Culture

Culture, Ideas, Religion

Mein Kampf

Mar 6, 2017

Mein Kampf was Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto, a kind of campaign biography. He wrote the first draft of it while in prison for leading a failed coup, and historian Peter Ross Range says the book crystallized Hitler’s “faith in himself as Germany’s coming redeemer.” Last year, Mein Kampf was republished in Germany for the first time since WWII. Range joins us Monday to talk about the notorious book’s history, influence, and future. (Rebroadcast)

Words on the Move

Mar 3, 2017
Tama Leaver via CC/Flickr http://bit.ly/1mhaR6e, http://bit.ly/2gMBl1m

If you’re worried that the word “literally” now means “figuratively,” or if you fret that acronyms are replacing actual words, today’s show will do one of two things: make you pull out your hair, or it’ll change your mind. The linguist John McWhorter says that changes to the English language are nothing new. Language, he says, isn’t some static thing that just is, “it’s actually something always becoming.” McWhorter will join us to discuss how languages evolve and why we should embrace the changes. (Rebroadcast)

Greg Pye via Flickr (http://bit.ly/2mF1RKs) CC2.0 (http://bit.ly/1mhaR6e)

Tuesday, we’re talking about the value of rest. Of taking a break. From everything. For most of us, overwork is the new normal and rest is an afterthought. But the scholar Alex Soojung-Kim Pang says that by dismissing the importance of rest in our lives we stifle our ability to think creatively and truly recharge. Pang will join us to talk about his new book that examines why long walks, afternoon naps, vigorous exercise, and "deep play" stimulate creative work and sustain creative lives.

The Revenge of Analog

Feb 23, 2017
Roco Julie (no changes; http://bit.ly/2lH52E2) (CC BY-SA 2.0, http://bit.ly/1hYHpKw)

A funny thing happened on the way to digital utopia: we rekindled our love affairs with the very analog goods and ideas that tech gurus insisted we no longer needed. What once looked outdated—stuff like paper notebooks, LP records, and board games—is cool again, breathing new life into many businesses that deal in tangible things. The writer David Sax calls this trend the “Revenge of Analog.” In a new book, he explores the real things renaissance, and he’ll join us Thursday to talk about it.

Washington's Farewell

Feb 20, 2017

When George Washington left office he delivered a prophetic farewell address. Once revered as civic scripture, it is now almost forgotten. In it, Washington called for unity among “citizens by birth or choice,” defended religious pluralism, and proposed that education is essential to democracy. He also expressed fear that hyper-partisanship, excessive debt, and foreign wars could destroy the country.  Journalist John Avlon has written a book about Washington’s Farewell, and he joins us Monday to talk about it.

The Story of Pain

Feb 15, 2017

What is pain? You know it when you feel it, but it’s almost impossible to properly describe. And it turns out, our idea of what that suffering is and means has changed significantly over the centuries. Wednesday, Doug’s guest is British historian Joanna Bourke, who has written a book that investigates “The Story of Pain.” We’ll explore how knowing the history of pain helps us acknowledge our own sorrows and the suffering of others.

Ruby Ridge

Feb 14, 2017
PBS/American Experience, Courtesy of Dave Hunt

In August 1992, a tense and disastrous event took place at Ruby Ridge in northern Idaho. The family of Randy Weaver had been holed up for months with a cache of firearms at their mountaintop home. He was wanted for a federal offense, and when U.S. Marshals surveilling the property crossed paths with the Weavers, a firefight broke out. The ensuing standoff mesmerized the country and inflamed anti-government sentiment. Tuesday, we’re talking about what happened at Ruby Ridge and its resonance today.

The Perfect Horse

Feb 8, 2017
Judy Fahys

 

Wednesday, the story of a daring rescue of horses caught up in the Third Reich’s vision for genetic supremacy. Horses still played a role in the military, and Hitler aimed to use stolen purebreds to create the ideal war horse. But with the stud farm under imminent threat from the starving Russian army, the Nazi officer in charge asked General Patton himself for help. Author Elizabeth Letts joins us to explain why soldiers set aside alliances and risked their lives to save The Perfect Horse. [Rebroadcast]

Last week, President Donald Trump reiterated his pledge to eliminate a little-known tax law that bars charities, including churches, from endorsing political candidates. It’s called the Johnson Amendment, and the IRS has rarely enforced it. Proponents say it maintains an important barrier between church and state. Those who oppose it say their free-speech rights are being infringed. Tuesday, we’re talking about the history of the Johnson Amendment and what its erasure could mean for the political landscape.

Wednesday, we continue our Through the Lens series with Fred Peabody’s documentary film All Governments Lie. It’s inspired by the work of I.F. Stone, an investigative journalist and gadfly in the early 1950s to the `70s. Stone’s modern torchbearers—journalists like Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman and others profiled in the film—produce their adversarial journalism outside mainstream media. Peabody joins us Wednesday to discuss the value of alternative news and the role of independent journalists.

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