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Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.

Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.
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United States

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Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.

Language:

English


Episodes

What Ellen Pao saw coming

6/18/2018
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Ellen Pao had a rough 2015. She lost her high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins, one of Silicon Valley’s biggest and most powerful venture capital firms. She also stepped down as CEO of Reddit after a tumultuous tenure in which she came under withering criticism for, among other things, shutting down online communities devoted to shaming fat people and posting upskirt photos. A few short years later, Pao’s 2015 looks prophetic. Her fight against Kleiner Perkins...

Duration:01:10:44

The Green Pill

6/11/2018
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What accounts for the way most of us eat? What’s the ideology, the theory, behind our diets? And what happens when you stop believing in it? Over the past decade, I’ve been on a fitful journey toward veganism. At least, that’s the way I normally say it. That’s the polite way to say it. The truth is I’ve been on a fitful journey away from the idea that unnecessarily inflicting suffering and death on literally billions of beings that can feel pain is moral. And it’s been one of the most...

Duration:01:01:45

How Jane Mayer exposed Eric Schneiderman, Bush’s torture program, and the Kochs

6/4/2018
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On May 7, Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow published a story in the New Yorker detailing New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s alleged history of sexually and psychologically terrorizing the women he dated. Hours later, Schneiderman stepped down. Schneiderman was only Mayer’s most recent investigation. Over the course of her career, she’s exposed America’s torture programs, the Koch brothers’ takeover of Republican Party politics, the role the reclusive Mercer family had in funding...

Duration:01:15:18

Political power and the racial wealth gap

5/28/2018
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The racial wealth gap is where past injustice compounds into present inequality. When I asked Ta-Nehisi Coates, on this show, what would prove to him that white supremacy was over in this country, he pointed to the closing of the racial wealth gap. The numbers here are startling. In 2016, the median white family in America had $171,000 in wealth. The median black family had just $17,400. Put differently, for every dollar in wealth the average white family has, the average black family has a...

Duration:01:22:09

Tyler Cowen on the painful end of American complacency

5/21/2018
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Headlining any conversation with Tyler Cowen is difficult. This one, for instance, covers how to write a book, single-payer health care, political correctness, loneliness, the expanding Overton window, the tech backlash, technological innovation, the case for American optimism, how to change our cultural assumptions about race, and much more. But if there is a theme, it calls back to Cowen’s fascinating 2017 book, The Complacent Class. There, Cowen argued that contrary to the widespread...

Duration:01:30:53

A mind-expanding conversation with Michael Pollan

5/14/2018
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This is perhaps the most literal title I’ve given a conversation on this podcast. This is a discussion about how to expand your mind — how to expand the connections it makes, the experiences it’s open to, the sensory information it absorbs. And, more than that, this is a conversation about recognizing that our minds are narrower than we think, that there is a lot we’re filtering out and pruning away and outright ignoring. You know Michael Pollan’s work. He wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma,...

Duration:01:23:17

Optimism about America

5/7/2018
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In a February 2017 column, David Brooks wrote about "the Fallows Question, which I unfurl at dinner parties: If you could move to the place on earth where history is most importantly being made right now, where would you go?” The Fallows question is based on the life and work of Jim and Deborah Fallows. Jim is a national correspondent at the Atlantic; Deborah is a writer and linguist. When Japan looked like the future, they moved there to watch it happen; when software was eating the world,...

Duration:01:22:15

The New York Times’s lead Clinton reporter reflects on her coverage

5/3/2018
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It’s time to talk about the damn emails — and the way the media covered them. Amy Chozick reported on Hillary Clinton for a decade. She was there as Clinton’s campaign fell short in the 2008 Democratic primaries. And as the New York Times’s lead reporter on the Clinton campaign in 2016, she was there as Clinton seemed certain to win in 2016 — and there on that night in November when she lost. Her new book, Chasing Hillary, is a memoir of these years and that reporting. In it, Chozick...

Duration:00:55:06

The age of "mega-identity" politics

4/30/2018
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Yes, identity politics is breaking our country. But it’s not identity politics as we’re used to thinking about it. In Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity, Lilliana Mason traces the construction of our partisan “mega-identities”: identities that fuse party affiliation to ideology, race, religion, gender, sexuality, geography, and more. These mega-identities didn’t exist 50 or even 30 years ago, but now that they’re here, they change the way we see each other, the way we...

Duration:01:19:40

Is American democracy really in decline? A debate.

4/23/2018
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Yascha Mounk’s new book, The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It, is perhaps the year’s scariest read. In it, Mounk argues that “liberal democracy, the unique mix of individual rights and popular rule that has long characterized most governments in North America and Western Europe, is coming apart at its seams. In its stead, we are seeing the rise of illiberal democracy, or democracy without rights, and undemocratic liberalism, or rights without...

