The New Yorker Radio Hour

The New Yorker Radio Hour

By WNYC Studios and The New Yorker

Profiles, storytelling and insightful conversations, hosted by David Remnick.

Episodes

The Biden Presidency, Year One

President Biden took the oath of office in a moment of deep crisis—the pandemic in full swing and just weeks after an unprecedented attempt to overturn the election by violence. Merely a return to normalcy would have been a tall order. But Biden was promising something more: a transformational agenda that would realign American economics and life on a scale rivalling Franklin Roosevelt’s long Presidency. Yet Biden never commanded Roosevelt’s indomitable popularity and electoral advantages. A year into the Administration, Evan Osnos takes stock of its successes, failures, and ongoing challenges, along with four New Yorker colleagues: Susan B. Glasser on legislation, Jonathan Blitzer on immigration, Elizabeth Kolbert on climate, and John Cassidy on the economy.
14/01/2231m 51s

Nnedi Okorafor on Sci-Fi Through an African Lens

Nnedi Okorafor, a recipient of the prestigious Hugo Award, is a prolific writer of science-fiction and fantasy novels for adults and young adults. She spoke with Vinson Cunningham about how her Nigerian American heritage influenced her interest in fantastical worlds. “It’s part of the culture—this mysticism,” she says. “I wanted to write about those mystical things that people talked about but didn’t talk about because they were mysterious and interesting, and sometimes forbidden.” Her novel “Akata Woman,” which comes out this month, is the third in a series that also acknowledges complicated relationships among peoples of the African diaspora. Plus, Julian Lucas is a passionate gamer, with a particular interest in video games as a form of landscape art. He walks David Remnick through the forthcoming game Norco, a highly anticipated thriller set in coastal Louisiana.
11/01/2223m 32s

A New Civil War in America?

When rioters, encouraged by the President, stormed the Capitol, one year ago, to overturn the results of the election, the idea that such a thing could play out in America was stunning. But the attack may have been just the beginning of an ongoing insurrection, not a failed attempt at a coup. David Remnick talks with Barbara F. Walter, the author of the new book “How Civil Wars Start: And How to Stop Them.” Walter is a political scientist and a professor at the University of California, San Diego, and a co-director of the online magazine Political Violence at a Glance. She has studied countries that slide into civil war for the C.I.A., and she says that the United States meets many of the criteria her group identified. In particular, anti-democratic trends such as increased voting restrictions point to a nation on the brink. “Full democracies rarely have civil wars. Full autocracies rarely have civil wars,” she says. “It’s the ones that are in between that are particularly at risk.” 
07/01/2226m 45s

The Power of Police Unions

The repeal of Section 50-A of the New York State Civil Rights Law was no technical change. Passed in the wake of the George Floyd protests, it was a big victory for police-reform activists. 50-A shielded the disciplinary records of police officers, meaning that, in an officer-involved killing, for example, neither lawyers, journalists, nor the victim’s family could determine if the officer had a history of disciplinary incidents. Laws like 50-A—and there are similar laws in many states—have played a big role in blocking police accountability. Because of the powerful influence of police unions, changing them is not easy, even for left-leaning politicians who champion reform. The New Yorker staff writer William Finnegan examines how the fight against 50-A was won. At the center of the story are the fraught relationships among politicians, protesters, and law enforcement.    This segment originally aired July 31, 2020.
04/01/2224m 16s

Amanda Gorman on Life After Inauguration

One year ago, Amanda Gorman delivered the inaugural poem on the day that Joe Biden became President. Gorman was just twenty-two years old, and it was just two weeks after Trump supporters had assaulted the Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from certifying the election. At the ceremony, Gorman herself seemed to cast light on a dark situation. Her poem “The Hill We Climb” reads, “When day comes, we ask ourselves: / Where can we find light / In this never-ending shade? / The loss we carry, a sea we must wade. / We’ve braved the belly of the beast.” The New Yorker’s poetry editor, Kevin Young, wrote that her poem was “as vibrant and elegant as her yellow coat against the cold.” After that very public début, Gorman found the stakes of writing the poems for her new collection, “Call Us What We Carry,” to be impossibly high. (It was excerpted in The New Yorker with readings by Gorman.) She spoke with Young about being an inaugural poet—following in the footsteps of Maya Angelou and Elizabeth Alexander—in a conversation from The New Yorker’s Poetry Podcast.
31/12/2125m 38s

For a French Burglar, Stealing Masterpieces Is Easier Than Selling Them

Vjeran Tomic has been stealing since he was a small child, when he used a ladder to break into a library in his home town, in Bosnia. After moving to Paris, he graduated to lucrative apartment burglaries, living off the jewels he took and often doing time in prison. He became known in the French press as Spider-Man, and he began to steal art. Tomic has a grand sense of his calling as a burglar; he considers it his destiny and has described his robberies as acts of imagination. He eventually carried out a truly epic heist: a break-in at the Musée d’Art Moderne, in Paris, in which he left with seventy million dollars’ worth of paintings. But selling these masterpieces proved harder than stealing them, and that’s where Spider-Man’s troubles began. The contributor Jake Halpern tells Vjeran Tomic’s story; excerpts from Tomic’s letters from prison are read by the actor Jean Brassard.     This segment was previously aired in 2019.
28/12/2121m 23s

Rhiannon Giddens, Americana’s Queen, Goes Global

By the standards of any musician, Rhiannon Giddens has taken a twisting and complex path. Trained as an operatic soprano at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory, Giddens fell almost by chance into the study of American folk music. Alongside two like-minded musicians, she formed the Carolina Chocolate Drops, in which she plays banjo and sings. The group is focussed on reviving the nearly forgotten repertoire of Black Southern string bands, but the audience for acoustic music remains largely white. Giddens tells David Remnick she was heartbroken that her largest Black audience was at a prison concert. “The gatekeepers of Black culture are not interested in what I’m doing,” she says. “This is a complaint I’ve heard from many, many people of color who do music that’s not considered Black—hip-hop, R. & B.” Her view of Black music is more expansive: “There’s been black people singing opera and writing classical music forever.” As a solo artist, Giddens is moving increasingly further afield from African American and American music; her new album, “There Is No Other,” recorded in Dublin in collaboration with the musician Francesco Turrisi, explores folk styles from the Middle East, Europe, and Brazil, as well as early America. She and Turrisi perform “Wayfaring Stranger,” the ancient ballad “Little Margaret,” and the tarantella “Pizzica di San Vito.”    This segment was previously aired in 2019.
24/12/2129m 52s

When Snow Came to San Juan

For several years in the early nineteen-fifties, Puerto Rico received snow, right around Christmas. Children in San Juan rode a sled and had a giant snowball fight in the tropical weather. It wasn’t a miracle, or a meteorological outlier. The snow was a gift from San Juan’s longtime mayor, Felisa Rincón de Gautier, who had fallen in love with snow during her years in New York. It was delivered by Eastern Airlines, which milked the publicity for all it was worth. A young New Hampshire girl escorted one delivery, wearing a hat and a cable-knit sweater. The snow didn’t cost Puerto Rico anything, but it certainly came with strings attached. At a time when the independence movement was being harshly suppressed, in favor of a continued colonial relationship with the United States, the fetishization of the northern “white Christmas” reads to some as a gesture of cultural imperialism that has never quite ended. And even recently—as the island still faces routine blackouts of its electrical grid, years after Hurricane Maria—the mayor of a small town proposed building an ice-skating rink. WNYC’s Alana Casanova-Burgess reports on why the snow came, and what it meant to Puerto Ricans.  Our story was produced in collaboration with “La Brega,” from WNYC Studios and Futuro Studios.
21/12/2127m 45s

Is the Gift of Tuition Enough?

Élite schools are trying hard to recruit students of color and students who are less well-off financially; Yale University, as one example, now covers full tuition for families making less than seventy-five thousand dollars. Yet, many of these students find that the experience and the culture of a selective private university may remain challenging. Even a full-ride scholarship may not meet the needs of a student from a poor or working-class family. The New Yorker Radio Hour’s KalaLea spent time at Trinity College with Manny Rodriguez, who was then a senior, working three jobs to cover his expenses and help his family. They met before the Thanksgiving break, where Rodriguez remained on campus picking up extra shifts. He could not afford the airfare to visit his mother. Often late for classes, unable to meet professors during office hours, and deeply anxious about expenses that many of his classmates wouldn’t notice, Rodriguez explains the ways that college is not structured for people like himself. “I feel like I’ve struggled to finish,” he says, “and I’m going to be crawling on my graduation day.”
17/12/2122m 46s

Millennial Writers Reflect on a Generation’s Despair

The eldest millennials turned forty this year, and the producer Ngofeen Mputubwele comments on a sense of despair he finds in his generation, having to do with the state of the planet, the nation, the Internet, intolerance, and more. He set out to explore why millennials feel hopeless and how they can live with that feeling, in conversations with five writers: Kaveh Akbar, the author of “Pilgrim Bell”; Carlos Maza, the creator of the video essay “How to Be Hopeless”; Shauna McGarry, a writer on “BoJack Horseman”; Patrick Nathan, the author of “Image Control: Art, Facism, and the Right to Resist”; and the climate activist Daniel Sherrell, whose recent memoir is “Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World.”
14/12/2131m 58s

Paul Thomas Anderson, Poet Laureate of the San Fernando Valley

Paul Thomas Anderson first made a splash in Hollywood with his film “Boogie Nights,” a portrait of the porn industry that burgeoned in the San Fernando Valley, the much-mocked suburbs of Los Angeles. Anderson is a Valley native, and proud to live there still. “There was a terrific story right in my own back yard,” he told David Remnick. “I guess at some point, I probably read ‘Write what you know.’ I was, like, Well, that’s a good place to start.” Many of Anderson’s films—such as “Magnolia,” “There Will Be Blood,” and “Inherent Vice”—tell stories from Southern California’s past and present. Anderson’s new film, “Licorice Pizza,” returns to that terrain. It portrays the thorny relationship between a teen-aged boy and a twenty-five-year-old woman, and the pair’s misadventures in the Valley of the mid-seventies. Anderson, who could recruit any stars in Hollywood, instead cast two newcomers as his leads: Alana Haim (a musician in the indie band HAIM) and Cooper Hoffman. Anderson spoke to David Remnick from his home in—where else?—the Valley.
10/12/2118m 3s

Life After Prison

As a kid, Jonathan was good at soccer and making friends. But by the age of eighteen, he was a drug dealer facing his first serious conviction. For his third conviction, although the charges were for nonviolent offenses, he received a twenty-one-year prison sentence. In 2019, after serving seventeen years, he was released under the First Step Act, a bipartisan prison-reform bill that has helped to reduce the sentencing disparity between crack and powdered cocaine for some federal prisoners. In total, Jonathan has spent twenty-five years behind bars. Now, as a middle-aged former felon, he faces a world full of hazards and struggles with the unintended consequences of a long sentence. (Jonathan’s real name has been withheld, in order to protect his family’s privacy.)    Also, David Remnick speaks with Kai Wright, the host of WNYC’s “The United States of Anxiety,” about long prison sentences and how the goal of incarceration has shifted from “correction” to warehousing people for as long as possible.     This podcast was originally released on January 17, 2020. 
07/12/2119m 23s

Mass Incarceration, Then and Now

The United States has the largest prison population in the world. But, until the publication of Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow,” in 2010, most people didn’t use the term “mass incarceration,” or consider the practice a social-justice issue. Alexander argued that the increasing imprisonment of Black and brown men—through rising arrest rates and longer sentences—was not merely a response to crime but a system of racial control. “The drug war was in part a politically motivated strategy, a backlash to the civil-rights movement, but it was also a reflection of conscious and unconscious biases fuelled by media portrayals of drug users,” Alexander tells David Remnick. “Those racial stereotypes were resonant of the same stereotypes of slaves and folks during the Jim Crow era.” Plus, a conversation with Reginald Dwayne Betts, who discovered poetry while in solitary confinement, during a prison sentence for a carjacking that he committed when he was sixteen. Betts reads a poem, which appears in his collection “Felon,” about trying to explain to his young son that he has served time in prison.
03/12/2131m 15s

Aimee Mann Live, with Atul Gawande

Aimee Mann, the celebrated Los Angeles singer and songwriter, recently released an album called “Queens of the Summer Hotel.” The album was inspired in part by Susanna Kaysen’s best-selling memoir “Girl, Interrupted,” about Kaysen’s time in a psychiatric hospital. Mann sat down with Atul Gawande at The New Yorker Festival to talk about the new album, the lessons of living through a pandemic, and how liberated she felt when she broke her ties with major record labels. “When you’re at a record label and you’re trying to ascertain whether something can be a hit or a single, you listen in a different way—and then everything sounds like garbage,” she said. Mann decided that she didn’t “want to keep baring my soul to people who hate everything I’m doing.” 
30/11/2123m 36s

Dave Grohl’s Tales of Life and Music

At The New Yorker Festival, Dave Grohl talked with Kelefa Sanneh about Grohl’s new book, “The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music.” Grohl, who was the drummer for Nirvana and then the frontman of the Foo Fighters, recalls his earliest experiences of taking music seriously—harmonizing with his mom to Carly Simon on the car radio. Grohl also talks about what it was like to collaborate with Kurt Cobain, who was known for his capricious genius, and about stepping out from behind the drums to lead his own band. “After Kurt died, I was, like, I’m not playing music anymore—it’s painful,” he remembers. “And then I eventually realized that if music saved my life, my entire life, this is what’s going to save my life again.”
26/11/2126m 46s

Mexican Abortion Activists Mobilize to Aid Texans

Mexico is a deeply Catholic nation where abortion was, for a long time, criminalized in many states; just a few years ago Coahuilla, near the U.S. border, imposed jail time on women who had the procedure. This year, Stephania Taladrid reported, Mexico’s ten-member Supreme Court voted unanimously to deciminalize abortion throughout the country—to the shock even of activists. But before they had finished celebrating they turned their attention north, to Texas, which has practically banned most abortions with the S.B. 8 law, which is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Texans may find themselves crossing the border to obtain legal abortions. Taladrid spoke to activists who are sending medications that induce abortion—which are available over the counter in Mexico—across the border into Texas. But they may face risk in doing so. As the legal scholar Jeannie Suk Gersen explains, a new Texas law criminalizes delivering those medications to pregnant women.
23/11/2113m 42s

If Roe v. Wade Goes, What Next?

The Supreme Court, with a six-to-three majority of conservative justices, is hearing critical cases on abortion rights. If it approves restrictive state laws, large swaths of the country might quickly ban abortion. Jia Tolentino co-hosts a special episode on the future of abortion rights for Americans, which includes a discussion of the legal issues at stake and the doctrine of privacy that is now in jeopardy, and a visit to the Mississippi clinic at the center of one of the court cases.
19/11/2136m 26s

The Essential Workers of the Climate Crisis

After storms and other climate disasters, legions of workers appear overnight to cover blown-out buildings with construction tarps, rip out ruined walls and floors, and start putting cities back together. They are largely migrants, predominantly undocumented, and lack basic protections for construction work. Their efforts are critical in an era of increasing climate-related disasters, but the workers are subject to hazards including accidents, wage theft, and deportation. “Right now, there is a base camp for the National Guard; FEMA officials in Louisiana are staying in hotels,” Saket Soni, the founder of the nonprofit group Resilience Force, tells Sarah Stillman. “But the workers who are doing the rebuilding with their hands are sleeping under their cars to protect themselves from rain.” Stillman travelled to Louisiana, to the parking lot of a Home Depot, to report on Soni’s effort to organize and win recognition for these laborers as a distinct workforce performing essential work. “These years ahead,” she notes, “are going to bring more brutal hurricanes, more awful floods, more terrifying wildfires, and heatwaves—more than any of us is really prepared to handle. … And what’s at stake is not just these workers’ fates but also our collective shared survival.”
16/11/2131m 33s

Anna Deavere Smith Retells Rodney King’s Story in Theatre

“Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” premièred nearly thirty years ago, but it’s one of the most current and important plays on Broadway right now. Anna Deavere Smith pioneered a form now known as verbatim theatre: instead of creating characters and writing dialogue, she would interview dozens or hundreds of people about an event, and weave a story from those real characters and their words. “Twilight” is about the deadly violence and unrest that erupted after police officers were acquitted of the ferocious beating of Rodney King—one of the first episodes of police brutality caught on videotape and broadcast to the nation. Her form, she tells David Remnick, let her complicate the racial dynamics of Black and white people, to include the voices of Asian Americans and Latinx people involved in the uprising. Deavere talks about how the play reads now, after George Floyd’s murder and the uprising that followed, and about what still hasn’t changed in the cultural climate for Black theatre artists.
12/11/2117m 31s

Rachel Held Evans and Her Legacy

Growing up, Rachel Held Evans was a fiercely enthusiastic evangelizer for her faith, the kind of kid who relished the chance to sit next to an atheist. But when she experienced doubt, that sense of certainty began to crumble. “We went to all these conferences about how to defend your faith, how to have an answer for what you believe,” her sister Amanda Held told Eliza Griswold. “That’s why it was particularly unsettling to have questions, because we were taught to have answers.” Held Evans began to blog and then wrote a string of best-sellers about her faith, beginning with “Evolving in Monkey Town,” in which she separated the Jesus she believed in from the conservative doctrine she was raised with. Her work spoke to the millions of Christians who have left evangelical churches since 2006. “There’s this common misperception that either you are a conservative evangelical Christian or . . . you become agnostic or atheist,” Griswold explains, but many Christians were turning away from politics and still retaining their faith. She calls Held Evans “the patron saint of this emerging movement.” After Held Evans died, at thirty-seven, after a sudden illness, her final, incomplete manuscript was finished by a friend, Jeff Chu. Griswold travelled to Held Evans’s home town of Dayton, Tennessee, to meet with her widower, Dan Evans, as well as Chu and others. “I think people resonate so much with her work [because] she was giving words that people couldn’t say themselves,” Evans says. “It’s not going to stop for them just because Rachel died. There’s going to be one less traveller. One less person to translate for them. But there’s more people born every day.”
09/11/2133m 6s

Will the Office Survive the Pandemic?

Cal Newport, the author of “A World without Email” and other books, has been writing about how the shutdown has affected businesses and the culture of work. Remote operation, he says, has raised fundamental questions about the purpose of work, its role in our lives, and how productivity is measured. While most companies are asking employees to return to the office as the pandemic eases, Newport predicts that economic forces will eventually drive an exodus toward permanent remote work. Tech companies that launched as fully remote operations, he thinks, have a head start on the economic advantages of ditching the office for good.
05/11/2116m 0s

Wole Soyinka on His New Satire of Corruption and Fundamentalism

Wole Soyinka is a giant of world literature. A Nobel laureate, he’s written more than two dozen plays, a vast amount of poetry, several memoirs, and countless essays and short stories—but, up until recently, only two novels. His third novel was published this past September, forty-eight years after the previous one. It's called “Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth.” The book is both a political satire and a murder mystery involving four friends, with subplots that include a secret society dealing in human body parts and more corruption than any one country can bear.  Like his cousin the Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, Soyinka has made social commentary integral to his work. Soyinka’s journey into political activism began at a young age, and, in 1965, when he was twenty-one, he was arrested for armed robbery. But Soyinka tells Vinson Cunningham that political opposition didn’t come naturally to him. “I love my peace of mind and my tranquility,” he says, “[but] I cannot attain that if I have not attended to an issue or problem which I know is . . . manifesting itself in a dehumanizing way in others.” “Chronicles” explores not only how the governments are corrupt but the effect of corruption on societies and peoples. Soyinka also talks about why he waited so long to write another novel, and what the medium offers that theatre does not.
02/11/2119m 45s

The Nobel Prize Winner Maria Ressa on the Turmoil at Facebook

The roughly ten thousand company documents that make up the Facebook Papers show a company in turmoil—and one that prioritizes its economic interests over known harms to public interest. Among other things, they catalogue the company’s persistent failure to control disinformation and hate speech. David Remnick spoke with Maria Ressa, an investigative journalist, in the Philippines, who runs the news organization Rappler. She has been the target of hate campaigns by supporters of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and in October Ressa (along with the Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov) received the Nobel Peace Prize for working to protect freedom of expression. Ressa is also a co-founder of what’s called the Real Facebook Oversight Board, a group of expert observers and critics who are not affiliated with Facebook’s own quasi-independent Oversight Board.  She doesn’t see easy tweaks to ameliorate the damage; the fundamental approach of steering content to users to maximize engagement, she feels, is inherently destructive. “We’ve adapted this hook, line, and sinker: ‘personalization is better,’ ” Ressa points out. “It does make the company more money, but is that the right thing? Personalization also tears apart a shared reality.” Plus, a disinformation researcher says that, to understand dangerous conspiracy stories like QAnon, you have to look at the online horror genre known as creepypasta.
29/10/2130m 37s

Jane Goodall Talks with Andy Borowitz

Jane Goodall is as revered a figure as modern science has to offer, though she prefers to call herself a naturalist rather than a scientist. Goodall learned a great deal about being human by studying our close relatives among the primates. When she began working, some of her research habits, such as naming her subjects and describing their personalities, caused consternation among other primatologists, who insisted that intelligence and emotion were the exclusive province of human intellect; Goodall persevered, and shifted how we conceive of the relationship between humans and other creatures. She’s the author of more than thirty books for adults and children, including a new volume called “The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times.”    In her work as a conservationist and a United Nations “Messenger of Peace,” the eighty-seven-year-old Goodall used to travel as many as three hundred days per year. Since the pandemic began, she’s been at her home in England, in the house where she grew up. In a conversation for the New Yorker Festival, The New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz (known primarily as a humorist) asked Goodall about the secrets to her success as both a researcher and an advocate. “I’m very passionate,” she told him. “Secondly, I’m probably obstinate and I’m pretty resilient. So knock me over and I’m going to bounce back up. Because I will not be defeated.”
26/10/2128m 55s

How a Girls’ School Fled Afghanistan as the Taliban Took Over

In the summer, Shabana Basij-Rasikh came on the Radio Hour to speak with Sue Halpern about founding the School of Leadership Afghanistan—known as SOLA—which was the country’s only boarding school for girls. She and those around her were watching the Taliban’s resurgence in the provinces anxiously, but with determination. “It’s likely that Taliban could disrupt life temporarily here in Kabul,” one woman told Basij-Rasikh, “but we’re not going to go back to that time. We’re going to fight them.”    In fact, Basij-Rasikh had already been forming a plan to take her girls’ school abroad, and soon settled on Rwanda. When the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan led to a precipitous collapse of the government, she suddenly had to sneak nearly two hundred and fifty students, staff, faculty, and family members to the airport to flee as refugees. She seems traumatized by the terror of that experience. “That thought still haunts me—it suddenly takes over all my senses in a way, just this idea of ‘what if’? What if we lost a student?” She spoke with Halpern about the evacuation to Rwanda, and what she hopes for as the school resettles.
22/10/2119m 2s

Jon Stewart: “That’s Not Cancel Culture”

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” defined an era. For more than sixteen years, Stewart and his many correspondents skewered American politics. At the 2021 New Yorker Festival, Stewart spoke with David Remnick about his new show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart”; the potential return of Donald Trump to the White House; and the controversy around cancel culture in comedy. “What do we do for a living?” Stewart asks, of comedians. “We criticize, we postulate, we opine, we make jokes, and now other people are having their say. And that’s not cancel culture, that’s relentlessness.”
19/10/2121m 51s

Daniel Craig Takes Off the Tux

Daniel Craig made his career as an actor in the theatre and in British indie films. When he showed up in Hollywood, it was usually in smaller roles, often as a villain. So, in 2005, when Craig was cast as the original superspy, James Bond, he seemed as surprised as anyone. In “No Time to Die,” Craig gives his final performance as Bond—a role, he tells David Remnick, that sometimes grated on him. Craig hasn’t lost his love of theatre, and is set to play Macbeth on Broadway. “I try not to differentiate” between Shakespeare’s work and Ian Fleming’s, he tells David Remnick. “You’re trying to aim for some truth, to ground things in reality,” and “both require the same muscles.” Though he admits that “there’s a lot more chat” in a Shakespeare script. Plus, the beloved comic character actor Carol Kane discusses her Oscar-nominated turn in 1975’s “Hester Street,” which is being re-released.
15/10/2128m 38s

Kara Walker Talks with Thelma Golden

Kara Walker is one of our most influential living artists. Walker won a MacArthur Fellowship (the “genius” grant) before she turned thirty, and became well known for her silhouettes, works constructed from cut black paper using a technique that refers to craft forms of the Victorian era. Walker has put modest materials to work to address very large concerns: the lived experience and historical legacy of American slavery. Though she often depicts the racial and sexual violence that went largely unspoken for centuries in the past, her work is aimed squarely at the modern world. “What I set out to do, in a way, worked too well,” she said, “which was to say, if I pretty everything up with hoop skirts and Southern belles then nobody will recognize that I’m talking about them. And then they didn’t! They said, ‘The past is so bad.’ But I’m not from the past. . . . I do live here now. And so do you.” Walker was interviewed at The New Yorker Festival by Thelma Golden, the director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem.
13/10/2117m 12s

An Interview with Merrick Garland, and Susan Orlean on Animals

At The New Yorker Festival, the renowned investigative journalist Jane Mayer asked Attorney General Merrick Garland about the prosecution of January 6th insurrectionists, the threat of domestic terrorism, and what the Justice Department can do to protect abortion rights. Plus, the staff writer Susan Orlean talks with David Remnick about her obsession with animal stories, and her new book, “On Animals.”
08/10/2133m 3s

Broadway’s Unusual Reopening, and Amanda Petrusich Picks Three

Broadway theatres are welcoming audiences to a new season, mounting original works and restaging shows that closed in March, 2020. In this unusual season, Broadway is featuring atypical works such as “Is this a Room,” directed by Tina Satter, which stages the F.B.I. interrogation of the whistle-blower Reality Winner using the official transcript verbatim for all of its dialogues. But the most notable thing about Broadway this season is the record-breaking eight plays by Black playwrights, including Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s “Pass Over,” and the reopening of Jeremy O. Harris’s “Slave Play.” Two theatre critics, Alexandra Schwartz and Vinson Cunningham, discuss whether this diversity is a sign of change on Broadway or a short-term response to the racial reckoning that began in 2020. Plus, the music critic Amanda Petrusich shares three tracks from her playlist for a new baby—featuring Aretha Franklin, Paul and Linda McCartney, and the Velvet Underground.
05/10/2122m 14s

Jonathan Franzen Talks with David Remnick About “Crossroads”

Jonathan Franzen’s sixth novel, “Crossroads,” is set in 1971, and the title is firmly on the nose: the Hildebrand family is at a crossroads itself, just as the America of that moment seemed poised to come apart. In the course of his career, Franzen has evolved away from an early postmodernist sensibility that highlighted “bravura” writing, and “with this book I threw away all the po-mo hijinks and the grand plot elements,” he tells David Remnick. “It’s really only in the course of writing ‘Crossroads’ that I have said to myself, What I am is a novelist of character and psychology. . . . It’s not about formal experimentation and it’s certainly not about changing the world through my social commentary.” Franzen also discusses the complex ethics behind writing a character of another race, and takes issue with the belief of some in the academy (and much of the political right) that leftist sensibilities are stifling free expression; he declined to sign the “Harper’s Letter” last year. Despite political polarization, Franzen says, “It’s a much better time to be an American writer than I would have guessed twenty-five years ago.”
01/10/2127m 50s

Should the Climate Movement Embrace Sabotage?

Andreas Malm, a climate activist and senior lecturer at Lund University, in Sweden, studies the relationship between climate change and capitalism. With the United Nations climate meeting in Glasgow rapidly approaching—it begins on October 31st—Malm tells David Remnick that he believes environmentalists should not place too much faith in talks or treaties of this kind. Instead, he insists that the climate movement rethinks its roots in nonviolence. His book is provocatively titled “How to Blow Up a Pipeline,” though it is not exactly an instruction manual. Malm advocates for “intelligent sabotage” of fossil-fuel infrastructure to prevent more carbon from being emitted in the atmosphere. “I am in favor of destroying machines, property—not harming people. That’s a very important distinction,” he tells Remnick. Plus: Parul Sehgal, The New Yorker’s newest staff writer, introduces David Remnick to some notable works off the syllabus of a class she is teaching. It’s called “Writing the Unspeakable,” about the literature of trauma and atrocity.
28/09/2135m 15s

Jelani Cobb on the Kerner Report, an Unheeded Warning about the Consequences of Racism

In 1967, in the wake of a violent uprising in Detroit, President Lyndon B. Johnson assembled the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders to investigate what had happened. This seemed futile: another panel to investigate yet another uprising. “A lot of people felt that way—‘We don’t need more studies, nothing’s going to come out of that commission,’ ” Fred Harris, a former senator from Oklahoma and the commission’s last surviving member, tells Jelani Cobb. But the conclusions were not typical at all. In the final analysis, known as the Kerner Report, the commission named white racism—no euphemisms—as the root cause of unrest in the United States, and said that the country was “moving toward two societies, one Black, one White—separate and unequal.” The report called for sweeping changes and investments in jobs, housing, policing, and more; the recommendations went so far beyond Johnson’s anti-poverty programs of the nineteen-sixties that the President shelved the report and refused to meet with his own commission. The Kerner Report, Cobb says, was “an unheeded warning,” as America still struggles today to acknowledge the reality of systemic racism.  Jelani Cobb co-edited and wrote the introduction to “The Essential Kerner Commission Report,” which was published this year.
24/09/2119m 54s

Joaquin Castro: “Americans Don’t Know Who Latinos Are”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a preliminary report on the long-standing underrepresentation of Latinos in the media. While most people consider Hollywood a relatively liberal industry, “the system as a whole is actually quite regressive and . . . exclusionary,” Joaquin Castro, the representative of a Texas district that includes much of San Antonio, says. “I’m convinced that Americans don’t know who Latinos are,” Castro tells Stephania Taladrid. Unlike Black Americans, who are linked in the white imagination to the civil-rights era and other historical turning points, Castro says, non-Latinos “don’t associate us with any particular time period in American history. They don’t know who among us has contributed to the nation’s prosperity or success. And they have no sense where to place us within American society.” What Castro calls a “void” in America’s narrative gets filled by pernicious stereotypes of Latinos as criminals and “illegals.” “There has been now, for several years at least, this dangerous nexus between representation, portrayal, and the abuse of Latino stereotypes . . . by politicians who abuse them for their own political gain. And, in that dangerous mix, in its worst form, you get what happened in El Paso in August of 2019, where a madman drove ten hours and killed twenty-three people because he considered them Hispanic invaders.” Castro suggests that states and local governments should do more to hold the media accountable, for example, by tying tax breaks for entertainment production to improvements on diversity.
21/09/2122m 50s

Wes Anderson and Jeffrey Wright on “The French Dispatch”

“I wanted to do a French movie, and I had this idea of wanting to do a New Yorker movie,” Wes Anderson explains. “Somehow, I also wanted to do one of those omnibus-type things where it was a collection of short stories.” The result is the new film “The French Dispatch.” Anderson describes his interest in The New Yorker as “almost fetishistic.” Each of the movie’s four story lines was inspired by a work from the magazine or by one of its writers, though Anderson has played freely with biography. Jeffrey Wright, for example, plays Roebuck Wright, an amalgam of James Baldwin, a Black American expatriate in provincial France, and A. J. Liebling, a beloved writer on food and much else from The New Yorker’s early years. “Even in exile,” the actor says, his character “realizes that he’s only at home within himself, that there is no home for him. And maybe there is no home for anyone, really, other than within one’s own body and one’s own soul.” Anderson and Wright join David Remnick to discuss “The French Dispatch” and the classic New Yorker essays that inspired it.
17/09/2129m 6s

Bonus: “The French Dispatch” Reads The New Yorker

Wes Anderson’s new film, “The French Dispatch,” is about a magazine, and it was inspired by Anderson’s long-standing love of The New Yorker. In this special episode, introduced by the articles editor Susan Morrison, cast members read excerpts from classic works associated with the magazine. Bill Murray reads a letter from the editor Harold Ross to an angry writer, Steve Park reads James Thurber, and Elisabeth Moss reads E. B. White. Owen Wilson reads Joseph Mitchell’s piece on rats; Frances McDormand reads Mavis Gallant’s record of the 1968 student uprising in Paris; Tilda Swinton reads a Calvin Tomkins art-world profile; and Jeffrey Wright reads James Baldwin’s “Equal in Paris,” a remarkable indictment of French institutions.
17/09/2128m 26s

The Insidious Procedural Traps of the Texas Abortion Law

The new Texas law Senate Bill 8 effectively outlaws abortion in Texas, violating constitutional protections on reproductive rights. Yet the Supreme Court is in no rush to review it. The law professor and staff writer Jeannie Suk Gersen speaks with Leah Litman, a law professor at the University of Michigan. They examine the novel ways in which the law insulates itself from judicial review. “It seems like the Texas law is an onion, with layers upon layers of unconstitutionality,” Suk Gersen notes. “It’s basically saying to the courts, ‘We’ll do your job for you. You are cut out of this.’ ”    Plus, Jia Tolentino talks with the pop musician Caroline Polachek, as the singer-songwriter gets ready to play her first live concert since March of 2020, for the biggest crowd of her career.
14/09/2129m 23s

Remembering September 11th, and the Future of the Taliban

Twenty years after the events of September 11th, the writer Edwidge Danticat reads from her essay “Flight,” about the way that tragedies are memorialized by those who survive them. And the New Yorker contributor Anand Gopal reports from Afghanistan, where, he says, the younger rank and file of the Taliban are hardly aware of the way that the 9/11 attacks have shaped the last two decades.
10/09/2120m 26s

The Child Tax Credit: One Small Step Toward Universal Basic Income?

