Politics and History

prison

Feeling regret about committing a crime matters in criminal sentencing. But if emotion isn't supposed to have a place in the law, should it matter? Susan Bandes tells us how judges and juries evaluate remorse, and why.More

desks

Young people seem to be feeling the pressure to be perfect more than anyone else. Social psychologist Tom Curran tells us how neoliberalism and the digital age created a generation that feels guilty about falling short of flawlessness.More

Adam and Eve

We decided to trace Western culture's fixation on guilt back to one of its earliest origins — the story of Adam and Eve. It's only a page and a half in the Bible, but literary historian Stephen Greenblatt told Steve Paulson why it has been so influential.More

guilt for smoking

A lot of people feel guilty about something - diet, money, relationships or something else. Our host Anne Strainchamps and writer Devorah Baum definitely do. So we asked them to sit down to talk about how we wound up about in a giant cultural guilt trip.More

Let’s remember that it wasn’t that long ago that liberals and conservatives were often friends. Jeanne Safer and Richard Brookhiser met during the good old days of American politics. She’s a lifelong liberal; he’s a senior editor for the conservative National Review. They’ve been happily married for more than 35 years.More

Awash in a sea of Trumpian conservativism

Charlie Sykes spent more than two decades hosting a popular conservative talk-radio show, railing against Obama and pushing Paul Ryan and Scott Walker onto the national stage. Today, he’s a Trump critic who's disillusioned with the Republican Party.More

Ken Stern

Ken Stern has lived and worked in a liberal bubble for most of his life, including his ten years as the CEO of NPR. Then, Ken decided to get out of his liberal bubble into Red America, where he found that he agreed with a lot of what he heard.More

Antigone

Writer, classicist, and stand-up comic Natalie Haynes makes a strong case for reading ancient Greek and Roman literature in the modern age.More

Women Who Rule

If our cultural and political history is a guide, women in power make us uncomfortable. We deal with that discomfort in one of two ways: making powerful women out to be villains — witches, demons, succubi, changelings — or erasing them entirely.More

USA Trilogy

Kim Stanley Robinson recommends "The Greatest Story of the 1920's That We Have: The U.S.A. Trilogy" by John Dos Passos.More

Hatshepsut statue, partially defaced

For centuries, even the memory of Hatshepsut was erased. By the men who followed her. Now, Egyptologist Kara Cooney has written about the great Egyptian queen — a woman who should have become legend — as well as the many other women who ruled ancient Egypt.More

Circe

In Homer's "The Odyssey," Circe was a Greek goddess who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs. Today, Circe finally gets to tell her side of the story, thanks to novelist Madeline Miller.More

The Lucky Inn in Center of the World, Ohio

Amidst economic devastation, producer Charles Monroe-Kane asks what it takes to survive in the Rust Belt.More

Coney Island

Writer Leslie Parry describes what Coney Island would have sounded like during its heyday 100 years ago.More

Student activist and Raza studies student Pricila from the film "Precious Knowledge."

Teachers Curtis Acosta and Jose Gonzalez explain the origins of Tucson's Mexican-American Studies program—and how their personal histories in school led them to teach these courses.More

Photos from Haleema's trip in Pakistan

You could say that the work of nation-building is never really done. Haleema Shah has been thinking about that after a recent trip to a country close to her heart — Pakistan.More

Three magical doors to places across the globe.

The Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid sets his newest novel, "Exit West," in a world of permanent mass migration, in a city ripped apart by civil war. He told Steve Paulson he modeled it on his own city — Lahore, Pakistan.More

an aging world structure

The future feels unpredictable in so many places today. If you look around the world right now, seems like everyone wants their own independent nation. Are the old nation-states...toast? That’s what John Feffer worries about.More

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