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The World in Time / Lapham’s Quarterly

Updated 2 months ago

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Lewis H. Lapham, the founder and editor of Lapham’s Quarterly, interviews authors of new books of history. New episodes are released biweekly. laphamsquarterly.org.

Read more

Lewis H. Lapham, the founder and editor of Lapham’s Quarterly, interviews authors of new books of history. New episodes are released biweekly. laphamsquarterly.org.

iTunes Ratings

148 Ratings
Average Ratings
139
4
2
2
1

Ignore “New Host Needed”

By dudedaddyj - Mar 22 2020
Read more
Lewis is a national treasure.

Always interesting

By Joel Mielke - Sep 23 2019
Read more
Lewis Latham’s questions get straight to the heart of the authors’ subjects. Worth listening to!

iTunes Ratings

148 Ratings
Average Ratings
139
4
2
2
1

Ignore “New Host Needed”

By dudedaddyj - Mar 22 2020
Read more
Lewis is a national treasure.

Always interesting

By Joel Mielke - Sep 23 2019
Read more
Lewis Latham’s questions get straight to the heart of the authors’ subjects. Worth listening to!
Cover image of The World in Time / Lapham’s Quarterly

The World in Time / Lapham’s Quarterly

Latest release on Jul 24, 2020

Read more

Lewis H. Lapham, the founder and editor of Lapham’s Quarterly, interviews authors of new books of history. New episodes are released biweekly. laphamsquarterly.org.

Rank #1: Episode 03: John Micklethwait

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In the sixteenth century 300,000 people lived in the imperial quarter of Beijing, which housed the bureaucracy of the Chinese state. At the time Europe had only three cities—London, Naples, and Paris—with as many residents. European governments were by contrast small and static. Over the past five hundred years, partly in response to the grand scale of government power in Asia and the Islamic world, Western nations have gone through a series of revolutions in government: from Thomas Hobbes’ imagining of the modern nation state to liberal reforms advocated by John Stuart Mill and William Gladstone and the advent of the welfare state.

Lewis Lapham talks to John Micklethwait, co-author, with Adrian Wooldridge, of The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State, about the history of government in the West and rethinking the machinery of the state in the twenty-first century.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Apr 28 2017

39mins

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Rank #2: Episode 49: William Dalrymple

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Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company.

Sep 27 2019

51mins

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Rank #3: Episode 09: Michael Kazin

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Why did World War I begin? Why did America enter the conflict? What place does the war hold in American historical memory? These are questions historian Michael Kazin asks his Georgetown University students, and many of them are stumped. When Woodrow Wilson plunged the country headfirst into its first European fight, he was met with resistance from nearly every corner of American society—in New York City, a women’s march for peace was organized along Fifth Avenue. Today there is no memorial on the National Mall to the American soldiers who fought in the war, but understanding the complex social, political, and economic forces that birthed the war—and American involvement in it—is more crucial than ever.

Lewis Lapham talks to Michael Kazin, author of War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914–1918.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Jul 20 2017

33mins

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Rank #4: Episode 35: Jill Lepore

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States.
Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Oct 12 2018

37mins

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Rank #5: Episode 08: Erica Benner

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The life and thought of Niccolò Machiavelli has been badly misunderstood, argues historian Erica Benner. Far from his usual depiction as a politically amoral henchman, Machiavelli was in fact a prescient critic of princely power and religious zealotry. He lived the problems of government and fought to change a corrupt world. Lewis H. Lapham talks to Erica Benner, author of Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli in His World.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Jul 05 2017

35mins

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Rank #6: Episode 28: Stephen Greenblatt

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Episode 28: Stephen Greenblatt by Lapham’s Quarterly

Jun 01 2018

28mins

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Rank #7: Episode 05: Ian Mortimer

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How do you measure change? It is often said that the twentieth century saw more change than any other period. But today’s interest in modern technology obscures the massive changes the world has undergone over the past millennium. Lewis Lapham talks with Ian Mortimer, author of Millennium: From Religion to Revolution: How Civilization Has Changed Over a Thousand Years, about the history of change and why it matters.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

May 23 2017

27mins

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Rank #8: Episode 42: Greg Grandin

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with Greg Grandin, author of The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America.

May 03 2019

46mins

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Rank #9: Episode 51: Andrew Delbanco

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Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Andrew Delbanco, author of “The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War.”

