Kurt Andersen (Author & Editor: Spy Magazine, New York, Studio360, more)
Print Is Dead. (Long Live Print!)
We’ve always had a thing for magazine launches. They’re filled with drama and melodrama, people behaving with passion and conviction, and people ... misbehaving. Anything to get that first issue onto the stands and into the hands of readers.Some new ventures seem to sneak in the back door. Who saw Wired or Fast Company coming?Others are to the manner born, and from the most elite print parents. But, even with that pedigree they never gain traction, never display the scrappiness and experimentation that we’ve come to expect from anything new. (You know who you are).But then, one day, along comes The Greatest Startup in the History of Magazine Startups. A magazine that dares to mercilessly, and humorously, vilify high society. The one that big time journalists pretend to ignore but were first to the newsstand each month to grab their copy. The one that created packaging conceits: Separated at Birth, Private Lives of Public Enemies, Blurb-o-mat, and Naked City. Plus, the adorable nicknames — “Short-fingered vulgarian” — that persist to this day. That’s right, we’re talking about Spy.And in this episode we’ll meet Kurt Andersen who, along with Graydon Carter and Tom Philips, founded what became an instantaneous cultural phenomenon: SPY magazine. The axis of the publishing world tilted when it hit the stands.“Spy was the most influential magazine of the 1980s,” the author Dave Eggers wrote. “It definitely changed the whole tone of magazine journalism. It was cruel, brilliant, beautifully-written and perfectly-designed — and feared by all.”There had never been anything like Spy before.Nothing since has come close.
Bonus Episode – Fantasyland: Blurring Fiction and Reality (with Kurt Andersen)
In this special bonus episode, I recently caught up with Kurt Andersen, author of the 2017 book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire–A 500-Year History. Kurt’s book explains so much about the current state of America today by looking at its history through the lens of “fantasyland”–basically, what happens when people begin to blur, or commingle, fantasy and reality. It’s not that other nations don’t do this, but it’s more than what makes America so exceptional is that we seem to have a corner on doing it the best. Join the MindShift Podcast Patreon Community! Follow me on Twitter @MindShift2018 Like the MindShift Podcast Facebook Page Tweet
In which John Heilemann talks with Kurt Andersen, the host, writer, and co-producer of the podcast series "Nixon at War," a seven-part exploration of Richard Nixon's downfall through the less of Vietnam. Heilemann and Andersen discuss Andersen's thesis that the war in Southeast Asia and the Watergate scandal, the twin disasters of Nixon's time in office, are not separate stories but deeply entwined; the astonishing archival audio, much of it from Nixon's White House taping system, that makes the series come alive; the striking similarities between Nixon and Donald Trump, personal (insecurity, paranoia, resentment) and political (us versus them divisiveness, appeals to white grievance, demonization of the press); and the direct line between Nixon's criminality and disregard for democratic norms and today's Republican Party. Andersen also reminisces about growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, during the Vietnam era, and his transformation from a Nixon-supporting eighth-grader to a pot-smoking, McGovern-backing, Abbie Hoffman-loving high schooler. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
When Kurt Andersen started working on his new podcast, Nixon at War, he thought he knew a lot about Richard Nixon’s presidency, especially the bookend events of his 1968 campaign and his 1973 resignation. Devastating events with far-reaching consequences but unrelated - or so he thought. The surprising connections between the two are at the heart of Nixon at War. Kurt Andersen is a prize-winning novelist, historian, and public radio host (Studio 360). His most recent books -- Evil Geniuses, Fantasyland, and You Can’t Spell America Without Me, were all New York Times bestsellers. For more, visit Nixonatwar.org. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.