The Ezra Klein Show podcast

The Ezra Klein Show

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2 star

In 2020 the United States experienced a nearly 30 percent rise in homicides from 2019. That’s the single biggest one-year increase since we started keeping national records in 1960. And violence has continued to rise well into 2021.To deny or downplay the seriousness of this spike is neither morally justified nor politically wise. Violence takes lives, traumatizes children, instills fear, destroys community life and entrenches racial and economic inequality. Public opinion responds in kind: Polling indicates that Americans are increasingly worried about violent crime. And if November’s state and local campaigns were any indication, public safety will be a defining issue in upcoming election cycles.Liberals and progressives need an answer to the question of how to handle rising violence. But that answer doesn’t need to involve a return to the punitive, tough-on-crime approach that has devastated Black and brown communities for decades and led millions of people to take to the streets in protest last summer.Patrick Sharkey is a sociologist at Princeton University and the author of “Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence.” The central claim of his work is this: Police are effective at reducing violence, but they aren’t the only actors capable of doing so. Sharkey has studied community-based models for addressing violence in places as varied as rural Australia and New York City. As a result, he has developed a compelling, evidence-backed vision of how cities and communities can tackle violent crime without relying heavily on police.So this conversation is about what an alternative approach to addressing the current homicide spike could look like and all the messy, difficult questions it raises. It also explores the causes of the homicide spike, why Sharkey thinks policing is ultimately an “unsustainable” solution to crime, how New York City managed to reduce gun violence by 50 percent while reducing arrests and prison populations, whether it’s possible to overcome the punitive politics of rising crime, why America has such abnormally high levels of violent crime in the first place and more. Mentioned:“Community and the Crime Decline: The Causal Effect of Local Nonprofits on Violent Crime” by Patrick Sharkey, Gerard Torrats-Espinosa and Delaram Takyar “Reducing Violence Without Police: A Review of Research Evidence”“Social Fabric: A New Model For Public Safety and Vital Neighborhoods” by Elizabeth Glazer and Patrick Sharkey“Can Precision Policing Reduce Gun Violence? Evidence from “Gang Takedowns in New York City” by Aaron Chalfin, Michael LaForest and Jacob KaplanBook Recommendations:The Stickup Kids by Randol ContrerasThe Truly Disadvantaged by William Julius WilsonSiddhartha by Hermann HesseThis episode is guest hosted by Rogé Karma, the staff editor for “The Ezra Klein Show.” Rogé has been with the show since July 2019, when it was based at Vox. He works closely with Ezra on everything related to the show, from editing to interview prep to guest selection. At Vox, he also wrote stories and conducted interviews on topics ranging from policing and racial justice to democracy reform and the coronavirus.Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected] can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of "The Ezra Klein Show" at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Michelle Harris and Andrea López Cruzado; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld, audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Alison Bruzek.

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The Ezra Klein Show Podcast Reviews

Eve EwingGreat episode, wonderful conversation between you. Feel like I crashed a long-awaited reunion of two great friends..Score: 5/5

So goodSuch a good show. Love the recommendations at the end of each discussion, and love the range of thinkers he has on to have interesting and important discussions with..Score: 5/5

Great conversations.Ezra is an outstanding interlocutor. Massively impressed that he produces works of such quality and diversity twice a week. And refreshing that he has guests with a very different political perspective to his own..Score: 5/5

Finding it’s feetMaybe Klein is still adjusting to a new show, but so far he has just interviewed people without having gone in depth on a book. The advertising by Facebook is also extremely unpleasant. I hope it will improve over time..Score: 3/5

Calming & expansiveI love the tone of this - very intelligent and full of references to books & fascinating sources I want to dig deeper into - but also playful in a nice quiet way and honest in a way I need when polarization is so extreme.Score: 5/5

InsightfulI think that is the best word for the show. Speaking as a Brit the arcanery of US politics tests the limits of my knowledge. But honestly it is so lovely to hear intelligent and humane conversations. Thanks Ezra. Thanks guests..Score: 5/5

History of conservatism ??This show was an apology, and not in the historical sense. It was an attempt at both side and distraction from the people in the party and their undemocratic views..Score: 1/5

