Politics and History

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. 

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. 

man walking to work

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

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. 

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.

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.

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.

An aerial shot of the Garden Homes neighborhood in Milwaukee.

Could socialism ever really take off in America? Half a century ago, socialists ruled a major American city — Milwaukee. Haleema Shah walks the streets of Wisconsin's biggest city to learn more about what socialist policy looked like on the ground.

Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail.

Sean Wilentz is a leading American historian and a proud liberal. Steve Paulson asked for his take on the new pink tint in Democratic politics.

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