Live at Politics and Prose

Live at Politics and Prose

By Slate Podcasts

Readings and discussions featuring today’s best authors, recorded live at Washington DC’s famous Politics and Prose bookstore.


Rana Foroohar: Live at Politics and Prose

Taking her title from Google’s early mantra, Foroohar, the award-winning CNN global economic analyst and Financial Times columnist and associate editor, chronicles how far Big Tech has fallen from its original vision of free information and digital democracy. Drawing on nearly thirty years of experience reporting on the technology sector, Faroohar traces the evolution of companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon into behemoths that monetize people’s data, spread misinformation and hate speech, and threaten citizens’ privacy. She also shows how we can fight back by creating a framework that both fosters innovation and protects us from the threats posed by digital technology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/12/1948m 50s

Susan Choi: Live at Politics and Prose

Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction; her second, American Woman, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and after that she was awarded the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award for A Person of Interest. Praised for narrative style, inventiveness, and keen insight, Choi in her latest work of fiction takes the novel to new places. At first a seemingly straightforward story of first love, the book follows two students at a performing arts high school who live, study, and fall in love in a competitive and rarefied world that has at its center a charismatic acting teacher. Then the off-stage dramas go too far, and the second half of the narrative puts into question all that preceded it. Choi is in conversation with Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
29/11/1952m 1s

Carmen Maria Machado: Live at Politics and Prose

Machado’s electrifying Her Body and Other Parties—a finalist for the National Book Award—expanded our sense of what a short story could be and do. Her powerful new book draws on a similarly wide range of tones, cultural references, and formal innovations to redefine the memoir. Organizing each chapter around different themes—a haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman—Machado explores an abusive lesbian relationship from multiple angles. As she chronicles her attraction to a charismatic and volatile woman, Machado looks back at the role of religion in her adolescence, interrogates the assumption that lesbian relationships are safe, and explores the history and reality of abuse within the queer community. Machado is in conversation with Jeannie Vanasco, author of Things We Didn’t Talk about When I Was a Girl. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/11/1956m 36s

Lindy West: Live at Politics and Prose

Lindy West, New York Times columnist and bestselling author of Shrill, provides a brilliant and incisive look at how patriarchy, intolerance, and misogyny have conquered not just politics, but American culture itself in The Witches Are Coming. With her signature wit and in her uniquely incendiary voice, The Witches Are Coming lays out a grand theory of America that explains why Trump's election was, in many ways, a foregone conclusion. Whether it be the notion overheard since the earliest moments of the #MeToo movement that feminism has gone too far or the insistence that holding someone accountable for his actions amounts to a "witch hunt," this book exposes the lies that many have chosen to believe and the often unexpected figures who have furthered them. Along the way, it unravels the tightening link between culture and politics, identifying in the memes, music, and movies we've loved the seeds of a reactionary movement now surging through the nation Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
15/11/191h 5m

Sherrod Brown: Live at Politics and Prose

In this engaging political history, Brown, senior U.S. senator from Ohio, tells the story of twentieth-century progressive politics through the profiles of eight of the senators who occupied his chair—desk 88—before him. In a series of insightful essays, Brown traces the achievements of Hugo Black, Robert F. Kennedy, Al Gore Sr., George McGovern, Herbert Lehman, Glen Taylor, Theodore Francis Green, and William Proxmire, extolling the men’s hard work and dedication, assessing and celebrating their communal legacy, and, drawing on his own experience, showing that progressive ideals are still vital to the life of our democracy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Jack Goldsmith: Live at Politics and Prose

There have been many theories about the fate of Jimmy Hoffa, the longtime president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, since he disappeared in 1975. Many involve Charles “Chuckie” O’Brien, Hoffa’s aide and Goldsmith’s stepfather. In this compelling investigation-cum-memoir, Goldsmith, Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law at Harvard University and author of Terror Presidency and Power and Constraint, recounts how his childhood affection for O’Brien became more complicated as he pursued a legal career. Then, with the perspective he gained from serving as assistant attorney general under George W. Bush, Goldsmith was moved to uncover the truth about O’Brien, Hoffa, the mob, the waning of labor’s power, and the rise of the surveillance state. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/11/191h 1m

Ronan Farrow: Live at Politics and Prose

In a dramatic account of violence and espionage, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow exposes serial abusers and a cabal of powerful interests hell-bent on covering up the truth, at any cost, in Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators. In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood's most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret campaign of intimidation, threatening his career, following his every move, and weaponizing an account of abuse in his own family. This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. And it's the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement. Farrow is in conversation with Sunny Hostin, the Emmy-nominated co-host of The View. Over her decade long career that has included working at CNN, Sunny has brought clarity and context to some of the biggest stories of our time. She also hosts and executive produces Truth About Murder with Sunny Hostin on Investigation Discovery. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/10/191h 7m

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Live at Politics and Prose

The Water Dancer is a bracingly original vision of the world of slavery, written with the narrative force of a great adventure. Driven by Coates’ bold imagination and striking ability to bring readers deep into the interior lives of his brilliantly rendered characters, this is the story of America's oldest struggle—the struggle to tell the truth—from one of our most exciting thinkers and beautiful writers. Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage—and lost his mother and all memory of her when he was a child—but he is also gifted with a mysterious power. Hiram almost drowns when he crashes a carriage into a river, but is saved from the depths by a force he doesn't understand, a blue light that lifts him up and lands him a mile away. This strange brush with death forces a new urgency on Hiram's private rebellion. Spurred on by his improvised plantation family, Thena, his chosen mother, a woman of few words and many secrets, and Sophia, a young woman fighting her own war even as she and Hiram fall in love, he becomes determined to escape the only home he's ever known. Coates is in conversation with Ibram X. Kendi, author, historian, and the Founding Director of The Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University. He is the recipient of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction for his book Stamped from the Beginning. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
18/10/191h 14m

Olga Tokarczuk: Live at Politics and Prose

Winner of the 2018 Man Booker International Prize, Flights is narrated by a compulsive traveler eager to analyze experience from the perspective of motion rather than stability, and she reports from a wide range of places, vehicles, and eras. The stories start and stop, interrupt each other, continue, and subtly comment on each other, from a plot involving a Polish tourist in Croatia whose wife and children disappear then mysteriously reappear, to another unfolding at Chopin’s funeral, and a third following a pioneering 17th-century Dutch anatomist whose story resonates with many socio-political questions of our own day. Tokarczuk’s evident delight in storytelling is matched by her penchant for questioning everything we take for granted. Tokarczuk was a psychologist before becoming one of Poland’s premier fiction writers, and her early training is evident throughout this insightful, masterfully observed, and utterly original novel. Tokarczuk is in conversation with Jennifer Croft, who translated Flights from Polish into English. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/10/191h 5m

Jacqueline Woodson: Live at Politics and Prose

The 2018-‘19 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Woodson is the award-winning author of dozens of books for children, young adults, and above, including the classic Brown Girl Dreaming. Her new novel, written for adults, and infused with her signature insight and rich, poetic prose, opens in 2001 in Brooklyn. The occasion is Melody’s sixteenth birthday, but it proves bittersweet as the assembled family recalls Melody’s mother—who never reached age sixteen. Charting the course of two families from different classes, Woodson’s affecting narrative tackles identity, ambition, desire, and parenthood as well as exploring how the decisions young people make change the generations to come. Woodson is in conversation with Lynn Neary, longtime NPR arts correspondent. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
04/10/1954m 31s

Margaret Atwood: Live at Politics and Prose

In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades with The Testaments. When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison, or death. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Atwood's sequel picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. Atwood is in conversation with Rebeccca Traister, author of three books and writer-at-large for New York magazine and The Cut, and a contributing editor at Elle magazine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
27/09/191h 3m

Billy Bragg: Live at Politics and Prose

Bragg’s extraordinary career as a singer-songwriter and activist has spanned over thirty-five years. In both his music—which includes cover versions of iconic  protest songs and socialist anthems—and his politically-inflected lyrics, he’s dedicated himself to effecting social change and to moving others to get involved in grassroots activist causes. His new book is a direct and bracing call to action in which he shows that freedom is composed of three elements: liberty, equality, and accountability, and demonstrates that accountability is our most powerful tool against the rising tide of authoritarianism. Bragg is in conversation with David Weigel, a national political correspondent for The Washington Post and author of The Show That Never Ends. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/09/1956m 40s

Caitlin Zaloom: Live at Politics and Prose

Based on a series of frank and personal discussions with students and parents across the nation, Zaloom‘s book documents how the struggle to finance college education is transforming middle-class life. An associate professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University, a founding editor of Public Books, and author of Out of the Pits, Zaloom reveals the hidden consequences of student debt, describes the wrenching moral decisions parents make having to choose between jeopardizing their own financial security or forcing their children into debt, and relates the frustrations of navigating a labyrinth of government-sponsored programs, for-profit funders, and university aid requirements. Zaloom is in conversation with Dorian Warren, president of Community Change and Community Change Action. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
13/09/191h 1m

