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Before Winston Churchill made history, he made news. To a great extent, the news made him too. If it was his own efforts that made him a hero, it was the media that made him a celebrity - and it has been considerably responsible for perpetuating his memory and shaping his reputation in the years since his death. Discussing this topic and much more …
 
Genocide is not only a problem of mass death, but also of how, as a relatively new idea and law, it organizes and distorts thinking about civilian destruction. Taking the normative perspective of civilian immunity from military attack, A. Dirk Moses argues that the implicit hierarchy of international criminal law, atop which sits genocide as the 'c…
 
In today’s episode, we speak with Ayesha Chaudhry about her new book, The Colour of God (Oneworld Publications, 2021). The book describes Chaudhry’s personal, spiritual, and professional journey as she navigates her life as a South Asian immigrant Muslim girl raised in Canada. Rich in its analysis of its major themes – such as patriarchy, religion,…
 
There has been a resurgent global interest in the origins and formation of authoritarian regimes as many states around the world drift away from liberal democracy. Indonesia’s experiences with such an authoritarian turn in the 1950s and 1960s offers many lessons from history. In Authoritarian Modernization in Indonesia’s Early Independence Period (…
 
Doron Taussig invites us to question the American Dream. Did you earn what you have? Did everyone else? The American Dream is built on the idea that Americans end up, in our working lives, roughly where we deserve to be based on our efforts and abilities—in other words, the United States is supposed to be a meritocracy. When Americans think and tal…
 
Simon Critchley's Tragedy, the Greeks, and Us (Vintage, 2020) does not offer a comprehensive theory of tragedy. Instead, it takes issue with the bland simplifications that philosophers have offered in place of a robust engagement with tragedies, plural. Critchley examines Nietzche's wishful speculation on the origin of tragedy, Aristotle's dry and …
 
In The Healing Otherness Handbook: Overcome the Trauma of Identity-Based Bullying and Find Power in Your Difference (New Harbinger, 2021), Stacee Reicherzer—a nationally known transgender psychotherapist and expert on trauma, otherness, and self-sabotage—shares her own personal story of childhood bullying, and how it inspired her to help others hea…
 
Today I interview Dinty W. Moore and Zoë Bossiere, the editors of the new anthology The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction (Rose Metal Press, 2020). The anthology brings together the best of Brevity Magazine, which publishes works of literary nonfiction that are less than 750 words. So how do you write about, say, the …
 
The Korean War is now America's seminal war. It was the first war conducted with the new United Nations, the first war fought against the Chinese Communists, and the first modern war the US didn't win. Louis Nelson designed the mural wall at the Korean Veterans Memorial on the Mall in Washington DC. His just published memoir, Mosaic: War Monument M…
 
The Portrait is a story full of ambiguity and suspense, one that works on many different levels and holds the reader’s attention until the very last page. Recently published to great acclaim, the book will soon become a Sky TV mini-series. In what she called a 'beautiful' conversation with Duncan McCargo, Ilaria Bernadini explains, inter alia: why …
 
In Global Trade in the Nineteenth Century: The House of Houqua and the Canton System (Cambridge University Press, 2016), John D. Wong examines the Canton trade networks that helped to shape the modern world through the lens of the prominent Chinese merchant Houqua, whose trading network and financial connections stretched from China to India, Ameri…
 
Recognizing the absence of a God named Yahweh outside of ancient Israel, this study addresses the related questions of Yahweh's origins and the biblical claim that there were Yahweh-worshipers other than the Israelite people. Beginning with the Hebrew Bible, with an exhaustive survey of ancient Near Eastern literature and inscriptions discovered by…
 
Cystic fibrosis was once a mysterious disease that killed infants and children. Now it could be the key to healing millions with genetic diseases of every type—from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to diabetes and sickle cell anemia. In 1974, Joey O'Donnell was born with strange symptoms. His insatiable appetite, incessant vomiting, and a relentless cou…
 
In her new book From Rabbit Ears to the Rabbit Hole: A Life with Television (University of Mississippi Press, 2021) TV scholar and fan Kathleen Collins reflects on how her life as a consumer of television has intersected with the cultural and technological evolution of the medium itself. In a narrative bridging television studies, memoir, and comic…
 
Cristina Beltrán has written a thoughtful and interrogating analysis of the concept of citizenship, particularly in the United States, and how the history of the United States as a country has shaped an understanding of who gets to be “belong” as a member of this society. The book, Cruelty as Citizenship: How Migrant Suffering Sustains White Democr…
 
Before the Transatlantic slave trade ravaged the western coast of Africa, immense numbers of persons were taken from their homes and carried across the Black and Mediterranean Seas as involuntary passengers. This trade is the subject of Hannah Barker’s remarkable study, That Most Precious Merchandise: The Mediterranean Trade in Black Sea Slaves, 12…
 
In the late nineteenth century, as humans came to realize that our rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving other animal species to extinction, a movement to protect and conserve them was born. In Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction (Norton, 2021), acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the …
 
In this episode, we are talking to a British writer Ian Leslie, a journalist and author of acclaimed books on human behavior. His latest book, Conflicted: How Productive Disagreements Lead to Better Outcomes (Harper Business, 2021), is about how to disagree better. Ian regularly publishes in The Guardian, The New Statesman and The Economist. He co-…
 
In this episode, host J.J. Mull interviews Daniel José Gaztambide about his book, A People’s History of Psychoanalysis: From Freud to Liberation Psychology (Lexington Books, 2021). The project traces a global intellectual lineage spanning from the first generation of analysts in Europe to Harlem, the Caribbean, and finally, to Latin America. Challe…
 
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