Interviews By Topic

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

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

Odysseus und Penelope

Classicist Emily Wilson is the first woman ever to publish an English translation of Homer’s epic. "In some ways, it should be a story that's less about me than about why it has taken the English speaking world so long before there's been a complete published translation of "The Odyssey" by a woman."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

Winged victory

Religion scholar Serinity Young noticed the famous Greek statue "The Victory of Samothrace" in the Louvre Museum and couldn’t stop thinking about it. She spent more than 20 years investigating winged women and found them everywhere.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

Anthony Bourdain

The chef, storyteller and world-traveler has died at age 61. We revisit Steve Paulson's interview with him in 2004.More

office

Do you dread going to work because your office is filled with people who are rude and treat you badly? Christine Porath is trying to do something about it with her book, “Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace.”More

Under the dome

Imagine eight scientists, four men and four women, volunteer for a grand experiment focusing on the future of humanity: living for two years inside of a prototype of a possible off-earth colony. That’s the premise behind acclaimed novelist T.C. Boyle’s new book, "The Terranauts." More

roller coaster

Writer B.J. Novak imagines a roller coaster that's modelled after real life, and designed by the artist Christo.More

Coney Island

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

Philip Roth, on his fiction and memory

In his final years, the novelist came to terms with how his own story might influence the future interpretation of his fiction.More

What Hath God Wrought cover

When and how did American get so polarized? For answers, Jonathan Chait recommends reading "What Hath God Wrought,"  a history of American politics from 1815-1848 by the Pulitzer prize-winning historian Daniel Walker Howe.More

plant

Sabrina Frey has metastatic ocular cancer, but she's already lived longer than her doctors expected. What can we learn from how she looks at life? For one, she lives in the moment.More

Haleema reporting 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

Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe had a shocking lack of hubris when it came to his journalism. He said what he did as a reporter took no special skills, requiring only the willingness to leave the building and take notes. He also found that to be the best way to craft naturalistic fiction, which he only began writing at 54. He was 88 when he died Monday.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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