Christopher Leonard: Live at Politics and Prose

Awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, Leonard’s monumental work of investigative reporting charts the five-decade rise of Koch Industries. One of the largest privately held multinationals in the country, and one of the most secretive, Koch owns companies in businesses ranging from energy to chemicals to banking; its CEO, Charles Koch, and his brother, David, are together wealthier than Bill Gates. As Leonard shows, the brothers have consolidated power by practicing a single-minded attention to the bottom line—which has also meant quashing unions, widening income inequality, thwarting action on climate change, and making capitalism a deeply alienating force for many Americans. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/09/1946m 9s

Téa Obreht: Live at Politics and Prose

Obreht made an unforgettable literary debut with The Tiger’s Wife, an international bestseller that won the 2011 Orange Prize and earned her a slot on The New Yorker’s prestigious “20 Under 40” list. Her eagerly awaited second novel unfolds in the drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893. Drawing on little known historical episodes, Obreht follows the intertwined fates of Nora, an intrepid frontierswoman whose husband and older sons have gone in search of water, and Luke, a former outlaw haunted by more than just his past. Richly imagined and vividly told, Obreht’s story recreates the myth of the American West. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30/08/1950m 29s

Jia Tolentino: Live at Politics and Prose

Tolentino, a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2016, has quickly become one of the most exciting and authoritative critical voices of the millennial generation. Praised for her fierce intelligence, formidable mix of skepticism and optimism, and her lyrical, lucid prose, Tolentino has written on a wide range of social and cultural topics, from music and marriage to female empowerment and race in publishing. Her eagerly awaited book presents nine new essays that see through the hype and contradictions of contemporary life to show us a clearer picture of ourselves and our historical moment. Tolentino is in conversation with Kat Chow, reporter for NPR and founding member of Code Switch, currently working on a memoir about grief and identity forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/08/191h 4m

J. Michael Straczynski & Alexandra Fuller: Live at Politics and Prose

Straczynski may be best known as the creator of the Babylon 5 and Sense8 TV shows, but his amazing four-decade career also encompasses screenwriting—Changeling, Thor, and World War Z—writing for several D.C. and Marvel Comics’ series, and creating his own award-winning graphic works. Now in this stunning memoir he tells his own story—perhaps his most fantastic feat yet. Straczynski grew up in the care of adults variously damaged by addiction, mental illness, and poverty. His only refuge from the misery was comic books, and he gradually realized that he, too, could invent alternate worlds. But even as he managed to take power over his future, a terrible secret in his family’s past continued to haunt him. In a series of deft, powerful memoirs beginning with the award-winning Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Fuller has kept readers riveted with stories of her unconventional family’s life in southern Africa. Her moving new book, written with her signature brio and humor, focuses on her father, the adventurous, restless Tim Fuller, who, announcing at age 7 his plans to leave England, moved first to Rhodesia than to Zambia. Writing from the shock of his sudden death in 2015—in Pest, Hungary, of all places—Fuller profiles and pays tribute to a man who devoured life whole. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/08/191h 14m

Oyinkan Braithwaite: live at Politics and Prose

Now available in paperback, Braithwaite’s spectacular debut novel is the story of two sisters, Ayoola and Korede, and the secrets that bind them together. As the book opens, Ayoola has just killed her boyfriend. She claims it was self-defense—as it was with the two previous boyfriends she killed. Korede, who works at a hospital, disposes of the body and tells no one. But her silent complicity is tested when Ayoola starts visiting her at work and attracts the attention of a doctor Korede is in love with. Fast-paced, smart, and chilling, Braithwaite ratchets up the tension to an explosive ending. Braithwaite is in conversation with writer and producer Tayla Burney. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/08/1953m 38s

Emily Nussbaum: Live at Politics and Prose

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer for criticism,  Nussbaum writes about TV like the art that it is. Gathered from some fifteen years of work for The New Yorker, New York, and other publications—along with several new pieces—the essays in this collection wholeheartedly celebrate television and guide us to new ways of looking at it. Arguing that TV demands more than just watching, Nussbaum outlines her struggle with “prestige television”—an awakening she traces to Buffy the Vampire Slayer—and questions the breakdown of shows into high- and low-brow. She also examines programming in the light of #MeToo, explores how fans distort their favorite shows, profiles influential figures such as Kenya Barris, Jenji Kohan, and Ryan Murphy, assesses the legacies of Norman Lear and Joan Rivers, and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/08/191h 6m

Michael Kellogg: Live at Politics and Prose

Kellogg follows his revelatory study of medieval thought, The Wisdom of the Middle Ages, with a similarly wide-ranging and accessible look at the major intellectual and artistic advances during the Renaissance. Starting with Petrarch (1304-1374), the scholar and poet often considered the inventor of humanism, and closing with Shakespeare (1564-1616), Kellogg examines two centuries’ worth of poetry, philosophical treatises, essays, letters, and dramas, tracing how ideas evolved, how they drove and were in turn influenced by, the Reformation, and examining how pivotal figures such as Rabelais, Montaigne, Cervantes, and the Bard brought us to the cusp of modernism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/07/1937m 24s

Asma T. Uddin: Live at Politics and Prose

A religious liberties lawyer, founding editor-in-chief of, and executive producer for the docuseries, The Secret Life of Muslims, Uddin has devoted her career to defending people of all faiths. In recent years, however, along with a trend toward secularizing and politicizing faith in general, she has seen an increase in attempts to criminalize Islam. In this timely and important book, Uddin intertwines legal arguments with her own experience, showing how a loss of religious liberties for one group affects all the rest, and proposing ways individuals and communities can preserve this valuable constitutional right. Uddin is in conversation with Michelle Boorstein, religion reporter for The Washington Post. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/07/1959m 22s

Michael Bennet: Live at Politics and Prose

Bennet has represented Colorado in the U.S. Senate since 2009, earning a reputation as an independent thinker and a pragmatic centrist. In his closely observed analysis of today’s dysfunctional political landscape, he focuses on five key issues: the process for appointing judges, the recent tax cuts, the demise of the Iran nuclear agreement, the role of big money in politics, and immigration policies, examining each to illustrate exactly how and why partisan gridlock is undermining government. As he shows how much we’ve lost due to hyper-partisan politics, Bennet proposes specific ways we can re-establish a collaborative approach geared to helping all Americans rather than to benefiting one political party. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/07/191h 7m

Carl Hulse: Live at Politics and Prose

Chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times, Hulse has covered legislative and judicial events for more than three decades. His important new book is a deeply reported account of the struggle over the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Antonin Scalia’s death in February 2016. Drawing on exclusive interviews with key figures including Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Trump campaign operatives, court activists, and legal scholars, Hulse traces the polarizing political battle that began with Senate Republicans’ refusal to grant a hearing to Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, and concluded with the confirmation in April 2017 of Trump’s candidate, Neil M. Gorsuch. Putting this episode in the larger context of governmental paralysis, Hulse traces the judicial wars of the last twenty year and charts the loss of bipartisan procedures across all three federal branches. Hulse is in conversation with Maureen Dowd, op-ed columnist for The New York Times. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Anna Fifield: Live at Politics and Prose

Fifield, Beijing bureau chief for The Washington Post and former Seoul correspondent for the Financial Times, has visited North Korea a dozen times, becoming one of our most knowledgeable journalists on that cryptic nation. In her new book she draws on her experience and connections to penetrate the layers of myth and propaganda surrounding Kim Jong Un. Granted exclusive access to Kim’s inner circle—including the aunt and uncle who posed as his parents while he was growing up in Switzerland, members of the entourage that accompanied Dennis Rodman on his visits, and the Japanese sushi chef who pointed to Kim as the most likely successor to his father—Fifield gives a detailed and insightful portrait of one of the world’s most secretive dictators. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
28/06/191h 5m

Raphael Bob-Waksberg: Live at Politics and Prose

In his debut collection of stories, the creator and executive producer of the hit show BoJack Horseman—named by Thrillist magazine Netflix’s best original show ever—applies his distinctive dark humor to the mysteries of love.  Combining romance, whimsy, and sharp cultural commentary, Bob-Waksberg plunges into the world of lonely commuters looking for—and failing to find—connections; follows a couple whose wedding plans founder on their relatives’ argument over how many goats to sacrifice; and maps a woman’s history of romantic failure by the sites she visited with her exes. Quirky and surreal, these pieces are as wryly insightful as they are hilariously entertaining. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/06/1955m 6s

Ocean Vuong: Live at Politics and Prose

Like the stunning poems of his collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, Vuong’s kaleidoscopic first novel speaks from the heart of multi-generational PTSD, charting the fate of a Vietnamese-American family struggling to settle into life in Hartford, Connecticut. Vuong frames his novel as a letter from Little Dog, a young gay writer, to his mother. The only one of his family fluent in English, Little Dog sees language as the key to belonging in America, and his determination to record all he knows of his relatives’ lives infuses his every word with life-or-death urgency. Along with stories of his mother and grandmother, he recounts his own coming-of-age as a gay man, becoming a moving elegy to his first lover—dead of an overdose at 22. Vuong is in conversation with Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, Curator of Asian Pacific American Studies at the Smithsonian. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/06/1959m 31s