Always thought-provokingOne of my absolute favorite podcasts! Ezra’s interviews never fail to make me rethink or think more deeply about something meaningful and profound. He’s one of the best interviewers out there. And his intro monologues are pretty incredible in and of themselves!.Score: 5/5

Noam ChomskyThank you for an absolute gem of a discussion with Noam Chomsky.Score: 5/5

CompellingReally great discussions with fascinating guests. Has expanded my knowledge and interest on various subjects and guided me to writers and books I would never have found otherwise..Score: 5/5

Do listenExcellent wonkish deep dives. Somehow more authoritative….Score: 5/5

Mind expanding and thought provokingI love thoughtful discussions and this podcast is full of that. I love Ezra’s fantastic questions, he so well prepared that it makes listening to the interviews so enjoyable. I like how thoughtfully sensitive topics are handled. I listen to every podcast when it comes out and I am looking forward to more fantastic conversations. P.S. Good luck to Ezra to his upcoming paternity leave, wishing him all the best..Score: 5/5

Bernie SandersExcellent questions & such a pleasure to hear informed discussion-particularly after 4 years of racist, bigoted twaddle..Score: 5/5

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The bestThe podcast I most look forward to listening to each week. Thoughtful conversations and astute observations. I've listened to most episodes at least twice. Old episodes at Vox Conversations. Well worth your time..Score: 5/5

My Favourite PodcastThis is my favorite podcast as it raises new insights and perspectives on challenging topics. I find it fascinating and Ezra Klein is the best podcast interviewer / presenter that I have found. Always informative and thought provoking !.Score: 5/5

Love Ezra!I love Ezra’s interview style and his soothing voice! Also love the variety of guests and topics..Score: 5/5

M’y Windows into the American Society.To the risk of sounding condescendant, Ezra Klein is so Young, but so brillant and deep, I listen twice to the podcast to make sure I did not miss anything. André Emond Orford, Canada.Score: 5/5

Glad Ezra is back with a new showI loved the old Vox show and Ezra is a great interviewer, he asks interesting questions and while he himself is liberal he has a variety of guests on and is fair to those he interviews..Score: 5/5

FollowingHappy to hear that he will continue making podcasts. Good thinker, even a better interviewer. An interviewer who is genuinely interested in his guests..Score: 5/5

Great Podcast!I listen to a lot podcasts while working out, housework, driving, etc. This is one of my favourites! Ezra is a great interviewer and his topics and guests are always interesting..Score: 5/5

An Honest Discussion of Jewish Trauma Re-packaged into OpressionI was very pleasantly shocked when I tuned into the June 22 episode with Sarah Shulman and listened as she succeeded in dragging Ezra into an honest discussion of Israel’s ruthless ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, despite Ezra’s best efforts to stay away from that topic. She skillfully brought it back to Palestinians, again and again, highlighting the truth that you cannot be sympathetic to LGBTQ+ rights, of Black rights or Indigenous rights without also seeing the wrong done to Palestinians. Ezra puzzled over a question: how can Israelis continue to feel weak, even as their might and power grows? Here’s a theory: When a culture cloaks itself in the cape of victimhood for centuries, it becomes so intrinsic to it that to feel like anything but a victim is to die. The oldest Palestinians remember being thrown out of their homes. They are not yet steeped in that poisonous brew, but I can see puddles of it gather at their ankles..Score: 5/5

I am addicted to this podcastI discovered your podcast a couple of weeks ago and I love it. Just listed to the Mark Birman interview which made me think of so many pertinent subjects of our time. I love food and cooking and now I have my perspective expanded. Thank you so much. P.s. I love the recommendations portion..Score: 5/5

My Favourite PodcastEzra Klein has fascinating conversations with knowledgeable guests. He provides real insight and compelling arguments surrounding issues of the political gridlock in the US. And what I really love is that this podcast is not 100% political. The topics discussed range from human behaviour to fantasy fiction and everything in between. Go to VOX conversations for his previous work, you won’t be disappointed in anything Ezra discusses..Score: 5/5

Invaluable!I’m delighted to see that EK’s podcast has migrated to the NYT where it may reach a larger audience. Enlightened, thoughtful, and thought provoking, as always, it’s a must-listen for every intelligent person out there..Score: 5/5