David Remnick talks with Senator Michael Bennet, of Colorado, who campaigned for the Presidency in 2020 advocating for the child tax credit, which is now a centerpiece of the Democratic agenda. Bennet describes why direct cash payments make such a big difference. Our economics correspondent Sheelah Kolhatkar describes the policy as a scale model of universal basic income. She moderates a conversation between two academics on different sides of the issue: Michael Strain, a senior fellow and the director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and Amy Castro, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Plus, Radio Hour listeners go toe to toe in a round of The New Yorker’s Name Drop, a new quiz.
07/09/2129m 31s

Riz Ahmed on “Mogul Mowgli”

As a rapper, Riz Ahmed has released critically acclaimed albums, and he was featured on the chart-topping “Hamilton Mixtape.” At the same time, he was becoming a leading man in the movies, with roles including a small part in the Star Wars picture “Rogue One” and an extraordinary, Oscar-nominated performance in “Sound of Metal.” Like his previous film, “Mogul Mowgli” is about a musical artist facing a health crisis that could end his career. Ahmed stars as the British-Pakistani rapper Zaheer—stage name Zed—and he co-wrote the film with Bassam Tariq. “It was very much a kind of inward journey,” Ahmed tells David Remnick. “It was very much about holding up a mirror and hoping that in the honesty and the vulnerability of that exercise, people would just connect emotionally—even if they couldn’t necessarily connect to the specificity of the experience. But for those who could connect to that specificity, you would be, like, ‘Jesus Christ, I never thought I’d see that onscreen!’ ”
03/09/2119m 40s

The Joy of Beach Reads

Our guest host, Vinson Cunningham, looks at the joys of the beach read, hitting Brighton Beach on a hot, muggy day to peer over readers’ shoulders. He relates his own fortuitous encounter with Lawrence Otis Graham’s “Our Kind of People,” after finding the book in a rented house on Martha’s Vineyard. Plus, Rachel Syme feels that “books have a season that they tell you to read them in,” and “summer is the season of the classic Hollywood memoir”; she shares three favorites with David Remnick.
27/08/2131m 13s

Kim Stanley Robinson on “Utopian” Science Fiction

One of the premier writers of thinky sci-fi, Kim Stanley Robinson opened his book “The Ministry for the Future” with an all too plausible scenario: a lethal heat wave descends on India, with vast, horrifying consequences. It’s a sobering read, especially after July, 2021, was declared the hottest month on record. And yet Robinson tells Bill McKibben that his work is not dystopian; his central concern is how the globe could respond to such a disaster and begin to halt the momentum of global warming. “That whole dystopian postapocalyptic strain—it doesn’t serve as a warning, it doesn’t make you change your behavior,” Robinson notes. “I reject all that. I write as a utopian science-fiction writer.” But, “at the moment we’re at right now in world history,” he admits, “I have to set a pretty low bar for ‘utopia.’ If we dodge a mass-extinction event in this century, that’s utopian writing. That’s the best we can expect from where we are right now. Having put that story on the table as being possible, it suggests that we ought to be trying for it.”
27/08/2118m 50s

Home Cooking with Jacques Pepin and Klancy Miller

For generations of cooks, Jacques Pépin has been the master. Early in his career he cooked for eminences like Charles DeGaulle, and was offered a job at the White House. But after a serious car accident ended his time in restaurants, Pépin remade a new career as a teacher, cookbook author, chef, and broadcaster. On television—at first alongside his friend Julia Child—he brought the gospel of French cooking into so many American homes, at a time when there was no other fine cuisine. At eighty-five, he is still active on Facebook Live, with a notably humble variety of use-what-you-got cooking that’s well suited to the pandemic era. Pépin consented to a one-on-one lesson with David Remnick, a cooking novice, and together they tackled the subtle art of making a crêpe. Plus, Klancy Miller, the author of “Cooking Solo,” talks with the food correspondent Helen Rosner about her underlying philosophy: you should treat yourself as well as you would treat anyone else.
24/08/2132m 34s

Dexter Filkins on the Fall of Afghanistan

Dexter Filkins covered the American invasion of Afghanistan when he was a reporter for the New York Times, and has continued to report on conflicts in the region for The New Yorker. Filkins’s best-seller from 2008 carried the resonant title “The Forever War.” Thirteen years after the book’s publication, the forever war is over, but its end has been the chaotic worst-case scenario that many feared. Filkins talks with David Remnick about whether it had to go this way, and whether twenty years of war changed America more than it did Afghanistan. 
20/08/2117m 33s

Liesl Tommy, Director of “Respect”

Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul, the greatest voice of her generation, an eighteen-time Grammy Award winner whose career spanned five decades. She was also a famously private person, which makes the project of directing a film about her life challenging. The job of telling Aretha’s story went to a South African-born director named Liesl Tommy, known for her work in theatre and nominated for a Tony, in 2016. Tommy had also directed episodes of TV shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Jessica Jones,” but the movie about Franklin—called, almost inevitably, “Respect”—is her first feature film. Tommy’s long-standing passion for the singer, she says, made the job relatively easy, even though she first fell in love with Franklin’s voice as a child living on a different continent.  “I don’t think I ever thought of her as American,” she told Vinson Cunningham. “I thought of her as a woman that I wanted to grow up to be.” As a small child, she recalls, “Even if I don’t understand the feelings specifically, I understand how the way she sang them made me feel. And that was, excited to be alive.”
13/08/2114m 34s

Amanda Petrusich Talks with the Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman

Amanda Petrusich describes herself as a “die-hard fan” of folk music, but not when it feels precious or sentimental. That’s why she loves the Weather Station, whose songs, she thinks, “could take a punch to the face.” A solo project of the songwriter and performer Tamara Lindeman, the Weather Station’s new album, “Ignorance,” focusses on the theme of climate grief: Lindeman was responding to a devastating report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about the consequences of elevated carbon levels for human societies. If that sounds heady, Lindeman tells Petrusich that it may be her heritage. “There’s this thread in Canadian music of philosophical songwriting, and that’s how I like my lyrics to be. I like them to be about ideas as well as stories. . . . Most people want songs that just tell a story; they don’t want the complicated ideas. But I do.”   The Weather Station performs “Robber” and “Tried to Tell You,” with Evan Cartwright on percussion and Karen Ng on saxophone.    This segment originally aired February 5, 2021.
10/08/2123m 50s

Atul Gawande on the COVID-19 Resurgence

For a few brief moments this summer, in places where the vaccination rate was high, we could imagine life after COVID-19: restaurants and theatres were filling up, gatherings of all kinds were taking place, and many businesses were planning to return to their offices after Labor Day. Then the story changed, as the highly contagious Delta variant began sweeping the nation. Atul Gawande, a professor of medicine and an internationally recognized expert on public health, tells David Remnick that the Delta surge has also caused a vaccination surge, which is promising. They discuss the idea of booster shots and the possibility of a future variant that would resist the vaccine and cause more severe breakthrough infections. The Lambda variant, Gawande says, has already reached the U.S., but little is known yet about how it responds to the vaccines in use here. Plus, forget the big white tent and the plate of rubber chicken: the real New York style is a City Hall wedding, complete with metal detectors. Vinson Cunningham tells us what it’s all about.   (Gawande has been nominated by President Biden to lead global health development, including COVID-19 efforts, for the United States Agency for International Development. The appointment awaits confirmation in the Senate.)
06/08/2125m 14s

Jack Antonoff on Growing up Jersey

Jack Antonoff has had a busy pandemic. Sought out by Taylor Swift as a producer, he ultimately made two records for her—one of which, “Folklore,” won the Grammy for Album of the Year. He also worked on albums for Lorde, Lana Del Rey, and Clairo that are out or forthcoming this year. And Antonoff just released his own new record, “Take The Sadness out of Saturday Night,” his third album with the band Bleachers. It’s music for driving fast down the highway—heavy on the horns, the power chords, and the emotions. But, like his fellow New Jerseyan Bruce Springsteen, Antonoff tells intensely personal stories in his anthems. He talks with David Remnick about how growing up in the suburbs inspired him, and about a death in his family that shaped his songwriting.
03/08/2118m 5s

John Kerry on the Battle Against Climate Change

With the world overheating, glaciers melting, and landscapes in flames, it’s difficult to think of a harder or more important job than John Kerry’s. The former senator and Secretary of State is now the special Presidential envoy for climate, a Cabinet-level post created by President Biden. Kerry talks with David Remnick about reasserting the United States’ fitness to lead on global climate action in the wake of Trump Administration policies, and about how to get allies and adversaries to engage in the battle together. He is heading to Glasgow for talks that aim to hold the warming level to 1.5 degrees Celsius. “Imagine what happens at 1.5, if you already see what’s happening at 1.2,” Kerry exclaims. “Is that what we want? You would think not!” Plus, an evangelical historian who is the wife of a pastor breaks from her church’s doctrine, arguing that Biblical readings of female submission are mistakes. She has felt the personal consequences of taking this stance.
30/07/2132m 21s

An Iranian Plot Grew in Brooklyn, and the Revelations about Pegasus

The indictment reads like a not-so-great spy novel: the operatives would kidnap the dissident from her home in Brooklyn, deliver her to the waterfront to meet a speedboat, bring her by sea to Venezuela, and then move her on to Tehran—where she would, presumably, face a show trial, and perhaps execution. But this was no potboiler. The Iranian nationals charged in the indictment were allegedly researching an audacious plot to capture a naturalized American citizen, on U.S. soil. The target of the scheme was Masih Alinejad, a journalist and activist who has been critical of the Iranian theocracy and particularly vocal in speaking out against the compulsory wearing of hijab; she has a large following on social media and a show on Voice of America. Her brother has been jailed in Iran, and her sister was forced to renounce her on television. The F.B.I. took the threat to Alinejad seriously enough to sequester her and her husband, Kambiz Foroohar,  in a series of safe houses, where they stayed for months. Alinejad and Foroohar spoke about their ordeal with David Remnick, and explained why the regime regards her as such a threat. “For Iran, hijab is like the Berlin Wall was to the Soviet system,” Foroohar points out. “The narrative of the Islamic Republic was that women are choosing to wear hijab, and Masih is challenging that narrative.” Plus, the revelations about Pegasus. Marketed as a tool against terrorism, the spyware was also deployed by governments against journalists and activists. Isaac Chotiner interviews one of the targets, the Indian journalist and scholar Siddharth Varadarajan.
27/07/2126m 28s

Eric Adams Talks with David Remnick

The New York City mayoral primary, which culminated in a vote held in June, was full of surprises, including the introduction of ranked-choice voting to a confused electorate, and the presence of Andrew Yang, a newcomer to municipal politics who quickly attained front-runner status. But the winning Democrat was no surprise. Eric Adams is the borough president of Brooklyn and a former state senator, making him an establishment favorite. He was also, for more than two decades, a police officer. With policing at the center of public attention since last year’s uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement, Adams occupies a unique position in the debate. He was a firebrand in the N.Y.P.D. and an advocate for Black officers; and he was, as a teen-age boy, a victim of police abuse himself. But Adams is also a strong defender of the police department. He has spoken about the correct way to implement stop-and-frisk policies, which have been previously carried out in ways that were ruled unconstitutional. He rebuked candidates to his left who talked about defunding the force. And he made the national spike in violent crime part of his candidacy, when others focussed their platforms elsewhere.     The nation’s cities face a budgetary crisis, the COVID crisis, a crisis of confidence in policing, and more. Adams doesn’t seem fazed. “We need to be very honest that our city is dysfunctional. And it always has been for a large number of New Yorkers,” he told David Remnick. “I could take you throughout the city where the conditions have remained the same through mayor after mayor. What I must do is stop the dysfunctionality of a city that has normalized being dysfunctional.” Remnick spoke with Adams on July 21, 2021.
23/07/2123m 53s

Helen Rosner’s Summer Drinks, Plus an Anxious Future in Afghanistan

Shabana Basij-Rasikh is the co-founder of Afghanistan’s only all-girls boarding school, and she is anxiously waiting to see if the Taliban—which brutally opposes the education of girls and women—will make inroads in Kabul. “I was speaking with a young woman,” Basij-Rasikh told the staff writer Sue Halpern, “and she said, ‘Yes, sure, the Taliban will kill more of us. The Taliban will kill a lot more of us. But they will never, ever rule over us.’ ” Plus, the food-and-drink writer Helen Rosner prepares three summer cocktails to toast a reopening world: a Cynar spritz; a Michelada made with nonalcoholic Upside Dawn Golden Ale; and a classic piña colada, complete with umbrella.
20/07/2134m 45s

The Golden Arches in Black America

Marcia Chatelain, a historian at Georgetown, recently won the Pulitzer Prize for History for her book “Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America.” Chatelain looks at how McDonald’s leveraged the social upheaval of the nineteen-sixties to gain a permanent foothold in Black communities across the country. McDonald’s strategically positioned franchise ownership as an economic goal for Black entrepreneurs. Black franchisees, she notes, have navigated the economic promise and the pitfalls of that corporate relationship, while the wages for fast-food workers, who are disproportionately Black and Latino, have remained notoriously low.
16/07/2115m 12s

Gillian Flynn, Akhil Sharma, and Alison Bechdel on Their Most Memorable Jobs

The U.S. economy seems to be showing real signs of life, and lots of people are finally returning to the labor force—eight hundred and fifty thousand in the month of June alone. At the same time, job resignations are at a record high, and many workers are changing careers. With work life at top of mind, we asked three writers to tell us about the most memorable jobs they’ve had in the past. Gillian Flynn, the author of novels including “Sharp Objects” and “Gone Girl,” remembers having to wear a frozen-yogurt costume as a teen-ager. Akhil Sharma talks about lying his way into a lucrative gig as a banker, spinning stories that played into ethnic stereotypes, before becoming the author of books such as “Family Life” and “An Obedient Father.” Plus, the cartoonist Alison Bechdel shares how she rewarded herself after her shortest job ever.      This story originally aired on August 25, 2017.
13/07/2116m 46s

Bon Iver Live at the New Yorker Festival

In the winter of 2007, a songwriter by the name of Justin Vernon returned to the Wisconsin woods, not far from where he grew up. Just a few months later, he emerged with “For Emma, Forever Ago”—his first album produced under the name Bon Iver. Since then, Vernon and various bandmates have released three more records, won two Grammys, and collaborated with Kanye West, becoming one of the most celebrated bands in indie music. The music critic Amanda Petrusich spoke with Vernon at The New Yorker Festival, alongside his bandmates Brad Cook and Chris Messina. They discuss using made-up words as lyrics; Vernon’s deep, deep love of “Northern Exposure”; and how a group like Bon Iver engages with current events in today’s toxic political climate.    Bon Iver performed “U (Man Like),” “Marion,” and “RABi”; Vernon was accompanied by Sean Carey, Jenn Wasner, and Mike Lewis.     This story originally aired November 29, 2019
09/07/2124m 56s

Janet Mock Finds Her Voice

Janet Mock first heard the word “māhū,” a Native Hawaiian word for people who exist outside the male-female binary, when she was twelve. She had just moved back to Oahu, where she was born, from Texas, and, by that point, Mock knew that the gender she presented as didn’t feel right. “I don’t like to say the word ‘trapped,’ ” Mock tells The New Yorker’s Hilton Als. “But I was feeling very, very tightly contained in my body.”    Eventually, Mock left Hawaii for New York, where she worked as an editor for People magazine. “[Everyone was] bigger and louder and smarter and bolder than me,” she tells Als. “So, in that sense, I could kind of blend in.” After working at People for five years, she came out publicly as trans; since then, she has emerged as a leading voice on trans issues. She’s written two books, produced a documentary, and signed a deal with Netflix. In 2018, she became the first trans woman of color to be hired as a writer on a TV series—Ryan Murphy’s FX series “Pose,” which just concluded its final season.   This story originally aired January 4, 2019
06/07/2124m 46s

Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino Investigate Britney Spears’s Conservatorship

Britney Spears has been one of the world’s most prominent pop stars since her début, in the late nineteen-nineties. But, since 2008, she’s been under a court-ordered conservatorship—a form of legal guardianship—which has restricted nearly all aspects of her life. Details about the arrangement have been kept out of public view, all while Spears has continued to turn out records and perform lucrative shows, earning millions of dollars for those around her. But the pop star is now directly confronting the people and structures that have ruled her life for the past decade. In recent court testimony, Spears openly detailed her experience under the conservatorship for the first time. She demanded her liberty and expressed her anger, profound sadness, and frustration. She even alleged that her conservatorship, which is led by her father, prevented her from getting an IUD removed from her body, which the family denies. The staff writers Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino have investigated how Spears wound up in this situation, in the article “Britney Spears’s Conservatorship Nightmare.” They speak with David Remnick about Spears’s life under relentless public scrutiny, her cultural significance, and the thorny legal problems posed by conservatorships. “Conservatorships essentially deem someone incapacitated,” Tolentino says. “And from that point, because they do remove your rights by necessity, they sort of foreclose the possibility of proving or gaining capacity to anyone under it.”
03/07/2131m 49s

A Family Divided Over the COVID-19 Vaccine

Across the country, COVID-19 vaccines are becoming available for teen-agers. But most states still require parental consent for minors to receive the shot. David Remnick spoke with a teen-ager who asked that we call him Aaron Williams. He is desperate to be vaccinated, but his parents are skeptical. “We waited three months, and, during the span of that time, they started going through all sorts of conspiracy rabbit holes,” reading fabrications about mRNA vaccines’ changing the recipient’s genetic code, he said. “They pushed it back to six months, to a year, to two years, until they just said, ‘You’re never getting the vaccine.’ ” Misinformation continues to pose a public-health risk around the world, but for this family the stakes are also personal. “I’m missing out on friends’ gatherings and other things at school,” Williams told Remnick. “But they’re saying that I’m hurting them because I’m causing stress.” Plus, Naomi Fry on a turning point for reality TV. As “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” comes to a close after almost a decade and a half, Fry talks with David Remnick about “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” “90 Day Fiancé,” and other shows that look at real social issues in unique, dramatic ways. 
25/06/2120m 7s

The Newspaperman Who Championed Black Tulsa

In the years leading up to the horrific Tulsa massacre of 1921, the Greenwood district was a thriving Black metropolis, a city within a city. Buoyed by money from Oklahoma’s oil boom, it was home to the original Cotton Club and to one of the first Black-owned daily newspapers in the United States, the Tulsa Star. The Star’s founder and editor was A. J. Smitherman, a lawyer and the Alabama-born son of a coal miner. He addressed his eloquence and his ire at local nuisances like prostitution and gambling halls, as well as the gravest injustices of American life. The Radio Hour’s KalaLea is the host of “Blindspot: Tulsa Burning.” She looks in this story at how Smitherman documented Greenwood at its height, and how he tried to prevent its destruction.  “Blind Spot: Tulsa Burning” is a six-part podcast co-produced by the History Channel and WNYC Studios, in collaboration with KOSU and Focus Black Oklahoma. The team includes Caroline Lester, Alana Casanova-Burgess, Joe Plourde, Emily Mann, Jenny Lawton, Emily Botein, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Bracken Klar, Rachel Hubbard, Anakwa Dwamena, Jami Floyd, and Cheryl Devall. The music is by Hannis Brown, Am’re Ford, Isaac Jones, and Chad Taylor. The executive producers at the History Channel are Eli Lehrer and Jessie Katz. Raven Majia Williams is a consulting producer. Special thanks to Herb Boyd, Kelly Gillespie, Shelley Miller, Jodi-Ann Malarbe, Jennifer Lazo, Andrew Golis, Celia Muller, and Andy Lanset. Maurice Jones was the voice of A. J. Smitherman. Additional voices: Terrance McKnight, Dar es Salaam Riser, Javana Mundy, John Biewen, Jack Fowler, Tangina Stone, Emani Johnston, Danny Wolohan, and Jay Allison.
22/06/2136m 33s

Naftali Bennett and the New Hard Line in Israeli Politics

In 2013, David Remnick published a profile of Naftali Bennett.  He wrote that Bennett was something new in Israeli politics, a man who would “build a sturdy electoral bridge between the religious and the secular, the hilltop outposts of the West Bank and the start-up suburbs.” Though religiously observant, Bennett was cosmopolitan: fluent on Facebook, and as quick to quote Seinfeld as he was the Talmud. He had been a leader of the settler movement, and, although he lived in a modern house in a well-to-do Tel Aviv suburb, there was no ambiguity about Bennett’s hard-line stance on the Palestinian question. He disdained the peace process of an earlier time. “I will do everything in my power to make sure they never get a state,” he told Remnick. “No more illusions.” Bennett has now unseated his former boss, Benjamin Netanyahu, as Prime Minister of Israeli. Remnick spoke with two writers in the region about this political upheaval. Raja Shehadeh, who is based in Ramallah, says that the changing of the guard will mean little on the West Bank, where the recent bloody conflict was a propaganda victory for Hamas. Ruth Margalit, who is based in Tel Aviv, says that, while the peace movement seems all but dead, the changing of a political epoch, and the presence of the first Arab-Israeli party ever represented in the Knesset, has to be seen as an opportunity for change.
18/06/2113m 38s

A Rift over Racism Divides the Southern Baptist Convention, Plus, the Fallout from Gamestop

The largest Protestant denomination in America is in crisis over the group’s reluctance to acknowledge systemic racism; our reporter talks with the Reverend Dwight McKissic, who considered himself a loyalist but may have reached a breaking point. Plus, our producer looks at the GameStop squeeze of last winter and tries to figure out the motives of the small investors on r/WallStreetBets. Are they out for vengeance on the Man? Are they after lulz? Or are they just trying to make a buck?
14/06/2133m 43s

Jon M. Chu on “In the Heights”

It’s easy to see why the director Jon M. Chu was adamant that the release of “In the Heights” wait until this summer, when more people could see it in theatres: it’s big, it’s colorful, the dance sequences are complex—it’s a spectacle in the best sense of the term. “In the Heights,” based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit stage musical, is a love letter to the largely Latino community in Washington Heights, in upper Manhattan. The characters are dreaming big and wrestling with what happens when those dreams start to pull them away from the neighborhood. For Chu, who directed the enormous hit “Crazy Rich Asians,” directing the film was a risk—it’s said that Miranda teased him by writing “Don’t fuck this up” on his copy of the script. As an Asian-American from California, Chu “was already one step removed from this neighborhood,” he tells David Remnick. “How do you make sure you don’t miss a detail? The director is probably the only person on set who can stop everything and say, ‘Let’s discuss this.’ . . . That’s what made me nervous, making sure I was always present to hear those things.”
11/06/2116m 8s

Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax on Beethoven’s Politics of the Cello

Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax have both been playing Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 3 in A Major for over forty years. But it took a global pandemic for the two of them to fully understand it. “This is such open, hopeful music,” Ax said. But when Beethoven dedicated the original piece to a friend, he signed the manuscript, “amid tears and sorrow.” Beethoven, Ma and Ax reflected, finished the sonata during a tumultuous period in which Napoleon was at war with Austria and the composer was losing his hearing. “I thought this was a good piece for this moment,” Ma told The New Yorker’s music critic Alex Ross. “Because people are suffering, and we do think that music can give comfort.” The musicians spoke to Ross and performed from an empty concert hall as part of the New Yorker Festival.    The segment originally aired November 13, 2020.
08/06/2121m 17s

A Vaccinated Day at the Ballpark, and Sarah Schulman on ACT-UP

The staff writer Patricia Marx checks out the new vaccinated sections at New York’s Major League Baseball parks. The author and activist Sarah Schulman talks with David Remnick about her new book on the early years of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. The group’s radical tactics forced changes in government policy and transformed how America saw gay people and AIDS patients.
04/06/2128m 47s

Looking Back at the Year of Protest Since the Death of George Floyd

We look back on the year since the murder of George Floyd galvanized the nation. David Remnick talks with Vanita Gupta, the No. 3 official in the Justice Department, who is charged with delivering on President Biden’s bold promises to address racial injustice. A Minneapolis activist explains why it is so hard to abolish the police. Plus, Hilton Als on why America finally rose up against long-standing abuses of Black people.
01/06/2134m 34s

Spike Lee on the Knicks’ Resurgence

Spike Lee is one of the most passionate and committed fans of the New York Knicks—not to mention one of the most celebrated filmmakers of our time. Underdogs for many years, the Knicks are enjoying a renaissance, and Lee is in his glory. David Remnick and Vinson Cunningham called Lee to talk about a life of fandom, the politics of activism in the N.B.A. and the N.F.L., and Lee’s multipart documentary about life in New York since September 11th, which will be released to mark the twentieth anniversary of the attacks.
28/05/21

Can We Finally End School Segregation?

By many accounts, American schools are as segregated today as they were in the nineteen-sixties, in the years after Brown v. Board of Education. WNYC’s podcast “The United States of Anxiety” chronicled the efforts of one small school district, Sausalito Marin City Schools, in California, to desegregate. Fifty years after parents and educators there first attempted integration, the state’s attorney general found that the district “knowingly and intentionally” maintained a segregated system, violating the equal-protection clause of the Constitution. The district’s older public school, which served mostly Black and Latino students, suffered neglect; meanwhile, a new charter school, though racially diverse, enrolled virtually all the white children in the district. The reporter Marianne McCune explored how one community overcame decades of distrust to finally integrate.
21/05/2149m 1s

“Fire in Little Africa,” A Rap Album about a Historical Tragedy

The Tulsa massacre of 1921 was a coördinated assault on and destruction of the thriving Black community known as Greenwood, Black Wall Street, or Little Africa. Even today, the death toll remains unknown. In fact, for generations, most people—including many Tulsans—did not know about the massacre at all. This year marks its hundredth anniversary, and it is being commemorated with documentaries, official events in Tulsa, and one very unusual rap album: “Fire in Little Africa,” which comes out in May on Motown Records. It features about forty rappers, and thirty other singers, musicians, and producers who tell the story of Greenwood at its height—and of their dreams of a revitalized Black Tulsa. The freelance producer Taylor Hosking explains the creation of the album to The New Yorker’s Vinson Cunningham.
18/05/2130m 9s

The Post-Pandemic Dress Code, Plus Hilton Als on Alice Neel

When a very long year of doing business from home—in sweatshirts and pajamas and slippers—is over, how much effort will people be willing to expend on dressing for the office? Richard Thompson Ford, a law professor and the author of “Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History,” tackles that question along with the New Yorker editor Henry Finder. Clothing, he says, has mostly been used to maintain social hierarchies, but it has also occasionally helped to overthrow them. Dressing up, he says, can be a form of transgression: historically, in Black communities, refined dress has been used to demand dignity and resist white supremacy. Plus, the celebrated critic Als on the work of Alice Neel, who painted her neighbors, friends, and colleagues in a multicultural New York.
11/05/2130m 24s

Atul Gawande and Siddhartha Mukherjee on the State of the Pandemic

After a year of battling COVID-19, parts of the United States are celebrating a gradual turn toward normalcy, but the pandemic isn’t over—and it may never be over, exactly. Atul Gawande tells David Remnick that a hard core of vaccine resisters, along with reservoirs of the virus in domestic animals, may make herd immunity elusive. Rather, he says, the correct goal is to bring the impact of COVID-19 down to that of something like the flu. Meanwhile, India is now overwhelmed by a devastating death toll, reported at around four thousand per day but likely much higher. Siddhartha Mukherjee, who reported on the pandemic in developing nations, says that commitments from the West such as extra doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will barely scratch the surface. A national mobilization will be required to even begin to flatten the curve.
07/05/2119m 47s

Thomas McGuane Reads “Balloons”

Thomas McGuane reads his story from the May 10, 2021, issue of the magazine. McGuane has published more than a dozen books of fiction, including the story collections “Gallatin Canyon,” “Crow Fair,” and “Cloudbursts: Collected and New Stories,” which came out in 2018.
04/05/2117m 3s

Three Women Who Changed the World

“The Agitators” is a book about three women—three revolutionaries—who changed the world at a time when women weren’t supposed to be in public life at all. Frances Seward was a committed abolitionist who settled with her husband in the small town of Auburn, in western New York. One of their neighbors was a Quaker named Martha Coffin Wright, who helped organize the first convention for women’s rights, at Seneca Falls. Both women harbored fugitives when it was a violation of federal law. And, after they met Harriet Tubman, through the Underground Railroad, Tubman also settled in Auburn. “The Agitators,” by The New Yorker’s executive editor, Dorothy Wickenden, tells their interlocking stories. “These people were outsiders, and they were revolutionaries,” Wickenden tells David Remnick. “They were only two generations separated from the Declaration of Independence, which they believed in literally. They did not understand why women and Black Americans could not have exactly the same rights that had been promised.”
04/05/2119m 38s

Are U.F.O.s a National Security Threat?

In June, the director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense are expected to deliver a report about what the government knows on the subject of “unidentified aerial phenomena,” more commonly known as U.F.O.s. The issue is nonpartisan: while he was the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, a Democrat, secured funding for a secret Pentagon project to investigate the subject; John Podesta, a chief of staff in the Clinton White House, argued for government transparency on the topic; most recently, the Republican senator Marco Rubio introduced language in last year’s Intelligence Authorization Act calling for the forthcoming report. This is a shocking turn of events. For generations, U.F.O.s were in the purview of late-night call-in radio shows and supermarket tabloids, not the Department of Defense. Gideon Lewis-Kraus reports on how this change came about. The journalist Leslie Kean, who published a bombshell story in the New York Times, explains how the C.I.A. got involved in casting doubt on U.F.O. sightings. Reid tells Lewis-Kraus that the Pentagon refused to authorize his inspection of contractor facilities which, it was rumored, held U.F.O. crash debris. And a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Christopher Mellon, says that the phenomena observed in many sightings cannot be explained as advanced technology built by one of our rivals. “I really doubt that the Russians or Chinese could be that far ahead of us,” he says. “It looks like centuries ahead.” So, whereas the word “aliens” still seems like taboo in serious conversation, he adds, “it's hard to come up with a hypothesis to explain that without considering the possibility that some other civilization is involved.” Gideon Lewis-Kraus’s “How the Pentagon Started Taking U.F.O.s Seriously” appears in the May 10th issue of The New Yorker. This segment features scoring by Pablo Vergara. Additional archival clips were provided courtesy of James Fox.
30/04/2131m 14s

A Surge at the Border, and the Children of Morelia

Nearly a century ago, during the Spanish Civil War, a group of parents put five hundred of their children on a boat and sent them across the ocean to find safety in Mexico. Few of the refugees ever saw their parents again. The youngest of the children was Rosita Daroca Martinez, who was just three. On this week’s show, her granddaughter, the writer and radio producer Destry Maria Sibley, traces the impact of her grandmother’s trauma down through the generations. Plus, the immigration reporter Jonathan Blitzer ties the story to today’s refugee crisis at the U.S. southern border, where a surge in arrivals has put the Biden Administration on its heels. 
27/04/2137m 8s

Jelani Cobb on Derek Chauvin’s Conviction and the Future of Police Reform

The murder of George Floyd galvanized the public and led to the largest protests in American history. Even Donald Trump said of the videos of Floyd’s killing, “It doesn't get any more obvious or it doesn't get any worse than that,” presumably referring to the use of force by police. America waited anxiously for the outcome of the murder trial of the former police officer Derek Chauvin. The prosecution’s case was notable for the unusually candid and definitive statements against Chauvin’s actions that were made by senior figures in the Minneapolis Police Department. The New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb covered the trial and says that this testimony sends a message to law enforcement. “There are now circumstances where public scrutiny and public outrage and egregious offenses that come to light can actually generate enough outrage that you actually will not be defended by your fellow-officers,” he tells David Remnick. “It may seem like a low bar. But, given what we’ve seen previously, that’s a pretty astounding development.” 
23/04/2112m 42s

What Is Happening in the Internment Camps in Xinjiang

In a special episode on the crisis in Xinjiang region of China, the staff writer Raffi Khatchadourian investigates Xi Jinping’s government’s severe repression of Muslim minorities, principally Uyghurs and Kazhaks. Accounts from a camp survivor and a woman who fled detainment show how, even outside the camps, life in the province of Xinjiang became a prison. The crisis meets the United Nations’ definition of genocide, and the U.S. State Department has also made that determination. With the 2022 Winter Olympics coming up in Beijing, what can the world do about Xinjiang?
16/04/2149m 27s

Rickie Lee Jones’s Life on the Road

Rickie Lee Jones emerged into the pop world fully formed; her début album was nominated for five Grammys, in 1980, and she won for Best New Artist. One of the songs on that record was “The Last Chance Texaco,” and Jones has made that the title of her new memoir. The song evokes a service station on a long stretch of highway, and Jones’s book reflects on her almost obsessive need to travel and uproot herself at almost any cost. “All I wanted to do was leave” from a very young age, she says.“When I talk about it from here, it seems like it was so horribly dangerous.” She adds, “Suddenly I’ll [say], ‘I think I’ll go to Big Sur,’ and I’m in a car, going. But the chaos and trouble that brings to a life!” The producer Scott Carrier, who hosts the podcast “Home of the Brave,” interviewed Jones near her home in New Orleans. 
13/04/2122m 36s

The Brody Awards, and Louis Menand on “The Free World”

Oscars, schmoscars! Richard Brody is a critic of wide tastes and eccentric enthusiasms. His list of the best films of the year rarely lines up with the Academy’s. Each year, he joins David Remnick and the staff writer Alexandra Schwartz to talk about the year’s cinematic highlights. Plus, the staff writer Louis Menand talks with Remnick about his new work of cultural history, “The Free World.” Menand writes about the postwar flowering of American culture, when the United States evolved from an economic and military giant into a global creative force. Modern jazz and rock and roll were exported and celebrated around the world. Painters got out from under the long shadow of Europe and led the way into new forms of abstraction and social commentary. Writers like James Baldwin turned a spotlight back on America’s fundamental, unexamined flaws. It was a time, Menand writes, when “ideas mattered. Painting mattered. Movies mattered. Poetry mattered.”
09/04/2127m 35s

David Fincher on “Mank,” and Daniel Alarcón’s Favorite Children’s Books

David Fincher made his name in Hollywood as the director of movies that pushed people’s buttons—dark thrillers like “Fight Club,” “The Game,” “Seven,” and “Gone Girl”—but his new film belongs to one of Hollywood’s most esteemed genres: stories about Hollywood. Around thirty years ago, his father, the late Jack Fincher, gave him the draft of a screenplay about Herman J. Mankiewicz, who wrote “Citizen Kane” and other classics. Fincher tells David Remnick that Mankiewicz was a key figure in film—one of that first generation of writers who invented a vibrant language for movies as they came into the sound era.  Nominated for ten Academy Awards (including a Best Director nomination for Fincher), “Mank” is the story of the writer’s conflict with Orson Welles in the making of “Citizen Kane,” and their struggle is one that has bedevilled creators and critics down the decades: Who really authors a film? Plus, the journalist and fiction writer Daniel Alarcón talks about three children’s books he’s been enjoying with his son during the pandemic.
06/04/2124m 6s

Race and Taxes, and Jane Mayer on How to Kill a Bill

The investigative reporter Jane Mayer recently received a recording of a meeting attended by conservative power brokers including Grover Norquist, representatives of PACs funded by Charles Koch, and an aide to Senator Mitch McConnell. The subject was the voting-rights bill H.R. 1, and the mood was anxious. The bill (which we discussed in last week’s episode) would broadly make voting more accessible, which tends to benefit Democratic candidates, and it would raise the curtain on “dark money” in elections with stringent disclosure requirements. The problem for this group, a political strategist says, is that the bill is popular among voters of both parties, but H.R. 1, they insist, must die. As we hear the participants tick through options to tarnish the bill’s public appeal, Mayer notes how the political winds have shifted in Washington, leaving the Republican coalition newly fragile. Plus, Dorothy Brown, a professor of tax law, uncovers how the seemingly race-neutral tax code compounds many inequalities in American life, and prevents Black people from building wealth. She talks with Sheelah Kolhatkar about her new book, “The Whiteness of Wealth.”
02/04/2125m 43s

The Complex Story of Being Trans in Africa, and Derek DelGaudio on Deception

Our producer talks with the South African scholar Dr. B Camminga, whose essay “Disregard and Danger” deconstructs the viewpoints of so-called TERFs—trans-exclusionary radical feminists—through an African-feminist lens. And we speak with Derek DelGaudio, whose magic special on Hulu is “In & Of Itself.” DelGaudio says that he’s never liked tricking people, and he credits his brief stint as a “bust-out dealer”—a professional card dealer who cheats the players on behalf of the house—with changing his perspective on the power of deception. DelGaudio compares the claims of a rigged election that preceded the actual election to his work as a crooked dealer: he made his legitimate deals look shady in order to camouflage the bad ones.
30/03/2132m 35s

Will the Most Important Voting-Rights Bill Since 1965 Die in the Senate?

No sooner had Joe Biden won the Presidential election than Republican state legislatures began introducing measures to make voting more difficult in any number of ways, most of which will suppress Democratic turnout at the polls. Stacey Abrams, of Georgia, has called the measures “Jim Crow in a suit and tie.” Congress has introduced the For the People Act, known as H.R. 1. Jelani Cobb looks at how the bill goes beyond even the 1965 Voting Rights Act in its breadth, and how it will likely fare in the Senate. And Jeannie Suk Gersen speaks with David Remnick about the Supreme Court’s views on voting rights. The Court is currently weighing an Arizona case that will help decide what really counts as discrimination in a voting restriction.
26/03/2117m 13s

Remembering a City at the Peak of Crisis

April 15, 2020, was near the apex of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, which was then its epicenter. On that day, a crew of New Yorker writers talked with people all over the city, in every circumstance and walk of life, to form a portrait of a city in crisis. A group station manager for the subway talks about keeping the transit system running for those who can’t live without it; a respiratory therapist copes with break-time conversations about death and dying; a graduating class of medical students gets up the courage to confront the worst crisis in generations; and a new mother talks about giving birth on a day marked by tragedy for so many families. The hour includes contributions from writers including William Finnegan, Helen Rosner, Jia Tolentino, Kelefa Sanneh, and Adam Gopnik, who says, “One never knows whether to applaud the human insistence on continuing with some form of normal life, or look aghast at the human insistence on continuing with some form of normal life. That’s the mystery of the pandemic.”    This episode originally aired on April 24, 2020. 
19/03/2149m 13s

“2034,” and Torrey Peters on the Taboo of Detransitioning

The retired admiral James Stavridis teamed up with Elliot Ackerman, a journalist and former Marine, to imagine how, in the shadow of an increasingly tense relationship between the U.S. and China, a small incident in contested waters could spiral into catastrophe. The result is “2034: A Novel of the Next World War.” The book is a thriller, and also a cautionary tale about a failure of military planning: “We have plenty of intelligence,” Ackerman says. “What we often lack is imagination.” And Torrey Peters describes how her book “Detransition, Baby”—a dishy novel on a taboo subject—aims to move beyond the marginal spaces in which trans writing has flourished, into mainstream success with a major publisher.
16/03/2132m 32s

Can the Royal Family Withstand Oprah’s Scrutiny?

Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan and Harry, the Duchess and Duke of Sussex, was riveting celebrity television, but it may also be a significant turning point in the history of the British royal family. Revelations about racism and about Meghan’s struggles with mental health are already reshaping public perception of the powerful institution. The interview also touched on racism and mental health, issues that are familiar to many families. “In the future, we will look to this interview as a real touchstone marking the change of who it is we see as authorities of their own experience,” says Doreen St. Félix. In conversation with St. Félix and the eminent historian Simon Schama, the author of a three-volume history of Britain, David Remnick discusses how the interview plays into culture wars in the U.K. and in American.
12/03/2117m 38s

Bonus Episode from La Brega: Basketball Warriors

Despite being a U.S. colony, Puerto Rico competes in sports as its own country on the world stage. Since the 70s, Puerto Rico’s national basketball team has been a pride of the island, taking home trophy after trophy. But in the 2004 at the Athens Olympics, the team was up against the odds, with an opening game against a U.S. Dream Team stacked with players like Lebron James and Allen Iverson. This episode of La Brega, from Futuro Media and WNYC Studios, tells the story of a basketball game that Puerto Ricans will never forget, and why he thinks now, more than ever, is a crucial moment to remember it.  The documentary "Nuyorican Basquet" is here. If you want to see the famous photo of Carlos Arroyo, click here.   To read more about sovereignty and sports, we recommend The Sovereign Colony: Olympic Sport, National Identity, and International Politics in Puerto Rico, by Antonio Sotomayor.  CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Hiram Martinez’s workplace in 2004 as El Nuevo Dia. It was El Vocero. The story has been updated.
10/03/2137m 42s

Living in the Shadow of Guantánamo

When Mohamedou Salahi arrived at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, in August of 2002, he was hopeful. He knew why he had been detained: he had crossed paths with Al Qaeda operatives, and his cousin had once called him from Osama bin Laden’s phone. But Salahi was no terrorist—he held no extremist views—and had no information of any plots. He trusted the American system of justice and thought the authorities would realize their mistake before long.  He was wrong.  Salahi spent fifteen years at Guantánamo, where he was subjected to some of the worst excesses of America’s war on terror; Donald Rumsfeld personally signed off on the orders for his torture. And, under torture, Salahi confessed to everything—even though he had done nothing. “If they would have wanted him to confess to being on the grassy knoll for the J.F.K. assassination, I’m sure we could have got him to confess to that, too,” Mark Fallon, who led an investigation unit at Guantánamo, said. Ben Taub reported Mohamedou Salahi’s story for The New Yorker and tried to understand what had gone wrong in the fight against Al Qaeda. Salahi met Ben in Mauritania, because, when the U.S. released him, it was under the condition that Mauritania would withhold his passport. He would like to go abroad—he needs medical treatment, and he hopes to live in a democracy. But, for an innocent victim of Guantánamo, being released isn’t the same as being free.    This episode originally aired August 2, 2019. Ben Taub’s reporting on Mohamedou Salahi won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2020.
05/03/2149m 31s

Clubhouse Opens a Window for Free Expression in China

Clubhouse is an audio-only social-media platform offering chat rooms on any subject, allowing thousands of people to gather and listen to each other. Jiayang Fan, who often reports on China, tells David Remnick that the chance to talk in private and without a text trail has opened a window of free expression for Chinese users. (Recently, some questions have been raised about whether the app is as secure as its makers claim.) Suddenly, in chat rooms with names like “There is a concentration camp in Xinjiang?,” Chinese users are able to address politically taboo subjects out loud in large groups. A Clubhouse chat-room moderator explains to Fan that for Han Chinese, who are the beneficiaries of the government’s persecution of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities, the app offers a space for reckoning and protest comparable to America’s Black Lives Matter movement. The government has clamped down on Clubhouse, but tech-savvy young people are used to finding workarounds.
02/03/2114m 57s

Anthony Hopkins on “The Father,” and Patricia Lockwood’s First Novel

At an age when many actors are slowing down or long retired, Anthony Hopkins has kept up a feverish pace, with recent roles including Pope Benedict XVI in “The Two Popes” and Odin in Marvel’s “Thor” movies. In his new film, “The Father,” Hopkins’s character, Antony, is beginning to suffer from dementia, but he doesn’t want to accept a caregiver when his daughter, played by Olivia Colman, can no longer live with him. The film brings the viewer into Antony’s experience, particularly his confusion about what’s happening around him. Hopkins tells Michael Schulman that he hasn’t dealt with dementia in his own family, thankfully, but that he wasn’t daunted by the role. “When you’re working with a superb script, it’s a road map, and you follow it,” he says. He advises younger actors, “Don’t act too much. Keep it simple.” Plus, the writer Patricia Lockwood, who’s just published her first novel, on how she created literature out of the fractured consciousness of an obsessive Twitter user.
26/02/2134m 49s

Atul Gawande on the COVID Vaccine, and Daniel Kaluuya on “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Atul Gawande, the staff writer and public-health expert, talks with David Remnick about the progress of the vaccine rollout, the new strains of the coronavirus, and whether we will ever take our masks off. And the actor Daniel Kaluuya talks about playing a man many regard as a martyr, in the new film “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Kaluuya stars as Fred Hampton, a young leader in the Black Panther Party, who was shot in his bed by Chicago police in a predawn raid. The actor talked with Kai Wright, the host of WNYC’s “The United States of Anxiety,” about how the F.B.I. and many whites saw Hampton’s affirmation of Black people as tantamount to terrorism.
23/02/2132m 9s

Congressman Jamie Raskin on Impeaching Donald Trump—Again

Tommy Raskin, a twenty-five-year-old law student, took his own life on New Year’s Eve, after a long battle against depression. His family laid him to rest on January 5th, and, the next day, his father went to the United States Capitol, where he serves in Congress. Representative Jamie Raskin, who represents Maryland’s Eighth District, had an enormous task ahead of him: he was mounting the defense of the Electoral College vote. When a violent mob incited by Donald Trump breached the building, Raskin’s life was in danger, along with the lives of his daughter and son-in-law, who had joined him that day for support. Just weeks later, when the House impeached Donald Trump for his role in inciting that insurrection, Raskin was the lead manager prosecuting the case. Raskin told David Remnick about the devastation of a suicide in the family, his condolence calls from President Biden and Vice-President Harris, and how he believed the entire Senate would unite to convict Donald Trump.
19/02/2118m 15s

The People Who Will Decide Donald Trump's Fate on Facebook

Facebook created the Oversight Board to adjudicate high-level claims about what can and can’t be posted, independent of the company’s leadership. This is a big deal: when Donald Trump was displeased by one of the board’s appointees, he contacted Mark Zuckerberg directly, as Kate Klonick learned in her reporting. And then Trump himself became the new board’s biggest test case. Facebook asked the board to rule on whether the former President should be reinstated, after he was banned from the platform for his role in inciting the Capitol riot. Klonick, an assistant professor of law at St. John’s University, had an unusual degree of access to Facebook to document the creation of the board. She talked with David Remnick about how independent the Oversight Board can be, how it may rule on Donald Trump, and why it’s so hard to get Jewish space lasers off Facebook.
12/02/2119m 55s

The Supreme Court of Facebook

Facebook is at the center of the hottest controversies over freedom of speech, and its opaque, unaccountable decisions have angered people across the political spectrum. Mark Zuckerberg’s answer to this mess is to outsource: Facebook recently created and endowed a permanent body it calls the Oversight Board—like a Supreme Court whose decisions will be binding for the company. And Facebook immediately referred to the board a crucial question: whether to reinstate Donald Trump on the platform, after he was banned for inciting the January 6th riot at the Capitol. In this collaboration between the New Yorker Radio Hour and Radiolab, the producer Simon Adler explores the creation of the Oversight Board with Kate Klonick, whose reporting appears in The New Yorker. What they learn calls into question whether Zuckerberg’s fundamentally American-style view of free speech can be exported around the world without resulting in sometimes dire consequences. 
12/02/2148m 56s

Amanda Petrusich Talks with the Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman

Amanda Petrusich describes herself as a “diehard fan” of folk music, but not when it feels precious or sentimental. That’s why she loves the Weather Station, whose songs, she thinks, “could take a punch to the face.” A solo project of the songwriter and performer Tamara Lindeman, the Weather Station’s new album, “Ignorance,” focusses on the theme of climate grief: Lindeman was responding to a devastating report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about the consequences of elevated carbon levels for human societies. If that sounds heady, Lindeman tells Petrusich that it may be her heritage. “There’s this thread in Canadian music of philosophical songwriting, and that’s how I like my lyrics to be. I like them to be about ideas as well as stories. . . . Most people want songs that just tell a story; they don’t want the complicated ideas. But I do.”   The Weather Station performs “Robber” and “Tried to Tell You,” with Evan Cartwright on percussion and Karen Ng on saxophone. 
09/02/2126m 59s

Trump Closed the U.S. to Asylum Seekers. Will Biden Reopen It?