Eve Ensler: Live at Politics and Prose

Ensler is a Tony-award winning playwright, author, performer, and activist, best-known for The Vagina Monologues, which examined consensual and nonconsensual sex, reproduction, sex work, body image, and other issues from the perspectives of women of various ages, races, and sexualities. Premiering in 1996, this groundbreaking performance piece has been published in nearly fifty languages and performed in more than 140 countries. Its popularity helped Ensler found V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. In her powerful new memoir, Ensler writes the apology she never received from her abusive father, attempting to transform the experience into a revolutionary call for courage, honesty, and forgiveness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
07/06/1949m 21s

Simon Tam: Live at Politics and Prose

Tam founded his Asian-American dance rock band, The Slants, in 2006. Known for their community activism, the band dedicated itself to overturning stereotypes—a mission that started with the name, which refers not only to individual perspectives and guitar chords, but to Asian ethnic identity. Seeking to reclaim this derogatory term as a badge of pride, Tam applied to register “Slant” as a trademark. When the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected his application, Tam pursued his case to the Supreme Court—where he won a unanimous victory in 2017. In this spirited and inspiring memoir of his fight for free speech, Tam reflects on questions of identity as he moves from anime conventions and cultural festivals all the way through the U.S. legal system. Tam is in conversation with Robert Barnes, reporter for The Washington Post covering the U.S. Supreme Court. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
31/05/1953m 45s

Casey Cep: Live at Politics and Prose

After writing To Kill a Mockingbird and helping her lifelong friend Truman Capote research In Cold Blood, the late Harper Lee set to work on a true-crime book of her own. Never completed, the work was based on the case of Willie Maxwell, a rural Alabama preacher accused of killing five members of his family in the 1970s. Lee spent a year in Maxwell’s town reporting on the story, which took a further turn when Maxwell was shot at the funeral of his last victim, and his killer, despite many witnesses, was acquitted. Drawing on Lee’s research papers and some fifty of her unpublished letters, Cep offers a detailed portrait of the reclusive writer’s working methods, including her struggles with drinking; recounts a fascinating real-life Southern Gothic; and gives us a tantalizing glimpse of the book that might have been. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

George Packer: Live at Politics and Prose

Packer’s biography of Richard Holbrooke (1941-2010) is also the story of the United States from the Vietnam War, where Holbrooke gained his first experience as an advisor, to the conflict in Afghanistan, which Holbrooke, by then a seasoned diplomat, sought to end. For both the man and the nation, the period was a series of crises, frustrations, and victories that showcased both strength and heedless self-confidence. Drawing on Holbrooke’s journals and letters, diaries of key government officials, and interviews with figures including Hillary Clinton, Hamid Karzai, David Petraeus, and Bosnian war criminals, Packer, an Atlantic staff writer and author of the National Book Award-winning  Unwinding, not only portrays a brilliant and complicated man but shows how his ideas and temperament helped shape several decades of U.S. foreign policy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
17/05/191h 3m

Robert Caro: Live at Politics and Prose

Robert Caro’s collection of personal essays is both a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of his award-winning books and an engaging self-portrait of sorts by one of our most accomplished biographers. Writing with his signature grace, humor, and vigor, Caro recalls what it was like to interview a man as powerful as Robert Moses and how it felt to confront the vast holdings of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library. He details how he plans and composes his books and recounts how he decided to write not just about pivotal individuals, but to focus also on the people and politics those dominant figures shaped. And for the many readers who have always wanted to know why Caro’s books take so long, he has both a short answer—intensive research—and a longer one based on advice from an editor early in his career as a journalist. Mr. Caro is in conversation with Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC's Meet the Press and the Political Director for NBC News. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/05/191h 4m

Anuradha Bhagwati: Live at Politics and Prose

It wasn’t until she was in graduate school that Bhagwati, now a writer and activist, rebelled against the expectations her family had imposed on her and left the Ivy League to join the Marines. She deliberately chose the toughest branch of the military, determined to prove herself in new ways. The experience turned out to be harder than she’d expected, and her memoir recounts her battles against racism, misogyny, and abuse of power. When she left the service she vowed to change the system, and by founding the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), she did. Working to call attention to sexual violence in the military, SWAN has helped initiate substantial policy reforms with the Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs, including overturning the ban on women in combat. Bhagwati is in conversation with Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her. Anuradha Bhagwati is a writer, activist, yoga and meditation teacher, and Marine Corps veteran. She founded the Service Wom­en’s Action Network (SWAN), which brought national attention to sexual violence in the military and helped overturn the ban on women in com­bat. Anuradha is a regular media commentator on issues related to national security, women’s rights, civil rights, and mental health, and is the recipient of numerous awards. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washing­ton Post, Politico, Foreign Affairs, and The New Republic. She lives in New York City with her ser­vice dog, Duke Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
03/05/1952m 43s

Preet Bharara: Live at Politics and Prose

In Doing Justice, one-time federal prosecutor Preet Bharara uses case histories, personal experiences, and his own inviting writing and teaching style to show the thought process we need to best achieve truth and justice in our daily lives and within our society. Bharara has spent much of his life examining our legal system, pushing to make it better, and prosecuting those looking to subvert it; he believes in our system and knows it must be protected, but to do so, we must also acknowledge and allow for flaws in the system and in human nature. Ultimately, Doing Justice is an inspiring, thought-provoking, and entertaining book about the need to find the humanity in our legal system–and in our society. Bharara is in conversation with Bianna Golodryga, journalist and CNN contributor. PREET BHARARA served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 to 2017. Bharara oversaw the investigation and litigation of all criminal and civil cases and supervised an office of more than two hundred Assistant U.S. Attorneys, who handled cases involving terrorism, narcotics and arms trafficking, financial and healthcare fraud, cybercrime, public corruption, gang violence, organized crime, and civil rights violations. In 2017, Bharara joined the NYU School of Law faculty as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence. He is the Executive Vice President of Some Spider Studios and the host of CAFE's Stay Tuned with Preet, a podcast focused on issues of justice and fairness. Bharara graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and from Columbia Law School, where he was a member of the law review. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/04/191h 20m

Stacey Abrams: Live at Politics and Prose

Leadership is hard. Convincing others—and yourself—that you're capable of taking charge and achieving more requires insight and courage. Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change by political leader, entrepreneur, and nonprofit CEO Stacey Abrams is the handbook for outsiders, written with an eye toward the challenges that hinder women, people of color, the working class, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and millennials ready to make change. Abrams uses her hard-won insights to break down how ambition, fear, money, and failure function in leadership, and she includes practical exercises to help you realize your own ambition and hone your skills. Lead from the Outside discusses candidly what Abrams has learned over the course of her impressive career in politics, business, and the nonprofit world: that differences in race, gender, and class provide vital strength, which we can employ to rise to the top and create real and lasting change. Stacey Abrams is an author, serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO and political leader. After eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, Abrams became the 2018 Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, where she won more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. She has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels; and she is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Abrams is the 2012 recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award and the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/04/1949m 49s

Valerie Jarrett: Live at Politics and Prose

In Finding My Voice, Valerie Jarrett recounts her work ensuring equality for women and girls, advancing civil rights, reforming our criminal justice system, and improving the lives of working families. From a single mother stagnating in corporate law, to finding her voice in Harold Washington's historic administration, to ultimately becoming one of the most visible and influential African-American women of the twenty-first century, Jarrett shares her forthright, optimistic perspective on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century, inspiring readers to lift their own voices. Jarrett is in conversation with Anita Dunn, White House communications director and senior adviser to President Obama’s presidential campaigns Valerie Jarrett was the longest serving senior adviser to President Barack Obama. She oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. Before joining the White House, she served as the chief executive officer of The Habitat Company in Chicago, chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, commissioner of Planning and Development, and deputy chief of staff for Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley. Jarrett has received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including Time's "100 Most Influential People." She received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981. She is currently a senior adviser to the Obama Foundation and Attn and a senior distinguished fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/04/1958m 4s

Albert Woodfox: Live at Politics and Prose

Convicted of armed robbery in his twenties, Woodfox was sentenced to fifty years in Angola prison. There he learned about the Black Panther’s code of living and commitment to social justice and joined the party. Then in April 1972 he was accused of killing a white guard and, without evidence, put into solitary confinement. For more than forty years, until he was freed in February 2016, he spent 23 hours a day in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell. In this extraordinary memoir, Woodfox, who began his activismfor prisoners’ rights while still in solitary, recounts his harrowing experience as one of the Angola Three. His book is both a searing indictment of the criminal justice system and a tribute to the Black Panther Party, whose principles helped keep him hopeful and compassionate during his long ordeal. Woodfox is in conversation with Katherine M. Kimpel, current Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School and formerly one of Woodfox's legal representatives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
05/04/191h 8m

