Politics and History

Going for Broke series logo

The hosts of "Going for Broke" discuss reporting on poverty and how to give economic insight a tone of empathy and a tangible sense of human connection.More

A family

While caring for other human beings may be the most important work of all, it sure isn’t reflected in the pay scale. That train of thought led Angela Garbes to her book, “Essential Labor: Mothering As Social Change.”More

two brothers with different creative minds

Daniel Bergner felt frustrated and helpless back when one of his closest family members — his brother — was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. So Bergner decided to report out other possibilities for his brother’s healing.More

a row of housing in blue

David Harvey’s work over the years has looked at the economy in radical ways, linking how we earn and spend with, say, geography. Among his fresh frameworks is something called "spatial justice." Steve Paulson asked Harvey what he means by that.More

Half brothers Robert Lafayette Gee (right) and Henderson Gee (left)

Rev. Alex Gee is fascinated by genealogy. So he took a DNA test and discovered one of his ancestors was a white slave owner. Then he went down to New Orleans to meet his white relatives — and that meeting sparked a slew of complicated emotions.More

a son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, is buried in a local cemetery.

Steve Paulson was surprised to discover that a son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, is buried in a local cemetery. With the help of Erin Hoag of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, he searches for the grave of Eston Hemings Jefferson.More

Malcolm Gladwell

Journalist Malcolm Gladwell is famous for mining behavioral science for his work, and when it comes to better understanding the intersection of crime, violence, and policing, he turns over and over to criminologist Frank Zimring.More

duality

Susan Cain is the author of "Bittersweet." She says the experience of sadness can help us feel whole. Cain said "bittersweet" is one of those words we use, but don't know what it means.More

Jim Thorpe and his fellow players in a snowstorm

Jim Thorpe was stripped of the Olympic gold medals awarded to him in 1912, but activists finally got them back in 2022. Today, Thorpe's legacy is about more than medals or even correcting historic wrongs — young Native Americans are looking to him for inspiration.More

Drawings of Jim Thorpe

During his traditional Sac and Fox funeral in Oklahoma, Jim Thorpe's body was stolen and sold to a small Pennsylvania town. His body is still there as a trophy and tourist trap. Native American activist Suzan Shown Harjo tells the story.More

Jim Thorpe on the football field, the Olympic track, and the baseball diamond.

Drawn from conversations with hip-hop artist Tall Paul, journalist Patty Loew and biographer David Maraniss, we hear stories from the NFL, from baseball, and, of course, from what made Thorpe a legend —the 1912 Olympic Games.More

Kipling with illustrations from his home.

If you want to cancel a famous writer because of his retrograde politics, Rudyard Kipling — author of "The White Man's Burden" — is an obvious choice. So should we still read Kipling? We ask novelist Salman Rushdie and literary scholar Chris Benfey.More

Bernadine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo became the first Black woman to win the Booker Prize in 2019 for her novel “Girl, Woman, Other.” Evaristo talked with Shannon Henry Kleiber about how her childhood and her writing energize her advocacy supporting artists and writers of color.More

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Ngugi wa Thiong’o — the renowned Kenyan author — believes African writers should write in their native language, not the colonial language of English or French. He says the best way to decolonize the mind is to reclaim native languages.More

Ehrenreich at a New York Times discussion

Barbara Ehrenreich tells Steve Paulson that too often, our focus on positivity turns into a kind of victim blaming. She's a champion of realism and determination.More

a worker walks a maze

Sitting together to reflect on Barbara's years of work to shine a light on the experiences of middle and lower class Americans, her friend and colleague Alissa Quart recorded this interview with her in 2021. Ehrenreich died in September of 2022.More

Barbara Ehrenreich

For her latest book, “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America,” writer Barbara Ehrenreich worked at a series of minimally paid jobs.  She was surprised to be both physically exhausted and mentally challenged by “menial” work.More

collective joy people dancing in the streets in ecstasy. andy warhol detailed colorful

Barbara Ehrenreich says modern Westerners have become obsessed with personal happiness, and we often neglect the pleasures of collective joy.More

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