Immediately after Inauguration, the Biden Administration began trying to unwind some of Donald Trump’s most notorious policies on immigration. But, over four years, Trump’s advisers made more than a thousand seemingly bureaucratic, technical rule changes that have had profound consequences. Sarah Stillman reports on the case of a mother and daughter who arrived at the southern border from Honduras. After the family ran afoul of local politicians and crime figures, the father was assassinated and an older daughter was raped in the presence of a police officer. Yet their appeal for asylum was rejected by a Trump-appointed judge, who went to unusual lengths to explain her reasoning. Replaying a recording of the hearing, Stillman walks through the series of legal barriers designed to send the women back into severe danger. “In order to qualify for asylum,” Stillman remarks, “you almost have to have been murdered to show that you could be murdered.”   (Many of the Trump Administration policies were driven by Stephen Miller, the ultra-hard-line immigration adviser; The New Yorker Radio Hour reported in 2020 on Miller’s influence.) 
05/02/2122m 52s

Kurt Vile Talks with Amanda Petrusich

Kurt Vile—that’s his real name—helped found the rock band the War on Drugs. But he left that band shortly after its début to make records of his own. His albums include “Childish Prodigy,” “Smoke Ring for My Halo,” and the recently released “Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (ep.)” Vile’s music has been characterized as “slacker rock,” but he takes songwriting seriously. He’s popular enough to have been honored with Kurt Vile Day in his home town of Philadelphia, but he tells the music critic Amanda Petrusich that he still can’t get a reaction from his hero, Neil Young. He joined Petrusich in the fall of 2018, at the New Yorker Festival, for a conversation and to perform a live version of “Pretty Pimpin.”    This segment originally aired April 12, 2019.  
02/02/2114m 10s

William Barber, and the Question of Faith and Politics

The North Carolina pastor William Barber, who spoke at the inaugural prayer service at the start of the Biden Administration, wants politics to be guided by faith and morality. But conservatives, Barber thinks, are deeply confused about Christ’s teachings. Then Paul Elie considers Biden as only the second Catholic President. Elie thinks that Catholics demoralized by decades of the Church’s abuse scandals are welcoming Biden as a “moral authority” outside the religious hierarchy.
29/01/2135m 40s

Unearthing Entombed

Now that we are some sixty years into the digital era, the early days of modern computers are growing distant and mysterious to us. The field of game archeology seeks to uncover the origins and uses of these technological artifacts, and to determine what they tell us about the industry that created them. The New Yorker writer Simon Parkin and his producer Alex Barron try some archeology of their own on a video game from 1982 called Entombed. With the tiny amount of memory on an Atari 2600 cartridge, Entombed accomplished something new, and to this day nobody can figure out how it worked. Was it really developed during a programmer’s drunken blackout?
26/01/2120m 11s

Jane Mayer and Evan Osnos on the Balance of Power at the Start of the Biden Administration

With Donald Trump rated the least popular President in the span of modern polling, President Biden might feel confident in claiming a mandate to advance his progressive agenda. Yet Democratic majorities in Congress are slim in the House of Representatives, and razor-thin in the Senate. That gives a small number of Democratic conservatives and moderate Republicans outsized influence over what legislation can pass. Senator Mitch McConnell, in a power-sharing arrangement with the Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, remains a force to be reckoned with. What will this balance of power mean for the new Administration? David Remnick poses this question to Jane Mayer, who has reported on McConnell’s tenure as a political operator, and to Evan Osnos, who covered Biden’s campaign and wrote a biography of the new President.
22/01/2129m 43s

How Far Has the F.B.I. Gone to Protect White Supremacy?

Today, Martin Luther King, Jr.,’s work on civil rights is celebrated as bringing about one of the turning points of the twentieth century in America. But, in his own time, King was a divisive figure, unloved by millions of Americans—many members of government among them. The F.B.I. surveilled him constantly. President Lyndon Johnson worked with King to shape benchmark civil-rights legislation, but, after King spoke out against the Vietnam War, he was effectively alienated by the Administration. Meanwhile, J. Edgar Hoover’s agents at the F.B.I. began active measures to destroy King’s reputation and end his public influence, threatening to expose an extramarital affair. The documentary “MLK/FBI,” directed by Sam Pollard, examines this low point in the federal government’s abuse of power. Pollard tells Jelani Cobb that Hoover must have wondered, “ ‘How dare a Black man try to change the America I grew up in?’ The America he knew and loved was on a road to change. And he was totally against it.” Even today, as a leaked document shows, some within the F.B.I. see Black activists’ calls for justice and recognition as potential dangers to be watched carefully.
18/01/2116m 49s

Donald Trump’s American Carnage Comes to Washington

Luke Mogelson and Susan B. Glasser report on the convulsions of Donald Trump’s final days in office, an unprecedented second impeachment of a President, and the threat of insurrectionary violence hovering over the entire nation. And a game designer offers insights on how the fantastical, wholly fictional narrative of QAnon has captivated so many people—to such dangerous effect.
15/01/2133m 5s

Questions about the Variant Virus, and Posthumous Albums by Pop Smoke and others

A new variant of SARS-CoV-2 is making its way around the world; in the U.S., it has been found in at least three states: California, Colorado, and New York. Joe Osmundson, an assistant professor of biology at New York University, speaks with the New Yorker staff writer Carolyn Kormann about why this new strain is particularly concerning. It has twenty-three mutations—far more than scientists would expect an RNA virus to have—which makes it at least fifty per cent more contagious than the original virus. The response, Osmundson says, should be to double down on reducing transmission by encouraging a culture of caution. Mask wearing, he warns, might be with us for a long time. Osmundson came of age as a gay man during the AIDS crisis, and he compares our pressing need for social distancing to the cultural change that took place during that era. “It was not a joy, growing up, to worry about H.I.V. every time I had sex, and to feel like if I don’t wear a condom, I might die,” he tells Kormann. “And yet that was part of how we cared for each other. It is a way to care.” Plus, a music editor and writer picks some favorites from a very specific genre: posthumous rap albums. 
12/01/2123m 3s

Democrats Take the Senate, and a Mob Storms the Capitol

On January 6th, pro-Trump fanatics stormed the Capitol, galvanized by the President’s claims that the 2020 election had been stolen. That day, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were declared the victors of their respective Senate runoff races against Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, two champions of Trump’s incendiary theories. Charles Bethea, a New Yorker staff writer based in Atlanta, joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss whether this is the end of an era or just the beginning.
08/01/2115m 29s

Bruce Springsteen Talks with David Remnick

Bruce Springsteen, an American music legend for more than four decades, published his autobiography, “Born to Run,” in 2016.  David Remnick called it “as vivid as his songs, with that same pedal-to-the-floor quality, and just as honest about the struggles in his own life.” In October of that year, Springsteen appeared at the New Yorker Festival for an intimate conversation with the editor. (The event sold out in six seconds.) This entire episode is dedicated to that conversation. Springsteen tells Remnick how, as a young musician gigging around New Jersey, he decided to up his game: “I’m going to have to write some songs that are fireworks . . . I needed to do something that was more original.” They talked for more than an hour about Springsteen’s tortured relationship with his father, his triumphant audition for the legendary producer John Hammond, and his struggles with depression. As Springsteen explains it, his tremendously exuberant concert performances were a form of catharsis: “I had had enough of myself by that time to want to lose myself. So I went onstage every night to do exactly that.”    This episode originally aired in 2016.  
01/01/2148m 53s

Atul Gawande and Andrew Bird Discuss the Art and Science of Cancer

Atul Gawande is a New Yorker staff writer, a practicing surgeon, and an indie-music fan, and he loves the work of the songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and whistling virtuoso Andrew Bird; Gawande has included Bird’s songs in playlists he uses in the operating room. In 2016, at the New Yorker Festival, Gawande spoke with Bird about songwriting, confronting illness, the nature of cancer, and whistling. Andrew Bird performed “Capsized,” in which he played all of the parts with the help of looping devices. Bird’s latest record is “Hark!” a Christmas-themed album. Atul Gawande was recently appointed to the incoming Biden Administration’s COVID-19 task force.
29/12/2019m 54s

Lawrence Wright on How the Pandemic Response Went So Wrong

The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine mark what we hope will be the beginning of the end of the global pandemic. The speed of vaccine development has been truly unprecedented, but this breakthrough is taking place at a moment when the U.S. death toll has also reached a new peak—over three thousand per day. How was the response to such a clear danger mismanaged so tragically? The New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Wright—who has reported on Al Qaeda and the Church of Scientology—has followed the story of the pandemic unfolding in the United States since the first lockdowns in March. Wright walks David Remnick through key moments of decision-making in the Trump White House: from the response to the first reports of a virus to botched mask mandates and testing rollouts, up through the emergency-use authorization of the vaccine. The Trump Administration bears much responsibility for the bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic, but Wright also finds ample evidence of larger, systemic breakdown. “The magnitude of our failure,” he tells David Remnick, “is unparalleled.” 
28/12/2031m 24s

Looking Back at an Unimaginable Year

It’s a cliché now, but by no means an overstatement, that the past twelve months have been unimaginable. This week, we’ll hear four short reflections on the events of 2020. Dhruv Khullar describes the early days of the pandemic, when he was taking care of patients in a COVID-19 ward. Anna Wiener visits California’s Big Basin Redwoods State Park, which burned during the catastrophic West Coast fire season that destroyed acreage close to the area of Massachusetts. Simon Parkin waxes nostalgic—already!—for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a video game that occupied untold hours of families at home together. And Kevin Young, The New Yorker’s poetry editor, picks two poems that stand as monuments to what we have lived through: “George Floyd,” by Terrance Hayes, and “The End of Poetry,” by Ada Limón, both of which were read by the authors.
25/12/2029m 7s

Bryant Terry “Blackifies” Fennel, and Ian Frazier Says Goodbye to 2020, in Verse

Bryant Terry is a chef, educator, food-justice activist, and cookbook author. He joined Helen Rosner virtually to cook a dish from his recent book, “Vegetable Kingdom”: citrus and garlic-herb braised fennel. The dish calls for marinating the bulb in mojo, a citrus-juice-based Cuban condiment more typically paired with meat. Terry says that he wants to “Blackify” fennel, as part of his project to “uplift” Black culinary traditions from the global African diaspora. Plus, Ian Frazier reads a poem written for the 2020 holiday season.
22/12/2018m 39s

The Republican Rift in Georgia, and the Protests Sweeping Nigeria

In the past month, a fracture has opened up in the G.O.P. between those who grudgingly accept Joe Biden’s win and those who falsely claim that the election was rigged. In Georgia, supporters of Donald Trump have turned on Republican election officials—in some cases, with threats of violence. The Atlanta-based staff writer Charles Bethea explains why this rift is dangerous for Republicans. Georgia’s two incumbent Senate seats are up for grabs in a runoff election in January; the G.O.P. needs to retain at least one to maintain its majority and to give Mitch McConnell near-veto power over the Biden agenda. But the more that the President and his followers attack the election, the less likely Republican voters are to turn out to vote—which would create an advantage for the Democratic Senate hopefuls. Bethea spoke with Gabe Sterling, an election official in Georgia; Lin Wood, an attorney who is fuelling conspiracy theories; and voters at a Trump rally in Valdosta. Plus, protests against police violence took place around the world this year; in Nigeria, they might lead to the undoing of a notoriously lawless and brutal police unit. 
18/12/2030m 41s

The “Times Square Two” Fight to Clear Their Names

As teens, in the nineteen-eighties, Eric Smokes and David Warren were arrested for the robbery and murder of a tourist near Times Square on New Years Eve; an acquaintance had accused them, receving a lighter sentence for an unrelated crime in exchange for coöperating with police. Warren refused a plea deal in which he would have had to accuse Smokes, and both received lengthy sentences. Over decades in prison, they maintained their innocence, but they faced an impossible dilemma: without parole, they might have spent the rest of their lives behind bars, and, in order to get parole, they would have to take responsibility and express remorse for a crime they insist that they didn’t commit. Now middle-aged men, and still best friends, Warren and Smokes continue to fight to vacate the charges against them. Jennifer Gonnerman looks at the impossible choices they faced in the justice system.
15/12/2026m 7s

Ayanna Pressley and Abigail Spanberger on the Rift in the Democratic Party

In November, when the Democratic Party lost seats in the House and a hoped-for victory in the Senate fizzled, centrist Democrats were quick to blame left-leaning progressives. Rhetoric about democratic socialism and defunding the police, they said, had scared away moderate voters and was costing the Party its influence. David Remnick speaks with two prominent House members on opposite sides of this debate: Abigail Spanberger, a centrist whose caustic comments about progressive rhetoric were leaked to the press; and Ayanna Pressley, one of the four progressives known as “the Squad,” who insists that “impact,” rather than compromise, is the best way to sway voters.
11/12/2020m 3s

Steve McQueen Comes Home

Steve McQueen is the director of four feature films, including the Oscar-winning “12 Years a Slave.” His new series, “Small Axe,” which is streaming on Amazon, consists of five portraits of the West Indian community in London from the late nineteen-sixties through the nineteen-eighties. For McQueen, the stories allowed him to reflect on painful aspects of his own upbringing in that time and place—like the way many children of immigrant families were shunted into “subnormal” schools. “I wanted to feel that I exist,” McQueen tells Richard Brody. “This is part of the narrative of the world, part of the narrative of life. And sometimes things like that never get seen or never get noticed or never get the recognition.” Plus, the staff writer Larissa MacFarquhar on what happens to families in Haredi Jewish communities when one parent leaves the faith.
08/12/2032m 33s

Atul Gawande on Taming the Coronavirus

Can a vaccine be distributed fairly? What will be the impact if a large number of people don’t take it—as they say they won’t? Atul Gawande, a New Yorker staff writer who was recently appointed to President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 task force, walks David Remnick through some of the challenges of this pivotal moment. F.D.A. approval of at least one vaccine is expected imminently, but hospitalizations are still rising rapidly around the country, and Gawande is concerned that news of an approval could lead to more irresponsible behavior. “If, once people start getting vaccinated, they start throwing the masks away and you can’t get them to do social distancing,” he said, “then you’re really relying on vaccination as the sole prong of the strategy.” More than forty per cent of people polled say that they are reluctant to take the new vaccines, but Gawande suspects that the real number of resisters may be much smaller. “Part of the reason it’s good that health-care workers would go first is [that] . . . health-care workers are everywhere. Which means we’re all going to know people who got vaccinated, and we’re going to see that they did all right.”
04/12/2017m 48s

Live at Home Part II: Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers’s tour dates were cancelled—she was booked at Madison Square Garden, among other venues—so she performs songs from her recent album, “Punisher,” from home. The critic Amanda Petrusich talks about the joys of Folkways records, and the novelist Donald Antrim talks about a year in which he suffered from crippling depression and rarely left his apartment, finding that only music could be a balm for his isolation and fear.
01/12/2032m 21s

Live at Home Part I: John Legend

Like everyone in the United States, John Legend has spent much of the past year in lockdown. He has been recording new music (via Zoom), performing on Instagram, and promoting his upcoming album. Though many artists have delayed releasing records until they can schedule concert dates—increasingly the most reliable revenue in the music industry—Legend didn’t want to hold back. The new album, “Bigger Love,” was written before the pandemic and the current groundswell of protest for racial justice, but his message about resilience and faith resonates. All art, Legend tells David Remnick, “is there to help us imagine a different future.”
27/11/2016m 39s

A Novel About a Secret Family, and Adam Gopnik on Being Old

Sanaë Lemoine’s début novel, “The Margot Affair,” is about a seventeen-year-old high-school student whose father, a high-ranking official, does not acknowledge her or her mother publicly. In telling Margot’s story, Lemoine drew upon her own complex family history: when she was twenty-one, she discovered that her father had a secret second family. In an act of literary justice, Margot decides to take action to force her father’s public acknowledgement, in a way that Lemoine herself did not. Plus, Adam Gopnik explores the predicament of an aging population. People of retirement age will outnumber children in the U.S. in about fifteen years, but they are poorly served by the field of design. Gopnik sets out to experience their difficulties firsthand.
24/11/2033m 53s

The Fight to Turn Georgia Blue

This month, Georgia flipped: its voters picked a Democrat for President for the first time since Bill Clinton’s first-term election. To a significant degree, Charles Bethea says, this was owing to political organizing among Black voters; after all, Donald Trump still received approximately seventy per cent of the white vote. Bethea tells David Remnick about the political evolution of the state, and he speaks with two Democratic organizers: Nsé Ufot, the C.E.O. of the New Georgia Project, and Royce Reeves, Sr., a city commissioner in Cordele, Georgia.
20/11/2015m 48s

Steve Martin and Jerry Seinfeld, and Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax

Between the two of them, Jerry Seinfeld and Steve Martin have nearly a century of experience in the delicate art of telling jokes. In a conversation with Susan Morrison during the 2020 New Yorker Festival, they discussed their long careers, learning how to adjust to new cultural forces, and the process of aging. Plus, Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax perform a piece of music that they have both been playing for more than forty years: Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 3 in A Major. “This is such open, hopeful music,” Ax said. Yet Beethoven signed one manuscript of the music, “amid tears and sorrow.” “I thought this was a good piece for this moment,” Ma told The New Yorker’s music critic Alex Ross. “Because people are suffering, and we do think that music can give comfort.”
17/11/2040m 1s

Jane Mayer on the G.O.P.’s Post-Trump Game

The President’s fantastical allegations about “illegal ballots” are being indulged by quite a number of prominent Republicans in Washington, who have declined to acknowledge Joe Biden as President-elect. If Republicans in some key state legislatures go further and appoint electors who disregard their states’ popular votes, the electoral chaos would be disastrous. To understand how the politicians may proceed, David Remnick spoke with Jane Mayer, who has written extensively about today’s GO.P. and the forces that drive it.
13/11/209m 44s

Jill Lepore on Democracy in Peril, Then and Now

In the nineteen-thirties, authoritarian regimes were on the rise around the world—as they are again today—and democratic governments that came into existence after the First World War were toppling. “American democracy, too, staggered,” Jill Lepore wrote in The New Yorker, “weakened by corruption, monopoly, apathy, inequality, political violence, hucksterism, racial injustice, unemployment, even starvation.” Lepore talks with David Remnick about how Americans rallied to save democracy, and how we might apply those lessons in a new era with similar problems.  This segment originally aired on January 31, 2020.
10/11/2017m 21s

A Chaotic Election Ends—Maybe?

No matter the vote count, legal challenges and resistance in Washington continue to make this election historically fraught. David Remnick speaks about the state of the race with some of The New Yorker’s political thinkers: Evan Osnos on Biden’s candidacy, Jeannie Suk Gersen on how the Supreme Court may respond, Susan Glasser on Mitch McConnell’s hold on power, and Amy Davidson Sorkin on Washington and the nation.
06/11/2032m 37s

Trump in Review

The Presidency of Donald Trump has been unlike any other in America’s history. While many of his core promises remain unfulfilled, he managed to reshape our politics in just four years. On the cusp of the 2020 election, David Remnick assesses the Trump Administration’s impact on immigration policy, the climate, white identity politics, and the judiciary. He’s joined by Jeannie Suk Gersen, Jonathan Blitzer, Bill McKibben, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and Andrew Marantz.
30/10/2048m 37s

Driving Through the Pandemic

It feels like a lifetime since the coronavirus pandemic transformed Americans’ daily lives, seven months ago, and fatigue is setting in even as the disease ravages new regions. The staff writer Jennifer Gonnerman talked with one of the people who has a unique perspective on those terrifying first weeks when the world seemed to be ending. Terence Layne is a bus operator for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and a chief shop steward for the Transport Workers Union. The city’s transit workers were among the hardest hit of all essential workers, and over a hundred and twenty M.T.A. employees have died from the virus. Yet Layne kept showing up for his shift, day after day, even as the city streets went quiet.  Jennifer Gonnerman wrote about Terence Layne in the August 31, 2020, issue of the magazine.
27/10/2019m 31s

The Future of Trumpism

Nicholas Lemann’s “The Republican Identity Crisis After Trump” explores what will happen to the movement Donald Trump created among Republicans. In his 2016 campaign, he ran as a populist insurgent against Wall Street, “élites,” and the Republican Party itself—mobilizing voters against their traditional leadership. But, in office, he has governed largely according to the Party’s priorities. If Trump loses next month’s election, what will become of the movement he created? Lemann spoke with David Remnick about three possible scenarios for Republicans. Plus, the New Yorker music critic Carrie Battan describes how the sound of Korean pop is becoming part of the American mainstream.
23/10/2027m 40s

Elvis Costello Talks with David Remnick

Elvis Costello’s thirty-first studio album, “Hey Clockface,” will be released this month. Recorded largely before the pandemic, it features an unusual combination of winds, cello, piano, and drums. David Remnick talks with Costello about the influence of his father’s career in jazz and about what it’s like to look back on his own early years.  They also discuss “Fifty Songs for Fifty Days,” a new project leading up to the Presidential election—though Costello disputes that the songs are political. “I don’t have a manifesto and I don’t have a slogan,” he says. “I try to avoid the simplistic slogan nature of songs. I try to look for the angle that somebody else isn’t covering.” But he notes that “the things that we are so rightly enraged about, [that] we see as unjust . . . it’s all happened before. . . . I didn’t think I’d be talking with my thirteen-year-old son about a lynching. Those are the things I was hearing reported on the news at their age.”   Costello spoke from outside his home in Vancouver, B.C., where a foghorn is audible in the background.
20/10/2018m 2s

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren on the State of Our Democracy

At the 2020 New Yorker Festival, earlier this month, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Elizabeth Warren joined Andrew Marantz to talk about the Presidential race, and how Joe Biden should lead if he wins the election. Plus, Dexter Filkins on the fierce electoral battle taking place in Florida, the largest of the swing states. With a large elderly-voter population and many distinct Latino communities, the state is demographically unique. Filkins spoke with the former sSenator Bill Nelson and others, including The New Yorker’s Stephania Taladrid, who has been reporting on the Latino vote in different states. 
16/10/2032m 37s

The Battle Over Portland

During the Presidential debate in September, Donald Trump was asked to denounce the white supremacists who were battling anti-racism protesters in Portland; instead, he blamed leftists for the violence and told the Proud Boys to “stand by.” The Pacific Northwest has a long history of white-supremacist violence, going back to the days of the Oregon Territory. Today, white nationalists have chosen to make liberal Portland a battleground. As clashes between anti-racism protesters and extremists intensify, one man remembers the basic injustices that brought him to the streets in the first place. 
13/10/2024m 22s

Anthony Fauci Then and Now, and the Writer-Director Radha Blank

At the moment that Donald Trump was leaving Walter Reed Hospital, not yet recovered from a case of COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci sat down with Michael Specter to discuss the coronavirus and its impact on America. For the President—and all of us counting on a vaccine to miraculously deliver us back to normalcy—Fauci offers a reality check. “Let’s say we have a vaccine and it’s seventy per cent effective. But only sixty per cent of the people [are likely to] get vaccinated. The vaccine will greatly help us, but it’s not going to eliminate mask-wearing, avoiding crowds, and things like that.” Plus, Vinson Cunningham talks with Radha Blank about her loosely autobiographical new film, which won her best director at Sundance.
09/10/2025m 44s

Marilynne Robinson on Faith, Love, and Politics

Marilynne Robinson’s new novel, “Jack,” is the fourth to be set among the world and people of a fictional town called Gilead, Iowa. The novelist grew up in Idaho, and, when she moved to the flatter country of Iowa, she “noticed that the landscape had a very high number of little colleges scattered over it,” she tells David Remnick, that were sometimes the oldest buildings in a town. “I wanted to know who had built these things, that this was how you would settle an empty landscape. And that was when I came across the abolitionist movement. Those were the people who did this.” From that history and culture, Robinson imagined Gilead and the old preacher named John Ames who narrates the first book in her series. “Jack” concerns the son of Ames’s closest friend, who was disgraced and left Gilead. The book finds Jack, who is white, in St. Louis and in a predicament: he is in love with a Black woman, at a time when an interracial relationship was a scandal and, in some places, a crime. Plus, the début novelist Douglas Stuart. After two decades of working in the fashion industry and dreaming about writing, Stuart recently published an acclaimed first novel, “Shuggie Bain.” He showed us around his old stomping grounds in New York’s garment district.
06/10/2019m 54s

The Election, as Seen from Swing States

Joe Biden leads the Presidential race in Pennsylvania by around ten per cent, according to most polls, but Eliza Griswold says you wouldn’t know it on the ground. Republicans in the state have organized a huge registration drive in recent years, and, while Griswold was driving to Biden’s working-class birthplace of Scranton, she saw Trump signs blanketing the lawns and roads. Peter Slevin, reporting from Wisconsin, tells David Remnick that Democrats there organized early, to avoid the mistake that Hillary Clinton made in 2016 of taking the state for granted. Even so, Biden’s campaign has declined to do risky in-person events, but the Trump campaign, until recently, has proceeded as if coronavirus had never happened. Plus, Andrew Marantz talks with a Tennessee pastor who’s struggling with the intersection of politics and faith.
02/10/2030m 21s

Keith Knight of “Woke,” and Jia Tolentino Picks Three

“Woke,” a new comedy on Hulu, is inspired by the life of its creator, Keith Knight. The show, which blends reality and animated fantasy, follows Keef, a Black cartoonist who is on the cusp of mainstream success when an ugly incident with the police changes his life. Suddenly, Keef is learning about racism from a chatty trash can and other talking cartoon objects, and he experiences a belated political awakening. Knight describes his work to his fellow-cartoonist Emily Flake as “accessible yet subversive.” “Making people laugh and then punching them in the face with a serious issue is the way to work,” he says. Plus, at home with a newborn, the staff writer Jia Tolentino recommends a book, a record, and a reality show that have been entertaining her lately.
29/09/2022m 8s

Can a Newcomer Unseat Lindsey Graham? Plus, Carlos Lozada on “What Were We Thinking”

Jaime Harrison may seem like a long shot to become a South Carolina senator: he is a Black Democrat who grew up on food stamps in public housing, and he has never held elected public office. But a Quinnipiac poll ties him with Lindsay Graham—each has the support of forty-eight per cent of likely voters. Harrison is not exactly a progressive upstart candidate: he’s spent much of his career as a lobbyist, and has worked in the office of House Majority Whip James Clyburn. “I’ve seen the power of how good public servants can really address the issues of what people deal with,” Harrison tells David Remnick. “The worst thing you can do as a public servant is to betray the trust of the people that you represent.” For Harrison, Graham’s decision to support a fast-track nomination to the Supreme Court proves that “his word is worthless.” Plus, Carlos Lozada, a Washington Post books editor, immersed himself in a new genre: books that purport to explain Donald Trump and his era.
25/09/2027m 36s

Miranda July’s Uncomfortable Comedies, and a Toast to Roger Angell

Miranda July’s third feature film is “Kajillionaire,” a heist movie centered on a dysfunctional family, and her first with a Hollywood star like Evan Rachel Wood. Like most of her work, it can be classified as a comedy, but just barely. “There’s some kind of icky, heartbreaking, subterranean feelings about family that I would not willingly have gone towards if it weren’t for the silly heist stuff,” July tells Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker’s fiction editor. July acknowledges that billing her work as comedy allows her the budget to do things that straight drama might not get: “I knew I wanted to make a bigger movie. It changes the medium, it changes the kinds of things you can think up.” Tresiman, who has edited July’s short stories and other writings for the magazine, talks with her about the thread of discomfort and embarrassment that runs through her work in every medium. Plus, David Remnick toasts the centennial of Roger Angell, who has contributed to The New Yorker since the Second World War with writings on baseball and every other topic under the sun.
22/09/2030m 50s

An Election in Peril

This Presidential race is a battle for the soul and the future of the country—on this much, both parties agree—and yet the pitfalls in the election process itself are vast. David Remnick runs through some of the risks to your vote with a group of staff writers: Sue Halpern on the possibility of hacking by malign actors; Steve Coll on the contention around mail-in voting and the false suspicions being raised by the President; Jeffrey Toobin on the prospect of an avalanche of legal challenges that could delay the outcome and create a cascade of uncertainty; and Jelani Cobb on the danger of violence in the election’s aftermath.
18/09/2019m 21s

The Composer Richard Wagner and the Birth of the Movies

The German composer Richard Wagner had an enormous influence not only on modern music but on artists of all stripes, and on political culture as well. His use of folkloric material to create modern epics won him the admiration of thinkers like W. E. B. Du Bois, and made him popular in Hollywood since the birth of film. Alex Ross, whose new book is called “Wagnerism,” tells David Remnick that Du Bois “might have seen ‘Black Panther’ as a kind of Wagnerian project.” And yet Wagner’s music was used to heroically represent the Ku Klux Klan in “The Birth of a Nation.” In fact, the composer’s strident anti-Semitism fed into the rise of Nazism in Germany. The many aspects of Wagner’s influence were often contradictory. “So much baggage arrives with him,” Ross says, but “we aren’t necessarily imprisoned by what the man himself thought.” The composer himself “starts to disappear” as his influence diffuses through society. “He becomes a mirror for what other people are thinking and feeling. And we have that right, we have that power with art. If there’s something about it we reject, we can—without forgetting or overlooking that darker aspect—remake it in our own image.” 
15/09/2016m 12s

What to Do with a Confederate Monument?

Across the South and well beyond, cities and states have been removing their Confederate monuments, recognizing their power as symbols of America’s foundational racism. In the town of Easton, Maryland, in front of the picturesque courthouse, there’s a statue known as the Talbot Boys. It depicts a young soldier holding a Confederate battle flag, and it honors the men who crossed over to fight for secession. It’s the last such monument in Maryland, outside of a battlefield or a graveyard. Casey Cep grew up nearby, and she’s watched as the town has awakened to the significance of the statue. Five years ago, when a resolution to remove it came before the county council, the vote was 5–0 opposing removal. But, during a summer of reckoning with police violence and structural racism, the statue came up for a vote again. Is time finally catching up with the Talbot Boys?
11/09/2033m 8s

N. K. Jemisin on H. P. Lovecraft, and Jill Lepore on the End of a Pandemic

N. K. Jemisin has faced down a racist backlash to her success in the science-fiction community. But white supremacy in the genre is nothing new, she tells Raffi Khatchadourian. Her recent novel “The City We Became” explicitly addresses the legacy of the genre pioneer H. P. Lovecraft, whose racism was virulent even by the standards of the early twentieth century. It’s not possible, Jemisin says, to separate Lovecraft’s ideology from his greatness as a fantasy writer: his view of nonwhite peoples as monstrous informed the way he wrote about monsters. Rather than try to ignore or cancel Lovecraft, Jemisin felt compelled to engage with him. Plus, the historian and staff writer Jill Lepore describes the desperate measures taken to protect children from polio during a pandemic no less frightening than our own, and how the disease was then forgotten.
08/09/2027m 13s

Bette Midler and the Screenwriter Paul Rudnick on “Coastal Elites”

This segment contains adult language. In the new film “Coastal Elites,” Bette Midler plays a New Yorker of a certain type: a retired teacher who lives on the Upper West Side, reads the New York Times with Talmudic attention, and is driven more than half mad by Donald Trump. So much so that one day she picks a fight in a coffee shop with a guy wearing a red MAGA hat, and her monologue takes place when she’s in police custody. The role isn’t too much of a stretch: she tells David Remnick about a long-ago dinner at the Trumps’ apartment that she recalls as a nightmare, and, just days after this interview, Midler tweeted some ill-advised comments about Melania Trump’s accent that she had to apologize for. Paul Rudnick wrote “Coastal Elites” as a series of monologues to be performed at the Public Theatre, but seeing no avenue to perform it during the pandemic, he reconceived of it as a film for HBO, starring big names like Kaitlyn Dever, Dan Levy, Sarah Paulson, and Issa Rae. And while he’s sad about the state of live theatre, Rudnick has no regrets about taking the show to television: “You actually got closer than you would if it had been staged live in the theatre,” he says. “You have the best possible seat in the house for a Bette Midler performance.”
04/09/2022m 18s

Rick Perlstein on Goldwater, Reagan, and Trump

“Reaganland” is the new volume in Rick Perlstein’s long chronicle of the American conservative movement; the four books, which he began publishing in 2001, run some 3,000 pages in total. While the author is left of center politically, the series has been praised by William F. Buckley, Jr., and George Will, among others. Andrew Marantz finds that Perlstein uniquely captures the mood of the country and how intangible, emotional factors in the electorate influence political shifts. Perlstein tells Marantz that Trump is neither an aberration from traditional conservative politics nor a continuation but a throwback to an earlier, unruly time in the Republican Party, when its ideologically more disparate umbrella contained open racists, anti-Semities, and conspiracy theorists not so unlike QAnon. The Party became ever more disciplined as the Goldwater era moved into what Perlstein calls Reaganland. “Disciplining what got said, behind closed doors and in public,” he says, “was an enormous part of the political work of [Reagan’s] Administration.”
28/08/2020m 19s

Everyone Knew Who Shot Ahmaud Arbery. Why Did the Killers Walk Free?

It has been six months since Ahmaud Arbery, a young Black man, was shot by three white men while he was out for a Sunday jog near his childhood home. The video of the killing, taken by one of the men who participated in it, could be said to have kindled the blaze that ignited after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.  There was no mystery to be solved in Arbery’s killing. It happened in broad daylight, and the men who did it were on the scene when police arrived. But the killers walked free, and no one was arrested for seventy-four days—until after the video was made public and caused a scandal. What, exactly, were prosecutors thinking? Caroline Lester spoke with Arbery’s mother, a local reporter, lawyers, and a district attorney to understand what happened in those seventy-four days. His case, she finds, highlights a fundamental problem for criminal-justice reform: we may change the laws that govern policing, but those laws have to be vigorously enforced. And district attorneys may have little incentive to do so.
25/08/2027m 23s

Will This Be Joe Biden’s F.D.R. Moment?