Amy Webb: Live at Politics and Prose

One of our most respected and experienced futurists, Webb argues in her new book that the main danger posed by artificial intelligence is the power it gives the big corporations that control it. Each time we speak to Alexa or click on a link, the data is collected and used by one or more of the big nine: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, Microsoft, IBM, and Apple. The ordinary people who supply the data have no say over how it’s used and little information about the system if fuels. And that system is largely unregulated. Webb, professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business, and the founder of the Future Today Institute, gives an eye-opening look at how AI is being misused for the sake of short-term financial gain, and proposes a strategy to change that. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Elaine Shannon: Live at Politics and Prose

A veteran investigative reporter and author of Desperados, the basis for Michael Mann's NBC miniseries Drug Wars, Shannon has written a riveting account of the career and eventual downfall of Paul Calder LeRoux. A new kind of outlaw, LeRoux used encrypted mobile devices, cloud sharing, and other digital tools to build a global criminal network. This Cartel 4.0 raked in hundreds of millions of dollars by selling arms, drugs, chemicals, and more. But LeRoux met his match with a team of DEA operatives as willing as he to use unorthodox methods. With the suspense of a thriller, Shannon chronicles the five years it took the 960 Group to bring down their quarry. Shannon is in conversation with Karen Tumulty, columnist for The Washington Post. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/03/1957m 24s

Doug Jones: Live at Politics and Prose

Taking his title from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s statement that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice," Jones chronicles the arduous struggle to punish those responsible for the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church, which killed four girls. Though the FBI strongly suspected four especially radical KKK members, investigators were thwarted by reluctant witnesses, lack of physical evidence, and racial bias and the case was closed. When it was re-opened years later, Alabama Attorney General William Baxley convicted one of the bombers in 1977. Jones, the first Alabama Democrat to win a Senate seat since 1992, followed Baxley as Attorney General from 1997 to 2001, convicting two others in 2001 and 2002 (the fourth died in 1994). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
15/03/191h 6m

Don Winslow: Live at Politics and Prose

Winslow’s crime thrillers have won audiences world-wide, and many—Savages, The Death and Life of Bobby Z, The Force—have been turned into acclaimed films. His latest book joins The Power of the Dog and The Cartel to conclude his award-winning trilogy on the drug trade. Again featuring Art Keller, now in the top ranks of the DEA after a forty-year career, the novel follows the agent from his successful efforts to defeat the Mexican drug kingpin Adán Barrera into an even more dangerous fight against the heroin epidemic. Moving at a fast pace from south of the border and the slums of Guatemala to Wall Street and Washington, D.C., the story pits Keller against not only a new generation of narcos, corrupt cops, and street traffickers but an incoming administration that’s as much his enemy as the old drug cartels were. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/03/1958m 25s

Andrew McCabe: Live at Politics and Prose

McCabe started working at the FBI in 1996 and served in many capacities, from street agent on the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force to leading the Counterterrorism Division, the National Security Branch, and the Washington Field Office as well as serving as the first director of the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group. Yet that estimable career came to a sudden end when Trump fired McCabe on March 16, 2018. In this book McCabe refutes Trump’s assertion that the firing was “A great day for Democracy.” In fact, as McCabe shows, Trump’s action was just the opposite. Giving a detailed insider’s view of the FBI, McCabe charts the Bureau’s last twenty years, during which time its most important task became protecting the country from terrorists—though now perhaps the major threat to Constitutional rights is the Trump administration itself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/03/191h 8m

Pete Buttigieg: Live at Politics and Prose

When Buttigieg left a successful business career to return to South Bend, Indiana, his hometown had been declared a “dying city” by Newsweek magazine. Elected mayor in 2011 and re-elected in 2015, Buttigieg, a Harvard-educated Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Navy veteran, was determined to change that. Going directly to the community, he met with residents, reclaimed abandoned houses, confronted gun violence, and attracted high-tech industry. Today South Bend is a shining success, and Buttigieg’s candid and compassionate account is both an inspiring story of how politics can and should work and an introduction to one of today’s rising political figures. Buttigieg is in conversation with Jonathan Allen of NBC News. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Steve Luxenberg: Live at Politics and Prose

Awarded the 2016 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, Luxenberg’s second book is a deeply researched account of events leading up to the infamous “separate but equal” Plessy v. Ferguson decision. Announced on May 18, 1896, the decision had a deceptively quiet reception. But as Luxenberg shows, the case went to issues at the heart of the nation’s unresolved image of itself. Focusing on the individuals involved in bringing, arguing, and deciding the case as well as on the broader separatist currents throughout the era of westward expansion and industrialization, Luxenberg, a longtime Washington Post senior editor, forces us to see both how entrenched racism has been as well as how some have always struggled to root it out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
15/02/1948m 8s

Marlon James: Live at Politics and Prose

Drawing from African history, mythology, and his own rich imagination, Marlon James’ new book, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, is a novel unlike anything that's come before it: a saga of breathtaking adventure that's also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, it is both surprising and profound as it explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, and our need to understand them both. Author of The New York Times’ bestseller A Brief History of Seven Killings and winner of the Man Booker Prize, James’ first installment in the Dark Star trilogy combines myth, fantasy, and events of the past to create an epic, awe-inspiring thriller. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/02/1953m 16s

Jason Rezaian: Live at Politics and Prose

In July 2014, Washington Post Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian was arrested by Iranian police and accused of spying for America. Initially, Rezaian thought the whole thing was a terrible misunderstanding, but soon realized that it was much more dire as it became an eighteen-month prison stint with impossibly high diplomatic stakes. In Prisoner, Rezaian writes of his exhausting interrogations and farcical trial, his bond with his Iranian father, and his life-changing decision to move to Tehran. Written with wit, humor, and grace, Prisoner brings to life a fascinating, maddening culture in all its complexity. Rezaian is in conversation with Frank Sesno, author, former CNN correspondent, and director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/02/191h 13m

April Ryan's Race in America panel: Winter 2019

April Ryan, Washington Bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks and author of Under Fire, At Mama’s Knee, and The Presidency in Black and White returns for the sixth in an ongoing series of discussions focusing on race in America.  As in previous presentations, Ryan will moderate a panel of leading writers and commentators to examine recent and longstanding issues. Panelists include Donna Brazile, Democratic political strategist, TV commentator, and co-author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics; Jason Riley, member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute; and Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer-winning national correspondent for The Washington Post and author of They Can't Kill Us All. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/01/191h 56m

Kamala Harris: Live at Politics and Prose

In her new book, The Truths We Hold, Senator Harris draws on her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her to offer a master class in problem solving, crisis management, and leadership in challenging times. Known for being a voice for the voiceless, Senator Harris will explore the themes of The Truths We Hold and share her vision of our shared struggle, purpose, and values.  Sen. Harris is in conversation with Jonathan Capehart, writer for The Washington Post's PostPartisan blog and contributor for MSNBC Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
18/01/191h 6m

Daniel H. Pink: Live at Politics and Prose

Now in paperback, Pink’s fascinating study of timing starts with intriguing and seemingly inexplicable observations: why are prisoners eligible for parole more likely to get a favorable ruling earlier in the day? Why are adolescents who start school before 8 a.m. at an academic disadvantage? Drawing on research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink shows that timing has strong and predictable effects on people’s thoughts and emotions, and that by understanding these patterns, we can maximize our potential by planning the timing of important events and decisions. Pink, the award-winning author of bestsellers including Drive, To Sell Is Human, and A Whole New Mind, makes the science of time compelling as well as useful, telling many stories and interweaving tips from his own “Time Hacker’s Handbook.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/01/1954m 35s

Susan Orlean: Live at Politics and Prose

At once a mystery, a cultural history, and a deeply personal love letter to reading, Orlean’s compelling new book starts with a disaster. On April 29, 1986, the Los Angeles Public Library went up in flames. The worst library fire in American history, the blaze destroyed more than 400,000 books and damaged another 700,000. It lasted for more than seven hours and temperatures reached 2,000 degrees. Over thirty years later, the cause of the fire is still unknown. Adding her own investigation to existing theories, Orlean, a New Yorker staff writer since 1992 and the author of The Orchid Thief, profiles the library’s staff and patrons, looks at the global history of libraries and the challenges these institutions face today, and irrefutably demonstrates the national and personal value of these truly public places. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
04/01/1954m 46s

2018 Year in Review

Nearly a thousand authors visited Politics and Prose last year; here’s a collection of some of our favorite moments from 2018- including Michael Arceneaux, Kristin Hannah, Alexander Chee, Roxane Gay, Gary Trudeau, Lorrie Moore, Olga Tokarczuk, and Adam Hochschild. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
28/12/181h 52m

