their goal isn’t to write a winning caption; it’s to write the most wrong-headed, vulgar, and hilariously inappropriate caption possible. “There’s something to the typical <em>New Yorker</em> cartoon,” says Jordan. “It’s succinct, it tends to be clean, it tends to be on cue. We just try to curveball around that.” Using their failings in the official contest, they’ve built an online following for their <a href="http://shittynewyorkercartooncaptions.tumblr.com/">Tumblr</a> blog “Shitty New Yorker Cartoon Captions.” They sat down with <em>The New Yorker</em>’s cartoon editor, <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/emma-allen">Emma Allen</a>, to discuss what separates a typical losing caption from a truly shitty one.</p>
Apr 03, 2018
How Not to Write a Caption
21:40
<p>Every week, a <em>New Yorker</em> cartoon is posted online and printed in the magazine <a href="https://contest.newyorker.com/">without a caption</a>, and thousands of people write in with their suggestions.  Readers vote on a winner, and the top pick is printed in the following issue. Willy Staley and Matt Jordan submit a caption pretty much every week, working as a team. They’ve been doing it for years, but they never win—and they probably never will. Their goal isn’t to write a winning caption; it’s to write the most wrong-headed, vulgar, and hilariously inappropriate caption possible. “There’s something to the typical <em>New Yorker</em> cartoon,” says Jordan. “It’s succinct, it tends to be clean, it tends to be on cue. We just try to curveball around that.” Using their failings in the official contest, they’ve built an online following for their <a href="http://shittynewyorkercartooncaptions.tumblr.com/">Tumblr</a> blog “Shitty New Yorker Cartoon Captions.” They sat down with <em>The New Yorker</em>’s cartoon editor, <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/emma-allen">Emma Allen</a>, to discuss what separates a typical losing caption from a truly shitty one.</p>
Apr 03, 2018
John Thompson vs. American Justice
55:32
<p>When police showed up to question John Thompson, he was worried that it was because he had sold drugs to an undercover cop.  When he realized they were investigating a murder, he could only laugh: “Shit, for real? Murder?”<br><br>Thompson was insistent on his innocence, but New Orleans prosecutors wanted a conviction for a high-profile murder, and they were not scrupulous about how they got it. Thompson quickly found himself on death row. Eighteen years later, just weeks before Thompson was due to be executed, his lawyers discovered that a prosecutor had hidden exculpatory evidence from the defense. Thompson had been set up. This was a violation of the Brady Rule, established by the Supreme Court, in 1963, to ensure fair trials. Ultimately, he was exonerated of both crimes, but his attempts to get a settlement from the district attorney’s office—compensation for his time in prison—were thwarted. Though an appeals court had upheld a fourteen-million-dollar settlement, the Supreme Court reversed the decision, declining to punish the D.A. for violating the Court's own ruling.</p> <p>Thompson’s case revealed fundamental imbalances that undermine the very notion of a fair trial.  Under the Brady Rule, prosecutors must share with the defense any evidence that could be favorable to the defendant.  But there is essentially no practical enforcement of this rule. In most states, prosecutors are the ones who hold the evidence and choose what to share, and disclosing exculpatory evidence makes their cases harder to win. We have absolutely no idea how many criminal trials are flawed by these violations.<br><br>The staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/andrew-marantz">Andrew Marantz</a>, his wife, Sarah Lustbader, of the Fair Punishment Project, and the producer Katherine Wells reported on John Thompson’s story and its implications. They spoke with the late John Thompson (who died in 2017), with his lawyers, and with Harry Connick, Sr., the retired New Orleans D.A. who, despite having tried very hard to have Thompson killed, remains unrepentant.</p> <p>This episode contains explicit language and may not be suitable for children.</p> <p> </p>
Mar 30, 2018
John Thompson vs. American Justice
55:32
<p>When police showed up to question John Thompson, he was worried that it was because he had sold drugs to an undercover cop.  When he realized they were investigating a murder, he could only laugh: “Shit, for real? Murder?”</p> <p>Thompson was insistent on his innocence, but New Orleans prosecutors wanted a conviction for a high-profile murder, and they were not scrupulous about how they got it. Thompson quickly found himself on death row. Eighteen years later, just weeks before Thompson was due to be executed, his lawyers discovered that a prosecutor had hidden exculpatory evidence from the defense. Thompson had been set up. This was a violation of the Brady Rule, established by the Supreme Court, in 1963, to ensure fair trials. Ultimately, he was exonerated of both crimes, but his attempts to get a settlement from the district attorney’s office—compensation for his time in prison—were thwarted. Though an appeals court had upheld a fourteen-million-dollar settlement, the Supreme Court reversed the decision, declining to punish the D.A. for violating the Court's own ruling.</p> <p>Thompson’s case revealed fundamental imbalances that undermine the very notion of a fair trial.  Under the Brady Rule, prosecutors must share with the defense any evidence that could be favorable to the defendant.  But there is essentially no practical enforcement of this rule. In most states, prosecutors are the ones who hold the evidence and choose what to share, and disclosing exculpatory evidence makes their cases harder to win. We have absolutely no idea how many criminal trials are flawed by these violations.</p> <p>The staff writer <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/andrew-marantz">Andrew Marantz</a>, his wife, Sarah Lustbader, of the Fair Punishment Project, and the producer Katherine Wells reported on John Thompson’s story and its implications. They spoke with the late John Thompson (who died in 2017), with his lawyers, and with Harry Connick, Sr., the retired New Orleans D.A. who, despite having tried very hard to have Thompson killed, remains unrepentant.</p> <p><span>This episode contains explicit language and may not be suitable for children.<br></span></p>
