408: Robin Nagle
Scholars

408: Robin Nagle

“It’s grand, it’s palatial, it’s beautiful,” says the anthropologist-in-residence for the NY Department of Sanitation about a garage.  She is happy in her work. A scholar looks at what we throw away and what it says about us. Presented with the Sanitation Foundation.  Music: John Sherman. Photo: Harry Wilks. Continue reading »

Scholars

392: Michael Kazin

He did much of the research for What it Took to Win: a History of the Democratic Party, in the Manuscript Reading Room at the Library of Congress. “I don’t believe in heaven, but, if there’s a heaven for historians, this would be right in the center of it.” Plus some thoughts on the late Richard Hofstadter … Continue reading »

Scholars

345: Ben Zimmer

The Wall Street Journal’s language columnist plays with our format, offering Word Word Word – and more elegantly still, the same word for each segment: orange. Then he makes a painful disclosure: “I myself am color-blind, and so I’m not completely attuned to all the nuances of it.” Hey, Beethoven was deaf, and he got the … Continue reading »

Scholars

307: Drew Gilpin Faust

An esteemed historian (This Republic of Suffering) and president emeritus of Harvard, she suggests that the widespread misuse of “disinterested” to mean “uninterested” rather than “objective” reflects a broad undervaluing of objectivity, open-mindedness, and intellectual honesty. Seldom has so bleak an insight given me such delight. Continue reading »

Scholars

Episode 265: Russell Shorto

Holland’s seventeenth-century emphasis on trade rather than conquest helped build a culture of tolerance: everybody’s money is good. The author of The Island at the Center of the World offers a sort of moral defense of capitalism in a conversation at the Fraunces Tavern Museum: look out the window and see what he’s describing. Music from … Continue reading »