On the Radio

Week of June 1, 2014

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Was Marx Right?


Was Marx right after all in his critique of capitalism?  Our ongoing economic struggles have spawned a new generation of Marxist activists and intellectuals, and renewed interest in Karl Marx's own life. 

  1. "Why Marx Was Right" - Terry Eagleton

    Much of what we think about Karl Marx is wrong, according to cultural critic Terry Eagleton.  And he says Marx admired capitalism, though he was also its most trenchant critic.

    Average: 5 (5 votes)
  2. Marx in Soho - Brian Jones

    What if Karl Marx were alive today and came back for a visit?  That's the premise of the one-man show "Marx in Soho," starring Brian Jones and written by the late historian Howard Zinn.

    Average: 5 (2 votes)
  3. "Love and Capital" - Mary Gabriel

    For all that's been written about Karl Marx, there's been no book about his marriage to Jenny Marx - until now. Biographer Mary Gabriel explains why Marx's family life had a profound influence on his thinking.

    Average: 5 (1 vote)
  4. "Utopia or Bust" - Benjamin Kunkel

    Benjamin Kunkel is not only a bestelling novelist and co-founder of the literary magainze n+1. He tells Steve Paulson why he's also a become Marxist public intellectual. 

    Average: 5 (1 vote)
  5. BookMark: Walter Kirn

    Walter Kirn bookmarks "The Dog of the South" by Charles Portis.

    Average: 5 (1 vote)
  6. On Our Minds: Colson Whitehead

    Acclaimed novelist Colson Whitehead got the magazine assignment of a lifetime: a week in Vegas, playing in the World Series of Poker.  He tells Doug Gordon about high stakes poker and his own "anhedonia," his difficulty experiencing pleasure.

    Average: 3 (2 votes)
Image: Fredrik Rubensson Via: Flickr Creative Commons

Investigating Belief


You know the earth is round, the sky is up, and your dog loves you.  But HOW do you know those things?  This week, how we form opinions – the psychology and brain chemistry behind our beliefs.

  1. You & Your Brain - Julian Keenan

    It turns out that even the most basic things we believe about ourselves are often wrong. Neuroscientist Julian Keenan says it has to do with how the brain works. He’s the author of the “Face in the Mirror: How We Know Who We Are.” 

    Average: 4.6 (7 votes)
  2. Sonic Sidebar: The Political Divide

    Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt says despite what we believe, our political beliefs aren't always as well reasoned as we think.

    Average: 5 (1 vote)
  3. Irrational Beliefs - Will Storr

    Ever wonder how we form beliefs in the first place? Journalist Will Storr tried to find out in his book, “The Unpersuadables.” In it, he follows Holocaust deniers, climate change skeptics, and conspiracy theorists to find out how seemingly intelligent people can hold unconventional, even irrational beliefs.


    Average: 4.3 (4 votes)
  4. Charting Religious Traditions - Karen Armstrong

    Karen Armstrong is the author of nearly 20 books on religion. She tells Steve Paulson that traditions from Confucianism to Judaism emerged as responses to the rampant violence of their time. And she says our own time has a lot in common with that age.


    Average: 3.7 (10 votes)
  5. Dangerous Idea: American Exceptionalism

    Harvey Kaye's Dangerous Idea?  Re-discovering the true meaning of American Exceptionalism.

    Average: 5 (3 votes)
  6. On Our Minds: Tiananmen Square

    June 4 marks the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. To find out how Chinese dissidents have fared since then, we’re revisiting an interview with historian Ian Buruma. He’s the author of "Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing."

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