How to think like ZTSuper interesting on a wide range of issues.Score: 5/5

Solid information fantastic interviewing skillsLove this Podcast! An easy listen with a wealth of information. Thank you! I will be a regular listener for sure. Well done ! 👏👏👏.Score: 5/5

Klara watches KleinThe 4 June 2021 episode titled “Is AI the problem? Or are we?” is comprised of an interview with the very insightful AI specialist Brian Christian, author of “The Alignment Problem”, and for me it brought to mind Kasuo Ishiguro’s new novel, “Klara and the Sun”, which fictionally explores the ethics held by, and perhaps owed to, “Artificial Friends”. I felt this was one of Klein’s most stimulating and thoughtful interviews. 🙏🏼.Score: 5/5

My favourite podcastI love this show. I’ve been a fan of Ezra’s for years now and I always learn something new from listening to him and his guests. Can’t wait to keep listening..Score: 5/5

Best Covid Context I’ve heard anywhere yet!Thank you so much Ezra for your recent interview with Dr Gounder. I am someone who believes that society has over-reacted to this novel corona virus, so, I was very skeptical of your guest after hearing her credentials. But I was impressed, and grateful, for her nuanced approach. Together you asked and answered many of the questions I have rarely heard discussed in media - questions of context, and ethics. She also seemed to be prepared with an awful lot of actual research data. Very enlightening! I hope the interview will spark wider discussion. Great work!!.Score: 5/5

AmazingThis is, hands down, my favourite podcast. I highly recommend the episode with George Saunders if you’re looking for a starting point..Score: 5/5

Ezra klein showEzra is a very talented and smart host who clearly puts a lot of time and effort into making these podcasts. It’s almost always well worth my time to listen!.Score: 5/5

The show that finally got me listening to podcastsI came to the podcast craze *very* late and struggled to find a show that interested me. Most felt like lazy, ill-prepared efforts from people who love the sound of their own voice. This show is just the opposite: thoughtful, well-researched and open-minded. Ezra Klein is an excellent interviewer, and he has a gift for finding exactly the guests that you’d want to sit down with yourself if you could..Score: 5/5

What’s going on with that picture?Ezra Klein is a babe. The podcast artwork did him dirty! Change it if possible, please. He is brilliant, too. So looking forward to the show..Score: 5/5

Go to wash-and-dryIf I want to learn, rethink, dig deeper, give my cognitive cobwebs a shake and maybe even laugh at the same time, Ezra’s my wash-and-dry brain laundromat. Thanks so much for the respectful way you do this for me..Score: 5/5

Ezra Klein is brilliant.If this podcast is anything like his former podcast at Vox, it will be flawless. I am looking forward to the new show!.Score: 5/5

Excellent hosts, great interviewing styleThis is one of my all time favourite podcasts (if you count his previous years with Vox). I admire how thoughtful EK’s questions are, and how he’s able to have engaging conversations with his hosts..Score: 5/5

So smartLove how this podcast always teaches me something.Score: 5/5

Great informative, thought-provoking podcastI’ve been listening to Ezra’s podcast for years and it is awesome. He has a variety of fascinating, intelligent, well-spoken guests. He does the research to get the most out of his interviews. I’ve also read many great books from his and his guests’ recommendations!.Score: 5/5

InsightfulLoved the episode with Jeff Tweedy. As a huge fan of Wilco and his solo work, I really enjoyed learning more about his creative process..Score: 5/5

Fabulous conversationsThis podcast makes me feel smarter just by listening to it. The expansiveness and the diversity of the topics covered is superb..Score: 5/5

BrilliantAmazing guests and insightful conversations. The best podcast out there!.Score: 5/5

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Nicole Hammer was amazing!!The latest episode with Jay Rosen was expertly hosted — great questions, great delivery, great pacing. Give me more Nicole!!.Score: 5/5

Thoughtful and StirringEzra is an absurdly talented interviewer. He asks insightful questions and the show consistently brings on some of the best thinkers on timely topics. Some of my favorite episodes are ones I nearly deleted without listening because the topic seemed uninteresting to me. There’s something about the way the host digs for more from the guests that makes every conversation interesting..Score: 5/5

