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Are you so busy fulfilling everyone else’s expectations that you’ve lost touch with yourself? Do you find yourself filling up your “free” hours with mundane tasks, soaking up podcasts to improve yourself, and rushing around, never getting it all done? For many women, it’s the same kind of story—we hustle to overachieve at work and at home, all in t…
 
In Christopher Hitchens: What He Got Right, How He Went Wrong, and Why He Still Matters (Zero Books, 2022), Ben Burgis reminds readers about what was best in Hitchens's writings and helps us gain a better understanding of how someone whose whole political life was animated by the values of the socialist left could have ended up holding grotesque po…
 
Chris Kempshall's The History and Politics of Star Wars: Death Stars and Democracy (Routledge, 2022) provides the first detailed and comprehensive examination of all the materials making up the Star Wars franchise relating to the portrayal and representation of real-world history and politics. Drawing on a variety of sources, including films, publi…
 
Today I talked to Kerri Schlottman about her new novel Tell Me One Thing (Regal House Publishing, 2023). Quinn and a friend are driving from New York City to Pennsylvania when she sees 9-year-old Lulu sitting on a trucker’s lap, smoking a cigarette. At the truck stop for her friend to score drugs, Quinn takes an astounding picture and then leaves, …
 
On the Frontiers of the Indian Ocean World: A History of Lake Tanganyika, c.1830-1890 (Cambridge UP, 2022) is the first interdisciplinary history of Lake Tanganyika and of eastern Africa's relationship with the wider Indian Ocean World during the nineteenth century. Philip Gooding deploys diverse source materials, including oral, climatological, an…
 
Christopher M. Hood is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the Dalton School in New York City and lives nearby with his wife and daughter. He received an MFA in Poetry from UC Irvine. The Revivalists (Harper, 2022) is his debut novel. Book Recommendations: Chang-rae Lee, My Year Abroad Jenny Liou, Muscle Memory Chris Holmes is Chair of …
 
Meaning is less a secret to discover than an emergent property, a byproduct of engaging with the world. Through experimentation and an orientation of openness, we can weave ourselves into a broader cloth of coherence. Guest: Michael Steger is the Founder and Director of the Center for Meaning and Purpose, and Professor of Psychology at Colorado Sta…
 
In Gadamer’s Hermeneutics: Between Phenomenology and Dialectic (Northwestern University Press, 2022), Robert J. Dostal provides a comprehensive and critical account of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutical philosophy, arguing that Gadamer’s enterprise is rooted in the thesis that “being that can be understood is language.” He defends Gadamer against c…
 
Gaming the Past: Using Video Games to Teach Secondary History (Routledge, 2022) is a complete handbook to help pre-service teachers, current teachers, and teacher educators use historical video games in their classes to develop critical thinking skills. It focuses on practical information and specific examples for integrating critical thinking acti…
 
Life will always bring us experiences and uncertainty, risks, losses - never planned, never found - emotional upheaval that defines what it means to be vulnerable; to break down to our breakthrough. It is here we find the courage to rise up, become our authentic selves and live our purpose. In this book, twelve women expose their vulnerability, the…
 
Have too much self-control? You worked hard, followed the rules, and delayed gratification to get where you are in life. You played nice, did what you were told, and were rewarded for it. You have high expectations of yourself and for those around you. You have a strong sense of how the world should be and a consciousness of right and wrong. These …
 
Journalist John Markoff has been writing about Silicon Valley for over forty years. In this interview with Peoples & Things host Lee Vinsel, Markoff talks about his long career, how he became a “tech journalist” long before that term even existed, and how he came to write his new book, Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand. Markoff and Vinse…
 
Museums everywhere have the potential to serve as agents of change—bringing people together, contributing to local communities, and changing people’s lives. So how can we, as individuals, radically expand the work of museums to live up to this potential? How can we more fiercely recognize the meaningful work that museums are doing to enact change a…
 
Today I interview Erin Reed. Reed is an activist, public speaker, and writer across multiple platforms, including a Substack newsletter, all of which she gathers under the title “Erin in the Morning.” Reed’s work centers on advocacy for the transgender community and the greater queer community. At the moment, she’s undertaken the momentous task of …
 
Laura Ann Twagira, an associate professor of history, head of African Studies, and an affiliate with science in society program and feminist gender sexuality studies program at Wesleyan University, talks about her book, Embodied Engineering: Gendered Labor, Food Security, and Taste in Twentieth-Century Mali with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. E…
 
In 1966 Stanley Kubrick told a friend that he wanted to make “the world’s scariest movie.” A decade later Stephen King’s The Shining landed on the director’s desk, and a visual masterpiece was born. J. W. Rinzler and Lee Unkrich's book Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (Taschen, 2023) is the definitive compendium of the film that transformed the horror…
 
In 1524, a man named David Reubeni appeared in Venice, claiming to be the ambassador of a powerful Jewish kingdom deep in the heart of Arabia. In this era of fierce rivalry between great powers, voyages of fantastic discovery, and brutal conquest of new lands, people throughout the Mediterranean saw the signs of an impending apocalypse and envision…
 
Focusing on Los Angeles farmland during the years between the Immigration Act of 1924 and the Japanese Internment in 1942, Transborder Los Angeles: An Unknown Transpacific History of Japanese-Mexican Relations (U California Press, 2022) weaves together the narratives of Mexican and Japanese immigrants into a single transpacific history. In this boo…
 
The philosophy of deconstruction, most famously pushed forward by Jacques Derrida, has left an undeniable dent on contemporary thought, and even religion has found itself in deconstruction’s sights, with Church, faith and even God put under philosophical scrutiny. But is this a one-way street, or is there something faith might teach deconstruction?…
 
This week on International Horizons, David Abraham from the University of Miami discusses the origins of social democratic parties in Europe and the parallels with similar movements in the US. Following his teacher Adam Przeworski, Abraham argues that Keynesianism boosted social democracy by convincing people that the state could manage economic gr…
 
In this engaging life of the twentieth century’s most self-consciously learned dictator, Geoffrey Roberts explores the books Stalin read, how he read them, and what they taught him. Stalin firmly believed in the transformative potential of words, and his voracious appetite for reading guided him throughout his years. A biography as well as an intel…
 
The ideology of capitalism, which drives us to find happiness in endless exertion and economic gain, dulls our emotions and blinds us to the source of our most abundant meaning—relationships and solidarity with other people. Guest: Kathryn Lofton is a scholar of religion and has written extensively about capitalism, popular culture, and the secular…
 
Ever since Pearl Jam first blasted onto the Seattle grunge scene three decades ago with their debut album, Ten, they have sold 85M+ albums, performed for hundreds of thousands of fans around the world, and have even been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In Long Road: Pearl Jam and the Soundtrack of A Generation, music critic and journa…
 
The Burning Book (Common Consent Press, 2022) is an unusual and intriguing memoir about Jason Olsen's conversion from Judaism to Mormonism. But it tells no simple story of triumphant conversion away from error toward truth. Follow Olson's spiritual journey from aspiring rabbi to Latter-day Saint missionary, from Brigham Young University student to …
 
Lesley Higgins and Marie-Christine Leps's book Heterotopic World Fiction: Thinking Beyond Biopolitics with Woolf, Foucault, Ondaatje (Academic Studies Press, 2022) demonstrates how world fiction by Woolf, Foucault, and Ondaatje counters biopolitics with aesthetic and political-biopoetic-strategies producing transhistorical, transnational experience…
 
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