Politics and History

Baby with tag

Wendy Kline says the history of birth in America is the story of the medical establishment’s deliberate suppression of midwives. For her as for most mothers, it’s a story that’s political and personal.  More

The midwives of "Call the Midwife" (BBC)

Anne Strainchamps joins a group of women, Laurie, Jane, Carol and Liz, to watch the premiere of Season 7 of "Call the Midwife" and talk about birth.  More

Three of the transgender men whose stories are told in "Unbound"

Sociologist Arlene Stein has been following four people who were identified as female at birth but later transitioned to male.  She tells their stories in her book, “Unbound.”   More

How does it work out over time for people who have made the transition to a new gender? Steve Paulson reached out to a transgender man — Benn Marine — to hear his experience.More

man walking to work

The anthropologist David Graeber says “BS jobs” are an epidemic. Especially in that circle of hell known as middle management.More

punch the clock

When we talk about reforming work, fixing work, creating new kinds of work — author and historian James Livingston thinks perhaps we’re not going far enough. More

Right-wing provocateur Gavin McInnes says he founded the Proud Boys in response to the “war on masculinity.” Here McInnes appears on his online talk show, “Get Off My Lawn.”

A men's club where "racist" is an insult but "chauvinist" is a mantra.More

Studs Terkel in studio

Studs Terkel talked with people from of all walks of life about their work, from firefighters, to steel workers, to labor activist Cesar Chavez. More

man moving steel

Alissa Quart spent the last few years traveling around the country, talking with all kinds of people about work. What she found is a lot of people with jobs that look good on paper but who feel — in a word — squeezed.More

Niki poses with some of her staff. She makes accommodations for employees struggling with prior convictions or legal status.

A few years ago, Niki Okuk started a tire recycling company in Los Angeles. Run along the lines of a worker-owned cooperative, the employees are people who would ordinarily have a hard time finding any job. More

Estee Lauder

What do Steve Jobs, Estee Lauder and Ted Williams have in common? They were driven by individual compulsions.More

Brother Ali

You can find powerful critiques of capitalism and inequality on political platforms — and also on music stages. Take Brother Ali: he’s a Midwestern, Muslim rapper and one of the most popular socially-conscious hip hop artists out there.More

Kshama Sawant, councilwoman in Seattle

Seattle councilwoman Kshama Sawant is the first socialist to win an election there in almost a century. Her platform included fighting for — and winning — a $15 minimum wage, and a tax on the wealthy.More

Demonstrators march for "Medicare for All" and other socialist-leaning policy goals.

University of Wisconsin sociologist Erik Olin Wright was one of the world's leading Marxist theorists. He died in early 2019. In 2018, he stopped by our studio to talk socialism with Steve Paulson.More

Norwegian memorial

In 2011, nearly 70 teenagers were shot and killed in Norway. The gunman was a white supremacist named Anders Breivik. Journalist Asne Seierstad spent years trying to figure out how someone could do something so evil. More

Bullhorn

Cleve Jones was a young activist and Harvey Milk’s protege, the man who would later create the AIDS Memorial Quilt.  What he remembers about that time is how the gay community channeled anger and grief into a night he’ll never forget.More

Mubin Shaikh

Self-described former jihadist Mubin Shaikh believes many terrorists are drawn to political violence for very rational reasons. He recounts his journey into, and out of, extremism.More

mosque

For his book “The Sultan and the Queen,” Jerry Brotton has uncovered a history that goes against everything we’ve been told about the relationship between Islam and the West.More

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