So disappointingWhat a terrible use of this platform to have someone like Ahmari as your guest. Although I have low expectations for Ross Douthat, I expect better from Ezra and his team..Score: 1/5

Guest hostsWhen you have a guest host, can you please put that in the title? There’s no way I’m wasting an hour of my time hearing Ross Douthat speak.Score: 5/5

Long covid episode 💚💚The long covid episode is amazing, probably my favorite, so insightful, and real. I am just getting ready to travel overseas for medical care and I am soo hopeful that I will be able to determine what’s wrong with me after years of drowning in debt, and getting all type of blood tests here in the USA, it seems like the USA health care system is indeed designed to keep people sick..Score: 5/5

Great overall with one letdown episodeI’ve been a fan of Ezra’s podcast from Vox and now under The Times label. I find his interviews thoughtful, informative, and captivating. He seems a bit more unfocused topic-wise after the transition and maybe that was the point. I’m still an avid listener and still love the show. That said, the Sohrab Ahmari episode in Ezra’s absence was awful. He is apparently considered this great conservative intellectual, something so scarce on the right today. He is a masterful speaker, no question about it. He is clearly intelligent and, well, not a Q-Anon or Tucker kind of crazy. He makes a few good points. That said, many of his arguments were also riddled with false equivalences, huge blind spots, and outright rejection of facts. He doesn’t think the illiberal and authoritarian drive on the right is a reason for concern because … Facebook and Twitter temporarily slowed down she sharing of a questionable story by the New York Post for 2 days right before the election? The second half of the episode is filled with this kind of arguments. The episode is not worth Ezra’s brand..Score: 4/5

Loved this Episode w Richard PowersI listen to Ezra’s podcast on a nearly weekly basis. This thought-provoking and hopeful episode with Richard Powers is one I will listen to more than once for the wisdom and solutions it offers. I can’t wait to read Bewildered!.Score: 5/5

Where’s Ezra?Great podcast but why has Ezra all but stopped interviewing. I subscribe to hear his viewpoints and the podcast seems lacking without them..Score: 4/5

Sohrab AhmariTried to give this episode a fair listen - even after Ahmari describes that his opposition to Bernie Sanders' ideology is based on "defund the police" (laughable because Ahmari later states that he believes in a right to health care) - but the false equivalence between the seriousness of January 6th insurrection and the New York Post's Hunter Biden reporting being taken off of social media is the worst aspect of political debate shows. Misrepresent people or ideas you disagree with, dunk on straw men, focus on the most extreme positions instead of points of agreement. This is not why I started listening to Ezra Klein's podcast..Score: 1/5

Hold the waterTerrible podcast.Score: 1/5

Not challengingI’ve heard Ezra and several guest hosts. Always, one hour convo that lacks summary or coherence, and the host never asks a challenging question or examples. Examples: white power and white supremacy, contrast with the rise of BLM or woke left or such. Instead, host and guest focused exclusively on the rise of right wing extremism On media, neither guest nor host listed how we consume media and how it has changed. Print/read for in depth, radio for arguments, TV for visual appeal which becomes more emotive, … then Cable news, opinionators, podcasts, YouTube, Twitter, ….Score: 1/5

Ezra Clone = No GoodListen, I am normally a fan. The quality of shows has varied widely with the guest hosts, but I must step in with the latest one hosted by Roge Karma. Since Ezra gave him all the credit for the show I’m unsure whether Ezra is aping Roge’s style or the other way around, but it is straight up jarring. Like unlistenable how exactly he sounds like Ezra, down to every pause and subtle smirk/laugh. Pro tip - this is not the way to distinguish yourself as a podcast host! You have to find your own style - Ezra has cornered this market, please please develop your own..Score: 1/5