Joe Biden has been playing it safe during the coronavirus pandemic, but Evan Osnos got the chance to sit down with the nominee in person. It was too hot to sit outside, but the campaign staff didn’t want an outsider in Biden’s home, so the interview took place in a small house on the property that Biden’s late mother stayed in. In a wide-ranging conversation, Biden compares his position—should he win—to that of Franklin Roosevelt: taking office during a disaster, he argues, he would have an opportunity to effect a hugely ambitious agenda, but driven by pragmatism rather than ideology. (He was not comparing himself to Roosevelt, he hastened to add.) While the country is ever more partisan, Biden describes his centrism and his propensity for off-the-cuff remarks as an advantage. “The good news is the bad news,” he told Osnos. “Everybody knows me, and you guys know me, the good and bad. . . . It’s kind of hard to pin a label on someone that’s inconsistent with who they are. To make me out to be a revolutionary, it’s awful hard to do. Conversely, it’s awful hard to make me out to be a right-wing, very conservative Democrat.”
23/08/2032m 18s

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on HBO’s “Watchmen”

 HBO’s “Watchmen” was nominated for twenty-six Emmy Awards—more than any other show this year—including two for the music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (who are also the members of the industrial-rock band Nine Inch Nails). The music negotiates the show’s superhero plot with its real and traumatic historical context: the Greenwood Massacre, in which mobs attacked the Black community of Tulsa in 1921 and killed as many as three hundred people. It “brings this very difficult history together with the sheer bad-ass fun of fantasy,” Vinson Cunningham says. “That tension shows up on every level of the show, and definitely in its wide-ranging score.” The music in “Watchmen” is “sometimes creepy, sometimes mournful, and sometimes outrageous—it’s not just a mood-setter; it’s like its own character.” Cunningham spoke with Reznor and Ross about how they achieved this effect, musically. “I knew we were not going to let the show down,” Ross said, “because it was clear that this one matters.”
21/08/2021m 27s

Sarah Paulson, the Star of Netflix’s “Ratched”

The actor Sarah Paulson has appeared in “12 Years a Slave,” “The People v. O. J. Simpson,” and eight seasons of Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story.” Now she’s starring in a new Murphy production—the series “Ratched,” which premieres on Netflix next month. It’s a macabre, over-the-top fantasy describing the origin story of Nurse Ratched, the heartless, possibly not-quite-human villain of Ken Kesey’s novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Personified by Louise Fletcher in the 1975 film, Nurse Ratched is considered one of the great modern antiheroes. “I do think any character you play, particularly the ones that, on the surface, seem difficult, angry, monstrous—a lot of people don’t like to investigate that kind of stuff,” Paulson told the staff writer Michael Schulman at the 2019 New Yorker Festival. “But, to me, I think, it’s sort of our job.”
18/08/2010m 14s

Samantha’s Journey into the Alt-Right, and Back

Since 2016, Andrew Marantz has been reporting on how the extremist right has harnessed the Internet and social media to gain a startling prominence in American politics. One day, he was contacted by a woman named Samantha, who was in the leadership of the white-nationalist group Identity Evropa. (She asked to be identified only by her first name.) “When I joined, I really thought that it was just going to be a pro-white community, where we could talk to each other about being who we are, and gain confidence, and build a community,” Samantha told him. “I went in because I was insecure, and it made me feel good about myself.” Samantha says she wasn’t a racist, but soon after joining the group she found herself rubbing shoulders with the neo-Nazi organizer Richard Spencer, at a party that culminated in a furious chant of “Sieg heil.” Marantz and the “Radio Hour” producer Rhiannon Corby dove into Samantha’s story to understand how and why a “normal” person abandoned her values, her friends, and her family for an ideology of racial segregation and eugenics—and then came back again. They found her to be a cautionary tale for a time when facts and truth are under daily attack. “I thought I knew it all,” she told them. “I think it's extremely naïve and foolish to think that you are impervious to it. No one is impervious to this.”  Samantha’s story appears in Andrew Marantz’s book, “Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation.”   This episode originally aired on November 22, 2019.
14/08/2039m 26s

Isabel Wilkerson on America’s Caste System

In this moment of historical reckoning, many Americans are being introduced to concepts like intersectionality, white fragility, and anti-racism. But Isabel Wilkerson would like to incorporate a little-discussed concept into our national conversation: caste. Wilkerson is a writer and historian who spent the past decade working on a book that examines the history of race in this county. During the Jim Crow era, “every aspect of life was so tightly controlled and scripted and restricted,” she told David Remnick. “I realized that race was an insufficient term.” Plus, we’ll meet some of the volunteers and the former inmates who make up the Rikers Debate Project.
11/08/2033m 49s

The Documentary ICE Doesn’t Want You to See

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has been given a broad mandate to round up undocumented immigrants. The agency is infamously unwelcoming to journalists, but two filmmakers managed to get unprecedented access to its employees and detention facilities. Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz discuss how they got this closeup look at the agency as it developed ever-harsher policies designed to deter immigrants. Schwarz tells Jonathan Blitzer, who covers immigration for the magazine, that “if [ICE] can make life difficult enough, if [it] can send these messages . . . that this is the hell you’re going to get, then [they’ll] make these people leave.”     The documentary, “Immigration Nation,” is available on Netflix.
07/08/2016m 22s

Isabel Wilkerson on America’s Caste System

In this moment of historical reckoning, many Americans are being introduced to concepts like intersectionality, white fragility, and anti-racism. Isabel Wilkerson, the author of the best-selling book “The Warmth of Other Suns,” is introducing a little-discussed concept into our national conversation: caste. As she researched the Jim Crow system in the South, she realized that “every aspect of life was so tightly controlled and scripted and restricted that race was an insufficient term to capture the depth and organized repression that people were living under.” She explains to David Remnick that “the only word that was sufficient was ‘caste.’ ” The United States, Wilkerson argues, is a rigid social hierarchy that depends on a psychological as well as a legal system of enforcement. Her new book is “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” which has already been hailed as a modern classic. She says that “we need a new framework for understanding the divisions and how we got to where we are.”
07/08/2014m 50s

Jeffrey Toobin Explores Donald Trump’s “True Crimes and Misdemeanors”

The Mueller Report documented enough crimes and scandals in Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign and in his Administration to sink the career of any President before him. But Trump called the whole thing a win. What’s more, he is now running for reëlection—something no impeached President has ever done before. How did that happen? And why? David Remnick discusses these questions with The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin, whose new book, “True Crimes and Misdemeanors,” is an account of the investigation and impeachment of Donald Trump.
04/08/2014m 54s

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Violence in Chicago, and William Finnegan on the Power of Police Unions

Before she became the mayor of Chicago, last year, Lori Lightfoot spent nearly a decade working on police reform. Now Lightfoot is facing civil unrest over police brutality and criticism by the President for the homicide and shooting rates in her city. David Remnick spoke with Mayor Lightfoot about the state of the city, policing, and President Trump’s recent decision to send two hundred federal agents to help “drive down violent crime.” Plus, The New Yorker’s William Finnegan reports on what the repeal of an arcane law reveals about the conflict among police, protesters, and politicians.
31/07/2035m 21s

Black Italians Fight to Be Italian

In the United States, most of us take it for granted that every person born on American soil is granted citizenship; it’s been the law since 1868, with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment. But birthright citizenship is more the exception than the rule globally. Not one country in Europe automatically gives citizenship to children born there. Ngofeen Mputubwele, a producer for the New Yorker Radio Hour, has been reporting on a group of Black Italians—children of African immigrants—who are working to change the citizenship laws of Italy, which they consider a system of racist exclusion. They are artists, intellectuals, and activists who use film, literature, music, and fashion to fight for the right to belong to the country in which they were born; Mputubwele compares their movement to “the start of the Harlem Renaissance.” Bellamy Ogak, a Black Italian, tells him that she was moved by the sight of white Italians carrying “Black Lives Matter” signs at protests following the killing of George Floyd but was angered that they seemed to overlook racism at home: “Why do Black American lives matter more than Black Italian lives?” she asks.
28/07/2030m 14s

Emily Oster on Whether and How to Reopen Schools

The decision about whether to reopen schools may determine children’s futures, the survival of teachers, and the economy’s ability to rebound. Emily Oster, an economist at Brown University, reviews what we do and don’t know about the dangers of in-person classes. How likely are children to transmit the coronavirus? Will teachers spread it to one another? Oster talks about the data with Joshua Rothman and opens up a knottier question about this upcoming school year: How do we measure the trade-off between the lives that will inevitably be lost if schools open against the long-term negative effects of learning loss if schools stay closed? What will a school do when, inevitably, somebody dies? “We’re going to have to accept that there isn’t actually a right choice,” she says.
24/07/2016m 48s

Podcast Extra: André Holland on Shakespeare’s “Richard II”

This summer, the Public Theatre, in New York, is putting on Shakespeare’s history play “Richard II.” Because most theatre was cancelled, even outdoors, due to the pandemic, the Public partnered with WNYC to bring the show to the radio. The production stars André Holland as the weak, indecisive king who faces a rebellion by his cousin, Bolingbroke. Richard is not a “bad dude,” Holland says, but a man doing the best he can in a situation he cannot manage. The theatre critic Vinson Cunningham spoke with Holland about performing Shakespeare as a Black actor and his concerns about taking on the role of King Richard: What would a Black man playing the failed leader convey to an audience? Holland also explains why he thinks that Black actors are particularly suited to inhabiting the language of Shakespeare.  
23/07/2017m 16s

The Perils Prison Reform, and the Vision of a Visually Impaired Artist

In the past few years, there has been a growing bipartisan demand to reduce the extraordinarily high rate of incarceration in the United States, on both moral and fiscal grounds. But some of the key reforms, according to some prison abolitionists, are actually expanding the “carceral web”—the means by which people are subjected to control by the corrections system. “Reform operates according to a logic of replacement,” the journalist Maya Schenwar tells Sarah Stillman. Drug courts and electronic monitoring are widely popular reforms that, Schenwar argues, only funnel people back into physical prisons, and may cause addicts further harm. Stillman spoke with Schenwar and Victoria Law, the authors of “Prison by Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms.” Plus, Rodney Evans discusses his documentary film “Vision Portraits,” which has been streaming on PBS. It examines the creative processes of a writer, a dancer, and a photographer who are—like the filmmaker—visually impaired. 
21/07/2028m 4s

Chance the Rapper’s Art and Activism

My generation was taught that the civil-rights movement ended in the sixties, and that the Civil Rights Act put things as they should be,” Chance the Rapper tells David Remnick. “That belief was reinforced with the election of Barack Obama”—who loomed especially large to a boy from the South Side of Chicago. One of the biggest stars in hip-hop, Chance is also one of the most politically committed, and his art has always been closely tied to his commitment to lift up his community. Quite early in his career, he founded a nonprofit, SocialWorks, that invests in education in Chicago, and he has advocated for progressive candidates in city politics. But as politically aware as he is, Chance says that the protests following the death of George Floyd have given him a new consciousness of the struggle for racial justice. “This movement has shown us that we are very far from an equitable or an equal society. And that we will be the generation that fixes it.”
17/07/2022m 53s

Michaela Coel on Making “I May Destroy You”

The protagonist of “I May Destroy You,” a young woman named Arabella, has her drink spiked at a party and discovers afterward that she has been assaulted. She spends the rest of the show untangling what happened to her. And yet the HBO series is not a crime drama but a nuanced and sometimes comedic exploration of the emotional toll of surviving assault. The series—written and directed by, and starring, Michaela Coel—is based on Coel’s own experience. Coel tells Doreen St. Félix that she was assaulted while working on the second season of her celebrated BBC show “Chewing Gum.” She took notes about what happened, and some of that material made it into the new show, while other aspects are fictional. Of Arabella, who often wears a pink wig, Coel says, “You don't know where she begins and where I end.” 
14/07/2020m 34s

The State of the Biden Campaign

Joe Biden all but locked up the Democratic Presidential nomination just as the coronavirius crisis began triggering national lockdowns. Now he faces an economic disaster and a public-health emergency that prevent traditional campaigning, which may help Biden if swing voters blame the incumbent for the state of the nation. But Biden faces his own heavy baggage: admissions of inappropriate touching of women, an accusation of assault, and a blemished record on racial justice. Amy Davidson Sorkin, Eric Lach, Katy Waldman, and Jelani Cobb reflect on the Biden campaign and on the candidate’s past leadership. Cobb, who discusses Biden’s history with police reform and the 1994 Crime Bill, says that one thing is almost certain: whatever gaffes that the gaffe-prone candidate may utter, the Trump Administration will create a bigger headline five minutes later. Plus, David Remnick interviews the South Carolina congressman James Clyburn, who is the most senior African-American in Congress. Clyburn helped Joe Biden win the critical South Carolina primary, and he defends Biden’s controversial record on issues of racial justice.
10/07/2030m 18s

Laura Marling, a Briton in Los Angeles

The thirty-year-old British singer/songwriter Laura Marling has produced seven albums of dense but delicate folk music, starting when she was only eighteen. After several years touring on the road, she tells John Seabrook, she found herself in Los Angeles. Speaking at The New Yorker Festival in October, 2017, she explained how, growing up, her father played her a lot of Joni Mitchell, and the influence stuck. In Los Angeles, she felt that many of the musicians she had long idolized were still “there in the hills, looking down on the city.” Marling performed her songs “Daisy,” and “Wild Once,” accompanying herself on guitar.   This story originally aired January 26, 2018.
07/07/2015m 15s

Hasan Minhaj and Kenan Thompson

The 2019 New Yorker Festival was the twentieth edition of the annual event, and it was particularly star-studded. This program features interviews with Kenan Thompson, the longest-running cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” and Hasan Minhaj, the “Daily Show” veteran whose Netflix show “Patriot Act” won both an Emmy and a Peabody Award.
03/07/2034m 39s

Keeping Released Prisoners Safe and Sane

Starting this spring, many states began releasing some inmates from prisons and jails to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But a huge number of incarcerated people are mentally ill or addicted to drugs, or sometimes both. When those people are released, they may lose their only consistent access to treatment. Marianne McCune, a reporter for WNYC, spent weeks following a psychiatrist and a social worker as they tried to locate and then help some recently released patients at a time of uncertainty and chaos.  This is a collaboration between The New Yorker Radio Hour and WNYC’s “The United States of Anxiety.”
30/06/2029m 52s

Hilton Als’s Homecoming and the March for Queer Liberation

In the summer of 1967, a young black boy in Brooklyn was shot in the back by a police officer. The writer Hilton Als recalls the two days of “discord and sadness” that followed, and reflects on the connection between those demonstrations and this summer’s uprising following the killing of George Floyd. Plus, an activist group sees an opportunity to reclaim the mantle of gay pride after New York cancels its official parade. 
26/06/2019m 54s

Live at Home Part II: Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers’s tour dates were cancelled—she was booked at Madison Square Garden, among other venues—so she performs songs from her recent album, “Punisher,” from home. The critic Amanda Petrusich talks about the joys of Folkways records, and the novelist Donald Antrim talks about a year in which he suffered from crippling depression and rarely left his apartment, finding that only music could be a balm for his isolation and fear.
23/06/2031m 58s

Live at Home Part I: John Legend

Like everyone in the United States, John Legend has spent much of the past three months in lockdown. He has been recording new music (via Zoom), performing on Instagram, and promoting his upcoming album. Though many artists have delayed releasing records until they can schedule concert dates—increasingly the most reliable revenue in the music industry—Legend didn’t want to hold back. The new album, “Bigger Love,” was written before the pandemic and the current groundswell of protest for racial justice, but his message about resilience and faith resonates. All art, Legend tells David Remnick, “is there to help us imagine a different future.”
19/06/2016m 38s

The Supreme Court Weighs the End of DACA

This month, the Supreme Court is expected to decide a case with enormous repercussions: the Trump Administration’s cancellation of DACA, a policy that protects young immigrants commonly known as Dreamers. In November, Jonathan Blitzer spoke with two attorneys who argued the case, just before they went before the Court. Ted Olson, a noted litigator, is generally a champion of conservative issues, but he is fighting the Trump Administration here. Luis Cortes is a thirty-one-year-old from Seattle arguing his first Supreme Court case. He is himself an undocumented immigrant protected by DACA; if he loses, his own legal residency would be immediately threatened. Plus, the writer Bryan Washington, a native of Houston, remembers the social life of gay bars before the pandemic.
16/06/2019m 50s

Getting White People to Talk About Racism

George Floyd’s killing has prompted a national outcry and a wide reassessment of the ways in which racist systems are intrinsic to America. The anti-racism trainer Suzanne Plihcik argues that racism occurs even in the absence of people who seem like racists: “We are set up for it to happen,” she tells Dorothy Wickenden, and changing those systems will require sustained white action. Plus, the political reporter Eric Lach follows a congressional Democratic primary race to learn how the coronavirus pandemic has changed modern campaigning.
12/06/2030m 7s

Josephine Decker’s “Shirley”

The film critic Richard Brody regards Josephine Decker as one of the best directors of her generation, and picked her 2018 film “Madeline’s Madeline” as his favorite of the year. Decker, he says, reinvents “the very stuff of movies—image, sound, performance—with each film.” Decker’s new film is “Shirley,” starring Elisabeth Moss as the unique horror author Shirley Jackson. In it, Decker dives deeper into the themes that have also shaped her previous works: the creative drives and the relationships of women. Decker tells Brody that, though the film may be a step toward mainstream, she remains guided by “poetic logic.”
09/06/2011m 59s

Can Police Violence Be Curbed?

“To look around the United States today is enough to make prophets and angels weep,” James Baldwin wrote, in 1978. This week, the staff writer Jelani Cobb speaks with a Minneapolis activist who’s been calling to defund the city’s police department, and with a former police chief who agrees that an institution rooted in racial repression cannot easily be reformed. Plus, Masha Gessen warns that the protests and the coronavirus pandemic may create a sense of chaos that a would-be autocrat can exploit.
05/06/2037m 59s

Mark Cuban Wants to Save Capitalism from Itself

Mark Cuban identifies as a capitalist, but the billionaire investor, “Shark Tank” star, and Dallas Mavericks owner has been advocating for changes that point to a different kind of politics. Cuban tells Sheelah Kolhatkar that the economic crisis now requires massive government investment to stabilize the economy from the bottom up; he’s pushing a federal jobs program that would warm the heart of Bernie Sanders. “We are literally going from America 1.0,” he said, “to trying to figure out what America 2.0 is going to look like.” Plus, Katy Waldman picks three novels that provide comic relief; and Susan Orlean gets a life lesson in origami.
02/06/2029m 0s

Life After Lockdown, and the Politics of Blaming China

Since January, Peter Hessler has reported from China under quarantine. Now, as restrictions lift, he tells David Remnick about his return to normal life; recently, he even went to a dance club. But, although China’s stringent containment measures were effective enough to allow a rapid reopening, one scientist told Hessler, “There is no long-term plan. There’s no country that has a long term plan.” Back in Washington, Evan Osnos explains how blaming China for its sluggish response—and insisting that it cost lives worldwide—has become a touchstone of the Presidential race in America. The candidates have found a rare moment of agreement that it is time to get tough on China, and that their opponent is weak.
29/05/2021m 16s

Reading “The Plague” During a Plague, and Memorial Day by the Pool

When schools were closed owing to the coronavirus outbreak, the English teacher Petria May did the most natural thing she could think of: she assigned her tenth-grade class to read Albert Camus’s novel “The Plague,” which describes a quarantine during an outbreak of disease. Plus, a short story by Peter Cameron. In “Memorial Day,” a teen-age boy is forced to spend a beautiful Memorial Day with the two people he really can’t deal with: his mother and his new stepfather, Lonnie, who’s so young he’s sometimes mistaken for the narrator’s brother. The boy is talkative in school, and he writes letters to pen pals in prison, but at home he hasn’t spoken a word in months. Noah Galvin reads the story, which was originally published in The New Yorker in 1983.
25/05/2021m 13s

Larissa MacFarquhar on a Potentially Deadly Experiment, and Jelani Cobb on the Killing of Ahmaud Arbery

Abie Roehrig, a twenty-year-old undergraduate, has put his name on a list of volunteers for a human-challenge trial to test the efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine. A human-challenge trial for a vaccine would be nearly unprecedented: it would entail giving subjects a candidate vaccine against the virus, and then infecting them deliberately to test its efficacy more quickly than a traditional, safer vaccine trial. Larissa MacFarquhar talks about this highly controversial proposal with the epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch, who supports such trials for COVID-19, and the virologist Angela Rasmussen, who feels that the scientific benefits are too limited to justify the enormous risks. Plus, Jelani Cobb speaks with the legal scholar Ira P. Robbins about the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, and why prosecutors declined  for months to arrest the white man who killed him. In the Arbery case, Robbins sees a fatal confusion of citizen’s-arrest laws, stand-your-ground doctrine, and racial profiling. 
22/05/2028m 55s

Perfume Genius Talks with Jia Tolentino, and Anthony Lane Examines Outbreaks in the Movies

The New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino has been following the artist Mike Hadreas, who records as Perfume Genius, since his first album; he has just released his fifth, “Set My Heart on Fire Immediately.” He sings about his life and his sexuality in a style that evokes Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison—simultaneously vulnerable and swaggering. “That’s the music I’ve listened to my whole life . . . but felt like there was always not completely room for me in the music,” he tells Tolentino. Plus, Anthony Lane, having completed an extensive review of plague-theme cinema, shares three picks with David Remnick: a German silent picture nearly a century old, a gritty piece of realism from the golden age of Hollywood, and a more recent film that everybody’s been watching these last three months.
19/05/2023m 2s

Jill Lepore on How a Pandemic Ends

Jill Lepore discusses the “stay at home” campaigns that ran on radio stations during the polio years, devised to keep children indoors; she is especially fond of a program that featured a young Hubert Humphrey reading comics. Lepore finds solace in revisiting the desperate measures of that era. “One of the reasons I study history,” she says, “is I like to see how things began, so I can imagine how bad things end.” She describes the momentous day, in 1955, when Dr. Jonas Salk and his colleagues announced the success of the polio vaccine trials. “That’s the great blessing of a vaccination program,” Lepore says. “We forget how bad the disease was.” Plus, David Remnick speaks with three mayors who have to negotiate the task of reopening their cities safely.
15/05/2027m 18s

The Pandemic and Little Haiti, Plus Thomas McGuane and Callan Wink Go Fishing

For more than fifteen years, the fiction writer Edwidge Danticat has called Miami’s Little Haiti home. The neighborhood is full of Haitian émigrés like herself, many of whom support families back home. Though the virus has barely touched Haiti, the economic devastation it has wreaked on the U.S. will have dire consequences on the island. Over the years, Danticat has watched as Haiti’s struggles—political, economic, and environmental—have affected her friends and neighbors in Florida. “People would often say, ‘Whenever Haiti sneezes, Miami catches a cold,’ ” says Danticat. “But the reverse is also true.” Plus, two Western writers—Thomas McGuane and Callan Wink, separated by more than forty years in age—go fishing on Montana’s Yellowstone River, and share a pointed critique of “Western writing.”
12/05/2026m 18s

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on COVID-19, Trump, and the Accusations Against Joe Biden

Michigan is the tenth-largest state by population, but it has the third-largest number of COVID-19 deaths. Governor Gretchen Whitmer enacted some of the country’s most stringent stay-at-home orders, even forbidding landscaping and fishing. Furious and sometimes armed protesters became national news. Meanwhile, Whitmer’s outspoken criticism of the Trump Administration’s efforts on behalf of the states made her a frequent target of the President. “I didn’t ask to be thrown into the national spotlight,” Whitmer tells Susan B. Glasser. “I’m just trying to do my job, and I’m never going to apologize for that. Because lives are at stake here.” Whitmer’s national visibility has brought rumors that she is on the short list for Joe Biden’s Vice-Presidential pick. Whitmer is a sexual-assault survivor herself, and she explains why she stands by Biden despite the accusation made by his former aide Tara Reade.     Susan B. Glasser also speaks with David Remnick about the tensions that have emerged between the federal government and the states. While mostly targeting Democratic governors, Trump has also criticized some in his own party. 
08/05/2024m 19s

The Pandemic Is Wreaking Havoc in America’s Prisons and Jails

Three months ago, Kai Wright, the host of WNYC’s the United States of Anxiety, joined David Remnick for a special episode about the effects of mass incarceration and the movement to end it. Now, as the coronavirus pandemic puts inmates in acute and disproportionate danger, that effort may be gaining new traction. Wright and Remnick reconvene to examine the COVID-19 crisis in prison and its political effects. David Remnick also speaks with Phil Murphy, the governor of New Jersey, who has signed an executive order to release certain at-risk inmates from states prisons—the sort of measure that would once have been deeply unpopular and risky. “I haven’t really spent any time on the politics,” Governor Murphy says. “In all the steps we’ve taken, we’re trying to make the call as best we can, based on the facts, based on the data, based on the science.” And Kai Wright interviews Udi Ofer, the head of the A.C.L.U.’s Justice Division, who notes that “the communities that the C.D.C. has told us are most vulnerable to COVID-19 are exactly the communities that are housed in our nation’s jails and prisons,” including a disproportionately older population among inmates. Given the lack of social distancing and, in many cases, substandard hygienic conditions, Ofer says that reducing the inmate population “literally is a life-and-death situation.”
05/05/2022m 27s

The Economic Fallout of COVID-19; plus Mike Birbiglia, and Chika

As of the end of April, thirty million people have filed for unemployment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet many believe that this is only the first stage or initial shock of the financial system’s abrupt halt. “It’s more like a heart attack than the Great Depression,” John Cassidy explains. He speaks with David Remnick about the ways that this crisis could play out, and when and how the economy could bounce back. Plus, we meet Chika, a rapper who was hailed by P. Diddy as “best of the new school.” And Mike Birbiglia imagines his ideal death.
01/05/2028m 11s

Bonus Episode: Why COVID-19 Is Killing Black People

As black people die from COVID-19 at disproportionate rates, the disease is highlighting health disparities we’ve long known about. Kai Wright, the host of WNYC’s “The United States of Anxiety,” speaks with Arline Geronimus, a public-health researcher, about what happens to black people’s bodies—on a cellular level—while living in a racist society. Plus, we hear from one essential worker in New York who’s doing his best to weather the pandemic.
29/04/2029m 53s

A City at the Peak of Crisis

Experts predicted that Wednesday, April 15th would be a peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, its epicenter. On that day, a crew of New Yorker writers talked with people all over the city, in every circumstance and walk of life, to form a portrait of a city in crisis. A group-station manager for the subway talks about keeping the transit system running for those who can’t live without it; a respiratory therapist copes with break-time conversations about death and dying; a graduating class of medical students get up the courage to confront the worst crisis in generations; and a new mother talks about giving birth on a day marked by tragedy for so many families. The hour includes contributions from writers including William Finnegan, Helen Rosner, Jia Tolentino, Kelefa Sanneh, and Adam Gopnik, who says, “One never knows whether to applaud the human insistence on continuing with some form of normal life, or look aghast at the human insistence on continuing with some form of normal life. That's the mystery of the pandemic.”
24/04/2049m 10s

Rachel Carson Dreams of the Sea

Before she published “Silent Spring,” one of the most influential books of the last century, Rachel Carson was a young aspiring poet and then a graduate student in marine biology. Although she couldn’t swim and disliked boats, Carson fell in love with the ocean. Her early books—including “The Sea Around Us,” “The Edge of the Sea” and “Under the Sea Wind”—were like no other nature writing of their time, Jill Lepore says: Carson made you feel you were right there with her, gazing into the depths of a tide pool or lying in a cave lined with sea sponges. Lepore notes that Carson was wondering about a warming trend in the ocean as early as the 1940s, and was planning to explore it after the publication of “Silent Spring.” If she had not died early, of cancer, could Carson have brought climate change to national attention well before it was too late?  Excerpts from Carson’s work were read by Charlayne Woodard, and used with permission of Carson’s estate.  This segment was originally broadcast on September 14, 2018.
21/04/2017m 41s

Bill McKibben and Elizabeth Kolbert on the Pandemic and the Environment

Bill McKibben and Elizabeth Kolbert join David Remnick to talk about the twin crises of our time: the coronavirus pandemic and the climate emergency. During the COVID-19 national emergency, the Trump Administration has loosened auto-emissions standards, and has proposed easing the controls on mercury released by power plants, among other actions. With protesters no longer able to gather, construction on the controversial Keystone Pipeline has resumed. Still, McKibben and Kolbert believe that the pandemic could remind the public to take scientific fact seriously, and possibly might change our values for the better. Plus: Carolyn Kormann speaks with a disease ecologist who hunts for coronaviruses and other deadly pathogens in the bat caves where they originate.
17/04/2032m 28s

War and Peace and Pandemic, and Roger Angell on Baseball Seasons Past

The contributor Yiyun Li is a fiction writer who also teaches creative writing at Princeton University. “The campus is empty,” she tells Joshua Rothman. “The city is quiet. It has a different feeling. And it’s a good time to read ‘War and Peace.’ ” When the coronavirus outbreak began, Li reached for Tolstoy’s epic of Russia during the Napoleonic Wars; there is no better book, she feels, for a time of fear and uncertainty.  So as many of us were retreating to our homes in March, Yiyun Li launched a project called Tolstoy Together, an online book club in which thousands of people, on every continent except Antarctica, are participating. In the morning, Li posts thoughts about the day’s reading (twelve to fifteen pages), and participants reply, on Twitter and Instagram, with their own comments. “War and Peace,” Li believes, is capacious enough to be endlessly relevant. “The novel started with Annette having a cough. And she said she was sick, she couldn't go out to parties, so she invited people to her house for a party and everybody came. And so that was ironic. I have read the novels so many times. This is the only time I thought, ‘Oh, you know, a cough really means something. These people really should be careful about life.’ ” Plus, with the coronavirus pandemic delaying the start of the M.L.B. season, David Remnick revisits a conversation with baseball’s greatest observer: the Hall of Fame inductee Roger Angell.
14/04/2031m 36s

Amid a Pandemic, Catharsis at Seven O’Clock

David Remnick on the hope and catharsis that he finds in New York City’s daily mass cheer, which celebrates all those who are keeping the city alive at their peril. Plus, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on the inequality of COVID-19. On the surface, it may seem to be a great leveller—princes and Prime Ministers, musicians and Hollywood A-listers, NBA players, and other prominent people have made headlines for contracting the virus—but the pandemic exacerbates the inequality of the American health-care system. Minorities, and particularly African-Americans, account for a greatly disproportionate number of deaths in places around the country. Taylor explains that the disparity is caused not only by underlying medical conditions that are more prevalent among the poor; even the basic preventative measures urged on Americans by the C.D.C., such as social distancing and sheltering in place, are less accessible in black communities. 
10/04/2018m 32s

Exploitation in the Amazon

This week, Jair Bolsonaro, the President of Brazil, ignored the advice of his own health minister, and went for a walk in the capitol, declaring “We’ll all die one day.” Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist elected to the Presidency in 2018, is known for flouting conventional wisdom. He is especially cavalier about the environment. Several weeks ago, he introduced a bill to allow commercial mining on protected indigenous lands in the Amazon. Jon Lee Anderson, a New Yorker staff writer, recently returned from Brazil, where he was reporting on the effects of these exploitative practices on one indigenous group in particular, the Kayapo. He says that Bolsonaro’s mining bill, like so many of his more radical policies, will have effects that are almost impossible to predict. “The indigenous people are the last defense for some of the world’s last wilderness areas. Its habitats, its ecosystems, the animals that live within it, the medicinal plants that we have yet to even know exist—the indigenous people turn out to be the final custodians,” Anderson says. “And, in some tragic cases, they are also the handmaidens to their own destruction. And it’s always been that way, and that’s what people like Bolsonaro understand.”   Audio used from the video of the late Chief Mro’o’s was produced by Glenn Shepard, an anthropologist at the Goeldi Museum, in Brazil. Additional music by Filipe Duarte.
07/04/2023m 38s

Why We Underestimated COVID-19, and DJ D-Nice’s Club Quarantine

Despite the warnings of politicians and health-care professionals, many have failed to treat the coronavirus pandemic as a serious threat: the spring breakers on beaches, the crowds in city parks. Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning expert on human behavior, speaks with Maria Konnikova about why the threat posed by COVID-19 defies intuitive comprehension. “There should be clear guidelines and clear instructions. We all ought to know whether we should open our Amazon packages outside the door or bring them in,” Kahneman said. “It’s not a decision individuals should consider making on the basis of what they know, because they don’t know enough to make it.” Plus: the story of a nine-hour virtual party that attracted hundreds of thousands of attendees—including Rihanna, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Drake.
03/04/2026m 58s

Alcoholics Anonymous Goes Remote, and Jia Tolentino on Quarantine

An old Alcoholics Anonymous slogan goes, “Seven days without an A.A. meeting makes one weak.” But COVID-19 has made in-person meetings impossible in many situations, removing the foundation on which many alcoholics build their sobriety. Reagan Reed, the executive director of the New York Intergroup Association of Alcoholics Anonymous and a member of A.A., has watched as nearly a thousand regular meetings across the state have been cancelled. Earlier this month, she made the difficult decision to close the organization’s central office. The Radio Hour’s Rhiannon Corby spoke with Reed about the challenges of staying sober in a tumultuous time, and how A.A. continues to help people in recovery. Plus: social distancing remains the best way to contain the coronavirus, but many are starting to feel the emotional toll of constant isolation. David Remnick called Jia Tolentino, a staff writer at The New Yorker, in search of a few things to help lift our spirits.
31/03/2016m 5s

E.R. Doctors on the COVID-19 Crisis, and the Politics of a Pandemic

Across the country, doctors and nurses are being forced to care for an increasing number of COVID patients with dwindling supplies and no clear end to the outbreak in sight. Two emergency-room doctors, Jessica van Voorhees, in New York City, and Sana Jaffri, in Washington State, describe the scope of the crisis as seen from their hospitals. “It would be typical in a twelve-hour shift to intubate one patient who is critically ill, maybe two,” Dr. Voorhees says. “The last shift I worked, I intubated ten patients in twelve hours.” Plus: it’s been just over a month since Donald Trump gave his first public statement about the coronavirus—saying, in essence, that the virus did not pose a substantial threat to the United States. Why did he so dramatically underplay the risks of COVID-19? “With Trump, sometimes the answer is pretty transparent,” Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker’s Washington correspondent, told David Remnick, “and, in this case, I think the answer is pretty transparent. He didn’t want anything to interrupt his reëlection campaign plan, which entirely hinged on the strength of the U.S. economy.”
27/03/2033m 48s

The Shock Wave of COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic brings the country to a standstill, David Remnick and New Yorker writers examine the scope of the damage—emotional, physical, and economic. Remnick speaks with a medical ethicist about the painful decisions that medical workers must make when ventilators and hospital beds run out; John Cassidy assesses how the economic damage will compare to the Great Depression; and an E.R. doctor describes her fear for her safety in treating the onslaught of COVID-19 without adequate supplies.
20/03/2049m 0s

Astrid Holleeder’s Crime Family

All her life, Astrid Holleeder knew that her older brother Willem was involved in crime; in their tough Amsterdam neighborhood, and as children of an abusive father, it wasn’t a shocking development. But she was stunned when, in 1983, Willem and his best friend, Cornelius van Hout, were revealed to be the masterminds behind the audacious kidnapping of the beer magnate Alfred Heineken. Although he served some time for the crime, it was only the beginning of the successful career of Holleeder. He became a celebrity criminal; he had a newspaper column, appeared on talk shows, and took selfies with admirers in Amsterdam. He got rich off of his investments in the sex trade and other businesses, but kept them well hidden. But when van Hout was assassinated and other of Holleeder’s associates started turning up dead, Astrid suspected that her brother had committed the murders. She decided to wear a wire and gather the evidence to put him away. If that didn't work, she told the New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, she would have to kill Willem herself. Willem is on trial now for multiple murders, and Astrid is testifying against him. Living in hiding, travelling in disguise, she tells Keefe the story of her complicity and its consequences. Keefe’s story about Astrid Holleeder, “Crime Family,” appeared in the magazine in 2018.   This segment originally aired on August 3, 2018.
17/03/2029m 56s

Life Under Quarantine

Since its outbreak last year, the coronavirus COVID-19 has thrown the world into disarray. Travel to the U.S. from Europe has been suspended for thirty days; financial markets have plunged; Saudi Arabia cancelled the Hajj—the list of impacts is already infinite. In China, where the virus started, eight hundred million people are under some kind of restriction. One of them is Peter Hessler, who is currently based in Chengdu, and who has been quarantined with his family since January. New cases of the virus have been falling recently, which the Communist Party touts as a sign of its success, but Hessler has concerns about the costs of mass quarantine. “When you’re building a society, it’s not just about numbers or the death rate. Mental health is a big issue, and being free from fear is a big part of that,” he says. “And the public-health people will tell you that it’s better to have an overreaction than an underreaction, but I think there may be a point where that’s not true.” Plus: the staff writer Lawrence Wright recently wrote a novel—yet to be published—about a pandemic that sounds a lot like COVID-19. “The End of October” is a work of fiction and firmly in the thriller genre, but what he imagined in it turns out to be eerily close to what we are experiencing now. “I read the paper and I feel like I’m reading another chapter of my own book,” he tells David Remnick. 
13/03/2019m 55s

William Gibson on the End of the Future, and a Visit with Thundercat

William Gibson has often been described as prescient in his ability to imagine the future. His special power, according to the staff writer Joshua Rothman, is actually his attunement to the present. In “Agency,” Gibson’s new novel, people in the future refer to our time as “the jackpot”—an alignment of climate effects and other events that produce a global catastrophe. The apocalyptic mind-set has already suffused our culture, Gibson believes. “How often do you hear the phrase ‘the twenty-second century’? [You] don’t hear it,” he points out. “Currently we don’t have a future in that sense.”  Plus: Briana Younger interviews Thundercat, a bassist, producer, and songwriter who was a key collaborator of Kendrick Lamar on the album “To Pimp a Butterfly,” and who makes quirky, slightly absurdist music of his own.
10/03/2027m 56s

And Then There Were Two

Just over a week ago, Bernie Sanders seemed to be the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. Then came some prominent withdrawals from the race, and, on Super Tuesday, the resurgence of Joe Biden’s campaign. (Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii remains in the race, but has no chance of winning the nomination.) But the narrowing of the field only highlights the gulf between the Party’s moderate center and its energized Left.  David Remnick talks with Amy Davidson Sorkin, a political columnist for The New Yorker, about the possibility of a contested Convention. Then Remnick interviews Michael Kazin, an historian and the co-editor of Dissent magazine. Kazin points out that Sanders is struggling against a headwind: even voters sympathetic to democratic socialism may vote for a pragmatist if they think Biden is more likely to beat the incumbent President in November. But Sanders seems unlikely to moderate his message. “There is a problem,” Kazin tells David Remnick. “A divided party—a party that’s divided at the Convention—never has won in American politics.”
06/03/2022m 6s

President Mike?