Congo Stories: Live at Politics and Prose

In Congo Stories, John Prendergast and Fidel Bafilemba reveal how the people of Congo are fighting back against a tidal wave of international exploitation and governmental oppression to make things better for their nation, their communities, and their families. The book contains stunning photographs taken by actor Ryan Gosling, Bafilemba's profiles of heroic Congolese activists, and Prendergast's narratives of the extraordinary history and evolving social movements that directly link the Congo with the United States and Europe. Congo Stories provides windows into the history, the people, the challenges, the possibilities, and the movements that could change the course of Congo's destiny. JOHN PRENDERGAST is a New York Times bestselling author who founded and runs both the Enough Project and The Sentry. FIDEL BAFELIMBA is a Congolese field researcher who coordinates a civil society network called GATT-RN. RYAN GOSLING is an actor and filmmaker. CHOUCHOU NAMEGABE is a Congolese journalist and activist, who founded and directs AFEM – South Kivu Women’s Media Association Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/12/181h 9m

Kristen R. Ghodsee: Live at Politics and Prose

Expanding on her August 12, 2017 New York Times op-ed, Ghodsee looks at all facets of American women’s lives—relationships, parenting, work, politics—showing how each is harmed by unregulated capitalism and how a socialist model could improve the situation. A skilled ethnographer and professor of Russian and East European studies, Ghodsee has spent years studying the impact of the shift from socialism on women. Her witty, engaging, and utterly serious analysis finds that socialism provides better labor conditions, leads to greater economic independence, and improves the work-life balance so many Western women struggle with. As discussion around sexual harassment and assault grows and women turn to Bernie Sanders and new kinds of leader in his wake, Ghodsee shows how adapting socialist ideas can take us all closer to a fair and equal society. Kristen R. Ghodsee has her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and is professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She has written six books on gender, socialism, and post-socialism in Eastern Europe, examining the everyday experiences of upheaval and displacement that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Ghodsee also writes on women's issues for the Chronicle of Higher Education and is the co-author of Professor Mommy: Finding Work-Family Balance in Academia. Her articles and essays have appeared in publications such as Eurozine, Dissent, Foreign Affairs, Jacobin, and the New York Times. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/12/181h 2m

Elaine Pagels: Live at Politics and Prose

When Pagels, author of groundbreaking studies of the Gnostic Gospels, was asked, “Why religion?" she found that her own life illuminates both why she’s made a career of studying religious texts as well as why religion itself still exists in the supposedly secular 21st-century. The daughter and wife of scientists, Pagels was taught to trust the rational, but she found herself attracted to religious music and rituals for how they engaged the imagination. After the loss of her five-year-old son in 1987, followed by her husband’s death in an accident in 1988, Pagels turned to religion for help in facing her grief and anger. Interweaving the fascinating scholarship behind books such The Origin of Satan and Revelations with her own experiences, Pagels’s memoir is as emotionally affecting as it is thought-provoking. Pagels is in conversation with Dr. Eric Motley, executive vice president at the Aspen Institute and author of the memoir Madison Park. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
07/12/1858m 7s

Bernie Sanders: Live at Politics and Prose

Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign was a beginning, not an ending. In Where We Go From Here: Two Years in the Resistance, New York Times bestselling author Bernie Sanders chronicles the day-by-day struggles that he and his progressive colleagues have waged over the last two years in the fight against Donald Trump’s agenda and for a government that works for all. The good news is, progressive voices are making significant strides. Where We Go From Here shows how citizens all across America are standing up to the Trump government. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30/11/181h 23m

Chris Gethard: Live at Politics and Prose

The key to success, Gethard says, is failure. He knows this from experience. While he’s now the host of his own truTV talk show and the weekly podcast Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, he also suffered the humiliation of having his Comedy Central sitcom cancelled after just seven episodes. But he didn’t just bounce back from this and other missteps. Rather, he used the frustrations and disappointments as tools to discover who he really is, what he most wants, and how he could get it. As he shows in this engaging and funny collection of stories, failure is inevitable and it’s also empowering—a necessary, if messy, step to the better things we can be. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/11/1844m 58s

Lisa Halliday: Live at Politics and Prose

Halliday’s debut novel was one of the literary events of the year, earning uniformly rave reviews and a place on innumerable bestseller lists. Now available in paperback, the narrative ingeniously combines two starkly different narratives to give us a startling view of today’s world. The book starts with Alice, a young editor and writer in New York, and her relationship with an older, established novelist, a character based on Philip Roth. In the second section, Halliday turns to Amar, an Iraqi-American man who is detained by immigration officers at Heathrow as he’s en route to see his brother in Kurdistan. How these two stories are related is the subject of the book’s stunning conclusion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/11/1850m 31s

Kiese Laymon: Live at Politics and Prose

Laymon’s novel, Long Division, was named to several Best Of lists in 2013 and his collection of autobiographical essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, showed him as a powerful social and cultural commentator. In his new memoir, he expands on the experiences he discussed in his earlier works, talking bluntly and honestly about growing up with racism, income disparity, addiction, eating disorders, and a complicated mother-son dynamic. Often directly addressing his mother—a divorced, impoverished woman who became a political science professor at Jackson State—Laymon makes his story immediate and vivid, from his problems with weight, ostracism, violence, and gambling to his views on women and politics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/11/1853m 15s

David W. Blight: Live at Politics

Blight, the award-winning author of histories including American Oracle and Race and Reunion, is perhaps the foremost Frederick Douglass scholar at work today. He’s edited the annotated editions of Douglass’s first two autobiographies, and he draws on this close work and on newly discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers and other documents for this definitive biography. An escaped slave, Douglass (1818-1895) became a leading abolitionist, an outstanding orator, and one of the most prominent literary figures of his time. Blight looks in detail at Douglass’s speeches and examines his complicated views of a country he both loved and severely criticized. He follows Douglass on his overseas lecture tours and illuminates the complicated thinking behind the three versions of Douglass’s autobiography. He also discusses Douglass’s two marriages, his relationships with members of his extended family, and parses his religious beliefs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/11/181h 11m

Rebecca Traister: Live at Politics and Prose

Rebecca Traister is one of today’s most powerful feminist voices. She’s written about women in politics, media, popular culture, and at home, exploring the rise of single women in her bestselling All the Single Ladies and the 2008 Democratic primary in Big Girls Don’t Cry. In Good and Mad, she dives deep into the history and value of female rage, reminding us that women’s anger was a force to be reckoned with long before the 2016 election and the #MeToo movement. She tracks the importance of female anger as political fuel, and deconstructs society’s negative reactions to women who dare to get mad. Traister is in conversation with Fatima Goss Graves, the president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/10/181h 21m

Casey Gerald: Live at Politics and Prose

Gerald’s extraordinary memoir cuts a swath through a dizzying number of socio-cultural sectors, enacting an American dream that questions the very assumptions behind it. Growing up in Dallas, Gerald was immersed in his grandfather’s evangelical church, a source of stability when his mother’s disability checks could barely support the family. When he was recruited to play football for Yale, Gerald’s life changed. But as he moved up, earning a Harvard MBA, he was shocked by the disparity between his old life and his new one. Writing with force and eloquence, humor and outrage, he questions the meanings of power and success, illuminating the ideals that caused his Harvard Business School commencement speech to go viral and made him, at barely thirty, one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business.” Gerald is in conversation with Dr. Matthew D. Morrison, Assistant Professor in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and former Editor-in-Chief of the music journal Current Musicology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/10/181h 14m

Jose Antonio Vargas: Live at Politics and Prose

An American by choice, Vargas came to the U.S. from the Philippines when he was twelve. He’s lived here for twenty-five years, but his status as undocumented has meant that he’s spent those years feeling unmoored and anxious. He knows no other home but this one, yet can’t feel fully at home in a place where he has to lie to get by. In this eloquent and passionate memoir, Vargas speaks out about the reality of living as an “illegal” immigrant in the U.S. today. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, and founder and CEO of the nonprofit media advocacy organization Define American, Vargas makes the incontrovertible case that people should not be defined by their legal status, but by who they are. Vargas is in conversation with fellow Pulitzer recipient Jonathan Capehart, member of The Washington Post’s editorial board, host of the“Cape Up” podcast, and MSNBC contributor. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/10/181h 7m

Joanne B. Freeman: Live at Politics and Prose

As the national debate over slavery grew more impassioned in the 1840s and 1850s, local brush-fires throughout the nation anticipated the Civil War to come. The halls of Congress, too, saw their share of physical violence, and Freeman, a Yale history professor and cohost of the podcast BackStory, draws on a wide range of sources to document scores of incidents ranging from shouting to shoving matches, fistfights, drawn knives, and even death threats among elected representatives. Her revelatory book tracks a seldom-acknowledged history of incivility in American politics, revises views of familiar figures such as John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, and shows how the era’s reporting of these sensational events led to a new, splashier journalism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
05/10/1856m 47s

Jules Feiffer: Live at Politics and Prose

The finale to Feiffer’s inimitable noir trilogy is grand indeed. Told with Feiffer’s subtly-toned yet irrepressible graphics, this homage to noir that began with Kill My Mother and continued with Cousin Joseph unfolds against a Hollywood backdrop rich with politics, back-stabbers, femme fatales, and more. As this final volume opens, it’s 1953. Tinseltown is haunted by spooks of all sorts, both supernatural and political. The witch hunts are in high gear and Archie Goldman, of Goldman and Mother, Confidential Investigators, is searching for a screenplay that reveals a real-world conspiracy behind the Hollywood blacklist. But is the film itself truth or a fake? And in a town where almost everyone has something to hide, is there reason for the paranoia or is it all another con? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
28/09/1849m 35s