Most recent episodeI love Ezra and his show. This rating is for the recent episode regarding long-COVID. It was a bit in poor taste to this listener (albeit, an MD) to have two non-medically trained people tout their books on what needs to change in medicine despite not interviewing someone with medical training. Yes, the patient experience is essential and under-valued, but these two talk like they know how to change medicine and all they are qualified to speak to is their experience and how it might have been better. What is missing is the doctors perspective, and perhaps some credence to the fact that we’re not all here to help well educated white people with rare conditions. What you don’t understand is that all doctors have lots of demands on their time, lots of patients with mental health disorders that manifest as physical disorders, and yet a desire to help everyone. Physician burnout is on the rise and there aren’t enough of us to go around, but the solution to modern medical care is more training to recognize Lyme disease - I guess everyone has their pet thing. As an aside, I really don’t think the germ theory is central to modern medical care, very few diseases affecting Americans are pathogen-driven at this point (COVID being an exception). I think the interviewers could try shadowing a doctor in a busy clinic some time before writing their books and speaking with such authority (beyond their patient experience which, again, they have absolute authority in). What I like about Ezra is that he challenges me without pissing me off. I recognize that anonymous comments are a cowardly way to discuss this with the interviewers, and this is probably overly harsh, sorry. I hope the interviewers have excorcised some of the demons they generated by having a rare condition and having a few doctors who didn’t know what to do with them. Let’s put it this way, I also feel bad for their doctors - we have a hard job!.Score: 2/5

Recent episodeThis podcast is so much better than its most recent episode, which featured the foremost conservative pseudo-intellectual Sohrab Ahmari. I am always eager to listen to a thoughtful discussion with a conservative, so long as they are engaging in good faith arguments, are receptive to alternative points of view, and don’t say anything too crazy. But this episode was anything but that. Although I disagree with Ross on many things, I usually appreciate hearing his conservative perspective on issues. Even if his arguments lead him in the wrong direction, at least he starts from a good place. Ahmari, however, is an activist, not an intellectual. His arguments in support of essentially increasing government involvement and regulation of Americans’ private lives strike me as the sort of thing that would be immediately dismissed by a true conservative as blatant overreach and an overly moralistic approach to dealing with societal ills. His attitude toward the sexual revolution is petty, puritanical, and inconsiderate of the those whose rights it enabled. The ends of achieving some version of what he might consider a sexually pure society apparently justify whatever quasi-fascistic means he might support to do so. The fact is that he doesn’t like it that women and LGBT people can engage in sexual relations that happen to violate the ethic of his performative Catholicism. He just can’t get over the idea that he finds homosexuality repulsive and sexually-empowered women to be a threat to his pristine, “Leave it to Beaver” America. An America that, ironically, would never allow Sohrab Ahmari to enjoy the rights and privileges he seeks to deny of anyone whose existence he views as being in opposition his Catholic American Utopia. There is simply was no point in indulging this man, whose intellectual merit falls far below that of an institution that would very much like to still be considered as the “paper of record.” Unfortunately, the Times’s appeasement and deference to these voices, for fear that they will be accused of left-wing bias, is far stronger than any commitment to intellectual honesty. I have some bad news, speaking as a left-leaning person in a deep-red Republican state. The people you want to convince to respect you will never be convinced. Especially not by a conversation between two city-dwelling elite conservatives who have nothing to do with the people whose views they claim to represent..Score: 1/5

Douthat episode intellectually dishonest, stop debasing your beautiful showThe recent episode with Douthat and Ahmari was disgusting in its intellectual dishonesty and totally lack of moral imagination. Among the many egregious points they congratulated themselves on, neither of these two privileged men seem to be able to fathom how different people may feel differently about sex than they do. The condescension in Ahmari’s voice when he said “polyamory” and “bdsm” made it clear that he believes anyone not having vanilla, monogamous sex in the missionary position is…a degenerate? Or misguided in someway? I listen to Ezra because he’s willing to be curious about hard topics and goes deep exploring all sides of a complex argument. I felt like I needed to take a shower after these two jokers smugly patted each other on the back as they painted a theocratic, homogenous picture of the America of their twisted dreams. Ezra, please stop this madness. You, your show, and the incredible array of ideas you bring to the world are suffering..Score: 1/5

Excellent Podcast!This podcast is one of my favorites. It always makes me think and pushes my understanding of and ideas about so many different issues. I particularly loved the Nick Offerman episode. Made me feel good about the world and about life but also reminded me to question the way I see the world. Loved it!.Score: 5/5