Eleanor Randolph finished her biography of Michael Bloomberg in June, 2019, just as the former mayor decided not to run for President. “He didn’t want to go on an apology tour,” Randolph tells David Remnick. Bloomberg knew he would be called to answer for his vigorous pursuit of unconstitutional stop-and-frisk policing, for accusations against him of sexual misconduct, and for his history as a Republican. Ultimately, Bloomberg not only entered the race but has spent more than four hundred million dollars on political ads to defeat another New York billionaire, the incumbent. Randolph and Andrea Bernstein, a reporter for WNYC who covered Bloomberg’s three terms as mayor, sit down with David Remnick to discuss the candidate’s time in Gracie Mansion, his philosophy of governing, and his philanthropy. Whereas Trump’s political contributions have been unabashedly transactional, Bloomberg’s generous philanthropy also has an expected return. “All the money that he gave to philanthropies and charities were a way of doing good in the world, sure, but they were also a way of making him more powerful as mayor,” Bernstein says. “Everything with Bloomberg, there’s a countervailing thing. Something benefits somebody: it also might benefit him, it also might benefit billionaires from Russia.”
02/03/2021m 23s

Rose McGowan on Harvey Weinstein’s Guilty Verdict, and Neuroscience on the Campaign Trail

After a Manhattan jury found Harvey Weinstein guilty of two of the sex crimes he was charged with, Ronan Farrow sat down with the actress Rose McGowan, one of the women to speak out against the movie producer, whom she has said raped her in 1997, at a film festival. McGowan tweeted about the assault in 2016, not naming Weinstein but leaving no doubt as to whom she was accusing. “Could you have imagined at that point,” Farrow asks her, that “we’d be sitting here talking about Harvey Weinstein getting convicted?” McGowan takes a long pause. “No. But I did think there could be a massive cultural shift. That I knew.” McGowan later went on the record for Farrow’s reporting on the Weinstein case, which received a Pulitzer Prize and helped to launch the #MeToo movement. “It’s been an odyssey for both of us,” she said. Plus, using E.E.G. sensors and heart-rate monitors, a company investigates how political candidates engage our attention and emotions.
28/02/2029m 31s

Rolling the Dice with Russia, and a Conversation with Pam Grier

The complexity of world events can’t be modelled by a flow chart or even the most sophisticated algorithms. Instead, military officers, diplomats, and policy analysts sometimes turn to an old but sophisticated set of tools: war games. Simon Parkin observed officials playing one in order to predict and contain a potential geopolitical conflict. And Michael Schulman speaks with Pam Grier, the pioneering star of blaxploitation films like “Coffy” and “Foxy Brown,” about her singular career in Hollywood. 
21/02/2025m 36s

Stephen Miller, the Architect of Trump’s Immigration Plan

Donald Trump began his Presidential bid, in 2015, with an infamous speech, at Trump Tower, in which he said of Mexican immigrants, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” But it was not until a former aide to Jeff Sessions joined Trump’s campaign that the nativist rhetoric coalesced into a policy platform—including the separation of children from their families at the border. Jonathan Blitzer, who writes about immigration for The New Yorker, has been reporting on Stephen Miller’s sway in the Trump Administration and his remarkable success in advancing an extremist agenda. “There has never been an American President who built his campaign around the issue of immigration and later won on that campaign on immigration. Trump was the first and only President really ever to do it,” Blitzer tells David Remnick. Despite this influence, Miller remains largely behind the scenes. Blitzer explains why: “He knows that the kiss of death in this Administration is to be identified as the brains behind the man. He can’t let on that he’s the one who effectively is manipulating Trump on these issues.” 
21/02/2025m 4s

Bernie Sanders Ascends, and a High School Simulates the Election

Bernie Sanders’s win in New Hampshire has established him as the Democratic Presidential front-runner. Centrist Democrats regard him not as a challenge but more like an existential threat: they assume that only a moderate—and certainly not a democratic socialist—can sway critical swing voters and win in November. Are they right? David Remnick speaks with Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Attorney General who served as co-chair of the Democratic National Committee after that organization infamously tried to spike Sanders’s candidacy in 2016. Ellison says that the clarity of Sanders’s mission and his appeal to economic problems can win over struggling voters in both parties. Then Nathaniel Rakich, a pollster for FiveThirtyEight, presents what the data indicates about Sanders’s chances. Plus, a civics project goes off the rails when high-school students run a simulation of the 2020 primaries. 
14/02/2038m 5s

Gish Jen’s “The Resisters”

In the near future, the Internet is sentient and her name is Aunt Nettie. Gish Jen’s novel “The Resisters” imagines a dystopian world with two classes: the “netted” (people who work) and the “surplus” (people who merely consume). The book follows Gwen, a terrific baseball pitcher from a surplus family that’s politically active. When her pitching attracts the attention of Aunt Nettie, she must choose between realizing her talents or staying with her family and being a resister. Baseball, for Jen, epitomizes the magic of chance and natural talent. “I wanted to write about our times,” she tells Katy Waldman. “But, to write in a realistic mode about our times and everything that’s happening, we would have nothing but shock and anger.”    “The Resisters” was published on February 4th.
14/02/2012m 34s

The Black Vote in 2020

The last time a Democrat won the White House, he had enormous support from black voters; lower support from black voters was one of many reasons Hillary Clinton lost in 2016. Marcus Ferrell, a political organizer from Atlanta, tells Radio Hour about the importance of turning out “unlikely voters” in order to win an election, which, for him, means black men. Jelani Cobb, a New Yorker staff writer and historian, points out that the four Democratic front-runners, all of whom are white, may struggle to get the turnout they need. Cobb tells David Remnick that Joe Biden’s strong lead may begin to fall after his weak showing among largely white voters in Iowa; Pete Buttigieg has very low support among South Carolina voters, and even faces opposition from black constituents in his home town, South Bend. But Bernie Sanders, Cobb says, seems to have made inroads with at least younger black voters since 2016. Plus, a New Yorker staffer picks three favorites.
07/02/2024m 59s

Louis C.K.’s Return to the Stage

Louis C.K. is touring comedy clubs for the first time since accusations of sexual misconduct seemed to end his career, in 2017. Several women charged that C.K. had exposed himself and masturbated in front of them. (Louis says that he believed he had their consent.) The New Yorker staff writer Hilton Als saw C.K.’s show at Yuk Yuk’s comedy club, in Niagara Falls, hoping to see him address the issues through his comedy. “I really wanted him to describe himself,” Als tells David Remnick. “To be Louis that I loved, the person who would have described what those situations were like . . . what his compulsion was, where did it start? Why was it important for him to masturbate and not be alone? Was it a performance? Did he want [the women] to like him?” Instead, with an audience of bros in a small club, Louis dismissed what he called “the thing” as quickly as possible. Plus, a small group of one-per-centers argues that the wealth gap has grown too large, and that it will hurt economic growth. The solution? They want to raise their own taxes.
07/02/2025m 42s

A Tumultuous Week in Impeachment, and Jill Lepore on Democracy in Peril

The Washington correspondent Susan Glasser has been covering the scene in the Capitol as Republicans rush to contain the damage of the John Bolton manuscript leak. Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, told Glasser that “if a Republican makes the argument that removing the President this close to an election isn’t the right response, [that] we should trust the American electorate to make the decision, then you have to support [calling for] more witness and more documents” in order for the electorate to make an informed decision. Glasser also spoke with Zoe Lofgren who is one of the House impeachment managers prosecuting the case against the President. Lofgren is an expert on the subject: she was on the House Judiciary Committee in 1998 during the Clinton impeachment, and, in 1974, as a law student, she helped to draft charges against Richard Nixon. Nixon, she points out, was far more forthcoming than Trump with Congress, directing his staff to appear for questions without a subpoena. If the Senate votes to acquit, endorsing a campaign of stonewalling by the executive branch, Lofgren says, “It will forever change the relationship between the branches of government.” Plus, the historian and staff writer Jill Lepore talks with David Remnick about how Americans rallied to save democracy in the nineteen-thirties, and how we might apply those lessons to a time when our own democracy has weakened. 
31/01/2034m 47s

N. K. Jemisin on H. P. Lovecraft

N. K. Jemisin is one of the most celebrated authors in science fiction’s history; the novels of her “Broken Earth” trilogy won the Hugo Award for three consecutive years, a unique achievement. Yet her work has also engendered an ugly backlash from a faction of readers who feel that the recognition of women and authors of color within the industry has been undeserving. Racism in science fiction and fantasy goes back to the origins of the genre, Jemisin explains to Raffi Khatchadourian. Her new novel, “The City We Became,” explicitly addresses the legacy of H. P. Lovecraft, an early and influential writer who helped to invent the genre. Lovecraft was also a virulent, impassioned racist, even by the standards of the early twentieth century. It’s not possible, Jemisin says, to separate Lovecraft’s ideology from his greatness as a fantasy writer: his view of non-white peoples as monstrous informed the way he wrote about monsters. Rather than try to ignore or cancel Lovecraft, Jemisin says, she felt compelled to engage with him.
31/01/2015m 42s

What Would a World Without Prisons Be Like?

Mass incarceration is now widely regarded as a prejudiced and deeply harmful set of policies. Bipartisan support exists for some degree of criminal-justice reform, and, in some circles, the idea of prison abolition is also gaining traction. Kai Wright, the host of the WNYC podcast “The United States of Anxiety,” spoke about the movement with Paul Butler, a law professor and former federal prosecutor who saw firsthand the damage that prosecution causes; and sujatha baliga, a MacArthur Foundation fellow who leads the Restorative Justice Project at the nonprofit Impact Justice and a survivor of sexual violence. “Prison abolition doesn’t mean that everybody who’s locked up gets to come home tomorrow,” Butler explains. Instead, activists envision a gradual process of “decarceration,” and the creation of alternative forms of justice and harm reduction. “Abolition, to my mind, isn’t just about ending the prisons,” baliga adds. “It’s about ending binary processes which pit us as ‘us, them,’ ‘right, wrong’; somebody has to be lying, somebody’s telling the truth. That is not the way that we get to healing.”
24/01/2022m 9s

An Alternative Oscars Ceremony, and Ezra Klein on Why We’re Polarized

It’s time for the most anticipated of all awards shows: the Brodys, in which The New Yorker’s Richard Brody shares the best films of the year, according to Richard Brody. And the political commentator Ezra Klein explains why he thinks politics have gotten as polarized as they are: we care too much about party identity and not enough about policy.
24/01/2028m 4s

Mass Incarceration, Then and Now

The U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration in the world; although the country makes up about five per cent of the global population, it holds nearly a quarter of the world’s prisoners. David Remnick is joined by WNYC’s Kai Wright, the host of the podcast “The United States of Anxiety,” to talk about mass incarceration and the beginning of a movement against it. Remnick also talks with Michelle Alexander, whose book “The New Jim Crow,” from 2010, which was a best-seller for nearly five years, identified how mass-incarceration policies have been a disaster for communities of color. The poet and public defender Reginald Dwayne Betts, who was formerly incarcerated, reads from his book “Felon.” And we follow a man who returns home from prison to find a changed world.    Taber Gable contributed original music for this episode.   
17/01/2049m 20s

The Democratic Candidates Respond to the Conflict with Iran

Next week’s debate, in Des Moines, was likely going to focus on health care and other domestic issues, but the agenda will probably be dominated by the Trump Administration’s killing of Iran’s General Qassem Suleimani and America’s history of war in the Middle East. The New Yorker’s Eric Lach, who is in Iowa, describes how the candidates are honing their positions. Plus, the contributor Anna Wiener reflects on the changing face of Silicon Valley; and the Moscow correspondent Joshua Yaffa describes how to succeed in Putin’s Russia.
10/01/2031m 39s

Terry Gross Talks with David Remnick

David Remnick has appeared as the guest of Terry Gross on “Fresh Air” a number of times over the years, talking about Russia, Muhammad Ali, and other subjects. Hosting “Fresh Air” for nearly forty-five years, Gross is a defining voice of NPR, and is perhaps the most celebrated interviewer of our time. In October, 2019, the tables turned, and Gross joined Remnick as his guest for a live interview at The New Yorker Festival. They spoke about how she first found her way to the microphone, the role of feminism in establishing NPR, the limits of her expertise, and what she has had to give up to prepare for serious conversations day after day.
03/01/2025m 57s

Dexter Filkins on the Air Strike that Killed Qassem Suleimani

Qassem Suleimani was Iran’s most powerful military and intelligence leader, and his killing, in a U.S. air strike in Baghdad on Thursday night, will likely be taken as an act of war by Tehran. Dexter Filkins, who wrote the definitive profile of Suleimani, in 2013, spoke with David Remnick about the commander’s central role within the Iranian regime. Reprisals against the U.S., he says, might be carried out anywhere in the world, either by Iran’s Quds Force or by affiliates such as Hezbollah. The Trump Administration experiences tension between a desire for regime change and the President’s desire to avoid foreign wars; Filkins notes that embattled Presidents, like Bill Clinton during his impeachment, often have itchy trigger fingers.
03/01/2018m 25s

Patty Marx Conducts an Orchestra

Patricia Marx is a staff writer at The New Yorker, and has contributed pieces for thirty years. Still, it might not be too late to try out a new career. “There are some jobs and endeavors that look impossibly hard,” she notes. “But conducting [an orchestra]—I just thought, How hard, really, can it be?”  Prepared with a little coaching from the real-life conductor Bernard Labadie, and armed with an eight-dollar baton from Amazon, Patty Marx takes a stab at conducting the prestigious Orchestra of St. Luke’s through Hayden’s Symphony No. 45. Marx doesn’t want to do a passable job of conducting the piece; she wants to give it her own unique stamp. With that goal in mind, she devises a set of sui-generis conducting techniques derived from daily activities like hailing a cab, or yoga. “I want to be one of the greats,” Marx says. Plus, the New Yorker’s Kelefa Sanneh sings the praises of his favorite Christian rockers.
27/12/1923m 41s

Kelly Slater’s Perfect Wave Brings Surfing to a Crossroads

In December of 2015, a video appeared on the Internet that stunned surfers worldwide. Titled “Kelly’s Wave,” it showed Kelly Slater—arguably the best pro surfer in history—unveiling a secret project he had been working on for more than a decade. With the help of engineers and designers, Slater had perfected the first artificial wave, created by machine in a pool, that could rival the best waves found in the ocean. “One could spend years and years surfing in the ocean,” the staff writer William Finnegan, himself a lifelong surfer, notes, “and never get a wave as good as what some people are getting here today. Ever.”    Finnegan went to visit the Kelly Slater Wave Company’s Surf Ranch—a facility in California’s Central Valley, far from the Coast—to observe a competition and test the wave for himself. (He wrote about the experience in The New Yorker.) Up until now, surfing was defined by its lack of predictability: chasing waves around the world and dealing with disappointment when they do not appear has been integral to the life of a surfer. But, with a mechanically produced, infinitely repeatable, world-class wave, surfing can become like any other sport. The professional World Surf League, which has bought a controlling interest in Slater’s company, sees a bright future.   But Finnegan wonders what it means to take surfing out of nature. Will kids master riding artificial waves without even learning to swim in the ocean? Finnegan spoke with Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore (the Australian seven-time world champion), and Matt Warshaw (the closest thing surfing has to an official historian). Warshaw, like Finnegan, is skeptical about the advent of mechanical waves. Yet he admits that, when he had the chance to ride it, he didn’t ever want to stop. “It reminded me of 1986,” Warshaw recalls. “The drugs have run out, you already hate yourself—how do we get more?”   This story originally aired December 14, 2018.
27/12/1923m 42s

Peter Dinklage on Cyrano, and Life After “Thrones”

In the classic play “Cyrano de Bergerac,” a romantic with an exceptionally large and ugly nose pines after an unattainable woman. “As a person who looks like me, whenever I would watch a version of ‘Cyrano,’ I would just think, ‘That’s an actor in a fake nose,’ ” says Peter Dinklage. Dinklage, who has dwarfism, plays the character in a New Group adaptation by his wife, Erica Schmidt, with music by the National. But Dinklage avoids wearing a prosthetic, and he tells Michael Schulman that the nose isn’t really the point. The play is about “everyone’s capacity to not feel worthy of love.” To “Game of Thrones” fans who were devastated by the show’s ending, Dinklage has only tough love to offer. “They didn’t want it to end so a lot of people got angry. This happens.” He is not distraught about Daenerys, who turned out to be quite a brutal ruler. “Monsters are created. We vote them into office. . . . Maybe [fans] should have waited for the series finale before you get that tattoo, or name your golden retriever Daenerys. I can’t help you.” Plus, every year, countless poor spellers accidentally address their Santa letters to Satan. Satan—played by Kathleen Turner—always replies.
20/12/1921m 10s

The Hyperpartisan State

North Carolina is a relatively purple state, where voting between the two major parties tends to be close. That might suggest a place of common ground and compromise, but it’s quite the opposite. “A couple of years before the rest of the country got nasty, we started to get nasty,” a North Carolina political scientist tells Charles Bethea. Not long ago, a veto-override vote devolved into a screaming match on the floor, to which the police were called. Bethea, a longtime political reporter based in Atlanta, went to Raleigh to examine how hyper-partisanship plays out on a state capitol, where everyone knows each other, and the political calculations seem to revolve more on who did what to whom, and when, than on who wants to do what now.
20/12/1927m 57s

Helen Rosner Takes the Office-Fridge Challenge

Helen Rosner is known for her high degree of resourcefulness in the kitchen: she once broke the Internet with an article about the ingenious use of a hair dryer to help roast a chicken. So the staff of Radio Hour threw down a challenge: we asked Helen to make a meal out of whatever food she could find in The New Yorker’s communal fridge, with whatever cooking equipment she could scare up around the office. The result (spoiler alert): a marinated-vegetable salad with sardines, a whole-grain risotto topped with charred broccoli and chimichurri, a bread pudding with whiskey sauce and ice cream, and a rather unique cocktail—a Bloody Mary made with John McPhee’s vodka and a rim of crushed caterpillar. 
17/12/1913m 57s

Lena Waithe on Police Violence and “Queen & Slim”

Lena Waithe is the screenwriter and creator of the Showtime series “The Chi,” about the South Side of Chicago, but she tells Jelani Cobb, “Getting your own TV show is like getting beaten to death by your own dream.” Her first script for a feature film is “Queen & Slim,” directed by Melina Matsoukas. It’s about a man and woman who are on a not-great first date, during which they unintentionally kill a police officer at a traffic stop that escalates. “I just wanted to write something about us. But unfortunately, if I’m writing about us, how can I ignore the fact that we’re being hunted?” The film arrives in the aftermath two notorious police killings of black people in their homes—Botham Jean in Dallas and Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth—only the latest in a long line of similar murders. “I do not want that kind of publicity for my film,” Waithe says. “I am like every other black person. . . . Every time these stories hit our phones, a piece of us dies, because we know that we could be next.”
16/12/1920m 30s

Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women,” and Damon Lindelof’s “Watchmen”

Greta Gerwig tells David Remnick that her adaptation of the novel “Little Women” didn’t need much updating for 2019: the world hasn’t changed as much as we might think, she says. Isaac Chotiner talks with Jack Goldsmith, the conservative legal scholar whose new book is a surprising and personal account of a man who was regarded as a suspect in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. And the creator of HBO’s “Watchmen” tells Emily Nussbaum about the uncomfortable process of learning to write about race.
13/12/1949m 18s

A Worldwide #MeToo Protest that Began in Chile

Three weeks ago, members of a Chilean feminist collective called Las Tesis put on blindfolds and party dresses and took to the streets. The festive atmosphere put their purpose in stark relief: the song they sang was “Un Violador En Tu Camino” (“A Rapist in Your Path”). It’s a sharp indictment of the Chilean police, against whom a hundred charges of sexual violence have been lodged since the beginning of the anti-government protests in October. The lyrics also target the patriarchy in general. The song might have remained a local phenomenon, but someone put it on Twitter, and, in the span of a few days, it became the anthem of women protesting sexism and violence throughout Latin America. A few days later, the protest was replicated in Paris and Berlin, and, shortly thereafter, in Istanbul, where it was shut down by police. The New Yorker’s Camila Osorio was recently in Chile and recounts the exciting story of the creation of a global movement.
12/12/198m 3s

The March Toward Impeachment

It’s been a busy week, and it’s only Tuesday. The chair of the House Judiciary Committee unveiled two articles of impeachment against the President, which are nearly certain to be adopted by the House of Representatives. The same day, Congressional Democrats threw their support behind Trump’s renegotiation of NAFTA.   Isaac Chotiner, who writes the Q. & A. column, calls the New Yorker’s Washington correspondent Susan Glasser to talk about the reaction in the capital to the fast-moving impeachment process and about the House leadership’s decision to focus on a small number of charges—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress—when so many were potentially on the table. “There’s nothing in there about a violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause,” Glasser says. “And there’s nothing at all about the Mueller report, which found ten alleged acts of obstruction of justice on the part of the President with no other remedy except for Congressional action.” But it is no coincidence that the House Democrats are proceeding impeachment and endorsing one of the President’s signature trade policies on the same day. According to Glasser, it may reflect a political calculation by Speaker Pelosi, aimed at helping Democrats running in districts where Trump won by large margins in 2016.
10/12/198m 1s

How Channel One Keeps the News Safe for Putin

Joshua Yaffa recently profiled a Russian media mogul named Konstantin Ernst. Ernst is the C.E.O. of Russia’s largest state-controlled media network, Channel One, and his personal evolution from idealistic independent journalist to cynical mogul is a cautionary tale for the free press of any nation. Channel One effectively dominates Russia’s news cycle and subtly controls what its viewers believe. Ernst, Yaffa explains, has dispensed with the straight propaganda that was broadcast in Soviet times, in favor of a much slicker approach that’s more like a disinformation campaign. Rather than denying any specific facts or allegations against the regime, its news shows air conspiracy theories, contradictory interpretations of facts, and doctored footage to sow confusion. So, even though Russians have independent media outlets and access to the Internet, Channel One perpetuates a feeling that that the truth can never be known, one interpretation is as good as another, and there is no objective basis to critique what Russia gets from its leaders. 
09/12/1913m 39s

Jamie Lee Curtis, the Original Scream Queen

Jamie Lee Curtis comes from Hollywood royalty as the daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. She credits her mother’s role in “Psycho” for helping her land her first feature role, as the lead in “Halloween,” in 1978. “I’m never going to pretend I got that all on my own,” she tells The New Yorker’s Rachel Syme. But Curtis says she never intended to act, and never saw herself as a star: “I was not pretty,” she explains; “I was ‘cute.’ ” Eventually, the pressure she felt to conform in order to keep working led to a surgical procedure, which led to an opiate addiction. Curtis talks with Syme about recovery, second chances, and more than forty years of films between “Halloween” and Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out.” Plus, the chef at one of Los Angeles’s best restaurants on how to build a woman-friendly kitchen.
06/12/1933m 48s

This Is William Cohen’s Third Impeachment

The current impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump are only the fourth in American history, and William Cohen has been near the center of power for three of them. First, he was a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, when his vote in favor of articles of impeachment helped end the Presidency of Richard Nixon. Twenty years later, as Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Defense, he had to navigate American military policy around the Lewinsky scandal. Cohen is now a Washington power-broker, and he tells The New Yorker’s Michael Luo the story of both sagas and their relation to today’s news. During Watergate, Cohen received death threats for what was perceived as his betrayal of Nixon, and he says that his chances for a Republican leadership position were “finished.” But Cohen implores his G.O.P. successors in Congress to put Constitution above party; otherwise, “this is not going to be a democracy that will be recognizable a few years from now.”
05/12/1919m 30s

Kamala Harris’s Campaign Ends in a Fizzle

Senator Kamala Harris had a lot going for her campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination: national name recognition, strong fund-raising, an association with Barack Obama, and a way of commanding the spotlight both on television and on Twitter. She promised to be the prosecutor who would bring Donald Trump to justice and a candidate who could take him on in the race, a combination that thrilled her supporters. But, on Tuesday, two months before voting begins in Iowa, she ended her campaign. What happened, and what does it reveal about the Presidential race? Eric Lach calls three New Yorker colleagues to debrief: Dana Goodyear, who reflects on her Profile of Harris from the promising early days of her campaign; Jelani Cobb, who talks about Harris’s standing with black voters; and Ben Wallace-Wells, who notes that the gap between the progressive and centrist wings of the Democratic Party may have grown too large for any candidate to straddle. Finally, Lach calls a heartbroken campaign volunteer, who estimates that she made thirteen thousand calls on Harris’s behalf. 
04/12/1922m 43s

Robin Wright on the Eruption of Violence in Iran

In November, Iran announced new fuel rationing and price hikes, just at a time when U.S. sanctions are crippling the economy and especially the middle class. Protests broke out immediately, and the government responded by shutting down access to the Internet, arresting protesters, and using lethal force: more than two hundred people are said to be dead, according to Amnesty International. The Iranian government has laid blame on the United States, which has a campaign of “maximum pressure” aiming to destabilize the country—and Donald Trump is happy to take credit. But Robin Wright, the author of several books on the Middle East, notes that Iran is also facing opposition from some of its Shiite allies in the Middle East. In Iraq and Lebanon, protests have erupted against Iran’s efforts to increase its influence in the region, and the Iraqi Prime Minister announced his resignation partially because of that unrest. The Iranian regime is in real trouble, Wright believes. As she sees it, the country’s Green Movement of a decade ago, and the Arab Spring in the same period, were not a failure or a blip but the start of a process that may yet reshape democracy in the Middle East.
03/12/1915m 40s

Rana Ayyub on India’s Crackdown on Muslims

In August, India suspended the autonomy of the state of Kashmir, putting soldiers in its streets and banning foreign journalists from entering. Dexter Filkins, who was working on a story about Narendra Modi, would not be deterred from going. To evade the ban, he sought the help of an Indian journalist, Rana Ayyub. Ayyub had once gone undercover to reveal the ruling party’s ties to sectarian and extrajudicial violence against the Muslim minority. In a conversation recorded last week, Filkins and Ayyub tell the story of how they got into Kashmir and describe the repression and signs of torture that they observed there. Ayyub’s book “Gujarat Files,” about a massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, has made her a target of Hindu nationalists; one of the book’s translators was killed not long ago. She spoke frankly with Filkins about the emotional toll of living in fear of assassination.
02/12/1924m 15s

Billy Porter Wears Many Hats

Billy Porter’s résumé is as impressive as it is difficult to categorize. His performance in the musical “Kinky Boots” won him a Tony Award and a Grammy, and, recently, he won an Emmy for his character on Ryan Murphy’s FX series “Pose.” Take any style award and he probably deserves that as well: at the 2019 Oscars, he showed up in a gender-bending “tuxedo gown.” In the words of the  New Yorker fashion columnist Rachel Syme, his “torso looked like it was smoking a cigar with a brandy, while his skirt . . . was ready for a gothic Victorian-era coronation.”    Porter sat down for a conversation with Syme at The New Yorker Festival, in October. “I grew up in the black church,” he said, which “is a fashion show every time you show up.” Porter spent much of his early career searching for work that represented him—a black, gay man in show business. Such work was dry in those early days, but it’s a problem he’s left behind. Porter’s just signed a book deal for a memoir, he’ll play the role of the Fairy Godmother in the upcoming live-action adaptation of “Cinderella,” and he’s working on a new album. But Porter sees downsides to his success, and describes being mobbed at dance clubs by admirers. “I am a person who is of the people,” he says. “And when you lose your anonymity inside of celebrity—that scares me.”
29/11/1921m 12s

Bon Iver Live at The New Yorker Festival

In the winter of 2007, a songwriter by the name of Justin Vernon returned to the Wisconsin woods, not far from where he grew up. Just a few months later, he emerged with “For Emma, Forever Ago”—his first album produced under the name Bon Iver. Since then, Vernon and various bandmates have released three more records, won two Grammys, and collaborated with Kanye West, becoming one of the most celebrated bands in indie music. The music critic Amanda Petrusich spoke with Vernon at The New Yorker Festival, alongside his bandmates Brad Cook and Chris Messina. They discuss using made-up words as lyrics; Vernon’s deep, deep love of “Northern Exposure,”; and how a group like Bon Iver engages with current events in today’s toxic political climate.    Bon Iver performed “U (Man Like),” “Marion,” and “RABi”; Vernon was accompanied by Sean Carey, Jenn Wasner, and Mike Lewis. 
29/11/1928m 48s

Samantha’s Journey into the Alt-Right, and Back

Since 2016, Andrew Marantz has been reporting on how the extremist right has harnessed the Internet and social media to gain a startling prominence in American politics. One day, he was contacted by a woman named Samantha, who was in the leadership of the white-nationalist group Identity Evropa. (She asked to be identified only by her first name.) “When I joined, I really thought that it was just going to be a pro-white community, where we could talk to each other about being who we are, and gain confidence, and build a community,” Samantha told him. “I went in because I was insecure and it made me feel good about myself.” Samantha says she wasn’t a racist, but soon after joining the group she found herself rubbing shoulders with the neo-Nazi organizer Richard Spencer, at a party that culminated in a furious chant of “seig heil.” Marantz and the Radio Hour producer Rhiannon Corby dove into Samantha’s story to understand how and why a “normal” person abandoned her values, her friends, and her family for an ideology of racial segregation and eugenics—and then came out again. They found her to be a cautionary tale for a time when facts and truth are under daily attack. “I thought I knew it all,” she told them. “I think it's extremely naive and foolish to think that you are impervious to it. No one is impervious to this.”  Samantha appears in Andrew Marantz’s new book, “Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation.”
22/11/1939m 51s

Jenny Slate Gets Dressed

Jenny Slate is on tour for her new book “Little Weirds.” It comprises short, strange essays, many of which involve clothing and how we present ourselves to the world. While Slate was in New York, the fashion columnist Rachel Syme paid her a call at her hotel room. Together, they rifle through Slate’s suitcase and analyze what she had packed for her appearances as a début book author, and what those choices said about her. Syme finds Slate to be a kindred spirit: someone for whom getting dressed is a complex but pleasurable business. Sweater vests, top buttons buttoned, and other choices are dissected. “More and more,” Slate says, “I want to turn away from things that are designed for men—or a certain man, I should say, to be fair. ” Her authorial wardrobe, Slate says, expresses a simple credo: “I know who I am, I know what’s going on, I’m not freaked out, and I think I’m allowed to be here.”
22/11/1910m 24s

Thomas Mallon on Impeachment, and Philip Pullman on “His Dark Materials”

As he opened public impeachment proceedings last week, Representative Adam Schiff invoked Watergate—which, after all, ended well for Democrats. To understand how that history applies, or doesn’t, to the current proceedings, The New Yorker’s Dorothy Wickenden spoke with Thomas Mallon, the author of the deeply researched “Watergate: A Novel,” and of historical fictions about Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. How would Mallon write the story of the Trump impeachment as a novel? “I would go right inside the heads of Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, and Mitt Romney,” he tells Wickenden. “A guilty conscience is one of the best springboards for fiction.” Plus, a conversation with Philip Pullman, whose beloved trilogy, “His Dark Materials,” has been adapted for a new HBO series. But he’s already onto a second trilogy about its heroine, Lyra, because he has more to learn about her universe. 
15/11/1929m 26s

A Progressive Evangelical, and Charlamagne Tha God

Eliza Griswold spoke recently with Doug Pagitt, a pastor from Minneapolis who is a politically progressive evangelical Christian. Pagitt left his church to found an organization called Vote Common Good, which aims to move at least some religious voters away from decades of supporting conservatism, and toward messages of inclusion and tolerance that he identifies as Biblical. And the radio personality Lenard McKelvey, known professionally as Charlamagne Tha God, talks about why he wrote a book, “Shook One,” about his treatment for anxiety disorder. Charlamagne wants to reach black men, in particular, to try to remove a perceived stigma around mental-health treatment in the black community. 
12/11/1927m 22s

The Supreme Court Weighs the End of DACA

Jeff Sessions, then the Attorney General, announced in 2017 the cancellation of the Obama-era policy known as DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. A number of plaintiffs sued, and their case goes to the Supreme Court next week. The New Yorker’s Jonathan Blitzer spoke with two of the attorneys who will argue for it. The noted litigator Ted Olson is generally a champion of conservative issues, but he is fighting the Trump Administration on this case. He told Blitzer, “It’s a rule-of-law case—not a liberal or conversative case—involving hundreds of thousands of individuals who will be hurt by an abrupt and unexplained and unjustified change in policy.” And Blitzer also spoke with Luis Cortes, a thirty-one-year-old from Seattle who is arguing his first Supreme Court case. Cortes is an immigration lawyer who is himself an undocumented immigrant protected by DACA status; if he loses his case, he will be at risk of deportation. Plus, while reporting on wildfire in Los Angeles, the writer Dana Goodyear was evacuated from her home. She sees the increasing frequency of intense fires as a wake-up call from the California dream.
08/11/1922m 48s

How the Irish Border Keeps Derailing Brexit

One of the almost unsolvable problems with the U.K.’s exit from the E.U. is that it would necessitate a “hard border” between Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., and the Republic of Ireland, which would remain a member nation in Europe. The border was the epicenter of bloody conflict during the decades-long Troubles, and was essentially dismantled during the peace established by the Good Friday Agreement, in 1998. The prospect of fortifying it, with customs-and-immigration checks, has already brought threats of violence from paramilitaries such as the New I.R.A. At the same time, moving the customs border to ports along the coast of Northern Ireland—as the U.K.’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has proposed—strikes Northern Irish loyalists as a step toward unification with the Republic, which they would view as an abandonment by Britain. Patrick Radden Keefe, who wrote about the Troubles in his book “Say Nothing,” discusses the intensely fraught issues of the border with Simon Carswell, the public-affairs editor of the Irish Times. Plus, the writer Carmen Maria Machado takes us back to a farmers’ market of her childhood.
05/11/1924m 44s

Can Mayor Pete Be a Democratic Front-Runner?

Six months ago, David Remnick interviewed a politician named Pete Buttigieg, who was just beginning his campaign for the Democratic nomination for President. Buttigieg was an unlikely candidate: the youngest person to run in decades, he was a small-town mayor with no national exposure, and had a difficult last name to boot. But a smart campaign has made Buttigieg a contender, and a recent Iowa poll put him in second place, behind Elizabeth Warren. Gay, Christian, and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, Buttigieg is running as a kind of centrist outsider. “If you really do want the candidate with most years of Washington experience,” he told Remnick, “you’ve got your choice”—meaning Joe Biden. Furthermore, “if you want the most ideologically, conventionally left candidate you can get, then you’ve got your choice”—between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. But, he claims, “most Democrats I talk to are looking for something else. That’s where I come in.” Buttigieg spoke with Remnick in October, at the New Yorker Festival. They discussed whether he can overcome one notable weakness in his campaign: a lack of support among black voters, which would injure him in the South Carolina primaries. Plus, the New Yorker food correspondent Helen Rosner shares three current food-world favorites with David Remnick, including an ingenious cheat that blows the lid off of lasagna.
01/11/1925m 37s

Horror with a Real-Life Message

The director Sophia Takal is working on a remake of “Black Christmas,” an early slasher flick from Canada, in which sorority girls are picked off by a gruesome killer. Takal brought a very 2019 sensibility to the remake, reflecting on the ongoing struggle of the MeToo movement. “You can never feel like you’ve beaten misogyny. . . . In this movie the women are never given a rest, they always have to keep fighting.” Her producer, Jason Blum, of Blumhouse Productions, talks with David Remnick about the success of horror movies with a political or social message, like Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.” 
25/10/1921m 47s

Roomful of Teeth Redefines Vocal Music for the Future

For a new music ensemble, Roomful of Teeth has made an extraordinary impression in a short time. Caroline Shaw, one of its vocalists, received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for “Partita for 8 Voices,” which was written for the group. Then, in 2014, the vocal octet’s début album won a Grammy. Their sound is often otherworldly: apart from the singers’ expertise in classical technique, they have incorporated other musical traditions into their sound, including Tuvan throat singing, Korean pansori, yodelling, and more. Almost all the pieces they perform are new compositions written by or for them, and they hold a residency every year, demonstrating their unique capabilities to the composers who are commissioned to write for them. The staff writer Burkhard Bilger visited the residency at MASS MoCA, a contemporary-arts museum and complex in Massachusetts, in 2018. While they may be the only group that can currently perform the full range of their repertoire, Bilger found that their goal is not exclusivity. “If the songs are good enough, and the techniques are appealing enough, then more and more classical singers will learn how to how to throat sing, will learn how to yodel, and belt, and do Korean pansori,” Bilger says. “And Roomful of Teeth songs will start to sound like yesterday’s classical music.” 
22/10/1913m 5s

Ronan Farrow on a Campaign of Silence

Farrow’s reporting on Harvey Weinstein and other accused perpetrators of sexual assault helped opened the floodgates of the #MeToo movement. In his new book, “Catch and Kill,” and in “The Black Cube Chronicles” published on newyorker.com, Farrow details the measures that were taken against him and against some of the accusers who went on the record. These included hiring a private spy firm staffed by ex-Mossad officers. Speaking with David Remnick, Farrow lays out a connection between accusations against Harvey Weinstein and NBC’s Matt Lauer. And he interviewed a private investigator named Igor Ostrovskiy who was assigned to spy on him—until he had a crisis of conscience.
18/10/1923m 44s

Nancy Pelosi: “Timing Is Everything”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a lot of fights on her hands. After she led the Democrats to victory in the 2018 midterm elections, her legislative agenda hit a number of roadblocks, including the Republican-controlled Senate. But it is Pelosi’s confrontations with Donald Trump that will go down in history. Through numerous scandals, Pelosi resisted pressure to move to impeach the President, frustrating many members of her party and leading some on the left to question her leadership. “There was plenty the President had done, evidenced in the Mueller report and other things, that were impeachable offenses,” she tells Jane Mayer. “For me, timing is everything. I said, ‘When we get more facts, when the truth has more clarity, we will be ready. We will be ready.’ ” While she has come around on impeachment, Pelosi still hews toward the center of the Party and resists some proposals from the progressive left, such as Medicare for All. “November matters,” Pelosi likes to tell colleagues running in the primaries. “What works in Michigan . . . [like] economic security for America’s working families—that works in San Francisco. What works in San Francisco might not work in Michigan. So let’s go with the Michigan plan, because that’s where we have to win the Electoral College.”   Pelosi, who has been in Congress for more than thirty years, has led the House Democrats since 2003. She spoke with the staff writer Jane Mayer in a live interview at The New Yorker Festival, on October 12th.  
14/10/1942m 37s

New Yorker Writers on Hong Kong, and Nixon After Tiananmen Square

The months of protests in Hong Kong may be the biggest political crisis facing Chinese leadership since the Tiananmen Square massacre a generation ago. What began as objections to a proposed extradition law has morphed into a broad-based protest movement. “There was just this rising panic that Hong Kong was becoming just like another mainland city, utterly under the thumb of the Party,” says Jiayang Fan, who recently returned from Hong Kong. In Beijing, Evan Osnos spoke to officials during their celebration of the Chinese Communist Party’s seventieth year in power. He found that the leadership is feeling more secure than it did in 1989, when tanks mowed down student protesters. “I think the more likely scenario,” Osnos tells David Remnick, “is that China will keep up the pressure and gradually use its sheer weight and persistence to try to grind down the resistance of protestors.” And, from the archives, reflections from Richard Nixon on the fallout from Tiananmen Square.  
11/10/1936m 38s

New Yorker Reporters on Impeachment

David Remnick asks five New Yorker contributors about the nascent impeachment proceedings against the President. Susan Glasser, the magazine’s Washington correspondent, notes that Republicans have attacked the inquiry but have not exactly defended the substance of Trump’s phone call to Zelensky. Joshua Yaffa, who has been reporting from Kiev, notes Ukraine’s disappointment in the conduct of the American President; Jane Mayer describes how an impeachment scenario in the era of Fox News could play out very differently than it did in the age of Richard Nixon; Jelani Cobb reflects on the likelihood of violence; and Jill Lepore argues that, regardless of the outcome, impeachment is the only constitutional response to Donald Trump’s actions. “This is the Presidential equivalent of shooting someone on Fifth Avenue,” she tells Remnick. 
04/10/1922m 20s

Adam Gopnik on Aging, and a Visit to Maine with Elizabeth Strout

In fifteen years, people of retirement age will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. But, the staff writer Adam Gopnik finds, the elderly are poorly served by the field of design, whether it’s a screw-top plastic bottle or the transportation system of a major city. Gopnik visited the M.I.T. Age Lab, where he tried on a special suit that simulates the pains and difficulties of advanced age for research purposes. And, to put the issues in context, he called a much older friend: the painter Wayne Thiebaud, who, at ninety-eight, is still leading an active career and is preparing for an upcoming exhibition. Plus, the writer Elizabeth Strout has set many of her books in Maine, including “Olive Kitteridge.” She brought us to one of her favorite haunts: a steep hill on her college campus, where she would sit and look out over the world.  And in a new sketch by Colin Nissan, a routine call for technical support leads to a chilling transformation.
04/10/1927m 33s

Cory Booker on How to Defeat Donald Trump

Senator Cory Booker burst onto the national scene about a decade ago, after serving as the mayor of the notoriously impoverished and dangerous city of Newark, New Jersey. To get that job, Booker challenged an entrenched establishment. “My political training comes from the roughest of rough campaigns,” he tells David Remnick. “You just won’t think it’s America, the kind of stuff we had to go up against. And it [was] such a great way to learn [that campaigning] has to be retail—grassroots. And so much of this, in those early primary states, is about that.”  Booker spoke with Remnick about growing up black in a largely white area of New Jersey, where his parents had to fight to be able to buy a home; about his long relationship with the Kushner family, which started back when Jared Kushner’s father, Charles, was a leading Democratic donor; and why he’s proud to collaborate with even his direst political opponents on issues such as criminal-justice reform. “Donald Trump signed my bill,” Booker states. “I worked with him and his White House to pass a bill that liberated thousands of black people from prison” by retroactively reducing unjustly high sentences related to crack cocaine. “Tell that liberated person that Cory Booker should not deal with somebody that he fundamentally disagrees with.”  Note: In this interview, Senator Booker asserts, “We now have more African-Americans in this country under criminal supervision than all the slaves in 1850.” The historical accuracy of this comparison has been challenged. More accurately, the number of African-American men under criminal supervision today has been compared to the number of African-American men enslaved in 1850. 
27/09/1944m 39s