José Andrés: Live at Politics and Prose

Four days after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, José Andrés arrived on the island and started to cook. Andrés, whose 29 restaurants have earned him Michelin Stars and two James Beard “Outstanding Chef” awards, dropped everything to feed the people of Puerto Rico as they scrambled to rebuild their infrastructure and economy. Andrés cooked paella in parking lots and served sancocho at a friend’s destroyed restaurant, ultimately feeding hundreds of thousands of people. At the same time, he confronted the broken, wasteful crisis-management systems that made his cooking so necessary. We Fed an Island movingly describes his experiences in Puerto Rico, and introduces readers to the networks of community activists feeding the island to this day. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the Chef Relief Network of World Central Kitchen for efforts in Puerto Rico and beyond. Andrés is in conversation with Tim Carman, food reporter at The Washington Post. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/09/181h 16m

John Kerry: Live at Politics and Prose

John Kerry has devoted his life to public service. Since he testified in front of Congress as a decorated young Vietnam veteran disillusioned with the war, he’s placed himself at the heart of American political life, serving as a five-term Senator and as Barack Obama’s second Secretary of State. Every Day Is Extra is a moving, candid account of his time in politics, and a forceful testimony about the importance of diplomacy, leadership, and collaboration in the face of the myriad challenges the United States faces today. Kerry is in conversation with David Ignatius, associate editor and columnist for The Washington Post. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/09/181h 5m

April Ryan: Live at Politics and Prose

Ryan has been a White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks since the Clinton administration, but with Trump’s arrival she has become part of the story she’s covering. Her new book is both a reporter’s inside view of the unconventional protocol in the Trump White House, with all the Tweets, policy reversals, and sudden personnel changes, and an intimate look at what it’s like to be targeted by Trump, who has repeatedly responded to Ryan’s serious questions about urgent issues with shaming and insults. Ryan is also the author of The Presidency in Black and White and At Mama’s Knee, and in 2017 she was named the National Association of Black Journalists Journalist of the Year. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
07/09/1858m 10s

Chris Hedges: Live at Politics and Prose

A longtime foreign correspondent, Hedges has reported from more than fifty countries. His latest book is a profound exploration of one of the most troubled: today’s United States. Hedges, author of American Fascists and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, cites the opioid crisis, the increases in gambling and magical thinking, and the explosion of xenophobia as symptoms of a society that has lost hope. He traces this disillusionment to the twin ills of a de facto corporate coup d’état and a failed democracy. The anger and frustration these have spawned helped bring Trump to power and Hedges issues a passionate call to action to reverse them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
31/08/181h 3m

Nick Pyenson: Live at Politics and Prose

Pyenson is a paleontologist and “reading whale bones is what I do,” he says. These bones have told some amazing stories: whales outweigh dinosaurs and are the largest creatures ever to have lived on Earth, and their songs can travel some 900 miles underwater. But while we know whales descended from four-legged land-dwelling animals the size of a dog, we don’t know when and how they developed their tremendous sizes, what’s to stop them from getting still larger, or if they can adapt to climate change. The curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Pyenson takes us through the collection—the largest in the world—with attendant lessons on whale anatomy, feeding habits, and migratory range, as well as on field trips to Panama, Alaska, and the Hvalfjörður whaling station west of Iceland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
24/08/181h 5m

Teach-In on Gun Control

P&P’s series of teach-ins addressing the most urgent political problems of our day returns with a discussion of gun control in the United States. What are the best ways to prevent further deaths by gun violence in this country? What are the most rapidly attainable ways? What actions are available for private citizens to take, and how can we keep ourselves and our communities safe? Participants will include Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign; Zion Kelly, gun control activist and March For Our Lives speaker; and Craig Whitney, journalist and author of Living with Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
17/08/181h 10m

Ibtihaj Muhammad: Live at Politics and Prose

From being the only African-American Muslim wearing a hijab in her hometown of Maplewood, New Jersey, to being the first veiled American woman to compete for the U.S. in the Olympics, Muhammad has always stood out, as much for her prodigious talent as for her courage and faith. Though she started fencing at the late age of thirteen, she quickly pushed beyond state and collegiate championships to become a five-time Senior World medalist and Olympic bronze medalist. But her athletic triumphs are only one part of Muhammad’s prodigious achievements. Her memoir is an unflinching account of how she turned around the bias and opposition she faced from the beginning, earning a spot on TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People In the World, serving as a sports ambassador for the U.S. State Department, and inspiring the first hijabi Barbie. Muhammad is in conversation with Brittany Packnett, Vice President of National Community Alliances for Teach for America, co-founder of the policy platform to end police violence Campaign Zero, video columnist for Mic News, and current Aspen Institute Education fellow. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/08/1858m 18s

Ottessa Moshfegh: Live at Politics and Prose

The unnamed narrator of Moshfegh’s compelling and unsettling novel is a woman who has everything: looks, a brand-new degree from Columbia, a job at an art gallery, an Upper East Side apartment, and a substantial inheritance. But her fairy-tale existence feels cursed. In 2000, she decides to escape her life by taking enough drugs to sleep through it all for a year. Aside from the psychiatrist who writes the prescriptions, she sees only a college friend and a boyfriend. Her plan works for a while, then a new drug, Infermiterol, causes strange and frightening blackouts and the narrator must face what it is she really needs. As she did in Eileen, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction, Moshfegh writes with both humor and an unflinching attention to parts of life we’d rather not see, but can’t look away from. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
03/08/1855m 18s

Terrance Hayes: Live at Politics and Prose

Written during the first two hundred days of the Trump presidency, these charged sonnets mark “the umpteenth slump / In our humming democracy, a bumble bureaucracy.” Angry, sarcastic, and playful, Hayes explores, reinterprets, and riffs on the meanings of “American,” “assassin,” and “future.” Notable Americans he turns to include James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, and Toni Morrison, but he also has to reckon with “James Earl Ray Dylann Roof... /…George Zimmerman John Wilkes Booth.”  The author of acclaimed books including Hip Logic, How to Be Drawn, and the National Book Award-winning Lighthead, Hayes has consistently been one of the most innovative and technically accomplished poets, and here he brilliantly reinvents the Renaissance sonnet as a specifically “American sonnet that is part prison,/part panic closet …/that is part music box, part meat/grinder,” because, as he says, “when the wound/ is deep, the healing is heroic.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
27/07/1843m 19s

Beck Dorey-Stein: Live at Politics and Prose

A self-described political outsider, Dorey-Stein came to the Obama White House via Wesleyan, teaching high school English in Hightstown, New Jersey, and Craigslist. She worked as a White House stenographer from 2012 to 2017, and her memoir engagingly captures her many trips with the presidential entourage, recorder mics in hand. Dorey-Stein also introduces her colleagues, among them the dedicated political insider she fell in love with. Conversational and witty, this compulsively readable memoir evokes the glamour, intrigue, and drama of a Washington gone all too soon. Dorey-Stein is in conversation with Julie Pace, Washington Bureau Chief of the Associated Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/07/1842m 17s

Mark Andersen and Ralph Heibutzki: Live at Politics and Prose

The Clash was a paradox of revolutionary conviction, musical ambition, and commercial drive. We Are The Clash is a gripping tale of the band's struggle to reinvent itself as George Orwell's 1984 loomed. This bold campaign crashed headlong into a wall of internal contradictions, and rising right-wing power. While the world teetered on the edge of the nuclear abyss, British miners waged a life-or-death strike, and tens of thousands died from US guns in Central America, Clash cofounders Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon, and Bernard Rhodes waged a desperate last stand after ejecting guitarist Mick Jones and drummer Topper Headon. The band shattered just as its controversial final album, Cut the Crap, was emerging. Andersen and Heibutzki weave together extensive archival research and in-depth original interviews with virtually all of the key players involved to tell a moving story of idealism undone by human frailty amid a climatic turning point for our world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Abdi Nor Iftin: Live at Politics and Prose

No two immigration experiences are the same, and Iftin’s amazing story of chance, courage, and resilience began years before he came to the U.S. Growing up in Mogadishu, he was five in 1991 when Somalia plunged into civil war. He escaped the hunger and militia attacks temporarily by watching American movies and listening to American pop music. But as he learned English, reinvented himself as "Abdi American,” and reported for NPR, he drew the enmity of the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab and was forced to take refuge in Kenya. Then, after a harrowing sequence of events that nearly stranded him in Nairobi, Iftin was granted a visa to enter this country. He now lives in Maine and works as an interpreter for newly-arrived Somalis. This event is supported by the Young African Professionals (YAP) Network. YAP is a network of more than 10,000 young African professionals in the D.C. Metro area, which provides a forum for professionals interested in Africa to engage with contemporary leaders in business, technology, philanthropy and social entrepreneurship; to network and discover opportunities among Africans; support Arts and culture from the African Diaspora; and promote entrepreneurial activities among members. More information about YAP can be found on their website at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/07/181h 11m