TiringI’m tired of 90% of episodes being about politics, and, not just that, most episodes are talking points I’ve already heard. I miss Ezra’s old version where the conversations and guests were more variable..Score: 3/5

Long Haul Covid hosted by Ross DouthatI generally award this show regularly hosted by Ezra Klein 5 stars—10 if I could. But the Douthat show is a regrettable lapse of judgement. Unless Douthat is prepared to address his misguided conservative antipathy toward universal healthcare for this country, his perch of privilege obviates any sympathy that might derive from his own long suffering medical situation. His personal ideations are of no interest until he tackles the broken health care system we all battle..Score: 1/5

Latest episodeIt was a bizarre show with the guest making unintelligible arguments for being basically against sex or any discussion of it, against divorce (for some reason), abortion, and Hunter Biden (again, reasons never really explained). I love this show but this pseudo intellectual display was a bummer. And btw, neoliberalism was not the idea nor the policy of liberals- I know, the words can confuse.Score: 2/5

Time well spentThere may well be no better way to spend an hour of your time. It never disappoints..Score: 5/5

Sohrab Ahmari EpisodeI don’t believe the arguments of this guest were worth the broad platform being provided by this podcast. It’s pretty disappointing that this made it to air..Score: 5/5

Ross….I enjoy Ross Douthat on a panel, he’s talented and has a self deprecating charisma that covers over his wacko views. But leave him alone and he reliably puts together a brain melting alternate universe travelogue full of the most frustratingly delusional motivated reasoning and moral relativism the internet can provide. He did the same thing on ‘The Argument’. I listened to get me views challenged, but I can’t engage with views that alternatively are entirely premised on 16th century dogma or the belief that everyone left of Mark Meadows is more hypocritical than a certain conman famous only for lying..Score: 4/5

Ahmari EpisodeTerrible, just terrible..Score: 1/5

M.BasallaOnce again an extremely interesting program. Unfortunately though much to little thought about the eco system we currently live in. And not stepping back to Secure the earth and very environment we all live on. I agree withe you Ezra, can’t we just chill a bit..Score: 5/5

Ezra is great, some guest hosts, not so much.The show is great when Ezra hosts it. When other hosts step in, obviously the quality will vary, but Douhat’s 5 minute diatribe about illiberalism was absurd and disheartening. Poor choice on that one..Score: 3/5

Ross showMazeltov Ezra I am glad you are home with your new baby. I love your show. Listening to Ross and his guest explain why they should be able to impose their religious beliefs on everyone and especially women made me very angry. I hope you bring on a guest who will retort all those false claims.Score: 5/5

SappyThe host is gross. Stop trying to sound like a real human with emotions. It’s obvious to everyone that sentiment is fake and you’re actually a robot..Score: 1/5

Often fantastic, often toothless.I’m a huge fan, and yet can’t shake the feeling that Ezra isn’t living up to his own potential. Especially around debates related to left/right-dividing current affairs he rarely seems inquisitive beyond the absolute minimum of what’s expected from a journalist these days. It wouldn’t hurt to play devil’s advocate a bit more consistently and push beyond simple answers to complex issues..Score: 3/5

Left wing FoxI’m a fairly liberal, upper-class highly educated urban person, but I grew up in both poorer rural white right wing areas and poorer urban diverse areas. 20% of these episodes are very insightful or interesting and impact my worldview. But the other 80% kind of feels like a left wing Fox, but with a little more respect for basic facts. It’s very clearly designed for a certain audience to remind themselves of how smart and caring they are, and find ways to tell themselves that their virtue signaling is saving the world. But it is largely disconnected from the actual needs and lives of the average working class or minority American. Very sanctimonious in tone, very disconnected in substance, often as partisan, virtue-signally, and propaganda-esque as Fox (but for a different audience), but with a few amazing gems of episodes that make it worthwhile to subscribe to..Score: 2/5