Mar 30, 2018
John Thompson vs. American Justice
55:32
<p><span>After prosecutors railroaded John Thompson on a murder conviction, he came within weeks of execution before an investigator found the evidence that exonerated him.  Still, the Supreme Court declined to punish the district attorney’s office that sent him to death row. Thompson’s case exposes a fundamental question: When prosecutors hold all the cards, can any defendant get a fair trial?<br><br>This episode contains explicit language and may not be suitable for children.</span></p>
Mar 30, 2018
The American Bombs Falling on Yemen
35:53
<p>Abdulqader Hilal Al-Dabab was the mayor of Sana’a, a politician with a long record of mediating disputes in a notoriously fractious and dangerous country. Earlier in his career, he accepted a position at which his two predecessors had been assassinated; Hilal, as he was known, served in that post for seven years. By 2015, Yemen was at war and Sana’a had become the center of a brutally destructive bombing campaign by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia—with planes, arms, and logistical support from the United States. Hilal was trying to hold the city together, keeping the ambulances running and convincing parents to send their children to school. At the same time, he was trying to broker a ceasefire, using the skills he had cultivated in local government at a broader level. When the Saudis bombed a funeral gathering that Hilal was attending, he was killed and the country lost a bright hope for peace. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/nicolas-niarchos">Nicolas Niarchos</a> talks with Hilal’s son about his father’s fate and what it says about the country’s future.</p> <p>Plus, Jia Tolentino visits the prize-winners at the Westminster dog show and tries to come to terms with the badly behaved mutt who’s wrecking her home.</p>
Mar 27, 2018
Scott Pruitt, the “Originalist” at the E.P.A.
21:02
<p>As the Attorney General of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt sued the Environmental Protection Agency fourteen times, claiming that the Obama Administration had overreached with policies intended to curtail climate change—a phenomenon which Pruitt views skeptically. Then Donald Trump appointed him to run it. <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Margaret Talbot, who <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/02/scott-pruitts-dirty-politics">wrote</a> about Pruitt’s first year at the E.P.A., notes that Pruitt has cast his hostility to environmental protection as a form of populist resistance, even as it has gained him close allies in the fossil-fuel industry. Pruitt calls his approach at the E.P.A. “originalism”: he’s directed the agency to focus on dirty pollution, as it did back in the nineteen-seventies. Yet, as Talbot tells David Remnick, Pruitt is still quick to overrule regulation if it inconveniences polluting industries.</p> <p>Plus, <em>The New Yorker’s</em> critic of pop music, Carrie Battan, plays three tracks that have grabbed her attention lately.</p>
Mar 23, 2018
Bad Dog
12:28
<p><span>In 2011, Jia Tolentino went to a dog rescue in Dallas and found Luna. Seven years later, Luna is the love of her life and the bane of her existence. The mutt jumps on visitors, bites, barks incessantly, chews through stuff, and even got Tolentino sued. After <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/culture/jia-tolentino/a-heavenly-respite-at-the-westminster-dog-show">covering</a> the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for <em>The New Yorker,</em> Tolentino finally came to terms with the truth: Luna is a bad dog. But are there really bad dogs, or only bad owners?<br></span></p>
Mar 23, 2018
The American Bombs Falling on Yemen
21:45
<p><span>Abdulqader Hilal Al-Dabab was the mayor of Sana’a, a politician with a long record of mediating disputes in a notoriously fractious and dangerous country. Earlier in his career, he accepted a position at which his two predecessors had been assassinated; Hilal, as he was known, served in that post for seven years. By 2015, Yemen was at war and Sana’a had become the center of a brutally destructive bombing campaign by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia—with planes, arms, and logistical support from the United States. Hilal was trying to hold the city together, keeping the ambulances running and convincing parents to send their children to school. At the same time, he was trying to broker a ceasefire, using the skills he had cultivated in local government at a broader level. When the Saudis bombed a funeral gathering that Hilal was attending, he was killed and the country lost a bright hope for peace. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/nicolas-niarchos">Nicolas Niarchos</a> talks with Hilal’s son about his father’s fate and what it says about the country’s future.</span></p>
Mar 23, 2018
Scott Pruitt, the “Originalist” at the E.P.A.