The Green Rush

It was just seven years ago that Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Today the drug is legal in eleven states and counting, with polls showing that sixty per cent of Americans support its legalization. How did that happen so fast? This episode of The New Yorker Radio Hour looks at the end of reefer madness—and the early days of corporate cannabis. Bruce Barcott talks about the politics and the public-health aspects of legalization; Jelani Cobb looks at how legalization tries to undo the decades of harm that marijuana prohibition has done to communities of color; Sue Halpern drives around Vermont, where weed is the new zucchini; and Jia Tolentino shares the joy of watching David Attenborough under the influence. 
20/09/1949m 39s

Brittany Howard, of Alabama Shakes, Talks with David Remnick

Alabama Shakes started out playing covers at local gigs but quickly found a unique personal voice rooted in rock and soul. The band came to national attention, found a wide and devoted public, and soon earned four Grammys, for the album “Sound and Color.” But after that record, their second, Brittany Howard—who sings, plays guitar, and writes songs for the group—announced that she was putting Alabama Shakes on hiatus, to work on a solo album. “We sat and we talked about it for several hours; we sat in a circle,” she recalls. “At the end of the conversation, everybody was, like, ‘O.K., we understand. We get it.’ They gave me their blessing to go on and find what I needed to find or create what I needed to create.” Howard gathered a different group of musicians, including the keyboard superstar Robert Glasper, to back her up on a solo album, called “Jamie.” It’s named after Howard’s late sister, but it’s very much about the singer herself—her passions, her concerns, and her upbringing, in Athens, Alabama. Is this, David Remnick asks, the end of Alabama Shakes? “I don’t know,” Howard says, after a pause. “Wherever creativity leads my ship, I can’t force it. That’s the thing. Once I start forcing it, it’s not going to be no good, anyway.”   
17/09/1925m 11s

A Texas Republican Exits the House

An exodus is under way in the House of Representatives: not even halfway into the congressional term, fifteen Republicans have announced that they will not run in 2020. One of the exiting members is Will Hurd, a former C.I.A. officer who was elected in 2014. His district in Texas includes nearly a third of the state’s border with Mexico. Although he is reluctant to criticize the G.O.P. directly, Hurd tells the Washington correspondent Susan B. Glasser that he thinks the President’s border policy is ineffective: a wall isn’t the answer, Border Patrol is underfunded relative to the area it covers, and the technology in use for border security is both out of date and overly complicated, “requiring a Ph.D. in computer science to operate,” he says. “I wish I could pass a piece of legislation,” Hurd tells Glasser, “that says you can’t talk about the border unless you’ve been down to the border a few times.” Hurd’s departure is particularly significant because he is—for the sixteen months he has left to serve—the only African-American in the House Republican caucus, and he worries that the President’s negative rhetoric toward people of color is contributing to a demographic shift that’s turning Texas from deep red to purple. “When you have statements the equivalent of, ‘go back to Africa,’ ” Hurd notes, “that is not helpful.” Plus, two leading environmental writers, Bill McKibben and Elizabeth Kolbert, wonder if the new sense of urgency around climate change is coming too late.    
13/09/1925m 2s

For a French Burglar, Stealing Masterpieces Is Easier Than Selling Them

Vjeran Tomic has been stealing since he was a small child, when he used a ladder to break into a library in his home town, in Bosnia. After moving to Paris, he graduated to lucrative apartment burglaries, living off the jewels he took and often doing time in prison. He became known in the French press as Spider-Man, and he began to steal art. Tomic has a grand sense of his calling as a burglar; he considers it his destiny and has described his robberies as acts of imagination. He eventually carried a truly epic heist: a break-in at the Musée d’Art Moderne, in Paris, in which he left with seventy million dollars’ worth of paintings. But selling these masterpieces proved harder than stealing them, and that’s where Spider-Man’s troubles began. The contributor Jake Halpern tells Vjeran Tomic’s story; excerpts from Tomic’s letters from prison are read by the actor Jean Brassard.  
10/09/1920m 9s

Salman Rushdie’s Fantastical American Quest Novel

The New Yorker’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, talks with Salman Rushdie about “Quichotte,” his apocalyptic quest novel. A few years ago, when the four hundredth anniversary of “Don Quixote” was being celebrated, Rushdie reread Cervantes’s book and found himself newly engaged by a much improved translation. He immediately began thinking of writing his own story about a “silly old fool,” like Quixote, who becomes obsessed with an unattainable woman and undertakes a quest to win her love. This character became Quichotte (named for the French opera loosely based on “Don Quixote”), who is seeking the love of—or, as she sees it, stalking—a popular talk-show host. As Quichotte journeys to find her, he encounters the truths of contemporary America: the opioid epidemic, white supremacy, the fallout from the War on Terror, and more. “I’ve always really liked the risky thing of writing very close up against the present moment,” Rushdie tells Treisman. “If you do it wrong, it’s a catastrophe. If you do it right, with luck, you somehow capture a moment.” At the same time, the novel gives full rein to Rushdie’s fantastical streak—at one point, for instance, Quichotte comes across a New Jersey town where people turn into mastodons. Treisman talks with the author about the influence of science fiction on his imagination, and about his personal connection to the tragedy of opioids. Rushdie’s much younger sister died from the consequences of addiction, and the book is centrally concerned with siblings trying to reconnect after separation.
06/09/1930m 13s

The New Norms of Affirmative Consent

Mischele Lewis learned that her fiancé was a con man and a convicted pedophile. By lying about who he was, did he violate her consent, and commit assault? Lewis’s story raises a larger question: What is consent, and how do we give it? It’s currently the standard by which the law regulates sexual behavior, but the continuing prevalence of harassment and assault has led many college campuses to adopt more stringent standards. At the core of many new rules is the principle of affirmative consent: that sexual partners must verbally and explicitly express their acceptance of each and every sexual overture. The problem is that few of us use affirmative consent—even many of its advocates find it cumbersome in practice. Alondra Nelson, a professor of sociology and the president of the Social Science Research Council, explores this shifting of sexual norms with The New Yorker’s Joshua Rothman. They spoke with the legal scholars Jeannie Suk Gersen and Jacob Gersen, and with the facilitator of cuddle parties, who compares her nonsexual events to “going to the gym for consent.” Plus, an interview with a climate striker. Inspired by Greta Thunberg, fourteen-year-old Alexandria Villaseñor spends her Fridays outside the United Nations, demanding action on climate change. But the risk of “eco-grief” is high, she tells the reporter Carolyn Kormann.
03/09/1930m 10s

Marianne Williamson Would Like to Clarify

Marianne Williamson, the self-help author associated with the New Age movement, has never held political office. But the race for the Presidency, she thinks, is less a battle of politics than a battle of souls. In her appearance in the July Democratic debates, she said that President Donald Trump is bringing up a “dark psychic force.” “The worst aspects of human character have been harnessed for political purposes,” she tells David Remnick. Williamson sees herself as a kind of spiritual counter to Trump, reshaping our moral trajectory. And she does have policies, which include repealing the 2017 tax cut and an ambitious plan for slavery reparations, and also tapping some surprising people for her Cabinet. Campaigning on her credentials hasn’t been easy: she’s had to debunk some myths and clarify some statements. She is not an anti-vaxxer, she insists—she apologizes for her earlier remarks on the subject—or a medical skeptic. “I’m Jewish,” she says, “I go to the doctor.” She does not, she says, even have a crystal in her home. “I know this sounds naïve,” she complains, but “I didn’t think the left was so mean. I didn’t think the left lied like this.”   
30/08/1916m 47s

Kate Walbert Reads "To Do"

Kate Walbert reads her story from the September 2, 2019, issue of the magazine. Walbert's novels include "Our Kind," "A Short History of Women," and "His Favorites." A new story collection, "She Was Like That," will be published in October.
27/08/1925m 57s

Jia Tolentino on the Rise and Fall of the Internet

Jia Tolentino writes for The New Yorker about an extremely wide range of topics, but a central concern is what it has meant to her to have grown up alongside the Internet. In her new, best-selling collection of essays, “Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion,” she traces how the digital world has evolved and shaped our minds. Tolentino tells Remnick that, in the early, freer days of the Web, the Internet felt like “a neighborhood you could walk through, and just go into these houses decorated with all of these things you’d never seen before—and then you could leave.” Tolentino remains a very popular and influential figure online, but she has concerns about how the digital world has developed. Now that profit-seeking social-media giants dominate the landscape, there is fierce competition for our attention spans and the constant demand for people to perform their identities, all of which she finds “corrosive.” For Tolentino, writing—which takes “uncertainty and agony and work and devotion, and sustained attention”—is an antidote to that corrosion, and almost a kind of spiritual practice. “The fact of having time to think about something in private before it becomes public still feels like a real miracle to me.”Plus, David Remnick talks with two of the creators—one Israeli, one Palestinian—of HBO’s “Our Boys.” The ten-part series examines the forces that led to a crime that was shocking even by the standards of a country that is used to terror: the torture and murder of a Palestinian teen-ager, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, by Israeli right-wing extremists. “Our Boys” is a brutally truthful depiction of the effects of hate crime.  
27/08/1929m 32s

Roger Federer Opens Up

The winner of twenty Grand Slam titles and the top-ranked men’s player for three hundred and ten weeks, Roger Federer remains a dominant force in tennis. On the eve of playing in his nineteenth U.S. Open, Federer spoke with David Remnick about how he got over the hot temper and predilection for throwing racquets that he showed early in his career. At the advanced age of thirty-eight—and as a father of young children—Federer explains what he’s had to give up in order to keep playing professionally. But he doesn’t plan to retire a day before he has to. “I think it's nice to keep on playing, and really squeeze the last drop of lemon out of it,” he tells Remnick, “and not leave the game of tennis thinking, Oh, I should have stayed longer.” Plus, the staff writer Hua Hsu on the singular career of a Chinese vocalist with global ambitions.
23/08/1919m 57s

Derren Brown’s Big Secret

Derren Brown wants you to know that he is not a magician. The term he prefers to use is “psychological illusionist,” and his acts mix psychology, misdirection, and showmanship. When he performs, he’s explicit about engaging with audiences’ minds and beliefs. “If you’re an audience member, the most interesting process is you,” he tells Adam Green, at the New Yorker Festival. Like most of the best mentalists in recent decades, Brown is open about the fact that his one big trick is his ability to manipulate a roomful of people.    Brown’s show “Secret” opens on Broadway in early September. 
20/08/1929m 23s

Maggie Gyllenhaal on “The Deuce” and #MeToo

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s first starring role was in the 2002 movie “Secretary,” a distriburbing romantic comedy about a troubled woman in a sadomasochistic relationship with her boss. Since then, Gyllenhaal has continued to push the boundaries of how sex is depicted on screen as an executive producer and star of “The Deuce,” HBO’s drama about the beginnings of the porn industry. In a conversation with The New Yorker’s Lauren Collins, Gyllenhaal talks about her character, Candy, who leaves street prostitution to perform in porn, and eventually makes her way into directing. Since the show premiered, the #MeToo movement has shed light on how women are asked to compromise themselves, not only in sex work but in entertainment, at almost every walk of life. “Many women have been asked to compromise themselves and have done it,” she tells Collins, admitting that she has moments of thinking, “Oh my god. How did I laugh at that joke or stay in that meeting or put that shirt on?” Gyllenhaal also talks about adapting for film a novel by Elena Ferrante, who gave her the rights—on condition that Gyllenhaal herself direct it.  The third and final season of “The Deuce” begins in September, 2019. 
16/08/1920m 14s

Ian Frazier Among the Drone Racers

Ian Frazier, who has chronicled American life for The New Yorker for more than forty years, travelled to a house in Fort Collins, Colorado, where three roommates build, fly, and race drones. Jordan Temkin, Zachry Thayer, and Travis McIntyre are three of perhaps only fifty professional drone racers in the world, piloting the tiny devices through complex courses at upward of eighty miles an hour. Drones have had an enormous impact on military strategy, and the commercial applications seem limitless, but, for these pilots, drones exist in the strange overlap between pure adrenaline and big money that defines pro sports.
13/08/1917m 15s

The Rippling Effects of China’s One-Child Policy

Nanfu Wang grew up under China’s one-child policy and never questioned it. “You don’t know that it’s something initiated and implemented by the authority,” she tells The New Yorker’s Jiayang Fan. “It’s a normal part of everything. Just like water exists, or air.” But when Wang became pregnant she started to understand the magnitude of the law—and the suffering behind it. Wang’s documentary, “One Child Nation,” explores the effects of one of the largest social experiments in history. She uncovers stories of confusion and trauma, in Chinese society and within her own family. After Wang’s uncle had a daughter, his family forced him to abandon her at a local market so that he and his wife could try for a son. “He stood there, across the street, watching to see if somebody would come and take the baby,” Wang tells Fan. “He wanted to bring her home, but his mom threatened to commit suicide. . . . He felt so torn. There was no right decision.” 
09/08/1914m 19s

Toni Morrison Talks with Hilton Als

Toni Morrison read The New York Times with pencil in hand. An editor by trade, Morrison never stopped noting errors in the paper. In 2015, during a conversation with The New Yorker’s Hilton Als, Morrison noted that the stories she cared about were once absent from the news. Now they’re present, but distorted. “The language is manipulated and strangled in such a way that you get the message,” she noted wryly. “I know there is a difference between the received story… and what is actually going on.” Morrison, who died on Monday, was the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and one of the most beloved writers of the 21st century. In a wide-ranging interview with Als, Morrison discusses her last novel, God Help The Child, writing in a modern setting, and her relationship to her father, whom she says was complicated man and bluntly calls a “racist.” When she was older, she learned that he had wittnessed the lynching of two of his neighbors. “I think that’s why he thought white people… were incorrigible,” she explains to Als. “They were doomed.”    Language Advisory: At around 34 minutes into the interview, Hilton Als quotes a line from Toni Morrison’s book “Jazz” that contains the n-word. We feel it is important to leave the word uncensored as it is an accurate depiction of the language Morrison used in her description of black life in America. However, it may not be suitable for younger listeners. 
06/08/1948m 36s

Living in the Shadow of Guantánamo, Part 2

In January, The New Yorker’s Ben Taub travelled to Mauritania to meet with Mohamedou Salahi. An electrical engineer who had lived in Germany, Salahi was detained at Guantánamo Bay for fifteen years and tortured, despite the fact that he was not a terrorist.  But one of the key pieces of evidence was that Salahi’s cousin, known as Abu Hafs al-Mauritani, was a high-ranking member of Al Qaeda—a member of the group’s governing Shura Council and a spiritual adviser to Osama bin Laden, who had drafted bin Laden’s infamous fatwa against the United States. While Salahi endured torture at Guantánamo, Abu Hafs was never captured or detained by the United States. When Ben Taub met Abu Hafs at a wedding of Mauritanian élites, he wondered how this man had gone free while his cousin had suffered so much. Abu Hafs agreed to an interview, but it quickly took a turn that Ben didn’t expect.
06/08/1917m 1s

Living in the Shadow of Guantánamo

When Mohamedou Salahi arrived at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, in August of 2002, he was hopeful.  He knew why he had been detained: he had crossed paths with Al Qaeda operatives, and his cousin had once called him from Osama bin Laden’s phone.  But Salahi was no terrorist—he held no extremist views—and had no information of any plots. He trusted the American system of justice and thought the authorities would realize their mistake before long.    He was wrong.    Salahi spent fifteen years at Guantánamo, where he was subjected to some of the worst excesses of America’s war on terror; Donald Rumsfeld personally signed off on the orders for his torture.  And, under torture, Salahi confessed to everything—even though he had done nothing. “If they would have wanted him to confess to being on the grassy knoll for the J.F.K. assassination, I’m sure we could have got him to confess to that, too,” Mark Fallon, who led an investigation unit at Guantánamo, said.     Ben Taub reported Mohamedou Salahi’s story for The New Yorker and tried to understand what had gone wrong in the fight against Al Qaeda. Salahi met Ben in Mauritania, because, when the U.S. released him, it was under the condition that Mauritania would withhold his passport. He would like to go abroad—he needs medical treatment, and he hopes to live in a democracy. But, for an innocent victim of Guantánamo, being released isn’t the same as being free. 
02/08/1931m 28s

Summer, By The Book

The cultural critic Doreen St. Félix goes to Madame Tussauds with Justin Kuritzkes, the début author of the novel “Famous People,” to talk about the nature of celebrity. Jia Tolentino heads for the children’s section of a bookstore with Rivka Galchen to compare notes on the kids’ books that still inspire them. And Jelani Cobb recommends three recent works of history that shed light on our current moment.
30/07/1932m 17s

Tana French on “The Witch Elm”

Tana French was an actor in her thirties when she sat down to write about a mystery that took the lives of two children, which became the global blockbuster “In the Woods.” With her subsequent books about the Dublin Murder Squad, French became known as “the queen of Irish crime fiction”—despite having been born in the United States. French’s latest book, “The Witch Elm,” departs from her line of police procedurals: the narrator is a civilian, a happy-go-lucky young man named Toby whose life is turned upside down when he is attacked during a burglary. Although the book involves a murder, “The core story arc is not the murder and the solution,” French tells Alexandra Schwartz. “The core story arc is Toby going from this golden boy [with] his happy life to somebody who’s had that shattered. . . . Where will this crisis take him?” Though known as a literary mystery writer, French acknowledges that some of her fans have found the plot frustrating. “If you’re coming to this book expecting a straight-up crime novel . . . you are going to be a hundred pages in [asking], ‘Where’s my murder?’ ” 
26/07/1917m 27s

Jelani Cobb Talks with the Artist Fahamu Pecou

Fahamu Pecou has shown work in museums all over the country and appeared on television shows like “Empire” and “black-ish.” The men the artist depicts tend to strike exaggerated poses, with sagging bluejeans and a cascade of colorful boxer shorts. Pecou gained notoriety in Atlanta, for a poster campaign bearing the legend “Fahamu Pecou Is the Shit.” The New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb notes that Pecou “has the ability to deal with themes that relate primarily to black male identity in the U.S.,” including stereotypes and police violence, “while injecting a very subversive element of humor.” Cobb went to Atlanta to meet with Pecou and spoke with him about the influence of African tradition on his life and work.  L. D. Brown of Grey Reverend contributed music for this story.
23/07/1916m 55s

Watching the Moon Landing

Some people have always believed that the moon landing was a government hoax, and, in the age of the Internet, that conspiracy theory continues to thrive. Andrew Marantz explores the value of skepticism, and the point at which disbelief leads to a totalitarian breakdown. We went to the archives for three real-time accounts of what it was like to watch the moon landing on television. 
19/07/1928m 23s

Tom Hanks Reads His Tale of Going to the Moon

In 2014, Tom Hanks—the star of “Apollo 13,” among many other accomplishments—wrote a short story about going to the moon.  But his was not a dramatic story of NASA heroes facing grave danger. Hanks told the tale of a very twenty-first century mission, executed D.I.Y. style, with four misfits in a space capsule run off an iPad and held together with duct tape.  The story, “Alan Bean Plus Four,” was published in The New Yorker in 2014.  Hanks originally read the story for the New Yorker’s Writer’s Voice podcast.  
18/07/1919m 47s

Carly Rae Jepsen Talks with Amanda Petrusich

“I can remember, even four months after [“Call Me Maybe” ’s] release, being claimed in the press as a one-hit wonder,” Carly Rae Jepsen says. “Isn’t it too soon to decide that? Give me a chance!” The Canadian singer and songwriter was by no means a one-hit wonder, and her talent for crafting earworm pop songs about love in all its forms won her a legion of fans and the devotion of many critics, including The New Yorker’s Amanda Petrusich. In 2017, while Jepsen was working on her fourth album, “Dedicated”—which was released in May, 2019—Jepsen sat down at the New Yorker Festival with Petrusich, to talk about her creative process. She had already written eighty songs for the record, she estimated. “If you wanted, I could write you a song right now, but it might not be good. I never run out of ideas, and I never stop enjoying doing it.” With her collaborator and guitarist Tavish Crowe, Jepsen performed an acoustic version of her hit “I Really Like You” live. 
16/07/1914m 43s

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the 2020 Presidential Race and Why We Should Break up Homeland Security

It’s hard to recall a newly elected freshman representative to Congress who has made a bigger impact than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Her primary victory for New York’s Fourteenth District seat—as a young woman of color beating out a long-established white male incumbent—was big news, and Ocasio-Cortez has been generating headlines almost daily ever since. Practically the day she took her seat in Congress, Ocasio-Cortez became the hero of the left wing of the Democrats and a favored villain of Fox News and the right. She battled Nancy Pelosi to make the Green New Deal a priority, and has been involved with a movement to launch primary challenges against centrist or right-leaning Democrats. Like Bernie Sanders, she embraces the label of democratic socialism and supports free college education for all Americans. She has called for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She joined David Remnick in the New Yorker Radio Hour studio on July 5th, just after her trip to the border to examine migrant-detention facilities. Remnick and Ocasio-Cortez spoke about why she courted controversy by referring to some facilities as “concentration camps”; why she thinks the Department of Homeland Security is irredeemable; and whether Joe Biden is qualified to be President, given his comments about colleagues who supported forms of segregation. “Issues of race and gender are not extra-credit points in being a good Democrat,” she says. “They are a core part of the ... competencies that a President needs. . . . Where are you on understanding the people that live in this country?”
09/07/1957m 45s

Aaron Sorkin Rewrites “To Kill a Mockingbird”

As he set about adapting “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the stage, Aaron Sorkin found himself troubled by its protagonist, the small-town lawyer Atticus Finch. Harper Lee’s Finch, he thought, is tolerant to a fault—understanding rather than condemning the violent racism of many of his neighbors. Sorkin also felt that Lee’s two black characters, the maid Calpurnia and the falsely accused Tom Robinson, lacked a real voice. “I imagine that, in 1960, using African-American characters as atmosphere is the kind of thing that would go unnoticed by white people,” he tells David Remnick. “In 2018, it doesn’t go unnoticed, and it’s wrong, and it’s also a wasted opportunity.” Sorkin’s changes in his adaptation led to a lawsuit from Harper Lee’s literary executor, who had placed specific conditions on the faithfulness of his script. In Sorkin’s view, the criticisms of the executor, Tonja Carter, were tantamount to racism, in that they reinforced the lack of agency of black people in the South in the nineteen-thirties. (Carter declined to comment on Sorkin’s remarks, and the lawsuit was settled before the play was produced.) Sorkin says that, of his own volition, he cut some of his new lines that hinted too broadly toward the current Presidency. But Atticus Finch’s realization—that the people in his community whom he thought he knew best were people he never really knew at all—mirrors the experience of many Americans since 2016. Plus, Ocean Vuong, the author of the best-selling autobiographical novel “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” visits the food court at a largely Asian mall in Queens that reminds him of home. 
09/07/1927m 26s

As Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith Hit the Road

Tracy K. Smith was named Poet Laureate, in 2017, right after the most divisive election of our time. She could have spent her two-year appointment writing and enjoying a nice office in the Library of Congress, but she felt poetry might be able to help mend some of the divisions that the election had highlighted. Her plan was this: to put together a collection of poems from living poets, called “American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time,” that she felt were in some way relevant to our moment, and to hit the road—visiting community centers, senior centers, prisons, and colleges. While serving as Poet Laureate, Smith estimates that she travelled one or two nights every week, reading poems written by herself and others, and discussing them with groups of people. “It was exhausting, and exhilarating, and it was probably the best thing I could have done as an American,” she told The New Yorker’s poetry editor, Kevin Young. 
05/07/1919m 47s

Valeria Luiselli on Reënacting the Border

Valeria Luiselli first travelled to the U.S.–Mexico border in 2014, when the current immigration crisis began to heat up. Under the Trump Presidency, the border has become the dead center of American politics, and Luiselli returned with the radio producer Pejk Malinovski. Luiselli is a Mexican writer living in New York, and the author of “Lost Children Archive” and other books. She wrote in The New Yorker about Wild West reënactments, in which actors stage scenes like a gunfight at O.K. Corral. In Tombstone, Arizona, and Shakespeare, New Mexico, she finds a very particular view of Western history that elides the U.S.’s long and complicated relationship with Mexico, which once owned this region. She finds that historical reënactments feed a notion of the border region as a lawless frontier requiring vigilantes to defend American interests.
02/07/1931m 59s

Emily Nussbaum Likes to Watch

For decades, critical praise for a TV show was that it was “not like TV,” but more like a novel or a movie. That ingrained hierarchy always bugged Emily Nussbaum, who went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for her criticism in The New Yorker. She has been compared to Pauline Kael, but Nussbaum—acknowledging the compliment—is quick to point out that she has never written about movies, nor has she wanted to. She was inspired to be a TV critic by “Television Without Pity,” a blog site of passionate, informed fans arguing constantly. In her new book, “I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way through the TV Revolution,” Nussbaum argues that the success of serious antihero dramas like “The Sopranos” and “Breaking Bad” has led many to devalue mainstays of TV, like comedies and even soap operas. It’s time to stop comparing TV to anything else, she tells David Remnick. 
28/06/1917m 37s

The Trump Administration’s Plan to Deport Victims of Human Trafficking

The New Yorker contributor Jenna Krajeski recently met with a woman who calls herself Esperanza. In her home country, Esperanza was coerced and threatened into prostitution, and later was trafficked into the United States, where she was subjected to appalling conditions. Esperanza eventually obtained legal help, and applied for something called a T visa. The T visa contains unusual provisions that recognize the unique circumstances of human-trafficking victims in seeking legal status. It has also been a crucial tool to obtaining victims’ coöperation in prosecuting traffickers. The Trump Administration claims to want to fight the problem of human trafficking, but Krajeski notes that its policies have done the opposite: T-visa applicants can now be deported if their applications are rejected. This dramatic change in policy sharply reduced the number of applications from victims seeking help. “If what [the Administration] cares about is putting traffickers in prison, which is what they say they care about, their prosecutions are going down and will go down further,” Martina Vandenberg, the president of the Human Trafficking Legal Center, says. “Trafficking victims under the circumstances can’t actually coöperate.”  
25/06/1925m 53s

Dexter Filkins on the Dangerous Escalations between the U.S. and Iran

After a U.S. drone was allegedly shot down by Iran last week, relations between Tehran and Washington are again approaching a low point; on Thursday, President Trump ordered and then called off an air strike. The situation has been deteriorating since the beginning of the Trump era, with the Administration actively supporting Saudi Arabia as a regional competitor to Iran, and the President withdrawing the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The New Yorker staff writer Dexter Filkins says that Iran’s initial strategy was to wait the Trump Presidency out. That calculus has changed as more hawkish advisors, like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, who are intent on imposing harsh sanctions on Iran, have joined the Administration. The result has been a series of tit-for-tat exchanges between the two countries, which could ultimately lead to a larger conflict. “If things got out of control in that region, that would be, Iraq, to Iran, to Afghanistan,” Filkins said. “I can't imagine where that would end, or how it would end." Kelefa Sanneh shares three music picks with David Remnick: artists who deliver all the emotional joys of pop music, but aren’t extremely popular.
21/06/1920m 52s

David Remnick Talks with Robert Caro about “Working”

Robert Caro is a historical biographer unlike anyone else writing today, with the Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, and other honors to prove it. But to call his books biographies seems to miss the mark: they’re so rich in detail, so accurate, and at the same time so broad in scope, that they’re more like epics of American history. David Remnick sat down with Caro at the McCarter Theater, in Princeton, New Jersey, on the occasion of the publication of “Working,” a volume of Caro’s speeches and other writings. They covered Caro’s early years as a newspaper reporter, his determination to tackle a project—the rise to power of Robert Moses—that no one had accomplished, and finally his chronicle of the life of Lyndon Johnson. Caro has completed four volumes on Johnson, with a fifth, covering the Presidency, in the works. Remnick asks about Caro’s singular method of interviewing in depth, and Caro describes his interview with Sam Houston Johnson, the president’s brother, which Caro conducted at the National Park Service’s Lyndon B Johnson Boyhood Home historic site. “I took him into the dining room,” Caro recalls, and told Johnson to sit where he had sat as a child. “I didn’t sit where he could see me . . . . I sat behind him. So I said, ‘Now tell about these terrible arguments your father used to have with Lyndon at the table.’ At first it was very slow going, you’d have to keep prompting him. But finally he was just shouting it out: ‘Lyndon you’re a failure, you’ll always be a failure. And what are you, you’re a bus inspector!’ And I felt he was back in the moment. So I said, ‘Now Sam Houston, I want you to tell me again those wonderful stories you told me before, that everybody tells about Lyndon Johnson.’ And there was this long pause. And then he says, ‘I can’t.’ And I said, ‘Why not?’ And he says, ‘Because they never happened.’ And without me saying another word, he starts to tell the story of Lyndon Johnson, which is a very different story of a very ruthless young man.”
18/06/1930m 49s

Will the Government Get Tough on Big Tech?

Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (which owns Google), and Facebook—known in the tech world as the Big Four—are among the largest and most profitable companies in the world, and they’ve been accustomed to the laxest of oversight from Washington. But the climate may have shifted in a significant way. The Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the House Judiciary Committee are all investigating different aspects of the Big Four; Elizabeth Warren has made breaking up these companies a cornerstone of her Presidential campaign. Sue Halpern, a New Yorker contributor, sounds a cautious note about these developments. Current antitrust law doesn’t well fit the nature of these businesses, and breaking up the companies will not necessarily solve underlying issues, like the lack of privacy law. In a twist, Halpern says, the Big Four and now asking the federal government for more regulation—because, she explains to David Remnick, the companies’ lobbyists can sway Washington more easily than they can influence state governments like California, which just passed a rigorous data-privacy law similar to the European Union’s. “They’re being called to account, they have to do something,” she notes, “but they want to direct the conversation so that, ultimately, they still win.” Plus, we contemplate the dire prospect of Houston without air conditioning. Bryan Washington, a Houston native and a celebrated young fiction writer, introduces non-natives to a cherished local institution: the open-air bar and community space called an ice house.  
14/06/1918m 59s

Bryan Washington at a Houston Ice House

On a day when the temperature in Houston is in the high nineties, you might want to head to an ice house. If you don’t know what an ice house is, you don’t live in Houston. Bryan Washington, a native of the city whose début short-story collection is set among its hustlers and drug dealers, took us to the West Alabama Ice House to describe a singular Houston institution. “There really is no one true definition of what an ice house is,” he admits. “Some folks would argue it has to be a place that literally sold ice at one time. Some people could argue that an ice house’s signifier is shitty parking, [because] it’s a community hub and people from the community would walk over and hang out.” But mainly, Washington thinks, it’s a bar that’s open to the air on at least one side, with benches or tables both inside and out—a set-up that breaks from the norms of air conditioning in Houston.  Washington speaks of the breakups and the fights he has experienced at the West Alabama Ice House. “I’ve lived here,” he says. “I’ve run through the spectrum of emotions. And I can’t think of too many places besides an actual home or workplace where that would be the case.”
14/06/196m 28s

From Stonewall to the Present, Fifty Years of L.G.B.T.Q. Rights

Masha Gessen co-hosts this episode of the New Yorker Radio Hour, guiding David Remnick through the fifty years of civil-rights gains for L.G.B.T.Q. people. From drag queens reading to children at the library to a popular gay Presidential candidate, we’ll look at how the movement for L.G.B.T.Q. rights has changed our culture and our laws. The actress and comedian Lea DeLaria takes us through five decades of queer history in five minutes. Gessen talks with a Stonewall historian named Martin Duberman about whether the movement has become too conservative, and, later, she visits with a gay asylum seeker who recently fled Russia’s state security agency. CORRECTION: An earlier version of this program misidentified the location of the 2016 Pulse night-club shooting.  
07/06/1949m 18s

Ava DuVernay on “When They See Us,” About the Boys Who Became the Central Park Five

Ava DuVernay doesn’t like using the term Central Park Five—a moniker created by the press in the aftermath of the notorious and brutal assault of a twenty-eight-year-old woman, Trisha Meili. “They’re not the Central Park Five,” she tells the New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb. “They’re Korey, Yusef, Antron, Kevin, and Raymond.” They were five teens who were coerced into confessing to a terrible crime by police determined to find a culprit. It was a time when “the police, the district attorney, the prosecutors [wanted] to get a ‘win’ on the board,” DuVernay thinks, “because there were so many losses, so much going wrong.” Cobb wrote in The New Yorker that “The reaction to Meili’s assault came as the nadir of a two-decade-long spiral of racial animosity driven by a fear of crime,” noting that, in that same week, brutal attacks on women of color failed to generate any headlines or perceptible outrage. The story has returned to public consciousness in recent years because of its role in launching Donald Trump’s political career. One of Trump’s first political acts, in 1989, was to take out a newspaper ad calling for the execution of the boys, and he stuck by his view even after they were exonerated. DuVernay’s goal was to tell the story of those five boys and the men they became. “When They See Us” was released on Netflix on May 31st.
04/06/1928m 47s

Emily Nussbaum on TV’s “Deluge” of #MeToo Plots

The #MeToo movement of recent years started in the entertainment industry, with revelations about moguls such as Harvey Weinstein and CBS’s Les Moonves, and, since 2017, television writers have been grappling with how to address sexual harassment for a modern audience. Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker’s television critic, examined the issue in a recent essay. Some of the shows she thinks are doing the best job are actually comedies, from the strange animated series “Tuca and Bertie” to the deeply cynical “Veep.” “Maybe there’s been a hesitation to deal with this head-on in drama,” she tells David Remnick, “because drama does, to some extent, at least, require sincerity, and sincerity can be uncomfortable in talking about trauma and assault.” One of Nussbaum’s favorites from this “deluge” of plotlines comes on the show “High Maintenance,” where, instead of some appalling revelation of misconduct, we watch a character reassessing a seemingly minor incident with fresh eyes. “He’s clearly thought about this in a post-MeToo way, as ‘Is this the shitty thing that I did that traumatized a woman that I know? . . . How do I take responsibility for it?’ ” Plus, Ruth Franklin on the late poet Mary Oliver, whose spirituality, love of nature, and unusual directness made her one of the most beloved poets of our time.  
31/05/1920m 38s

Who Should Receive Reparations for Slavery and Discrimination?

The idea of reparations—real compensation made to the descendants of slaves or the victims of legalized discrimination—has gained traction since the publication, in 2014, of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s influential article “The Case for Reparations,” which appeared in The Atlantic. But even among proponents of the concept, the ideas about what reparations would mean vary wildly. Questions linger about the intended recipients. Should only descendants of people enslaved on American soil (rather than the Caribbean or elsewhere in the diaspora) be eligible? That is the contention of people using the hashtag ADOS, or American Descendants of Slavery, which has become controversial. How important is genealogical proof to making a claim, given that slavery often did not leave good records? What about Americans who may have had an enslaved ancestor, but have not personally identified as African-American? Alondra Nelson, a professor of sociology at Columbia University and president of the Social Science Research Council, talked with two prominent scholars who have addressed the issue: Darrick Hamilton, the executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, and William A. Darity, the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Then Nelson sat down with The New Yorker’s Joshua Rothman to explain the challenges faced.
28/05/1928m 33s

Is America Ready to Make Reparations?

Late in the Civil War, the Union general William T. Sherman confiscated four hundred thousand acres of land from Confederate planters and ordered it redistributed, in forty-acre lots, to formerly enslaved people—a promise revoked by President Andrew Johnson almost as soon as it was made. More than a hundred and fifty years later, the debate on what America owes to the descendants of slaves, or to people robbed by the legal discrimination that followed, still rages. David Remnick talks with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Susan B. Glasser about how reparations has become a major focus in the 2020 Democratic primary contest. And we’ll visit Georgetown University, where students have chosen to take reparations upon themselves.
24/05/1949m 5s

Lucinda Williams Talks with Ariel Levy

Despite winning a Grammy for her song “Passionate Kisses,” which was performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lucinda Williams spent many years overlooked by the music industry: she was too country for rock, too rock for country. In 1998, American music caught up to her, and her album “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” broke through. The staff writer Ariel Levy sat down with Williams at the New Yorker Festival, in 2012, to talk about God, Flannery O’Connor, and the musician’s path through the industry. Williams topped it all of with a live performance.  This segment was originally broadcast on July 7, 2017.
21/05/1916m 7s

James Taylor Will Teach you Guitar

James Taylor’s songs are so familiar that they seem to have always existed. Onstage at the New Yorker Festival, in 2010, Taylor peeled back some of his influences—the Beatles, Bach, show tunes, and Antônio Carlos Jobim—and played a few of his hits, even giving the staff writer Adam Gopnik a quick lesson. This segment was originally broadcast on July 7, 2017.
17/05/1932m 31s

What the Constitution Means to the Playwright Heidi Schreck

Few Americans dispute the centrality of the Constitution as a statement of our country’s goals; it is as though holy. But what the Constitution actually means to any two people may differ widely, and those differences are dramatized in a new play, on Broadway, called “What the Constitution Means to Me.” It’s essentially a one-person show written and performed by Heidi Schreck (profiled in The New Yorker by Michael Schulman), and it’s her first play to reach Broadway. The performer reflects on her personal history as a high-school debate champion, when she was rewarded for upholding an officially sanctioned view of American politics that she has come to realize is a distortion. Both the play and Schreck’s performance have been nominated for Tony Awards; it’s a hit, and it’s a cultural flashpoint in an era when the phrase “constitutional crisis” is invoked almost weekly. Dorothy Wickenden spoke with Heidi Schreck. Plus, SoundCloud rap—once a marginal, willfully weird genre for amateurs—has lately created some of the biggest hits in hip-hop.
14/05/1923m 7s

Bill McKibben and Elizabeth Kolbert: Is It Too Late to Save the World?

