Episode 244: Healing Politics: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic, Abdul El-Sayed
September 26th, 2020 | 37 mins 32 secs
My guest is Abdul El-Sayed. His new book is "Healing Politics: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic." From a rising voice in progressive politics, a combination of memoir, science, and public policy, diagnosing the challenges facing America and laying out a way forward
A child of immigrants, Abdul El-Sayed grew up feeling a responsibility to help others. He threw himself into the study of medicine and excelled—winning a Rhodes Scholarship, earning two advanced degrees, and landing a tenure-track position at Columbia University. At 30, he became the youngest city health official in America, tasked with rebuilding Detroit's health department after years of austerity policies.
September 23rd, 2020 | 50 mins 49 secs
My guest is Alan Jacobs. His newest book is "Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader's Guide to a More Tranquil Mind." W. H. Auden once wrote that "art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead." In his brilliant and compulsively readable new treatise, Breaking Bread with the Dead, Alan Jacobs shows us that engaging with the strange and wonderful writings of the past might help us live less anxiously in the present--and increase what Thomas Pynchon once called our "personal density."
Episode 242: Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife, with Ariel Sabar
September 22nd, 2020 | 44 mins 10 secs
My guest is Ariel Sabar. His newest book is "Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife." In 2012, Dr. Karen King, a star professor at Harvard Divinity School, announced a blockbuster discovery at a scholarly conference just steps from the Vatican: She had found an ancient fragment of papyrus in which Jesus calls Mary Magdalene "my wife." The tattered manuscript made international headlines. If early Christians believed Jesus was married, it would upend the 2,000-year history of the world's predominant faith, threatening not just the celibate, all-male priesthood but sacred teachings on marriage, sex and women's leadership. Biblical scholars were in an uproar, but King had impeccable credentials as a world-renowned authority on female figures in the lost Christian texts from Egypt known as the Gnostic gospels. "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife"--as she provocatively titled her discovery--was both a crowning career achievement and powerful proof for her arguments that Christianity from its start embraced alternative, and far more inclusive, voices.
September 22nd, 2020 | 36 mins 30 secs
My guest is David Norling. He is a California native, an evangelical refugee, and has a deep interest in spirituality, spiritual direction, and human flourishing. We spend time talking about his own spiritual biography and journey. We also talk narrative therapy and spiritual direction.
September 2nd, 2020 | 1 hr 3 mins
My guest is Mike McHargue. His newest book is "You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass)." Why is there such a gap between what you want to do and what you actually do? The host of Ask Science Mike explains why our desires and our real lives are so wildly different—and what you can do to close the gap, in this his newest book.
September 2nd, 2020 | 33 mins 42 secs
My guest is Todd Drezner. His newest film is "The Campaign of Miner Bo." It’s probably safe to say that Bo Copley never expected to run for U.S. Senate. A lifelong resident of Mingo County, West Virginia, Copley worked in the coal industry for 11 years until he was laid off on September 18, 2015...In May of 2016, Copley was invited to join a roundtable discussion with Hillary Clinton, who was campaigning in West Virginia before the state’s presidential primary. Copley, his voice breaking, showed Clinton a picture of his three children and challenged her assertion that she was a friend to coal miners. Copley’s raw emotion broke through the usual campaign chatter, and throughout the campaign, he was a regular on cable news...Copley tried to take advantage of his surprise political celebrity by running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2018. But without money, experience, or a traditional campaign infrastructure, he quickly discovered that being a politician is harder than it looks.
August 27th, 2020 | 1 hr 8 mins
My guest is Richard Kreitner. His new book is "Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America's Imperfect Union." The novel and fiery thesis of Break It Up is simple: The United States has never lived up to its name—and never will. The disunionist impulse may have found its greatest expression in the Civil War, but as Break It Up shows, the seduction of secession wasn’t limited to the South or the nineteenth century. It was there at our founding and has never gone away.