Duration:01:53:28

Special episode: The Syrian conflict, explained by a UN diplomat who saw it start

4/20/2018
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Many of you will remember the interview I did with Grant Gordon, who works on humanitarian policy innovation at the International Rescue Committee. That conversation received a huge response — some of you even wrote in to say it had changed your career path and you were now reorienting towards humanitarian work and crisis response. Now, Vox Media, in partnership with the IRC, is launching Displaced, a podcast about the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises and the people whose lives...

Duration:00:57:39

Is modern society making us depressed?

4/16/2018
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“What if depression is, in fact, a form of grief — for our own lives not being as they should?” asks Johann Hari. “What if it is a form of grief for the connections we have lost yet still need?” In his new book, Lost Connections, Hari advances an argument both radical and obvious: Depression and anxiety are more than just chemical imbalances in the brain. They are the result of our social environments, our relationships, our political contexts — our lives, in short. Hari, who has struggled...

Duration:01:31:07

Carol Anderson on White Rage and Donald Trump

4/12/2018
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Carol Anderson is a professor of African-American studies at Emory University and the author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide. Anderson’s book emerged from a viral op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in 2014, amid the backlash to the Ferguson, Missouri, protests. She writes: "The operative question seemed to be whether African Americans were justified in their rage, even if that rage manifested itself in the most destructive, nonsensical ways. Again and again,...

Duration:01:31:26

The Sam Harris Debate

4/9/2018
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There’s a lot of backstory to this podcast, most of which is covered in this piece. The short version is that Sam Harris, the host of the Waking Up podcast, and I have been going back and forth over an interview Harris did with The Bell Curve author Charles Murray about a year ago. In that interview, the two argued that African-Americans are, for a combination of genetic and environmental reasons, intrinsically and immutably less intelligent than white Americans, and Murray argued that the...

Duration:02:09:14

Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s hardest year, and what comes next

4/2/2018
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It’s been a tough year for Facebook. The social networking juggernaut found itself engulfed by controversies over fake news, electoral interference, privacy violations, and a broad backlash to smartphone addiction. Wall Street has noticed: the company has lost almost $100 billion in market cap in recent weeks. Behind Facebook’s hard year is a collision between the company’s values, ambitions, business model, and mindboggling scale. Mark Zuckerberg, the site’s founder, has long held that the...

Duration:00:49:02

Mitch Landrieu is a white mayor in the American South, and he wants to talk about race

3/26/2018
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Mitch Landrieu is the white mayor of New Orleans, and he wants America to talk about race. Landrieu is the author of the new book, In The Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History. The statues he refers to are Confederate war memorials, four of which he controversially took down in May of 2017. "These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for,” Landrieu said, in a...

Duration:01:25:43

Melinda Gates (live!) on stopping climate change, ending malaria, and the problems money can’t solve

3/19/2018
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Melinda Gates is the co-founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private foundation in the United States. With more than $40 billion in assets, the Gates Foundation works on a dizzying array of issues, from eradicating polio to feeding the world to treating HIV to stopping climate change to reforming the US education system. Gates has also been working, in recent years, on increasing diversity in the technology industry. “If you [only] have products...

Duration:00:54:43

A better conversation on guns

3/12/2018
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Want to know why we can’t make any progress on the guns debate? Because this isn’t a debate over policy. It’s a debate over identity. After last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I remembered a book Evan Osnos recommended on this show, called Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline by Jennifer Carlson. Carlson, a sociologist, realized that her discipline had missed a major social transformation: that Americans weren’t just buying...

Duration:00:52:54

This isn’t Joe Kennedy’s grandfather’s Democratic Party, and he knows it

3/5/2018
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When you’re sitting in front of Rep. Joe Kennedy, it’s clear that you’re sitting in front of a Kennedy. The face, the jawline — it’s all uncannily familiar. But Kennedy, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, is rising in a changed Democratic Party. In the 1950s, the nonwhite share of the Democratic vote was about 7 percent. In 2012, it was about 44 percent — and that number is ticking upward. Kennedy is navigating it smoothly. Tapped to give the Democratic response to the State of the Union...

Duration:01:01:48

Amy Chua on how tribalism is tearing America apart

2/26/2018
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Human beings are tribal creatures, particularly when they feel threatened. And the reality of living in America in 2018, at a time of massive demographic change and social upheaval, is that we all feel threatened, and so we are all becoming more tribal. In her new book, Political Tribes, Amy Chua argues that America’s foreign policy has long been undermined by our underestimation of tribalism abroad, and that our domestic stability is now being hollowed out by our inability to see it...

Duration:00:59:14