After years of languishing far down the list of voters’ priorities, climate change has moved to the top of many voters’ concerns, according to a new CNN poll. Now Presidential candidates are competing to establish themselves as leaders on the issue, and children are making headlines for striking from school over the issue. Bill McKibben, whose book “The End of Nature” brought the idea of global warming to public consciousness thirty years ago, tells David Remnick that the accumulation of weather catastrophes—droughts, wildfires, floods—may have finally made an impact. “You watch as a California city literally called Paradise literally turns into hell inside half an hour,” McKibben reflects. “Once people have seen pictures like that, it’s no wonder we begin to see a real uptick in the response.” McKibben joined the New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert in a conversation about the U.N.’s new report on biodiversity. It finds that a million species could become extinct within a few decades and that human life itself may be imperilled. Although the political tide could be turning, both worry that it is too late. “The problem with climate change is that it’s a timed test,” McKibben notes. “If you don’t solve it fast, then you don’t solve it. No one’s got a plan for refreezing the Arctic once it’s melted. . . . We’re not playing for stopping climate change. We’re playing—maybe—for being able to slow it down to the point where it doesn’t make civilizations impossible.”  And Karen Russell, whose books are inspired by her native Florida, finds a new sense of enchantment after relocating to the Oregon coast, where the big trees are like characters out of Jim Henson.
10/05/1926m 6s

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Comedian Pete Holmes

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand been fierce on the issue of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the military and government; as a champion of the MeToo movement, she was among the first Democrats to call for Senator Al Franken to step down. Some in the Party, she has claimed, are still angry with her over it, and have withheld donating to her campaign. Gillibrand tells David Remnick that her experience as a female politician will be a strength if she were to face Trump in the general election. “My first two opponents were in a 2-to-1 Republican district, who demeaned me, and name-called me, and tried to dismiss me. And not only did it make my candidacy relevant, but it made it got a lot of people deeply offended, and they wanted to know who I was and why I was running.” Trump’s “Achilles heel,” she says, “is a mother with young children who’s running on issues that . . . families care about. His kryptonite is a woman who stands up for what she believes in and doesn’t back down.” Plus, a visit to “Interfaith Alley” at New York’s Kennedy Airport with the comedian Pete Holmes, who lost his evangelical faith but not his passion for the way religions give life meaning.
03/05/1926m 19s

Rhiannon Giddens, Americana’s Queen, Goes Global

By the standards of any musician, Rhiannon Giddens has a twisting and complex path. Trained as an operatic soprano at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory, Giddens fell almost by chance into the study of American folk music. Alongside two like-minded musicians, she formed the Carolina Chocolate Drops, in which she plays banjo and sings. The group is focussed on reviving the nearly forgotten repertoire of black Southern string bands, but the audience for acoustic music remains largely white. Giddens tells David Remnick she was heartbroken that her largest black audience was at a prison concert. “The gatekeepers of black culture are not interested in what I’m doing,” she says. “This is a complaint I’ve heard from many, many people of color who do music that’s not considered black—hip-hop, R&B.” Her view of black music is more expansive: “There’s been black people singing opera and writing classical music forever.” As a solo artist, Giddens is moving increasingly far afield from African-American or American music; her new album, “There Is No Other,” recorded in Dublin in collaboration with the musician Francesco Turrisi, explores folk styles from the Middle East, Europe, and Brazil, as well as early America. She and Turrisi perform “Wayfaring Stranger,” the ancient ballad “Little Margaret,” and the tarantella “Pizzica di San Vito.”
03/05/1923m 44s

A New Approach to Dementia Care

In the field of memory care, there is a fierce debate around the question of honesty. Lying can, under certain circumstances, alleviate or avert distress in patients who are suffering from memory loss. But, on principle, many providers, patients, and family members don’t like the idea of deceiving patients who are in such a vulnerable position. Some care homes have strict no-lying policies. But the New Yorker staff writer Larissa McFarquhar recently spent some time at a different kind of assisted-living facility that takes the opposite approach—The facility is one of only a few of its kind in the United States." The Lantern, in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, is home to about forty patients who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The care staff at the Lantern are taught that, in some cases, lying to patients is kinder than telling them the truth. McFarquhar talks with Andrea Paratto, who helps train the Lantern’s staff. In a previous job, at a facility where lying to patients was against the rules, she had to remind a ninety-year-old woman that her mother was long dead. “She just started crying,” she tells McFarquhar. “I stopped right then and there and said I’m never doing that again. I cannot put somebody through that ever again.” Some people argue that lying to patients undermines their dignity. But when it comes to patients struggling with dementia, McFarquhar says, there are other factors to consider. “Maybe something else should be the goal—I don’t know. Happiness? Autonomy? Or living your life as you want to, insofar as that’s possible.”
30/04/1919m 20s

Julián Castro Is Not Afraid

In a crowded Democratic field, the candidate Julián Castro is eager to stand out. One way he’s tried to do that is by taking on the issue of immigration—a favorite topic of President Donald Trump, and one that’s important to his base. In a wide-ranging conversation with the New Yorker editor David Remnick, Castro lays out his plan. And Taylor Mac, a performance artist and playwright who made a name for himself in New York City’s downtown theater scene, makes the leap to Broadway.
26/04/1930m 42s

The Green New Deal, and an Unusual Night at the Orchestra

The Green New Deal is coming to the table during the one of the most divisive periods Washington has ever seen. Two advocates of the environmental plan—a young activist championing the cause, and a veteran of climate politics in Washington—consider what it would take to actually pass such legislation. And The New Yorker’s Patty Marx learns firsthand that conducting an orchestra can’t be mastered overnight.
23/04/1934m 1s

The N.R.A.’s Financial Mess

Last March, Wayne LaPierre sent a fund-raising letter to his members—an urgent plea for money. LaPierre described an attack on the Second Amendment that is unprecedented in the history of the country. But, in reality, what is endangering the N.R.A. isn’t constitutional law; it’s destructive business relationships that have damaged the organization financially, and have put it in legal jeopardy. Searching through N.R.A. tax forms, charity records, contracts, and internal communications, the reporter Mike Spies discovered that “a small group of N.R.A executives, contractors, and venders have extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from the nonprofit’s budget, enriching themselves in the process.” While the organization is quick to lay blame on its political opponents, Spies says, it’s its questionable financial practices that have weakened it from the inside. Central to the story of the N.R.A’s financial problems is an Oklahoma-based P.R. firm called Ackerman McQueen. Ack-Mac didn’t just write press releases: for decades, it has steered the N.R.A.’s imaging on all platforms, and its executives routinely took positions within the N.R.A. In 2017, the N.R.A. paid Ackerman and affiliates almost forty-one million dollars, which totalled about twelve per cent of the N.R.A.’s total expenses that year. Ostensibly just a contractor, Ackerman influenced N.R.A. decision-making from inside, and the for-profit company seems to have used the nonprofit company as a vast source of funds to enrich itself. Spies interviewed Aaron Davis, who worked in the N.R.A.’s fund-raising operation for a decade. “I think there is an inherent conflict of interest,” Davis says. “And it just doesn’t seem like N.R.A. leadership is all that concerned about this.”   (After this interview took place, the N.R.A. sued Ackerman McQueen, claiming that the contractor had hidden important documentation from it that detailed the business relationships.)
19/04/1916m 45s

The actor Christine Baranski on “The Good Fight,” and Kurt Vile on Songwriting

Christine Baranski was a successful theatre actor who would never stoop to do television in the old days. But when she got the pilot script for “Cybill,” and had two daughters to put through school, she took the role of Marianne, the tough-talking best friend of Cybill Shepherd’s character. “Who goes to Hollywood at forty-two and becomes an overnight star?” Baranski asks the critic Emily Nussbaum. What made her such a sensation? “No one had seen that woman on American television” before, she notes, of her character, a badass with a Martini and an attitude. “Sex and the City” came later. Playing strong women seems to come naturally to Baranski; since 2009, she’s portrayed the capable, elegant Diane Lockhart, in “The Good Wife” and then “The Good Fight.” She talked with Nussbaum in a live conversation at the 2018 New Yorker Festival. Plus, Amanda Petrusich talks with the musician Kurt Vile, who performs his song “Pretty Pimpin” live.
16/04/1930m 19s

Masha Gessen and Keith Gessen Debate Russian and American Politics

Masha Gessen and Keith Gessen have, taken together, written more than a dozen books and a thousand articles. Keith Gessen is a founder of n+1, an influential literary journal; Masha has written for major newspapers and journals as well as, since 2014, The New Yorker. Their parents emigrated from the Soviet Union in its latter days. Keith has spent most of his life in America, but Masha, who is older, returned to Russia as an adult and worked there as a reporter. In a conversation at the 2018 New Yorker Festival, the siblings discussed their different perspectives on the U.S.-Russia relationship. All through the Mueller investigation, Masha warned people not to expect a smoking gun to prove collusion between Putin and Trump, and then, somehow, this fierce critic of Putin was branded an apologist for his regime. Masha’s most recent book is “The Future Is History”; Keith’s is a novel, called “A Terrible Country.”
12/04/1919m 23s

The Neurology of Bias, and a Visit with Thundercat

Most of us have biases and prejudices we don’t acknowledge—or aren’t even aware of. Admitting those biases is a baseline of political “wokeness.” But measuring and proving bias, and showing how it works, is another matter. Jennifer Eberhardt is a social psychologist at Stanford University who studies these issues through neuroimaging and other experiments. Bias, in her view, is not merely a learned phenomenon but one that involves neurological patterns that are “tuned” by cultural experience. And it may operate most prominently in situations where people have the least time for reflection. Eberhardt says that intervening on a policy level to reduce the consequences of bias involves slowing down decision-making in critical situations such as policing. She spoke with David Remnick about her new book, “Biased.” Plus, Briana Younger, a music editor at The New Yorker, visits with the bassist and producer who helped make Kendrick Lamar’s album “To Pimp a Butterfly.” He goes by Thundercat.
09/04/1928m 45s

The Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg on Coming Out: “I Realized I Couldn’t Go On Like That Forever”

During an exit interview with President Barack Obama in November, 2016, just weeks after the election, David Remnick asked who would be the leaders of the Democratic Party and the contenders to oppose Trump in 2020. Obama mentioned people like Kamala Harris, of California, and Tim Kaine, of Virginia, along with a very surprising figure: Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who was only thirty-five at the time. In recent weeks, Buttigieg has been raising his profile dramatically, and raising money at a surprising clip, considering that he lacks the national profile of a senator or a governor. In a huge field of candidates, the mayor stands out. He’s a Navy veteran, and was born and raised in South Bend, so he brings heartland credibility to his campaign. But he’s also the youngest candidate in the field, and the first openly gay person with a real shot at the nomination. Buttigieg had not yet come out when he took office and when he joined the Navy Reserves, but deployment in Afghanistan changed his perspective. “I realized I couldn’t go on like that forever. . . . Something about that really clarified my awareness of the extent to which you only get to live one life and be one person,” Buttigieg tells Remnick. “Part of it was the exposure to danger,” he notes, but there was more to it: “I began to feel a little bit humiliated about the idea that my life could come to an end and I could be a visible public official and a grown man and a homeowner and have no idea what it was like to be in love.”
05/04/1921m 9s

How OxyContin Was Sold to the Masses

Patrick Radden Keefe has reported on the Sackler family and their control of Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. Among the sources for his article “Empire of Pain” was a whistle-blower named Steven May, a former sales rep who joined Purdue during the heyday of OxyContin. In an interview for the New Yorker Radio Hour, May details how the company flooded the market with a powerful painkiller that it deceptively touted as being nearly as safe as Tylenol. Plus, two beloved cartoonists—Roz Chast and Liana Finck—talk shop.
02/04/1932m 1s

Has the Mueller Report Changed Anything?

The Mueller investigation has been a two-year obsession for nearly everyone who cares about politics in America. For one side, the special counsel was a bête noire, a leader of a witch hunt; for the other, Mueller was a deus ex machina who would end the political disruptions of Trumpism. But the report received by Attorney General William Barr was highly ambivalent, neither indicting nor exonerating the President, and leaving to the A.G. to decide the crucial question of obstruction of justice. To weigh the consequences of the Mueller report, David Remnick sat down with the staff writers Masha Gessen and Susan Glasser. “Any other political figure of course would be glad that an investigation like this is over, and would want to move on as quickly as possible,” Glasser notes. “True to form, [Trump] is already talking about various vindictive moves, and ‘investigating the investigators.’ . . . It’s a strategy compatible with his overall approach of appealing to his supporters, and maximum divisiveness.”
29/03/1917m 40s

U.K. Edges Closer to the Cliff of a No-Deal Brexit

Since the minute that British citizens voted, in a 2016 referendum, to leave the European Union, confusion and disorganization has consumed the U.K. Three years later, little has changed: confusion and disorganization may carry the U.K. over the cliff of a no-deal Brexit with devastating economic consequences.   While we can’t predict what will happen on the deadline of March 29th, we continue to learn about what brought the U.K. to this precarious position. Like the 2016 presidential election in the U.S., the campaign for Brexit employed divisive social media campaigns, mysterious sources of financing, Cambridge Analytica, and questionable meetings with Russians. At the center of it was a man named Arron Banks, an insurance magnate who is happy to take credit for his efforts to promote Brexit by whatever means necessary. Ed Caesar has reported on Banks’s outsized role in the referendum, and found that Banks is had been under investigation in Britain and in South Africa, where he has business interests in diamonds, as well as a person of interest in the Mueller investigation. Caesar spoke with David Remnick about the shady past and the uncertain future of Brexit.  Plus, a visit with Roomful of Teeth, the Grammy-winning vocal octet that’s building a unique repertoire and redefining classical singing for the future.  
26/03/1930m 14s

Emilia Clarke on a Near-Death Experience Scarier than “Game of Thrones”

Emilia Clarke was an unknown young actor when she landed the part of Daenerys, of the House of Targaryen, on a show called “Game of Thrones.” After an eventful first season—capped by her walk into a funeral pyre and rebirth as the Mother of Dragons—Clarke’s future looked bright. But after filming wrapped, Clarke faced a crisis more frightening than anything on the show: a life-threatening stroke called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. In the aftermath of an emergency surgery, she experienced verbal aphasia and was unable to say her name. “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced,” she told David Remnick. “It wasn’t that I didn’t think I was going to make it, it was that I wasn’t prepared to make it.” She feared that the impairment was permanent and would end her life as an actor. “It was in that moment I asked them to just let me die.” Clarke was still recovering from the aftermath of the stroke and the surgery when she began doing a press tour—lying down between appearances and sipping from a morphine bottle, and keeping the crisis a secret. “No one knows who the hell I am,” she recalls thinking. “I was a young girl who was given a huge opportunity. I did not for any reason want to give anyone a reason to think I was anything other than capable of fulfilling the duties they had given me. And I didn’t know what the show was at that moment. All I knew was I had a job.” Emilia Clarke wrote about her experience for the first time in an essay for newyorker.com.
22/03/1919m 20s

The Hot Fashion Trends in Silicon Valley, and the Top Chef Niki Nakayama

Silicon Valley has a reputation for being a place where young geniuses are too busy disrupting the world to buy clothes; jeans and a hoodie generally qualify as business attire. But that is changing, the New Yorker fashion correspondent Rachel Syme notes. Tech moguls have become more conscious of appearances, and a distinctive look—based on optimized, streamlined garments, like trendy Allbirds sneakers—is emerging. Tech moguls have become more conscious of appearances, for better or worse; Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of Theranos, raised hundreds of millions of dollars partly on the image she cultivated with a turtleneck à la Steve Jobs. Syme spoke with the professional stylist Victoria Hitchcock, who runs a thriving practice in Silicon Valley showing the powerful how to project “powerful” for the digital age—without looking like a bunch of bankers. Plus, Helen Rosner talks with Niki Nakayama, one of Los Angeles’s top chefs, about setting up a kitchen that is hospitable to women, and about the impossibility of creating authentically Japanese cuisine in America.
19/03/1924m 19s

Getting Detained by ICE—on Purpose

In 2012, two young activists from the National Immigrant Youth Alliance went on an undercover mission to infiltrate the Broward Transitional Center, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Florida. NIYA had been contacted by the son of a man named Claudio Rojas, who was taken from his home by immigration agents and brought to Broward. NIYA has been compared to ACT UP; its members try to force confrontations with authorities over immigration policy. The two activists, who are themselves undocumented, pretended to be newly arrived, confused immigrants who spoke little English. They got themselves arrested by somewhat perplexed Border Patrol agents. The story of those activists is told in a new film called “The Infiltrators,” which recently showed at the Sundance Festival and South by Southwest. It is a kind of quasi-documentary, the directors Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera tell David Remnick; because they were not able to film inside the ICE facility, they staged a reënactment of the events inside a decommissioned mental hospital. Rojas, who had been released from detention after staging a hunger strike, advised the production for verisimilitude. But after the movie’s release, Rojas was suddenly re-detained during a routine check-in with ICE, which he attended with his lawyer. “For eight years I presented myself for supervision visits,” Rojas tells The New Yorker’s Camila Osorio, speaking on the phone from detention. “Why didn’t they detain me before? . . . I am completely sure that this is a reprisal against me, that they want to deport me no matter what.” Note: In regard to Rojas’s suspicion of retaliation on the part of ICE, a spokesman for the agency sent this statement after the story went to air: “ICE detains individuals according to federal law and makes custody decisions based upon the facts of their case. Any accusation that ICE uses retaliatory tactics is patently false.”
15/03/1925m 38s

American Exiles in East Africa (Part 2)

Pete O’Neal was a street hustler and small-time pimp who gave up crime to fight oppression, founding the Kansas City chapter of the Black Panther Party. Charlotte Hill was a high-school student who gave up a college scholarship to join the Panthers and do community service. Their love affair seemed charmed. But, after O’Neal was convicted, in 1970, on a firearms charge that he considered trumped up, he jumped bail and the couple fled the United States. Since then, O’Neal has never been able to return. After spending time in Sweden and then Algeria, the couple moved to Tanzania, where President Julius Nyerere was welcoming people of the African diaspora to join in the nation-building that followed decolonization. In a village called Imbasseni, not far from Mount Kilimanjaro, Pete and Charlotte O’Neal resumed the community service that had brought them together as Panthers. They founded the United African Alliance Community Center, a combination children’s home, school, library, and Y.M.C.A.—work that they might never have been able to accomplish in their home country. As well documented as the nineteen-sixties were, the staff writer Jelani Cobb notes, the stories of radicals forced into exile are hardly known. The producer KalaLea reports from Tanzania. (Part 2 of a two-part story.) Tshidi Matale, Kiva, and L. D. Brown of Grey Reverend contributed music for this story.
12/03/1932m 36s

American Exiles in East Africa

Pete O’Neal was a street hustler and small-time pimp who gave up crime to struggle against oppression, founding the Kansas City chapter of the Black Panther Party. Charlotte Hill was a high-school student who gave up a college scholarship to join the Panthers and do community service. Their love affair seemed like a charmed one. But the Black Panthers became targets of intimidation and disruption by the F.B.I. and other law enforcement, and a climate of paranoia set in. After Pete was convicted on a firearms charge that he considered trumped up, he jumped bail, and he and Charlotte fled the United State with false passports. Since 1970, Pete has never been able to return. Living in Africa, they began to think about how to resume the work they had commenced as Black Panthers. As well documented as the nineteen-sixties were, the staff writer Jelani Cobb notes, the story of radicals forced into exile is hardly known. The producer KalaLea reported from Tanzania, with additional reporting by Andrea Tudhope in Kansas City. (Part 1 of a two-part story.) Tshidi Matale, Kiva, and L. D. Brown of Grey Reverend contributed music for this story.
08/03/1928m 2s

Jane Mayer on the Revolving Door Between Fox News and the White House

Donald Trump has made no secret of his great admiration for Fox News—he tweets praise of it constantly—and his disdain for other, “fake news” outlets, which he regards as “enemies of the people.” But the closeness between Fox News and the White House is unprecedented in modern times, Jane Mayer tells David Remnick. In a recent article, Mayer, a staff writer since 1995, analyzes a symbiotic relationship that boosts both Trump’s poll numbers and Rupert Murdoch’s bottom line. “I was trying to figure out who sets the tune that everybody plays during the course of the day,” Mayer says. “If the news on Fox is all about some kind of caravan of immigrants supposedly invading America, whose idea is that? It turns out that it is this continual feedback loop.” Mayer pays particular attention to the role of Bill Shine, the former Fox News co-president and now former White House deputy chief of staff for communications. Shine resigned days after Mayer spoke to Remnick. In his tenure in the Administration, Shine helped create a revolving door through which those who craft the Administration’s political messaging and those who broadcast it regularly trade places. She also discovered that Shine was linked to the network’s practice of intimidating employees who alleged sexually harassment at work.
05/03/1924m 39s

A Moderate Republican Wants to Primary Donald Trump in 2020

The former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld is launching what looks like a political suicide mission. He recently announced an exploratory committee to challenge Trump in the primary. He sees a pathway to victory that runs through his neighboring state of New Hampshire, to other blue-leaning states where Republican voters might be open to a moderate candidate for the nomination. He says that some “billionaires” will back his long-shot bid, and he’s betting that the damage from investigations may end Trump’s charmed political life. Plus, Evan Osnos on the news from Washington this week, and Rachel Syme with three fashion tips for David Remnick.
01/03/1927m 39s

A Writer Solves a Mystery, and Ruth E. Carter Steps into the Spotlight

Committed during a period filled with bombings, killings, and disappearances, the murder of Jean McConville remains one of the most infamous unsolved crimes of the Troubles. The writer Patrick Radden Keefe may have discovered who killed her. Plus, the costume designer Ruth E. Carter, best known for her work on the movie “Black Panther,” talks about her decades-long career. And The New Yorker presents the second year of the Brody Awards.
22/02/1935m 54s

What Are We Talking About When We Talk about Socialism?

With the election to the House of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, following up on the surprising Presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, socialism is on the rise, after a long decline in America. But the Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore says there is a great deal of ambiguity about what socialism even means. Americans have always danced around the term, and the actual policies advanced under the banner of socialism may look very similar to liberalism, or social democracy, or even the historical movement known as “good government.” Sanders declared that the hero of his brand of socialism is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who insisted that he was not a socialist. Lepore tells David Remnick, “The way our politics works is to discredit not the idea or the policy but the label.” Plus, the actor Richard E. Grant has just been nominated for his first Oscar, for “Can You Ever Forgive Me,” after thirty-plus years in the movies. And, as an Oscar nominee, he finally got Barbra Streisand, his all-time idol, to reply to a fan letter he sent her nearly fifty years ago.
19/02/1933m 36s

Teju Cole on Blackface and Valeria Luiselli on the Border Crisis

When depictions of Virginia politicians in blackface surfaced this month, the New Yorker contributor Teju Cole was unsurprised. “A white man of a certain age in the U.S.,” he reflects, “is found to have done something racist in his past; well, yes.” As a photographer and photo critic, he is acutely aware that a photograph captures the thinnest sliver of time, half a second or much less. So any photograph of a man in blackface—or in any other offensive image—always indicates that “there’s a lot more where that came from.” And Valeria Luiselli, a writer born in Mexico, struggles to depict the experiences of children arriving alone at the southern border, in circumstances unimaginably different from her own border crossings as the daughter of a diplomat.
15/02/1922m 24s

To Stop the Shooting, Lupe Cruz Gets Between the People with the Guns

Conversations about gun reform are often galvanized by catastrophic mass shootings. But gun violence mostly unfolds as a matter of awful routine: domestic-partner homicides, suicides, and shootings between people who know each other are everyday occurrences. “All this [talk of] legislation, that doesn’t mean anything for us,” Lupe Cruz says, in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. “Most of the guns in this community are stolen. This is the real world.” A onetime gang member, Cruz mediated disputes informally for years before being recruited by an organization called Cure Violence. Their trained mediators, or “interrupters,” will show up after shootings or at funerals, and talk down the people who are likely to retaliate. Cruz now leads Cure Violence projects in Latin America and elsewhere. But she still mediates in her old neighborhood, where the stakes are very high: if her intervention doesn’t work, someone she knows may get shot—maybe right in front of her, which is what happened in November. She is getting tired and would like to “pass on the torch,” she tells the reporter Caroline Lester. But they need her in Little Village.
12/02/1914m 12s

Is the Tide Turning on Gun Reform?

This week, the House held hearings on gun violence, the first in eight years. In the 2018 elections, gun-reform groups outspent the N.R.A.—which appears to be in financial trouble. After years of greatly expanded gun rights, is the tide turning on gun reform? In this special episode, David Remnick talks with Lucy McBath, who ran for Congress as a gun reformer and won in the conservative district once represented by Newt Gingrich. We’ll hear from the reporter Mike Spies, the criminal-justice professor April Zeoli, the Navy veteran Will Mackin, and the gun-violence survivor Sarah Engle. 
08/02/1941m 32s

Marlon James Builds His Own Damn Universe

When the cast of the film “The Hobbit” was first announced, Marlon James was dismayed—though hardly surprised—by how white it was. A long-standing complaint of black fans of fantasy is that authors can imagine dwarves and elves and orcs, but not black characters. “I got so tired of this whole question of inclusion, and the backlash against asking to be included,” James tells the staff writer Jia Tolentino, “that I said, ‘I’m going to make my own damn universe.’ ” That was one origin point of James’s “Dark Star” trilogy, which he describes as “an African ‘Game of Thrones.’ ” The first book, which is about to be published, is called “Black Leopard, Red Wolf,” and it centers on the search for a missing boy by a disparate cast of characters. Another origin point for him was the TV show “The Affair”; James borrowed the structural device of a story related by multiple characters whose perspectives don’t quite add up. James talks about writing fantasy from a Caribbean perspective, where “magical realism” may not seem so magical. Plus, a successful C.E.O. says that activist investors’ quest for one quick stock bump after another is wrecking companies and eroding American competitiveness.
05/02/1928m 18s

The Mueller Investigation: What We Know So Far

Washington is abuzz with rumors that the Mueller report is coming soon, and both sides are trying to strategize their next move. The reporter Adam Davidson summarizes the broad strokes of what we know so far, and Susan B. Glasser and Jeffrey Toobin debate what impact it will have on the partisan war in Washington.
01/02/1926m 52s

John Thompson vs. American Justice

When police showed up to question John Thompson, he was worried that it was because he had sold drugs to an undercover cop.  When he realized they were investigating a murder, he could only laugh: “Shit, for real? Murder?”Thompson was insistent on his innocence, but New Orleans prosecutors wanted a conviction for a high-profile murder, and they were not scrupulous about how they got it. Thompson quickly found himself on death row. Eighteen years later, just weeks before Thompson was due to be executed, his lawyers discovered that a prosecutor had hidden exculpatory evidence from the defense. Thompson had been set up. This was a violation of the Brady Rule, established by the Supreme Court, in 1963, to ensure fair trials. Ultimately, he was exonerated of both crimes, but his attempts to get a settlement from the district attorney’s office—compensation for his time in prison—were thwarted. Though an appeals court had upheld a fourteen-million-dollar settlement, the Supreme Court reversed the decision, declining to punish the D.A. for violating the Court's own ruling. Thompson’s case revealed fundamental imbalances that undermine the very notion of a fair trial.  Under the Brady Rule, prosecutors must share with the defense any evidence that could be favorable to the defendant.  But there is essentially no practical enforcement of this rule. In most states, prosecutors are the ones who hold the evidence and choose what to share, and disclosing exculpatory evidence makes their cases harder to win. We have absolutely no idea how many criminal trials are flawed by these violations.The staff writer Andrew Marantz, his wife, Sarah Lustbader, of the Fair Punishment Project, and the producer Katherine Wells reported on John Thompson’s story and its implications. They spoke with the late John Thompson (who died in 2017), with his lawyers, and with Harry Connick, Sr., the retired New Orleans D.A. who, despite having tried very hard to have Thompson killed, remains unrepentant. This episode contains explicit language and may not be suitable for children.
29/01/1955m 30s

Jason Rezaian on Imprisonment in Iran

Jason Rezaian was born in California to an Iranian father and an American mother. After a failed effort to enter the Persian rug trade, he moved to Tehran to be a reporter, and was working for the Washington Post when he was arrested by Iranian authorities.  Rezaian was held at the notorious Evin Prison, and was interrogated for more than five hundred days. He was a pawn in an intrigue within the government: he believes his arrest, as an American journalist, was an attempt by hard-liners to interfere with the ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and other countries. Rezaian’s memoir of that time is called “Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison—Solitary Confinement, a Sham Trial, High-Stakes Diplomacy, and the Extraordinary Efforts It Took to Get Me Out.” He spoke with David Remnick about his experiences on January 22, 2019, at “Live from NYPL ,” the New York Public Library’s premier conversation series.  
25/01/1945m 12s

The Fall of a Chinese Pop Star, and Calvin Trillin’s Happy Marriage

For some years, Denise Ho was one of the most popular singers in Asia. A Hong Kong native, she performed the style known as Cantopop in mainland China and in foreign countries with Chinese émigré populations. But, as Ho told the staff writer Jiayang Fan, she began to have qualms about the often-saccharine content of the genre. “Is that all? Is that all I can do with my songs, my career—just for personal wealth, and all that?” She was one of the first stars in China to come out as a lesbian, which the government took in stride; but, when she took part in political demonstrations in Hong Kong, she was arrested on television and detained. Authorities began to cancel her concerts, and to block access to her work on the Internet in China. Her endorsements followed suit. “I expected to be banned from China, but I wasn’t expecting the government to react to it in such a way,” she says. “The main goal is to silence everyone—especially the younger generations—with fear.” Now Denise Ho is trying to rebuild her career as something unfamiliar in China: an underground protest singer. Plus: Kai-Fu Lee on China’s tech sector and the challenge it poses to Silicon Valley; and the longtime staff writer Calvin Trillin, who puts his happy marriage onstage in a new play, “About Alice.” “This play certainly would have failed Drama 101 . . . But you have to write about what you know.”
22/01/1940m 33s

The Producer dream hampton Talks with Jelani Cobb about “Surviving R. Kelly”

For decades, it’s been an open secret that R. Kelly has allegedly kept young women trapped in abusive relationships through psychological manipulation, fear, and intimidation. His domestic situation has been compared to a sex cult. He was acquitted of child-pornography charges even though a video that appears to show him with a fourteen-year-old girl was circulated around the country. It was described only as the “R. Kelly sex tape.” Why has it taken so long for the reckonings of the #MeToo movement to catch up to him? Lifetime just aired “Surviving R. Kelly,” a six-part documentary by the producer dream hampton that airs the full breadth of the accusations against Kelly. (He continues to deny all charges of illegal behavior.) One young woman featured in the documentary left a relationship with Kelly, whom she met when she was a teen-age supporter outside the Chicago courtroom where he was being tried. “He was cruising eleventh graders on that trial,” hampton tells the New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb. “I mean, the hubris!” Cobb and hampton discuss the complicated dynamics of accusing R. Kelly. “It’s a deep shame black women have, handing over black men to this system we know to be unjust and that targets them,” she says. “At the same time, black women are black people, and we too are targeted . . . . Most sexual-violence survivors don’t find justice in this system, regardless of race.” Update: After our program went to air, RCA Records dropped R. Kelly from its roster. 
18/01/1915m 21s

For a French Burglar, Stealing Masterpieces Is Easier Than Selling Them

Vjeran Tomic has been stealing since he was a small child, when he used a ladder to break into a library in his home town, in Bosnia. After moving to Paris, he graduated to lucrative apartment burglaries, living off the jewels he took and often doing time in prison. He became known in the French press as Spider-Man, and he began to steal art. Tomic has a grand sense of his calling as a burglar; he considers it his destiny and has described his robberies as acts of imagination. He eventually carried a truly epic heist: a break-in at the Musée d’Art Moderne, in Paris, in which he left with seventy million dollars’ worth of paintings. But selling these masterpieces proved harder than stealing them, and that’s where Spider-Man’s troubles began. The contributor Jake Halpern tells Vjeran Tomic’s story; excerpts from Tomic’s letters from prison are read by the actor Jean Brassard.  
15/01/1920m 13s

How “The Apprentice” Made Donald Trump, and a Boondoggle in Wisconsin

The staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe has reported on “The Apprentice” and its impact on Donald Trump—on how America saw Trump, and how Trump saw himself. Keefe spoke with Jonathon Braun, who was a supervising producer on “The Apprentice,” about how the show’s team reshaped Trump’s image, and how the news media are doing that same work for him now that he is President. Dan Kaufman, the author of “The Fall of Wisconsin,” explains how a deal to bring manufacturing jobs to an industrial town in Wisconsin became a boondoggle of national proportions. And Terrance Hayes, the author of “American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin,” reads a poem for the New Year.  
11/01/1935m 9s

The Director Boots Riley on “Sorry to Bother You”

Boots Riley’s directorial début, “Sorry to Bother You,” blends a dark strain of comedy with a sci-fi vision of capitalism run amok. The film’s hero, Cassius Green, is a telemarketer who rises quickly in the ranks—eventually becoming a “power caller”—after he learns to use a “white voice” on the phone, mimicking the way white people are supposed to speak. As sharp as the film is on issues of race and identity, “Sorry to Bother You” ultimately takes capitalism, and the way it exploits labor, as its target. “There were a lot of things about capitalism that were forgiven by big media companies while Obama was in office,” Riley tells The New Yorker’s Doreen St. Félix in a live interview at the New Yorker Festival. “Things that we had said we were against under Bush.” “Sorry to Bother You” is, in part, a response to that loss of focus. Riley, who is forty-seven, got his start as a rapper; for many years, he led the political hip-hop band the Coup. He traces his interest in art as activism to an incident from 1989, when police officers in San Francisco beat two children and their mother in front of a housing project. Neighbors began protesting, spilling out onto the street and chanting lyrics from Public Enemy's “Fight the Power.” “It made me see what place music could have,” Riley tells St. Félix. “I knew, This is what I had to do.”
08/01/1918m 14s

Live: Janet Mock and Chris Hayes

Janet Mock first heard the word “māhū,” a Native Hawaiian word for people who exist outside the male-female binary, when she was twelve. She had just moved back to Oahu, where she was born, from Texas, and, by that point, Mock knew that the gender she presented as didn’t feel right. “I don’t like to say the word ‘trapped,’ ” Mock tells The New Yorker’s Hilton Als. “But I was feeling very, very tightly contained in my body.” Since coming out as transgender publicly, Mock has emerged as a leading advocate for trans people; she is the author of a best-selling memoir and the first trans woman of color to be hired as a writer for a TV series, Ryan Murphy’s FX series “Pose.” Plus: MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, the youngest prime-time host for a major cable-news channel, on the psychic toll of covering the news in Donald Trump’s America.  
04/01/1937m 33s

Philip Roth’s American Portraits and American Prophecy

The novelist and short-story writer Philip Roth died in May at the age of eighty-five. In novels like “Portnoy’s Complaint,” “The Human Stain,” and “American Pastoral,” Roth anatomized postwar American life—particularly the lives of Jewish people in the Northeast. And in works like “The Ghost Writer” and “The Plot Against America,” he speculated on how the shadow of authoritarianism might fall over the United States. The breadth and depth of Roth’s work kept him a vital literary figure throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and established him among the most respected writers of fiction in American history. David Remnick speaks with Roth’s official biographer, Blake Bailey, about Roth’s life and career. Judith Thurman, Claudia Roth Pierpont, and Lisa Halliday discuss the portrayals of women in Roth’s work and the accusations of misogyny that he has faced. And, finally, we hear an interview with the author, from 2003, when he sat down with David Remnick for the BBC. Plus: the actor Liev Schreiber reads excerpts from Roth’s fiction.   This episode originally aired on July 20, 2018.
28/12/1855m 39s

Christmas Music Reimagined with Kirk Douglas, the Guitarist for the Roots

Kirk Douglas, the guitarist for the Roots, plays anything and everything as part of the “Tonight Show” band, so David Remnick put him to the test on some holiday classics.  Roz Chast rings a bell to collect pennies for a good cause: saving the globe from destruction by asteroid. And a religion scholar who just translated the New Testament from the original Greek explains why we’ve been getting the book wrong all these years.   
23/12/18

2018 in Pop Culture

The New Yorker staff writers Jia Tolentino, Doreen St. Félix, and Alexandra Schwartz all cover the culture beat from different angles. They talk with David Remnick about the emblematic pop-culture phenomena of 2018 that tell us where we were this year: how “Queer Eye” tried to fix masculinity, and how that spoke to women in the #MeToo era; whether “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians” will mark a turning point in the representation of nonwhite people in film; and how, as Tolentino says, “A Star Is Born” was r“arguably the only event of the year that brought America together.”
21/12/1815m 27s

Kelly Slater’s Perfect Wave Brings Surfing to a Crossroads

In December of 2015, a video appeared on the Internet that stunned surfers worldwide. Titled “Kelly’s Wave,” it showed Kelly Slater—arguably the best pro surfer in history—unveiling a secret project he had been working on for more than a decade. With the help of engineers and designers, Slater had perfected the first artificial wave, created by machine in a pool, that could rival the best waves found in the ocean. “One could spend years and years surfing in the ocean,” notes staff writer William Finnegan, himself a lifelong surfer, “and never get a wave as good as what some people are getting here today. Ever.”   Finnegan went to visit the Kelly Slater Wave Company’s Surf Ranch—a facility in California’s Central Valley, far from the coast—to observe a competition and test the wave for himself. Up until now, surfing was defined by its lack of predictability: chasing waves around the world and dealing with disappointment when they do not appear has been integral to the life of a surfer. But with a mechanically produced, infinitely repeatable, world-class wave, surfing can become like any other sport. The professional World Surf League, which has bought a controlling interest in Slater’s company, sees a bright future. But Finnegan wonders what it means to take surfing out of nature. Will kids master riding artificial waves without even learning to swim in the ocean? Finnegan spoke with Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore (the Australian seven-time world champion), and Matt Warshaw (the closest thing surfing has to an official historian). Warshaw, like Finnegan, is skeptical about the advent of mechanical waves. Yet he admits that, when he had the chance to ride it, he didn’t ever want to stop. “It reminded me of 1986,” Warshaw recalls. “The drugs have run out, you already hate yourself—how do we get more?” William Finnegan’s article “Kelly Slater’s Shock Wave” appeared this month in The New Yorker.
18/12/1823m 34s

Aaron Sorkin Rewrites “To Kill a Mockingbird”

As he set about adapting “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the stage—the play opened this week on Broadway—Aaron Sorkin first wrote a version that he says was very much like the novel, but “with stage directions.” As he delved into the character of Atticus Finch, though, he found himself troubled. The small-town lawyer is tolerant, but too tolerant, tolerant of everything, including the violent racism of many of his neighbors—which he attempts to understand rather than condemn. And Sorkin felt that Lee’s two black characters, the maid Calpurnia and the falsely accused Tom Robinson, had no real voice in the book. “I imagine that, in 1960, using African-American characters as atmosphere is the kind of thing that would go unnoticed by white people,” he tells David Remnick. “In 2018, it doesn’t go unnoticed, and it’s wrong, and it’s also a wasted opportunity.”   Sorkin’s changes in his adaptation led to a lawsuit from Harper Lee’s literary executor, who had approved him as the playwright but placed specific conditions on the faithfulness of his script. In Sorkin’s view, the criticisms of the executor, Tonja Carter, were tantamount to racism. He thinks they reinforced the lack of voice and agency of black people in the South in the nineteen-thirties. (Carter declined to comment on Sorkin’s remarks.) The two sides eventually reached a settlement, in May, and the play proceeded to production. Sorkin says that, of his own volition, he cut some of his lines that hinted too broadly at the political realities of America under Donald Trump. But Atticus Finch’s realization—that the people in his community whom he thought he knew best, he never really knew at all—mirrors the experience of many Americans since 2016. Plus, a Minnesota senator on running as a Democrat in the age of Trump.  
14/12/1832m 28s

Robyn Talks with David Remnick

For the past twenty-five years, since she was a young teen-ager, the singer Robyn has been on the cutting edge of pop music. Her sound is sparse and complex, influenced by electro and dance music while preserving the catchiness of pop. After a brief stint with Max Martin early in her career, Robyn has avoided the big hit-making producers who put their stamp on an artist. Instead she’s produced, written, and performed all her own work, becoming a kind of oxymoron: an indie pop star.   “Body Talk,” Robyn’s previous album, came out in 2010, and, for many of the years that followed, Robyn has been out of the public eye. Following a breakup and a close friend’s death, she slipped into a depression serious enough that she had trouble getting out of bed and leaving her house. She eventually started recording again and recently released an album called “Honey.” (The New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino wrote,“the force of her conviction continues to hold together what often seems impossible, musically or otherwise: maximum sadness, felt as the bedrock of absolute joy.”) Robyn, who lives in her native Sweden, spoke with David Remnick about the many years of difficulties that went into making “Honey.” Plus, the pop-music critic Amanda Petrusich picks three favorites for 2018, and the fight director B. H. Barry gives a lesson in brutal mayhem with music.
07/12/1833m 44s