12:05
<p>As the Attorney General of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt sued the Environmental Protection Agency fourteen times, claiming that the Obama Administration had overreached with policies intended to curtail climate change—a phenomenon which Pruitt views skeptically. Then Donald Trump appointed him to run it. <em>The New Yorker’s</em> Margaret Talbot, who <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/02/scott-pruitts-dirty-politics">wrote</a> about Pruitt’s first year at the E.P.A., notes that Pruitt has cast his hostility to environmental protection as a form of populist resistance, even as it has gained him close allies in the fossil-fuel industry. Pruitt calls his approach at the E.P.A. “originalism”: he’s directed the agency to focus on dirty pollution, as it did back in the nineteen-seventies. Yet, as Talbot tells David Remnick, Pruitt is still quick to overrule regulation if it inconveniences polluting industries.</p>
Mar 23, 2018
Carrie Battan Picks Three
7:09
<p>Carrie Battan writes about pop music for <em>The New Yorker</em>, a job that keeps her on the cutting edge of what’s new and interesting. She tells David Remnick about three tracks that have grabbed her attention lately: “Low Life,” by the Internet celebrity and performance artist known as Poppy; the earworm “Drogba (Joanna),” by the British Afrobeat producer Afro B; and “Flower of the Universe,” Sade’s surprise contribution to the soundtrack of “A Wrinkle in Time.”</p>
Mar 23, 2018
The American Bombs Falling on Yemen
55:52
<p><span>As opposition to U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen rises, we look at the fate of one Yemeni peacemaker who was killed in an air strike in Sana’a. A reporter examines Scott Pruitt’s case for “originalism” at the Environmental Protection Agency, a position that embraces an era before climate change was understood. And our pop-music critic plays three new tracks that have grabbed her attention.<br></span></p>
Mar 23, 2018
A Homemade Museum in a Refugee Camp
22:07
<p>Tens of thousands of refugees from the civil war in Yemen have fled across the narrow Mandeb Strait to Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/nicolas-niarchos">Nicolas Niarchos</a> reported for <em>The New Yorker</em> from Djibouti, where Yemeni refugees cross paths with Ethiopians escaping a devastating drought. In one camp, he met a man whom aid workers described as a kind of Peter Pan. Abdillahi Bashraheel was once a road surveyor in Yemen, and lost everything in the war. From the camp, he walks miles in the desert each day to pick up broken toys, electronics, wood, stone, and other bits and bobs. He arranges these objects in his tent to create what he calls his museum—a place of beauty and respite under desperate circumstances.</p> <p>Plus, Tracy K. Smith, the poet laureate says that “green space has fed the inner silence that I think most writers are seeking.”</p>
Mar 20, 2018
Armando Iannucci on “The Death of Stalin”
34:16
<p>As the fourth season of “Veep” came to an end, director Armando Iannucci turned from chronicling the foibles of cynical western democracy to something darker still: life under dictatorship.  He found his source material in the French graphic novel “The Death of Stalin.” David Remnick compares Iannucci’s new film to “Get Out”—a real horror story that is also a comedy of terror. “I wanted to take myself out of my comfort zone by taking on these themes that involved death, destruction, and paranoia,” Iannucci tells him. As the brutal dictatorships of the twentieth century fade into history, Iannucci wants to remind people—especially those frustrated with democracy—just how horrific totalitarianism really is.</p> <p>Plus, Svetlana Alexievich, who won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for her oral histories about life in the U.S.S.R.</p> <p> </p>
Mar 16, 2018
Tracy K Smith in the Woods
6:48
<p><span>Tracy K Smith’s first poem to appear in<em> The New Yorker,</em> in 2009, was “Alternate Take: Levon Helm,” about the great musician and member of the Band. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/tracy-k-smith">Smith</a> was recently named the Poet Laureate of the United States, so the demands on her time have increased. She took us into the woods around her home to describe the “effortless sense of clarity” she seeks in her work, and met up with the local fauna. Smith's collection “Wade in the Water” will be published in April, 2018.</span></p>
Mar 16, 2018
A Homemade Museum in a Refugee Camp
13:55
<p><span>Tens of thousands of refugees from the civil war in Yemen have fled across the narrow Mandeb Strait to Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/nicolas-niarchos">Nicolas Niarchos</a> reported for <em>The New Yorker</em> from Djibouti, where Yemeni refugees cross paths with Ethiopians escaping a devastating drought. In one camp, he met a man whom aid workers described as a kind of Peter Pan. Abdillahi Bashraheel was once a road surveyor in Yemen, and lost everything in the war. From the camp, he walks miles in the desert each day to pick up broken toys, electronics, wood, stone, and other bits and bobs. He arranges these objects in his tent to create what he calls his museum—a place of beauty and respite under desperate circumstances.</span></p>
Mar 16, 2018
The People’s Historian of the Former Soviet Union
11:39
<p><span>The Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for her haunting oral histories of the Chernobyl disaster and the Soviet War in Afghanistan. Her latest book, “Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets,” collects interviews with Russian-speaking men and women about the country’s transition from Communism to capitalism. Alexievich links the difficulties of that political shift with the rise of Vladimir Putin. Though she is opposed to the Russian leader’s authoritarian policies, she warns against demonizing him. Alexievich says he embodies the Russian population’s desire for purpose after the fall of the U.S.S.R. Alexievich spoke with David Remnick about the intimate consequences of the Soviet Union’s demise.</span></p>
Mar 16, 2018