August 6th, 2020 | 1 hr 34 mins
My guest is David Shields. He's the author of numerous books including "Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump: An Intervention." It can be read in a variety of ways: as a psychological investigation of Trump, as a philosophical meditation on the relationship between language and power, as a satirical compilation of the “collected wit and wisdom of Donald Trump,” and above all as a dagger into the rhetoric of American political discourse—a dissection of the politesse that gave rise to and sustains Trump. The book’s central thesis is that we have met the enemy and he is us. Who else but David Shields would make such an argument, let alone pull it off with such intelligence, brio, and wit, not to mention leaked off-air transcripts from Fox News?
August 2nd, 2020 | 44 mins 2 secs
My guest is David Gessner. His newest book is "Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt's American Wilderness." “Leave it as it is,” Theodore Roosevelt announced while viewing the Grand Canyon for the first time. “The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.” Roosevelt’s rallying cry signaled the beginning of an environmental fight that still wages today. To reconnect with the American wilderness and with the president who courageously protected it, acclaimed nature writer and New York Times bestselling author David Gessner embarks on a great American road trip guided by Roosevelt’s crusading environmental legacy.
July 21st, 2020 | 59 mins 24 secs
My guest is Alice Vaughn. She's the co-host of "Two Girls One Mic: The Porncast." They review the holes and plot holes of your favorite porn. She also founded Offensive Crayons, a wildly successful company... https://www.offensivecrayons.com. We talk porn, politics, psychology and the pandemic's effect on the porn industry and the wider culture.
July 16th, 2020 | 44 mins 16 secs
My guest is Christian Miller. Have you ever wondered if you're a good person? Have you asked how you good be a better one? Do your moral failings bug you? Christian Miller has spent his whole life studying these questions. He's a moral philosopher and the author of "The Character Gap." If you are thinking about what it means to live the good life than this is the episode for you.
July 8th, 2020 | 47 mins
My guest is Marcus Rempel. He's the author of "Life At The End Of Us Vs Them." critics of both Christianity and culture. The end of us versus them can deteriorate into the chaos of each against each or it can open outward into freely chosen communion. It is an expectant - and apocalyptic - time. How does one live in this strange, endtime world? As a wanderer in the odd, cross-culture country Girard and Illich have mapped, the author arrives at a surprising new place in relation to those who are his other: women, queer folk, refugees, Muslims, atheists, and Indigenous people. In this collection of essays, he blinks, looks around, and makes some field notes.
July 3rd, 2020 | 49 mins 36 secs
My guests are Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke. Their new book is "Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk." We are all guilty of it. We call people terrible names in conversation or online. We vilify those with whom we disagree, and make bolder claims than we could defend. We want to be seen as taking the moral high ground not just to make a point, or move a debate forward, but to look a certain way--incensed, or compassionate, or committed to a cause. We exaggerate. In other words, we grandstand.
June 24th, 2020 | 50 mins 10 secs
My guest is Scott Shay. Scott's second book, "In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism," has been recognized as one of the best books of 2018 by Mosaic Authors and earned a finalist award from National Jewish Books. Scott gives talks around the country and is interviewed on TV, radio, and podcasts many times throughout the year.
June 21st, 2020 | 57 mins 33 secs
My guest is Bradley Klein. He's a political scientist turned renowned sports writer and golf consultant. We talk about a piece he recently wrote about the future of sports in the age of Corona.
June 10th, 2020 | 48 mins 42 secs
My guest is Laura Briggs. Her new book is Taking Children: A History of American Terror. In these unprecedented times, one thing remains true--those who wish to enact racist and discriminatory practices will find a way to do so, often taking advantage of crises to make horrific changes more swiftly. As Laura Briggs shows in TAKING CHILDREN, America has a long history of using racist policies to disband and explicitly harm families of color. From forcing Native American children into schools built to pacify them, to the current administration's use of child separation as a deterrent to immigrate here -- separating children from their families has been a tool used by the government for centuries. Laura Briggs urges readers not to turn a blind eye, but rise to the occasion to fight to change it.