Nov 08 2019

46mins

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Rank #10: Episode 27: Barbara Ehrenreich

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Barbara Ehrenreich thought there was something strange going on with the smart middle-aged people she knew. They seemed to be obsessed with their bodies in a novel and unexpected way, exercising frequently, assessing the value of every bite they considered, and obeying every preventive measure offered by doctors. “I did not share this obsession, I will admit,” she says on this episode of The World in Time. Annual visits to the doctor, constant medical tests—it all felt futile, or at least unnecessary. “It's in my nature to question everything,” she explains, “so in each case…I would do some research, and see if this indeed did any good.” Her new book, Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer, is a result of that research, and she discussed her findings, scientific and philosophical and cultural, with Lewis Lapham. And yes, Gwyneth Paltrow does come up.
Lewis H. Lapham talks with Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer.

May 18 2018

30mins

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Rank #11: Episode 13: Stephen Greenblatt

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve.

In a new book Pulitzer Prize–winning author Stephen Greenblatt takes up the tale of Adam and Eve, the world’s most famous origin story. Greenblatt tracks the tale from its creation, perhaps as a response to the Jews’ Babylonian exile, through its varied interpretations, from the time it was viewed symbolically (as it was by early Christian historians) to its acceptance as a literal event (by no less an authority than Saint Augustine) to its deep influence on Renaissance art and literature and its collision with the modern world, most consequentially with the thought of Charles Darwin.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Sep 13 2017

41mins

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Rank #12: Episode 04: William Hogeland

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In 1791 an American military expedition led by General Arthur St. Clair to assert U.S. claims in the region north and west of the Ohio River was attacked by a confederation of Shawnee, Miami, and Delaware Indians that hoped to stop the country’s westward expansion. With nearly one thousand U.S. casualties, the American defeat was the worst the country would ever suffer at native hands. Americans were shocked, perhaps none more so than their commander in chief, George Washington, who saw in the debacle an urgent lesson: the United States needed an army.

Lewis H. Lapham talks with William Hogeland, author of Autumn of the Black Snake: The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion That Opened the West, about the United States’ first standing army and its victory over the coalition of native forces that sought to halt the country's expansion.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

May 12 2017

40mins

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Rank #13: Episode 21: Eric Foner

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“History does not tell us what to do,” Civil War scholar Eric Foner says, but it does help us understand how the world got this way, as long as you aren’t stuck playing the Great Men greatest hits in your studies. But that’s what most of us learn: a litany of good or important deeds done by familiar names that turns history into a constellation of memorized details instead of a reckoning. This pockmarked understanding of the past, and the efforts to render history into more than a sunny yet useless bit of impressionism, is the theme of Foner’s Battles for Freedom: The Use and Abuse of American History. The essays within were published in The Nation between 1977 and 2017 and often hit home the stickiness of the past. In a book review about public history and Confederate monuments, he asks, “Why, one wonders, has our understanding of history changed so rapidly, but its public presentation remained so static?”

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Eric Foner, author of Battles for Freedom: The Use and Abuse of American History.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Jan 05 2018

37mins

Play

Rank #14: Episode 29: Steve Fraser

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One of America’s most enduring myths involves the fledging country’s supposed fortitude in refusing to import the class structures of its forebears. But, historian Steve Fraser says in the latest episode of The World in Time, “right now, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sustain that delusion.” Or, as he puts it at the beginning of his book Class Matters: The Strange Career of an American Delusion, “Class is the secret of the American experience, its past, present, and likely future. It is a secret known to all, but a source of public embarrassment to acknowledge. It lives on all the surfaces of daily life, yet is driven underground every time its naked self offends cherished illusions about how we deal with each other.”
Lewis H. Lapham talks with Steve Fraser, author of Class Matters: The Strange Career of an American Delusion.

Jun 15 2018

34mins

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Rank #15: Episode 15: Mark Kurlansky

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The history of paper is a story of technology following a need, argues Mark Kurlansky. The Chinese invented paper to keep records cheaply and easily in a bureaucratic society. It wasn’t until centuries later that the Arabs—adept at mathematics, astronomy, and accounting—had reason to adopt paper. Europeans, plagued by illiteracy, long knew of paper (Arab merchants regularly offered it for sale), but it wasn’t until a thousand years after its invention that Europeans, having adopted Arab innovations in math and science, imported paper to replace cumbersome and expensive parchment made of animal hides.

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Mark Kurlansky, author of Paper: Paging Through History.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Oct 12 2017

34mins

Play

Rank #16: Episode 14: Peter Frankopan

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Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads looks at the many ways the world connects itself, going well beyond trade routes to tell a story about the energies that shaped the course of history. In moving silk, spices, furs, gold, silver, slaves, religion, and disease on the Silk Road, the West became linked to people and ideas in the region between the Mediterranean and the Himalayas. It’s the origin, argues Frankopan, of our interconnected world.