Helen Rosner Ferments at Home, Plus Dexter Filkins on Saudi Arabia

One of the hot trends in the food world is one of the oldest: fermentation. No longer just for beer and sauerkraut, fermentation—which Helen Rosner calls “bacteria engaging with your food”—is the subject of cookbooks, and the specialty of destination restaurants like Noma, in Copenhagen, which has been called the world’s best restaurant for several years. René Redzepi, the chef at Noma, and David Zilber, the director of its fermentation lab, visited Rosner’s home kitchen to give her a lesson. A couple of weeks later, after the microbes had done their work, she brought some highly unusual fermented snacks to share with David Remnick. Plus, Dexter Filkins traces the rise to power of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Long before the international furor over the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi—back when bin Salman was still being hailed as a reformer—Filkins says that he eliminated political opponents, cracked down on the press, extorted other wealthy royals, and arrested human-rights activists.
04/12/1824m 20s

Voter Suppression in the Twenty-First Century

In the November midterm elections, Stacey Abrams, a gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, arrived at her polling place to cast a vote for herself, only to have a poll worker claim that she had already filed for an absentee ballot. Carol Anderson’s book “One Person, No Vote” explores how measures designed to purge voters rolls or limit voting have targeted Democratic and particularly minority voters. Anderson sees voter-identification laws and a wide range of bureaucratic snafus as successors to the more blatantly racist measures that existed before the Voting Rights Act; she describes the resurgence of voter suppression as an expression of white rage. “It is not what we think of in terms of Charlottesville and the tiki torches,” she tells David Remnick. “It's the kind of methodical, systematic, bureaucratic power that undermines African-Americans’ advances." White Americans, she says, see themselves as trapped in a kind of “zero sum” situation, in which all advances for people of color must come at whites’ expense. Plus, the staff writer Jon Lee Anderson journeys up the Madre de Dios River in the Peruvian Amazon to observe as the Mashco Piro—one of the few remaining uncontacted indigenous tribes—begin a fraught, possibly fatal engagement with the outside world.
30/11/1831m 12s

Bridget Everett Talks with Michael Schulman

Appearing at the New Yorker Festival, in conversation with Michael Schulman , Bridget Everett brought her dog onstage. It was unconventional, but no more so than anything else she does. Vulgar, badly behaved, and entirely comfortable with herself, Everett’s persona as a cabaret performer whips audiences into a frenzy at the legendary Joe’s Pub, in New York. That cult following led to parts on the television shows “Inside Amy Schumer”, “Lady Dynamite,” and “Girls,” and in the movie “Trainwreck.” But Everett found a new depth in last year’s “Patti Cake$,” as the barfly mother of the movie’s title character, who is a young, overweight white woman aspiring to be a rapper. Everett’s character, Barb, is a failed singer who mocks her daughter’s musical career. “I get the urge to want to tear somebody down even when you love them, because you don’t want them to slip away, or you don’t want them to have something you never had,” she said. “If I was still in Kansas and I wasn’t singing, and I wasn’t doing what I want to do, that’s exactly who I would be. And I would be that drunk and I would be at that bar, hopefully not with those nails, but I would be that person.” *This episode contains explicit language.
27/11/1821m 10s

Jim Carrey Doesn’t Exist (According to Jim Carrey)

As a young boy, Jim Carrey got in trouble for staring in the mirror. He didn’t do it because he was vain; he was practicing the comic skills that made him one of the great impressionists of our time, a man whose face seems to be made of some pliable alien material. Yet that malleable face is as capable of portraying deep and complex emotion as it is of making us laugh. As a result, Carrey’s career has been one reinvention after another. These days, he’s been lighting up Twitter as a political cartoonist—his way of drawing Donald Trump is particularly grotesque—and starring in the television series “Kidding.” He plays a children’s entertainer, in the mold of Mr. Rogers, who is struggling with the death of his own son. Carrey sat down with Colin Stokes at the New Yorker Festival in October, 2018. He spoke about his reverence for Fred Rogers and the inspiration he takes from Eastern philosophy. “I don’t exist,” Carrey says. “There’s no separation between you and me at all . . . I know I’m sounding really crazy right now, but it’s really true.”
23/11/1836m 19s

The Star Witnesses Against El Chapo

Last year, the Mexican government finally agreed to extradite the notorious drug kingpin El Chapo to the U.S. Born Joaquín Guzmán Loera, he was once ranked by Forbes as one of the most powerful people in the world. His trial began in New York, on November 5th, and Guzmán faces seventeen counts related to drugs and firearms; prosecutors have said that they will also tie him to more than thirty murders. The government’s star witnesses against the notoriously elusive drug lord are identical twins from Chicago, Pedro and Margarito Flores. While still in their twenties, the Flores brothers became major drug traffickers, importing enormous quantities of drugs from the Sinaloa cartel. They avoided violence and feuds with rivals, but eventually got caught in the middle of a cartel war. It was a dangerous position, and the only way out was to seek government protection. The Flores brothers flipped; they began working secretly for prosecutors—recording their business calls with Guzmán and others—in exchange for leniency in their own trials. Tom Shakeshaft, the former Assistant U.S. Attorney who flipped them, tells The New Yorker’s Patrick Radden Keefe how it all went down.
20/11/1823m 5s

The Countdown to Brexit, Plus Adam Gopnik’s Turkey Zen

More than two years after British voters approved a measure to withdraw their nation from the European Union—a gigantic undertaking with no roadmap of any sort —Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled a plan: essentially, that the U.K. would remain in the European customs union, participating in trade with the E.U. and remaining subject to its trade policies, but exit the political process of the E.U. The deal was seen by some as the worst of both worlds, and several cabinet ministers resigned; May could well lose a no-confidence vote in the immediate future. David Remnick talks with the London-based staff writers Sam Knight and Rebecca Mead about the ongoing challenges of Brexit. And the staff writer Adam Gopnik, who’s been preparing Thanksgiving dinner for decades, considers the zen of cooking a turkey.
16/11/1832m 23s

After the 2008 Financial Crisis, the Economy Was Fracked Up

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act injected almost nine hundred billion dollars into the U.S. economy to help the nation recover from the 2008 financial crisis. Ninety billion dollars went to clean energy, with the intention of jump-starting a new “green economy” to replace aging fossil-fuel technologies. Instead, the bill may have done the opposite. Low interest rates, which made borrowing easier, encouraged a flood of financing for the young fracking industry, which used novel chemical techniques to extract gas and oil.  Fracking boomed, and made the U.S. the leading producer of oil and gas by some estimates. The financial journalist Bethany McLean and the investor and hedge-fund manager Jim Chanos tell The New Yorker’s Eliza Griswold that something in the fracking math doesn’t add up. If interest rates rise, reducing the flow of cheap capital, they believe that the industry will collapse.   Then, the former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson tells Adam Davidson what went wrong in Obama’s policy. Subsidies for specific industries, like solar, can’t change the market significantly enough, Paulson says. In his view—one shared by a growing consensus of economists—we need to correctly assess the costs of carbon emissions to society, and charge those costs to the emissions’ producers: a carbon tax. Then, with a more level playing field, the market can pick the best source of energy.    
13/11/1819m 45s

The Financial Crash and the Climate Crisis

Ten years after the financial crash of 2008, the economy is humming along, with steady growth and rising employment. Yet that crisis continues to shape our world, particularly through the rise of right-wing populism and the ever-worsening climate crisis.  Jill Lepore, Adam Davidson, and George Packer talk with David Remnick about how we got here. Two Florida real-estate experts explain why short-term thinking rules the day, and the former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson explains why he has embraced the idea of imposing a carbon tax.       
09/11/1836m 10s

Derek Smalls—Harry Shearer’s Character in “Spinal Tap”—Returns with His Solo Début

Harry Shearer is known for doing many characters, including Mr. Burns and others from “The Simpsons,” but the most famous is Derek Smalls, the saturnine, epically muttonchopped bassist in the movie “This Is Spinal Tap.” Almost thirty-five years after the release of Rob Reiner’s mockumentary about a struggling metal band, Shearer has given Smalls a new lease on life. Although the character is fictional, the new solo album, “Smalls Change: Meditations Upon Ageing,” is real. Smalls tells The New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz that he produced the record with support from the British Fund for Ageing Rockers, and it contains songs about a toupee (which belongs to Satan) and erectile dysfunction. (You have to give the dysfunctional part, Smalls says, “a good, stern talking-to.”) And they discuss what is clearly a sore subject: the fact that Spinal Tap was never inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Plus, a New Yorker editor picks three favorites for a new parent.  
06/11/1823m 41s

From Mexico, the Reality of the Migrant Caravan

Jonathan Blitzer spent a week in Mexico with the so-called caravan—a group of about five thousand migrants, most of them from Honduras, who are making a dangerous journey on foot to the U.S. border. Donald Trump, who has described the caravan as “invaders” who might include terrorists and criminals, is using the issue to galvanize Republicans for the midterms. The reality, which Blitzer describes to David Remnick, is remarkably different: exhausted people walking thirty miles a day in sandals and Crocs, sleeping largely in the open, and wholly dependent on townspeople along their route and a few aid groups for food and water. They travel in a group for protection from kidnappers, criminals, and the notoriously severe Mexican immigration authorities. They know little about how their trek has been politicized in the U.S. Those who make it to the U.S. border will likely be greeted by an overwhelming show of American force, but, for these migrants, almost any uncertainty is better than the certain poverty and violence of their home country. Plus, a group of progressive women in rural Texas has been organizing in secret, but some of them are ready to speak out.
02/11/1830m 39s

Janelle Monáe, from the Future to the Present

Janelle Monáe is an unlikely pop star. Her music is rooted in soul and R. & B., but also in pop, punk, and New Wave; her early releases were science-fiction concept albums, influenced by Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and modern Afrofuturism, set far in the future, and starring herself as an android.  She didn’t follow the Zeitgeist—she made her own Zeitgeist. Then, after gaining recognition as a major figure in pop, Monáe made an impressive acting début as one of the leads of “Hidden Figures,” and appeared in the Oscar-winning film “Moonlight.” Monáe sat down with David Remnick to talk about her latest album, “Dirty Computer.” Despite the title, it’s not at all science fiction. For the first time, she’s dealing frankly with the issues that she’s facing—and that our country is facing—right now. Plus, the staff writer Judith Thurman hits the streets of multiethnic Queens with a linguist who speaks so many languages that he’s lost count. Luis Miguel Rojas-Berscia says the trick is to be fearless, and shameless, about engaging strangers in conversation.  “You have to get rid of that inhibition,” he says, “if you want to speak a language.”
30/10/1830m 17s

Daniel Radcliffe Gets His Facts Straight, and Pennsylvania’s Pipeline Politics

The actor Daniel Radcliffe is on Broadway in a new play called “The Lifespan of a Fact”—perhaps the first-ever work of theatre in which a fact checker is a starring role. Radcliffe’s character is obsessive about his work, and he becomes locked in combat with a writer whose methods are unorthodox.  To get a taste of what fact-checking is really like, Radcliffe got lessons from Peter Canby and Parker Henry of The New Yorker, and then had to check a short piece himself: a review of a Mexican restaurant. Fact and opinion, he quickly learned, are not as easily separated as a layman might think. And in Pennsylvania, the reporter Eliza Griswold follows the route of a pipeline that carries fracking by-products through the back yards of some unhappy voters who think both parties are to blame.
26/10/1825m 43s

Kelela Reinvents R. & B., and Sally Yates Gets Fired

When the acting Attorney General Sally Yates wouldn’t defend the so-called Muslim travel ban, she was promptly sacked—“before it was fashionable to be fired” in the Trump Administration, Jeffrey Toobin says.  Yates, who served in the Justice Department during the Bush and Obama Administrations, talks with Toobin at the 2018 New Yorker Festival, about the impact of Trump on her career and on American politics. The singer Kelela reinvents R. & B. with influences from jazz to trip-hop and electronica, and she performs a live set at the festival accompanied by the producer and d.j. Loric Sih.    
23/10/1842m 10s

In the Midterms, White Supremacy Is Running for Office

While the big story going into the midterm elections has been the possibility of a “blue wave”—an upsurge of Democratic progressives, including a high number of women and minority candidates—the divisive political climate has also given us the very opposite: candidates on the far right openly espousing white-supremacist and white-nationalist views.  Andrew Marantz, who covers political extremism, among other topics, says that these views have always been on the fringes of political life, but, in the era of Trump, they have moved closer to the center.  Candidates who used to “dog-whistle”—use coded language to appeal to racist voters—now openly make white-supremacist statements that Republican Party leadership won’t disavow. Marantz talks with David Remnick about the campaigns of Steve King, the incumbent in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District; Corey Stewart, a pro-Confederate running for a Senate seat in Virginia; and Arthur Jones, a neo-Nazi running in Illinois’s Third Congressional District.  
19/10/1814m 40s

Joan Baez Is Still Protesting

“You know, I think as I get older,” Joan Baez tells David Remnick, “someone will show me a photograph”—of the March on Washington, for example—“and I’ll think, ‘Oh my god, I was there. And those people were there, and Dr. King said what he said.’ Sometimes, going into a historic moment, you know it, and other times you don’t know it. In that case I think by midway through the morning, we all knew.” Baez became the defining voice of folk music as it intersected with the leftist politics of the sixties and beyond. She performed at the March on Washington and at Woodstock; she went on a peace mission to Hanoi where she was caught in an American bombing raid; she adopted cause after cause. Her work has changed with her age. She can’t hit the high notes of her youth, and she stopped writing songs decades ago—or as she describes it, the songs simply stopped coming to her. Yet she has never stopped performing protest music. At WNYC’s studios, she played two songs from her new record, “Whistle Down the Wind”: one is a prayer for healing after the mass killing in Charleston, written by Zoe Mulford; the other a dirge on climate change by Anohni.  
16/10/1821m 35s

Is Voting Safe?

For democracy to function, we have to trust and accept the results of elections. But that trust is increasingly difficult to maintain in a world where malicious actors like the G.R.U., the Russian intelligence agency, have been actively probing our election systems for technological vulnerabilities. Sue Halpern, who reports on election security, spoke with the researcher Logan Lamb, who found a massive amount of information from the Georgia election system sitting unsecured on the Internet. The information included election officials’ passwords and the names and addresses of voters, and Lamb made the discovery during the time that (according to the Mueller investigation) Russian hackers were probing the system. Georgia is one of a number of states that do not use any paper backup for their balloting, so suspected hacking of voting machines or vote tabulators can be nearly impossible to prove. On top of this, new restrictive voting laws purge voters who, for instance, haven’t voted in the last few elections, so hackers can disenfranchise voters by deleting or changing information in the databases—without tampering with the tallied votes. Susan Greenhalgh of the National Election Defense Coalition tells Halpern that while some states are inclined to resist federal assistance in their election operations, they are poorly equipped to fight cyber-battles on their own. Plus, the story of explorer Henry Worsley, who set out at fifty-five ski to ski alone across Antarctica, hauling more than three hundred pounds of gear and posting an audio diary by satellite phone. New Yorker staff writer David Grann spoke with Worsley’s widow, Joanna, about the painful choice she made to support her husband in an endeavor that seemed fatal.  
12/10/1833m 57s

The Long-Distance Con, Part 2

This is part two of a two-part series. Part one can be heard here.   On the day that Maggie Robinson Katz learned that her father had only a few days to live, she also found out that her wealthy family couldn’t pay his hospital bills. Her father, Terry Robinson, had lost much of his money in the real-estate crash and the rest in a business relationship, of sorts, with a man named Jim Stuckey. A West Virginian based in Manila, Stuckey claimed that hidden in jungles and caves in the Philippines were huge caches of gold bullion, uncut U.S. currency, and Treasury bonds; if Robinson put up the money to pay the right people, Stuckey could get the treasures out. It seemed absurd to people around Robinson, and the Treasury Department warns of scams that sound just like this. But Robinson, a successful retired executive, sent Stuckey hundreds of thousands of dollars, until he was broke. His daughter Maggie struggles to understand why and how, and finally goes to Manila to confront the man who took the money.  
09/10/1836m 49s

Rebecca Traister Is Happy to Be Mad

After the election of Donald Trump, the feminist journalist Rebecca Traister began channeling her anger into a book. The result, “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger” combines an analysis of how women’s anger is discouraged and deflected in patriarchal society, with a historical look at times when that anger has had political impact. Landing a year into the #MeToo movement, it could not be more timely; an unprecedented number of women have spoken bluntly about their experiences with sexual harassment and abuse and demanded consequences. Yet Traister told David Remnick that she sympathizes with men “caught in the middle” of #MeToo, “who entered the world with one set of expectations . . . and are being told halfway through that [their behavior is] no longer acceptable.” But, Traister says, “There’s no other way to do it. We don’t get to just start fresh with a generation starting now.”  
05/10/1817m 4s

Joan Jett’s Reputation

Joan Jett cut a massive figure in rock and roll, starting in the nineteen-seventies and continuing with a string of hits including “I Love Rock and Roll,” “Bad Reputation,” “Crimson and Clover,” and others. Jett was kind of glam, kind of punk, and eventually just classic rock. But she was one of the first women of any style or genre to break through as a leader: she hired the band, played the guitar, wrote the songs, and sang them. She came to influence a whole generation of female rockers who wanted to be as fully empowered as she was—not to mention fans like The New Yorker’s Sarah Larson. Larson spoke with Jett on the occasion of a new documentary, “Joan Jett: Bad Reputation.” Plus, Donald Trump says trade wars are “easy to win.” Will they help the Democrats win the midterms?
02/10/1826m 11s

The Long-Distance Con, Part 1

On the day that Maggie Robinson Katz learned that her father had only a few days to live, she also found out that her wealthy family couldn’t pay his hospital bills: his fortune had disappeared. Katz didn’t learn how until several years later, when she began listening to a box of cassette tapes given to her by her stepmother. The tapes record her father, Terry Robinson, speaking on the phone with a man named Jim Stuckey, a West Virginian based in Manila, about a kind of business proposition. Hidden in jungles and caves in the Philippines, Stuckey said, were huge caches of gold bullion, uncut U.S. currency, and Treasury bonds; if Robinson put up the money to pay the right people, Stuckey could get the treasures out. It seemed absurd to people around Robinson, and the Treasury Department warns of scams that sound just like this. But Robinson, a successful retired executive, fell for it hook, line, and sinker. His daughter Maggie struggles to understand why and how, talking with The New Yorker’s Maria Konnikova and others.   This is part one of a two-part series.    
28/09/1827m 12s

Into the Woods with Scott Carrier

After a thirty-year lobbying effort, Congress designated the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail in 2009. Unlike the well-known Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail, the P.N.T. runs east-west, trekking twelve hundred miles across multiple mountain ranges and pristine wilderness to connect the Continental Divide with the Pacific Ocean. For hiking advocates, it’ provides a singular opportunity to commune with the unspoiled natural world. For critics, like the writer Rick Bass, the P.N.T. is a reckless intrusion of dangerous creatures—people—into an ecologically sensitive grizzly-bear habitat in the Yaak Valley of Montana. Grizzlies are often the losers in encounters with humans, and their population in the Yaak Valley is estimated to be twenty-five bears, or even fewer. For the trail’s chief advocate, Ron Strickland, the critics’ point of view is mere selfishness: if Bass himself can live in the Yaak Valley, writing about the glory of this extraordinary landscape, why shouldn’t others have the chance to walk through? The producer Scott Carrier, who reported on this conflict from Montana, sees a tragic dimension to it: when it comes to nature, we seem fated to kill that which we love.  
25/09/1826m 9s

Lisa Brennan-Jobs on the Shadow of Steve Jobs, and Jill Lepore on the Long Sweep of American History

Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s memoir, “Small Fry,” shares a common theme with many memoirs: the absent parent and the mark left by that absence in the adult writer. But the parent, in this case, is a figure who has also left his mark on the larger world. While Steve Jobs was becoming a titan of Silicon Valley and changed the future of computing, his daughter Lisa and her mother were living near the poverty line, struggling to get by. At first, Jobs avoided his responsibilities to them by denying his paternity. But even after he established a relationship with his daughter, his behavior was capricious and sometimes cruel. Yet Brennan-Jobs insists that she didn’t set out to write an exposé; rather, she wanted to tell a more universal story of a young woman finding her place in the world. “Small Fry,” in other words, is about Lisa, not Steve. “I knew I was writing a coming-of-age story about a girl,” she tells David Remnick, “but that it was going to be twisted into the story of a famous man.” Plus, the historian Jill Lepore on her new book that she says is the result of a dare: “These Truths,” a monumentally ambitious account of five-hundred-plus years of American history.
21/09/1829m 17s

Rachel Carson Dreams of the Sea

Before she published “Silent Spring,” one of the most influential books of the last century, Rachel Carson was a young aspiring poet and then a doctoral candidate in marine biology. Although she couldn’t swim and disliked boats, says historian Jill Lepore, Carson fell in love with the ocean. Gazing into tide pools, she pioneered a new kind of nature writing.  Plus: David Attenborough, the reigning master of the nature documentary, shares lessons from a life spent observing life in every corner of the world; and the cartoonist Julia Wertz, who loves the obscure nooks, crannies, and histories of New York, takes us garbage picking on a neglected bit of shoreline where the trash of decades past keeps washing ashore.   
18/09/1840m 40s

Illeana Douglas Steps Forward

The day after The New Yorker published Ronan Farrow’s exposé about Harvey Weinstein, Farrow got a phone call from the actress and screenwriter Illeana Douglas. She wanted to talk about Leslie Moonves, who was then the head of CBS and one of the most powerful men in the media industry. Douglas went on the record in a story by Farrow, describing an assault by Moonves in the nineteen-nineties and the repercussions to her career after she refused him. “I got warnings about the casting couch, but I didn’t perceive this as the casting couch,” Douglas tells David Remnick.  Moonves “was a man who I admired, and respected, and who had gained my trust. And now he was on top of me.” On September 9th, The New Yorker published a follow-up story by Farrow, describing new accusations. Three hours later, Moonves stepped down from his position at CBS. He has not, however, admitted any wrongdoing and has denied engaging in any non-consensual sex or any form of retaliation.
14/09/1816m 57s

Kwame Anthony Appiah on the Complications of Identity

Kwame Anthony Appiah is one of leading thinkers on identity. A professor of philosophy and law at New York University, Appiah also writes the New York Times Magazine’s Ethicist column, answering readers’ questions on a wide range of common but thorny problems of modern life. He came to his interest in identity early, as his parents—an Englishwoman from a politically prominent family and an anti-colonial agitator descended from Ghanaian royalty—became notorious in Britain for their interracial marriage. While his own identity may be seen as complicated, he thinks that each of our identities is also more complicated than our current way of thinking allows us to acknowledge. In his new book, “The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity,” Appiah takes a position that is somewhat contrary to the identity politics of the left. He tells David Remnick that a focus on individual identities—whether addressed through race, gender, culture, or country—can work against human solidarity, and sometimes get in the way of solving our problems. “I’m a creature of the Enlightenment,” he says.  
11/09/1814m 0s

Parenting While Deported

Idalia and Arnold came to this country nearly two decades ago, from Honduras. They settled in a small city in New England and found the working-class jobs of the type common to undocumented Central Americans: janitorial, hotel housekeeping and construction. They and their three children were a loving, close-knit family. The kids were active in school—in the band, on the football team, and in R.O.T.C. Idalia lectured them to work hard in school and set goals, and to spend less time playing video games. When one son got a hoverboard, he taught his mom to ride it, and she would take it to work to zoom around the hotel’s halls. But when Idalia was arrested for a traffic violation and deported to Honduras, things started to come apart. Idalia tries to stay present in her children’s lives, talking to them over video calls while they eat dinner or loaf around the house. But increasingly, it’s Andy, the sixteen-year-old middle child, who is playing the roles of mother and father to his whole family. The New Yorker staff writer Sarah Stillman and Micah Hauser, who have been tracking the fates of deportees, have spent much of the past year with this ordinary family that is facing an extraordinary situation.   The Columbia Journalism School's Global Migration Project supported the reporting of this story. Eileen Grench assisted in translation.    
07/09/1840m 6s

Rev. Franklin Graham Offers an Evangelist’s View of Donald Trump

Like his father, Rev. Billy Graham, before him, Rev. Franklin Graham is one of the nation’s most prominent preachers, influential in the evangelical world and in the highest echelons of Washington. But where Billy Graham came to regret that he had “sometimes crossed a line” into politics, Franklin Graham has no such qualms about showing his full-throated support of the President. An early advocate of Trump’s candidacy, he has remained stalwart even as scandals pile up. Graham tells the New Yorker staff writer Eliza Griswold that Trump’s critics have forgotten that “he’s our President. If he succeeds, you’re going to benefit.” Of Trump’s many personal scandals, Graham says only, “I hope we all learn from mistakes and get better. . . . As human beings, we’re all flawed, including Franklin Graham.” Plus, the novelist Curtis Sittenfeld on her love for the St. Louis grocery chain Schnucks.
04/09/1821m 28s

For a Palestinian Candidate, a Contested Election in Jerusalem

Ramadan Dabash is a civil engineer and a mukhtar—an Arab community leader—in his neighborhood of East Jerusalem. His run for a seat on the city council of Jerusalem has been making international headlines because the Palestinian community has long refused to participate in city politics, which they see as legitimizing Israeli rule. (Palestinians in Jerusalem can vote in municipal elections, but do not have representation in Israel’s national government.) But with no political solution in sight Dabash feels an imperative to engage in city politics in order to bargain for infrastructure and services for the people of East Jerusalem. In doing so, he could be courting attacks from Hamas, Fatah, or Israelis angered by his move into politics. But he also has unlikely allies, including a hard-right Likud member who supports the Israeli settlement movement and might have his own motives for supporting Palestinian engagement.  Bernard Avishai, a New Yorker contributor based in Jerusalem, interviewed Dabash at length, and he explains the complexities of his campaign to David Remnick.   The Jerusalem city-council election takes place on October 30th.  Plus, the acclaimed writer Calvin Trillin talks about another side of his career, as the screenwriter of movies performed by his children, grandchildren, and their friends.   
31/08/1834m 11s

David Simon’s “The Deuce” Charts the Rise of Pornography

David Simon is sympathetic to the sex workers he depicts in “The Deuce,” which will return to HBO for its second season in September. He is even sympathetic to some of the pimps and mobsters who were involved in the early years of the porn business. He is unambiguously critical, however, of porn’s effect on America. He tells David Remnick that porn—universally available on the Internet in its most extreme forms — has warped a whole society toward misogyny, and that we have not yet begun to reckon with its effects. Plus, the fiction writer Yiyun Li on the appeal of cemeteries, and Nick Lowe talks about getting old gracefully in rock and roll.  
28/08/1838m 55s

An N.Y.P.D. Sergeant Blows the Whistle on Quotas

Sergeant Edwin Raymond is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by a group of New York City police officers who have become famous as “the N.Y.P.D.-12.” They claim that, despite a 2010 statewide ban, officers are forced to meet monthly quotas for arrests and summonses—and that those quotas are enforced disproportionately on people of color. “They can't enforce [quotas] in Park Slope, predominantly white areas,” Raymond says. “But yet here they are in Flatbush, in Crown Heights, in Harlem, Mott Haven, South Side of Jamaica, enforcing these things.” He walks Jennifer Gonnerman through the process by which so-called quality-of-life or broken-windows policing—advocated forcefully by former New York Police Commissioner William Bratton—led to a form of systemic racism in policing.  Although he was concerned about what blowing the whistle would do to his own career, Raymond was promoted to sergeant, and he continues to hear from people around the world concerned about the spread of quota policing—which he calls “Bratton’s cancer.”  
24/08/1817m 44s

Three Actors Explain What It Means to be “Presidential”

During the lead-up to the 2016 election, three actors who have played fictional Presidents of the United States discussed what it means to be “Presidential,” in a panel moderated by Michael Schulman. Bill Pullman, who, as President Thomas J. Whitmore, rallied the nations of the world to join forces in “Independence Day,” talks about how a reaction to Bill Clinton informed the movie’s depiction of an ex-military President. Alfre Woodard talks about how “State of Affairs” imagined a second black President in the character of Constance Payton. And Tony Goldwyn, who played Fitzgerald Grant, on “Scandal,” talks about Presidential nudity.  
21/08/1826m 35s

Seth Meyers Talks with Ariel Levy

Seth Meyers—a veteran of “Saturday Night Live” and the host of NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers”—sat down at the 2017 New Yorker Festival to walk Ariel Levy through a career that seems charmed. As an unknown improv performer, Meyers was picked for the cast of “Saturday Night Live”; he eventually became the show’s head writer and the host of “Weekend Update,” alongside Amy Poehler. Along the way, Meyers tells Levy, he had a number of strange run-ins with Donald Trump. When Trump appeared on “S.N.L.,” he was in a sketch about his lack of empathy, with Meyers playing his son. Later, Meyers hosted the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner and observed that “Donald Trump says he has a great relationship with the blacks. But unless the Blacks are a family of white people, I think he’s mistaken.” After, it was widely reported that President Obama’s mockery of Trump at that event spurred Trump to launch a campaign for the Presidency. At first, Meyers was hurt by the lack of attention. “I wanted to share credit. . . . I helped trick an unelectable person to run for President,” Meyers says. “Then he won. And when he won, my first thought was, ‘This is Obama’s fault. I had nothing to do with it.’ ”
17/08/1829m 15s

David Remnick on Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin brought Barack Obama to tears when she performed “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Carole King in December 2015. When video from that event went viral, it reawakened Aretha fans across the country. The New Yorker’s David Remnick, who wrote about Franklin, looks back on the singer’s childhood in Detroit and reflects on her music’s unparalleled combination of “Saturday night and Sunday morning.”
14/08/186m 7s

Weeding with Parker Posey

Parker Posey has been a vivid presence in American film, especially indie film, for twenty-five years. She got her start in “Dazed and Confused,” and went on to appear in dozens of movies, including Christopher Guest’s cult-classic satires “Waiting For Guffman,” “Best in Show,” and “A Mighty Wind.” Like her performances, Parker Posey’s new memoir is surprising and funny. “You’re On an Airplane” is written as a monologue delivered by the author to her seatmate on a long flight. It’s also full of recipes, and it includes instructions for throwing pottery. Being so practical and resourceful—not to mention a former cheerleader—served Posey in good stead when she, The New Yorker’s Michael Schulman, and his producer Alex Barron found themselves locked out of her building and trapped in the small yard behind it.  
14/08/1816m 14s

Lee Child, “Moby-Dick,” and Other Summer Reads

We delve into the escapist joys of a great summer read. David Remnick talks with Lee Child, whose thrillers about Jack Reacher—twenty-three books and counting, with a hundred million copies in print—bring the mystique of the cowboy to modern America. Amanda Petrusich says that the start of “Moby-Dick” nails the desperation to get out of town that afflicts every New Yorker; Vinson Cunningham explains how the usually tragic plays of Eugene O’Neill help him loosen up and find his rhythm as a prose writer; and Helen Rosner pulls out a cookbook to make a strawberry fool—a luridly hued but beautiful dessert that perfectly captures the taste of summer.  
10/08/1840m 2s

William Finnegan Surfing, and Kristen Roupenian Among the Pilgrims

William Finnegan’s memoir, “Barbarian Days,” from 2015, holds the distinction of being the one book about surfing to win a Pulitzer Prize. On a Sunday morning, not long past dawn, he took David Remnick to the Rockaways for his first and only surfing lesson. And Kristen Roupenian, the author of the story “Cat Person,” revisits her old stomping grounds of Plimoth Plantation, the living-history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where reënactors portray pilgrims from the early seventeenth century. Roupenian’s “Cat Person” revolves around online romance and consent, and it touched a nerve with readers in the #MeToo era, becoming one of the most-read stories ever on newyorker.com. It couldn’t be more of the moment, but Roupenian credits those Pilgrim reënactors for shaping her as a writer. Growing up near Plimoth Plantation, she says, you realize early that history isn’t a sequence of facts: it’s always a story someone is telling you.  
07/08/1826m 41s

Astrid Holleeder’s Crime Family

All her life, Astrid Holleeder knew that her older brother Willem was involved in crime; in their tough Amsterdam neighborhood, and as children of an abusive father, it wasn’t a shocking development. But she was stunned when, in 1983, Willem and his best friend, Cornelius van Hout, were revealed to be the masterminds behind the audacious kidnapping of the beer magnate Alfred Heineken. Although he served some time for the crime, it was only the beginning of the successful career of Holleeder. He became a celebrity criminal; he had a newspaper column, appeared on talk shows, and took selfies with admirers in Amsterdam. He got rich off of his investments in the sex trade and other businesses, but kept them well hidden. But when van Hout was assassinated and other of Holleeder’s associates started turning up dead, Astrid suspected that her brother had committed the murders. She decided to wear a wire and gather the evidence to put him away.f that didn't work, she told the New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, she would have to kill Willem herself. Willem is on trial now for multiple murders, and Astrid is testifying against him. Living in hiding, travelling in disguise, she tells Keefe the story of her complicity and its consequences. Keefe’s story about Astrid Holleeder, “Crime Family,” appears in this week’s magazine.
03/08/1829m 7s

Tommy Orange and the Urban Native Experience

Tommy Orange had never read a book about what it means to be a Native American in a big city. In a conversation with The New Yorker’s fiction editor, Orange says that urban Native writers like himself—he is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma, and grew up in Oakland, California—may feel their own experience to be inauthentic, compared to stories set on the reservation. Orange’s début novel, “There There,” follows a small cast of Native characters whose lives converge at a powwow at the Oakland Coliseum. Plus, Vinson Cunningham on the particular joys of a New York wedding, complete with metal detectors.  
31/07/1825m 1s

Helsinki Fallout

At the recent summit in Helsinki, Vladimir Putin proposed that, in exchange for letting Robert Mueller interrogate some G.R.U. agents who are linked to election hacking, the U.S. should turn over a group of officials and citizens to Moscow. The most senior of them was Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Russia during the Obama Administration—a time of chilly relations between the nations. McFaul and his family were subjected to treatment unthinkable for a diplomat: stalking, harassment, and surveillance.  The White House has said that it is no longer considering Putin’s overture, but McFaul tells David Remnick that Putin’s increasingly assertive behavior—and Trump’s reverential attitude towards Putin—has him concerned for his safety. Meanwhile, after Helsinki, bipartisan support is growing in the Senate for a bill that would impose severe sanctions on Russia to retaliate for election meddling. Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, is a co-sponsor of the DETER Act, and he tells staff writer Susan Glasser that the daylight between congressional Republicans and the President is growing.  
27/07/1830m 30s

Thomas McGuane and Callan Wink Go Fishing

Thomas McGuane, the acclaimed author of “The Sporting Club,” thinks fiction set in the American West could stand to lose some of its ranching clichés. The novelist, a consummate outdoorsman and devoted fisherman, met up with the writer Callan Wink, who recently published his first book of stories and works as a fishing guide on the Yellowstone River.  McGuane and Wink discussed the state of the short story and the late author Jim Harrison, a mutual friend, all while sitting in a fifteen-foot drift boat. And, yes, they caught a few fish, too. 
24/07/1820m 6s

Philip Roth’s American Portraits and American Prophecy

The novelist and short-story writer Philip Roth died in May at the age of eighty-five. In novels like “Portnoy’s Complaint,” “The Human Stain,” and “American Pastoral,” Roth anatomized postwar American life—particularly the lives of Jewish people in the Northeast. And in works like “The Ghost Writer” and “The Plot Against America,” he speculated on how the shadow of authoritarianism might fall over the United States. The breadth and depth of Roth’s work kept him a vital literary figure throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and established him among the most respected writers of fiction in American history. David Remnick speaks with Roth’s official biographer, Blake Bailey, about Roth’s life and career. Judith Thurman, Claudia Roth Pierpont, and Lisa Halliday discuss the portrayals of women in Roth’s work and the accusations of misogyny that he has faced. And, finally, we hear an interview with the author, from 2003, when he sat down with David Remnick for the BBC. Plus: the actor Liev Schreiber reads excerpts from Roth’s fiction.
20/07/1855m 36s

The Rezneck Riders

The Navajo Nation covers over twenty-seven thousand square miles in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico; it’s an area roughly the size of West Virginia. Vincent Salabye grew up there, in a community troubled by memories of conquest by the United States Army and by persistent poverty, addiction, and despair. To grapple with these hereditary demons, Salabye came up with a novel idea: he hopped on a bike. As a kid, he once rode all the way to Texas and back: almost three thousand miles. “That's my horse,” says Vincent. “It takes me places. That's always ingrained in me. That's how my mind-set is, trying to explore the lands that I always grew up on.” Now a new crop of cyclists on the Navajo Nation are following Salabye’s impulse, and making a new kind of bike riding called Enduro their own. It’s a dangerous, difficult, and extremely intense form of high-speed downhill racing. Enduro has given some Navajo men a new way to connect with their ancient tribal lands and to defy the hard prospects and low expectations that too often characterize coming of age on the rez.
17/07/1826m 58s

Brazil, Bruce Lee, and Black Lives in the Music of Kamasi Washington, and the Uncertain Future of the Democratic Party

Benjamin Wallace-Wells provides a survey of some key midterm races and considers what they tell us about the direction of the Democratic Party. And David Remnick speaks with the saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington. For anyone who thinks of jazz as just classic compositions played in dimly lit clubs, Washington’s music will come as a surprise and revelation. His concerts are like dance parties. And his albums draws on influences from Coltrane to Stravinsky to Fela Kuti to N.W.A. His eclectic style has made him a star in the jazz world, and has attracted some high-profile collaborators, including Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. And the political message of some of his music led one critic to call him “the jazz voice of Black Lives Matter.” “The major effect that music has is it connects people,” Washington tells David Remnick, “That’s kind of the extent of what the music can do. In the end, the world changes as people decide to change.”
13/07/1829m 34s

Love, War, and the Magical Lamb-Brain Sandwiches of Aleppo, Syria

When Adam Davidson was a reporter in Baghdad during the Iraq War, he started dating a fellow-reporter, Jen Banbury, of Salon. On a holiday break, they left the war zone and traveled to Aleppo, Syria—then a beautiful, ancient, bustling city—and, while there, they ate the best sandwiches that they had ever had. They were shockingly good, so much so that Adam and Jen never quite registered what was in them or where they came from. The couple, now married, told this story to many friends over the years, but none was more interested than Dan Pashman, the host of the food podcast “The Sporkful.” Fascinated by the mystery, Pashman set out on a quest to find and re-create the sandwiches. He talked to Syrian emigrés, a political refugee, and finally to Imad Serjieh, the owner of the family sandwich shop that bears his last name. Pashman found that the Serjieh sandwiches—preferably the one made with boiled, spiced lamb brain—aren’t just a local favorite; they capture the essence of the city, and, as long as they are still being made, Pashman thinks, Aleppo lives. Plus, the writer and monologuist Jenny Allen has something she’d like to say to you—or, rather, some things she’d like you to stop saying. This episode originally aired on November 10, 2017
10/07/1829m 23s