John Carreyrou: Live at Politics and Prose

Theranos, founded in 2003 by nineteen-year-old wunderkind Elizabeth Holmes, promised to revolutionize blood testing by developing technologies to miniaturize samples and so make testing fast, easy, and inexpensive. It seemed too good to be true—and was, as Carreyrou, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal reporter, revealed in a series of detailed articles. Undaunted by pressure from the company’s CEO and lawyers, Carreyrou raised enough doubts about Theranos policies, procedures, and promises that by 2015 Holmes and her corporation were being investigated by a host of medical authorities, investors, state attorneys general, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and others. Here Carreyrou recounts his riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
29/06/181h 11m

Yrsa Daley-Ward: Live at Politics and Prose

In her second book, Daley-Ward combines the haunting lyricism of Bone with passionate, unsparing prose to tell the story of her life. Born to a Jamaican mother and a Nigerian father, Daley-Ward was raised by her devout Seventh Day Adventist grandparents in Chorley, a small town in the North of England. Along with family tensions—a father she was often afraid of, a mother she saw worn down, and a brother she was estranged from—Daley-Ward confronts abuse, depression, racism, and the tremendous power of sexuality. Fearless in confronting and chronicling her own pain, Daley-Ward is also attuned to joy, and her writing, like that of Rupi Kaur, sings as artfully as it rages and laments. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/06/1847m 47s

Lauren Groff: Live at Politics and Prose

Groff has been one of our most exciting contemporary fiction writers since her phenomenal 2008 debut, The Monsters of Templeton. Her most recent novel, Fates and Furies, was a National Book Award finalist, Barack Obama’s favorite book of 2015, and one of the most talked-about novels in years. Now, Groff returns with a collection of eleven shimmering stories. The book opens with an unnamed woman escaping her family for a walk. She sets out after dark, interested in the moment when “a second neighborhood unrolls atop the daytime one.” In the narratives that follow, Groff maps this overlooked terrain. Conveying a landscape of sinkholes and storms that’s as much emotional as it is natural, she delves into the lives of people looking for options, from a homeless woman to a woman so conflicted about her husband and children that she’s lost track of what “home” means. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
15/06/1853m 13s

Robert Kuttner: Live at Politics and Prose

Kuttner’s astute analysis of the post-war “golden age” starts with measures including the New Deal and the Bretton Woods Agreement, showing how they allowed democracy and capitalism to be mutually supportive and thrive. The balance began to slip in the 1970s; as financial regulations were rolled back and taxes cut, inequality worsened, and frustrated voters turned away from progressive agendas, a right-wing turn that has led us to Trump, Brexit, the precarious state of the European Union, and the rise of nationalisms. Both democracy and capitalism are now foundering and Kuttner, cofounder and co-editor of The American Prospect, asks whether this dissolution was inevitable or if we can use the lessons of the past to re-establish the former harmony. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/06/1855m 9s

Yanis Varoufakis: Live at Politics and Prose

In his eye-opening memoir, Adults in the Room, Varoufakis, Greece’s former Finance Minister, recounts his frustrating struggle to resolve Greece’s debt crisis without resorting to austerity measures. His book give us a valuable inside look at discussions with officials of the European Union and International Monetary Fund as well as with policy makers in Washington and other capitals. Founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, an international grassroots organization dedicated to restoring democracy to Europe, Varoufakis as a father is all too aware of the legacy today’s fraught economic policies will leave to the next generation. Couched as a series of fatherly letters, Talking to My Daughter about the Economy is an accessible primer on the history, elements, ideals, and problems of economics, including issues of inequality, climate change, and the chronic risk of global instability. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/06/181h 7m

Sarah Kendzior: Live at Politics and Prose

A scholar and journalist based in St. Louis, Kendzior was alert to the struggles of America’s disaffected heartland well before the 2016 election. Writing on income disparity, labor exploitation, racism, xenophobia, and other conditions of the post-employment economy, Kendzior so acutely identified the conditions that led to Trump’s victory that she’s been credited with being the first to predict it. Originally published in 2015 as an ebook, this collection of essays written for Al Jazeera English between 2012 and 2014 has been updated to reflect the transformation of the U.S. under the Trump administration, including considerations of authoritarian tactics, the media, voting rights, technology, and Russian interference. Throughout her penetrating critique, Kendzior reminds us that to solve our problems we must first discuss them openly and with compassion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/05/181h 2m

Jesmyn Ward: Live at Politics and Prose

In 2011, Jesmyn Ward won the National Book Award for Salvage the Bones, and last year, she became the first woman to ever win twice. This time it was for Sing, Unburied, Sing, an American epic that earned her comparisons to William Faulkner and Toni Morrison. As Leonie, a mother struggling with drug abuse, drives with her children to bring her husband home from Parchman Farm, Mississippi’s state penitentiary, she and her thirteen-year-old son Jojo are visited by two ghosts. While Leonie waits for visits from her dead brother, Jojo hears from a boy his own age, the ghost of a dead Parchman inmate who carries all the ugly history of the South with him in death. Ward is in conversation with Aminatta Forna, Lannan Visiting Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University and author of five books, including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize-winning The Memory of Love and, most recently, Happiness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
18/05/181h 3m

John Scalzi: Live at Politics and Prose

Scalzi’s Lock In introduced the brutal, riveting game of Hilketa, in which players wield swords and hammers to try to decapitate each other. The violence is real, but the players are “threeps,” robot-like bodies controlled by people immobilized with Haden’s Syndrome, so no one actually gets hurt. At least, that’s the idea. The sequel opens with the shocking death of a star player, and as a pair of investigators piece together what happened, they reveal the dark side of the near future’s most popular game, a side where the rules are still being decided. One of the major names in science fiction, Scalzi, award-winning author of Old Man’s War and Redshirts, deftly combines a high-tech speculative landscape with the snappy dialogue and fast pace of a police procedural. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/05/1859m 59s

Alan Stern and David Grinspoon: Live at Politics and Prose

NASA launched the New Horizons craft on January 19, 2006. By July 24, 2015 it had covered 4.67 billion miles and transmitted a stream of amazing photos as it flew by Pluto at 32,000 miles per hour. The images made headlines in all seven continents, uniting the planet as few events do. Telling the story of the most distant planetary exploration ever undertaken, Stern, principal investigator of the mission, and Grinspoon, author of Earth in Human Hands and inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the Library of Congress, give a detailed insiders’ account of this extraordinary project. They illuminate the science and the technical challenges, profile the key individuals, outline the political debates involved, and suggest what to expect when the New Horizons craft passes through the Kuiper Belt in January 2019. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
04/05/181h 3m

Samantha Irby: Live at Politics and Prose

Irby’s sharp and earthy debut collection of essays, now reissued, marked the arrival of a seriously talented and transgressive feminist humorist, one who’s risen into the stratosphere in the wake of last year’s We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. Five years later, these pieces still pack a punch and draw as many laughs as they did the first time around. From failed relationships to tacos to Crohn’s disease, Irby treats everything with the candor and irreverence that keeps people so addicted to her “Bitches Gotta Eat” blog. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Anthony Ray Hinton: Live at Politics and Prose

Hinton was twenty-nine when he was arrested on two counts of capital murder in Alabama in 1985. He was innocent, but he was also poor and black with an incompetent defense attorney. Hinton was convicted, sentenced to death by electrocution, and spent the first three years on death row in silent, bitter despair. Then he became determined to survive, and even to thrive. He kept his own spirits up by bolstering his fellow inmates, and found new representation with Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy. Released and exonerated in 2015, Hinton is now an advocate for prison reform and a compelling speaker on the power of hope. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/04/181h 4m

Cecile Richards: Live at Politics and Prose

For the first time, Cecile Richards—president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for more than a decade, daughter of the late Governor Ann Richards, and heroine of the resistance—tells the story of her lifetime fighting for women's rights and making change. Richards had an extraordinary childhood in ultra-conservative Texas, watching her mother, Ann, transform from a housewife to the straight-talking, truth-telling governor of Texas. But that meant that starting as a young girl, Richards witnessed the pitfalls of public life that are unique to women. Her experiences paint a powerful portrait of the misogyny, sexism, and violence confronting those who challenge authority. Now, she shines a light on the people and lessons that have gotten her through good times and bad, and encourages readers to take risks, make mistakes, and make trouble along the way. Richards is in conversation with Karen Tumulty, a columnist and former national political correspondent for the Washington Post. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
13/04/181h 1m

Nell Scovell: Live at Politics and Prose

With more than thirty years of experience as a writer, producer, and director, Scovell knows how the entertainment industry works.  She came to Hollywood as a bookish New Englander and worked her way up from a low-level writer for Newhart to a major contributor to shows including The Simpsons, Late Night with David Letterman, Murphy Brown, and NCIS and on to creator of the series Sabrina the Teenage Witch. While her roles have mainly been behind the scenes, Scovell has had several moments in the limelight. In 2009 she spoke out about gender bias on late-night TV writing staffs, and later she collaborated with Sheryl Sandberg on Lean In. In both cases Scovell helped spark a debate about diversity in a male-dominated work environment that her candid, wise, and very funny memoir continues. Scovell is in conversation with Alexandra Petri, Washington Post columnist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/04/181h 4m

