Politics and History

Baby with tag

Wendy Kline says the history of birth in America is the story of the medical establishment’s deliberate suppression of midwives. For her as for most mothers, it’s a story that’s political and personal.  More

The midwives of "Call the Midwife" (BBC)

Anne Strainchamps joins a group of women, Laurie, Jane, Carol and Liz, to watch the premiere of Season 7 of "Call the Midwife" and talk about birth.  More

Three of the transgender men whose stories are told in "Unbound"

Sociologist Arlene Stein has been following four people who were identified as female at birth but later transitioned to male.  She tells their stories in her book, “Unbound.”   More

How does it work out over time for people who have made the transition to a new gender? Steve Paulson reached out to a transgender man — Benn Marine — to hear his experience.More

College Students

Free speech advocate Greg Lukianoff believes universities are coddling students in the name of emotional well-being, with damaging effects to students' mental health.More

man walking to work

The anthropologist David Graeber says “BS jobs” are an epidemic. Especially in that circle of hell known as middle management.More

Niki poses with some of her staff. She makes accommodations for employees struggling with prior convictions or legal status.

A few years ago, Niki Okuk started a tire recycling company in Los Angeles. Run along the lines of a worker-owned cooperative, the employees are people who would ordinarily have a hard time finding any job. More

punch the clock

When we talk about reforming work, fixing work, creating new kinds of work — author and historian James Livingston thinks perhaps we’re not going far enough. More

Studs Terkel in studio

Studs Terkel talked with people from of all walks of life about their work, from firefighters, to steel workers, to labor activist Cesar Chavez. More

man moving steel

Alissa Quart spent the last few years traveling around the country, talking with all kinds of people about work. What she found is a lot of people with jobs that look good on paper but who feel — in a word — squeezed.More

Art from Ingrid La Fleur's Afrofuturist mayoral campaign in Detroit. (Ingrid La Fleur)

Artist, activist, and Afrofuturist Ingrid La Fleur recommends collection of books, films and artists for those interested in understanding Afrofuturism as an aesthetic and as a movement.More

Estee Lauder

What do Steve Jobs, Estee Lauder and Ted Williams have in common? They were driven by individual compulsions.More

A screenshot from "One Hour, One Life"

In One Hour, One Life, you start as a naked newborn. The only way you can survive even the first three minutes is if another player — a stranger — adopts you. It’s a surprisingly powerful experience – but that’s what Jason Rohrer is famous for designing.More

Pop culture's constant barrage of ironic detachment

Christy Wampole is a French professor who writes a lot of cultural criticism, including a pair of a New York Times columns about “How to Live Without Irony." Steve Paulson got together with her to talk through the corrosive effects of irony.More

Christian Picciolini recounts his experience leaving the white supremacist hate group.

Charles Monroe-Kane talks with Christian Picciolini about his campaign to de-program white supremacists, including Richard Spencer, the most prominent face of American white supremacy today.More

Brother Ali

You can find powerful critiques of capitalism and inequality on political platforms — and also on music stages. Take Brother Ali: he’s a Midwestern, Muslim rapper and one of the most popular socially-conscious hip hop artists out there.More

Kshama Sawant, councilwoman in Seattle

Seattle councilwoman Kshama Sawant is the first socialist to win an election there in almost a century. Her platform included fighting for — and winning — a $15 minimum wage, and a tax on the wealthy.More

Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail.

Sean Wilentz is a leading American historian and a proud liberal. Steve Paulson asked for his take on the new pink tint in Democratic politics.More

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