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Sep 26 2017

32mins

Play

Rank #17: Episode 46: Rick Atkinson

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with the author of “The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Jun 28 2019

50mins

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Rank #18: Episode 19: Gordon S. Wood

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John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1826. Reportedly Adams’ last words were “Thomas Jefferson survives”—without realizing his former vice president had predeceased him. Despite the fact that the political colleagues faced off in one of the dirtiest presidential campaigns in American history, the pair ended their lives not only at the same time but as friends who had exchanged letters for years. But their previously acrimonious relationship as leading figures of our first political parties, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Gordon S. Wood points out in his new book, had an immense effect on the eventual shape of the United States’ political fault lines and culture.

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Gordon S. Wood, author of Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Dec 08 2017

49mins

Play

Rank #19: Episode 30: Catherine Nixey

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with Catherine Nixey, author of “The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Jun 29 2018

35mins

Play

Rank #20: Episode 45: David Wallace-Wells

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This week on The World in Time, Lewis H. Lapham talks with David Wallace-Wells, author of “The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Jun 14 2019

46mins

Play

Episode 58: Tracy Campbell

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Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Tracy Campbell, author of “The Year of Peril: America in 1942.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Jul 24 2020

44mins

Play

Episode 57: Edward Achorn

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Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Edward Achorn, author of “Every Drop of Blood: The Momentous Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Jun 19 2020

25mins

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Episode 56: Peter Fritzsche

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Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Peter Fritzsche, author of Hitler’s First Hundred Days When Germans Embraced the Third Reich.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Mar 20 2020

31mins

Play

Episode 55: Richard J. King

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Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Richard J. King, author of Ahab’s Rolling Sea: A Natural History of “Moby Dick.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Feb 14 2020

33mins

Play

Episode 54: Gaia Vince

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Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Gaia Vince, author of “Transcendence: How Humans Evolved through Fire, Language, Beauty, and Time.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Jan 31 2020

46mins

Play

Episode 53: Eugene McCarraher

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“The history of capitalism in America has been a tale of predation,” historian Eugene McCarraher writes at the beginning of The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity, “an ambitious but inexorably grotesque and destructive endeavor in the manufacture of beatitude, and that story is arguably winding down to its conclusion. What better time to trace the outlines of that history and inquire into the possibilities that lie dormant in the present?”

In the latest episode of The World in Time, Lewis H. Lapham and McCarraher discuss and unpack the author’s argument that “we should welcome the demise of our misenchanted way of life as an opportunity for repentance and renewal. But redemption can only come if we tell a different story about our country and its unexceptional sins.”

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Eugene McCarraher, author of The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Dec 06 2019

41mins

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Episode 52: Matt Stoller

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Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Matt Stoller, author of “Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Nov 22 2019

42mins

Play

Episode 51: Andrew Delbanco

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Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Andrew Delbanco, author of “The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War.”

Nov 08 2019

46mins

Play

Episode 50: Harlow Giles Unger

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Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Harlow Giles Unger, author of “Thomas Paine and the Clarion Call for American Independence.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Oct 11 2019

50mins

Play

Episode 49: William Dalrymple

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Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company.

Sep 27 2019

51mins

Play

Episode 48: Isabella Tree

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with the author of Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm.

Sep 13 2019

32mins

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Episode 47: Ziya Tong

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with Ziya Tong, author of The Reality Bubble: Blind Spots, Hidden Truths, and the Dangerous Illusions That Shape Our World.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Aug 16 2019

46mins

Play

Episode 46: Rick Atkinson

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with the author of “The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Jun 28 2019

50mins

Play

Episode 45: David Wallace-Wells

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This week on The World in Time, Lewis H. Lapham talks with David Wallace-Wells, author of “The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Jun 14 2019

46mins

Play

Episode 44: Brenda Wineapple

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with the author of “The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

May 31 2019

55mins

Play

Episode 43: Nigel Hamilton

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with Nigel Hamilton, author of War and Peace: FDR's Final Odyssey: D-Day to Yalta, 1943–1945.

May 17 2019

44mins

Play

Episode 42: Greg Grandin

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with Greg Grandin, author of The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America.

May 03 2019

46mins

Play

Episode 41: Andrew S. Curran

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with Andrew S. Curran, author of “Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Apr 19 2019

38mins

Play

Episode 40: Philipp Blom

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with Philipp Blom, author of “Nature’s Mutiny: How the Little Ice Age of the Long Seventeenth Century Transformed the West and Shaped the Present.”

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Apr 05 2019

31mins

Play

Episode 39: Alan Rusbridger

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Lewis H. Lapham talks with Alan Rusbridger, author of Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now.

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Dec 21 2018

43mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

148 Ratings
Average Ratings
139
4
2
2
1

Ignore “New Host Needed”

By dudedaddyj - Mar 22 2020
Read more
Lewis is a national treasure.

Always interesting

By Joel Mielke - Sep 23 2019
Read more
Lewis Latham’s questions get straight to the heart of the authors’ subjects. Worth listening to!