Sarah McBride: Live at Politics and Prose

As McBride recounts in this stirring memoir, she identified as female from the start, but came out as a transgender woman only at the end of her term as American University’s student body president in 2011. When the news went viral and she was featured on NPR and other media outlets, McBride decided to focus her political activism on LGBTQ rights. Her resumé alone is inspiring: an internship at the White House in 2012 made her the first openly transgender woman to work there, and her appearance at the 2016 Democratic convention made her the first openly transgender speaker at a major political convention. She is now National Press Secretary at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. McBride is in conversation with Joe Kennedy, Congressional representative in his third term serving the Fourth District of Massachusetts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30/03/181h 17m

Mary Frances Berry : Live at Politics and Prose

Berry’s bracing call-to-action combines progressive idealism with the pragmatism of a seasoned activist to argue that resistance effects important changes in all political climates. Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, offers a wide range of historical examples of what resistance has accomplished. She also draws on her own experiences as a key figure in the Free South Africa movement and as the chair of the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights from 1993 to 2004. Her inspiring stories include accounts of going to Vietnam, being fired by Reagan, and defying George W. Bush over an appointment to the commission. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/03/1856m 4s

Dhonielle Clayton: Live at Politics and Prose

In Orléans, people are born gray-skinned and ugly. Sixteen-year-old Camellia and her sisters are tasked with using magic to make them beautiful but for a price. However, as Camellia’s talents draw her closer to people with political power, she learns that her world is less beautiful--and more dangerous--than it appears. Author Daniel José Older writes of Clayton’s first solo novel, “The Belles is full of political drama, palace intrigue, complex and corrupt characters, and deadly betrayals.” Clayton is in conversation with Jason Reynolds, author of Long Way Down Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/03/181h 4m

Robert Reich: Live at Politics and Prose

Robert B. Reich has been one of America's leading political thinkers since he served as Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. A constant voice for social change, Reich is the author of 14 books, including the best-sellers Saving Capitalism and The Work of Nations. Now, he makes the case for restoring the idea of the common good to the center of our economics, our politics, and our national identity. The Common Good argues that societies undergo both virtuous and vicious cycles, and that the vicious cycle the U.S. is now undergoing can and must be reversed. Reich challenges us to weigh what really matters, and to join forces to save America's soul. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/03/181h 12m

Brittney Cooper: Live at Politics and Prose

When mainstream culture stereotypes the anger of Black women as ugly or destructive, or when it dismisses “sassy” Black women by laughing them off, it does so because it knows this Black female rage is powerful. In this passionate manifesto, Cooper, co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective and recipient of the Black Feminist Rising Award from Black Women’s Blueprint and the Newswomen’s Club of New York, draws on examples from Serena Williams to Michelle Obama to her own grandmother to show how rage can fuel both political and personal accomplishments. Reminding us that 94% of Black women did not vote for Trump, Cooper exhorts all Black women to claim the anger they have rightfully earned and speak out against injustice of all kinds. Cooper is  in conversation with Damon Young, editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/03/181h 7m

Isaac Butler & Dan Kois: Live at Politics and Prose

Twenty-five years ago, Angels in America made its Broadway premier. It won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and the Tony Award for best play, but Tony Kushner’s landmark work was always more than just a theater piece. It changed the way gay lives are represented in popular culture and the story of its many productions is also the story of AIDS and the struggle for gay rights. In this vibrant oral history, Butler, writer and director of productions including The Trump Card and Real Enemies, and Kois, editor and writer for Slate’s culture section, bring together the voices of more than two hundred people closely associated with Angels, from Meryl Streep and Mary-Louise Parker to directors, producers, historians, critics, and Kushner himself, to reminisce, tell stories, debate, and celebrate a piece that’s as vital today as it was when it opened in San Francisco in 1991. Butler and Kois are in conversation with Glen Weldon, co-host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. The three of them will be joined for a staged reading of one chapter from the book, featuring: Alexandra Petri, humor writer for the Washington Post and author of A Field Guide to Awkward Silences; Mark Joseph Stern, a writer for Slate covering the law and LGBTQ issues; Jacob Brogan, host of the Slate podcast Working; and D.C. based stage actors Kimberly Gilbert and Michael Kevin Darnall. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/02/1846m 31s

David Frum: Live at Politics and Prose

Frum’s ninth book expands on his eye-opening March 2017 Atlantic column, “How to Build an Autocracy,” which argued that Trump is leading the nation into authoritarianism. An experienced Washington insider and one of the country’s leading conservative commentators, Frum examines the implications of Trump’s behavior as well as his policies. From Trump’s admiration for strongmen such as the Philippines’ Roderigo Duterte and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdoğan to the president’s threats against the media, his impulsive decision-making, and flouting of tradition and even law, Frum sees evidence that Trump’s presidency, if left unchecked, will seriously damage America’s democratic future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/02/181h 5m

Johann Hari: Live at Politics and Prose

Hari, author of Chasing the Scream, changed the terms of the debate about addiction with his influential TED talk, “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong.” In his second book he uses his own experience with depression and anti-depressant medication as the starting point for a critique of current chemical-imbalance theories of mental illness. Asking if the growing levels of depression could be related to the conditions we live in, Hari talked to social scientists as well as psychologists. Finding a link between depression and external factors such as loneliness, work-based dissatisfaction, and other discontents of consumer culture, he reports from around the world on unconventional treatments—community volunteer projects instead of pills, non-hierarchical workplaces—that improve mental health by fostering a sense of empowerment. Hari is in conversation with Andrew Sullivan, former editor of The New Republic, and the author or editor of six books. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/02/181h 8m

Leni Zumas: Live at Politics and Prose

In the all-too-plausible future of Zumas’s second novel, the Personhood Amendment has outlawed abortion, a “pink wall” has gone up between the U.S. and Canada to prevent pregnant Americans from accessing Canadian clinics, and the “Every Child Needs Two” act means single parents are ineligible to adopt. These measures, along with the old-fashioned sexism that keeps women underpaid, under-confident, and overworked, makes life difficult for Zumas’s four protagonists. Known by their roles: the Biographer, the Wife, the Daughter, and the Mender, as well as by their names: Roberta, Susan, Mattie, and Gin, these rebellious characters are determined to break through social constraints and direct their own lives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/02/1859m 18s

Race in America 2018: Live at Politics and Prose

Join April Ryan for the fifth in an ongoing series of discussions focusing on race in America.  As in previous presentations, Ryan will moderate a panel of leading writers and commentators to examine recent and longstanding issues. Speakers include: Mary Frances Berry, the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, the former chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and the author of nearly a dozen books, the next of which is History Teaches Us To Resist, forthcoming in March from Beacon Press; Bishop T. D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter’s House, a global humanitarian organization and 30,000-member church located in Dallas, and the author of many books, including most recently Soar!: Build Your Vision from the Ground Up; Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning national correspondent at the Washington Post, on-air contributor at CNN, and author of the awarded book They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement; and Jason Riley, a journalist, frequent media commentator, member of The Wall Street Journaleditorial board, and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Since 2015, April Ryan, Washington Bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks and author of At Mama’s Knee and The Presidency in Black and White, has brought together panelists and moderated an ongoing series of discussions on the topic of race in America today. During these panels, which are often broadcast on C-SPAN Book TV, leading writers and commentators address recent and longstanding issues with candor and urgency. Click the images on the left to view previous discussions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/01/182h 4m

Linda Gordon: Live at Politics and Prose

The KKK was founded in 1865 by Confederate veterans. After a few turbulent years and federal efforts to outlaw it, it faded with Reconstruction. Then it rose again in the 1920s. This second incarnation flourished largely in the north, grounded in the same strains of racism, nativism, and Christian evangelicalism that had sparked the original group. In this detailed analysis of the new Klan’s agenda, strategies, and membership, Gordon, two-time Bancroft Prize winner and author of Dorothea Lange, documents how these seemingly respectable, mostly middle-class white Protestants used celebrations of “Americanism” combined with the perception of threats to white supremacy to gain control of 150 newspapers and usher in immigration restrictions and anti-miscegenation laws. Gordon’s account is especially chilling in its parallels between the KKK and the rise of the Tea Party and the Trump movement. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/01/1855m 26s

Bruce Bartlett: Live at Politics and Prose

Bartlett’s handbook for telling real facts from alternative versions is a practical tool for citizens concerned about the quality of the news they consume. Bartlett, who served in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations and more recently has written for Forbes and The New York Times “Economix” blog, is uniquely positioned to advise readers on how to evaluate sources for accuracy and reliability. Using his inside knowledge of both government and the journalists who cover it, Bartlett offers clear and direct guidelines for assessing  the truth value of what gets reported, how it’s reported, and where. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
05/01/181h 2m
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