Ahmari episode was abysmalI, like many others, have great admiration for Ezra and his work, but the recent episode with Sorab Ahmari was terrible. The host treated this crypto-fascist with kid gloves in the most frustrating way possible. Listening to this man make the most plainly contradictory, morally reprehensible and deranged points only for them to be totally accepted by the host with basically no push back was mind numbingly frustrating. Interviewing somebody as fascist as Ahmari and then pairing him with a conservative who’s way too sympathetic to his points and who isn’t going to actually challenge him on anything seems like a betrayal of the values of this podcast. This episode felt more a like tacit endorsement of this unhinged man‘a prudish ideals than it did a critical examination of his idiotic and hypocritical worldview..Score: 5/5

Ahmari interview a disappointmentRoss Douthat's interview with Sohrab Ahmari had me hooked at first...new perspectives on the "precariousness" of the modern economy...how things work against a decent life with family and institutions. It had me thinking about new possibilities. But by the second half it had collapsed into cranky howling about Hunter Biden and Nancy Pelosi... basically the Sean Hannity word salad. I am ready to listen to a cool-headed discussion of conservative ideas, but I'm still searching for one..Score: 3/5

Post-Roe WorldThis podcast moved me to tears. Thank u for sharing ur family’s story & I wish good health to all of u. The despair I feel about the state of women’s reproductive rights in the US … no longer recognize the country I live in..Score: 5/5

Really?Why would you invite a nutjob like Sohrab Ahmari on the show? Usually I’d give this show 5 stars, but perhaps the show should display better judgment in selecting both guests and guest hosts..Score: 4/5

The case against loving your jobImportant topic. Paradoxically, the discussion was both knowledgeable and insular. Perhaps time for a less self-absorbed perspective in these discussions? Seems the first step to a deeper thought process and analysis..Score: 1/5

Ezra just wants to show how smart he isWhy don’t you just interview your guests versus trying to add lots of content to show your intellectual chops? Let your guests shine and facilitate their conversation, not dominate it. It’s not all about you!!!.Score: 3/5

Get guest speakers who act in good faithIs Ross Douthat there to troll listeners? I listened to him interview the conservative and it was shockingly bad. Let the guy spew all kinds of fact-free nonsense with little pushback and he lost control of the interview a few times. If the guest is shouting above you in order to spew rubbish, ask yourself: what exactly are we doing here? The only thing I learned from it is that most conservatives now are really as deluded and rage-filled as we fear. You embarrassed yourself, Douthat, and the show..Score: 1/5

LoveThis is my favorite podcast. Every episode gives me so much joy and insight. Ezra is a fantastic interviewer. 10/10..Score: 5/5

My favorite podcastMy absolute favorite podcast. Ezra has nuanced and deep conversations with some of today’s most interesting thinkers on a wide array of topics. I am also incredibly impressed with the guest hosts while he is on maternity leave- just listened to Tressie McMillan Cottom interview Kiese Laymon and it was a beautiful conversation on writing, process, and revising as a black creator. Very inspiring and thought-provoking..Score: 5/5

If it’s not Ezra, don’t put it onI’ve been listening to Ezra for a very long time. I don’t think this new podcast is as good as before for a variety of reasons but please stop putting out non Ezra episodes. It’s really annoying. If you’re going to be out just be out. If I wanted to hear someone else, I’d listen to another podcast..Score: 4/5

Ahmari episodeI couldn’t listen to Ahmari talk beyond 13 minutes. Just horrible that it’s almost laughable..Score: 1/5

Ezra is great; Ross, not so muchWould have really liked to hear Ezra in conversation with Sohrab Ahmari. Douthat, sadly but predictably, brings nothing to this particular party..Score: 2/5

DisappointedI appreciate that Ezra Klein/the podcast was willing to permit a conservative perspective on the show. I think it is important to respectfully hear and consider both/all perspectives, even when (and, perhaps, especially when) the perspectives do not align with your own. That is how we learn. I think Ezra Klein does this consistently and very well. However, Ahmari should not have been given the platform he was in this episode. He spewed lies and dangerous perspectives nearly the entire time. At minimum, he should have been matched with a host that would have given a balance to his narrative and challenged him on the misinformation he cited. While Douthat did try to call Ahmari to task a couple of times, their shared conservatism made much of the conversation a sort of “speaking to the choir” experience, rather than a worthwhile discussion. Extremely disappointed by this episode. Also disturbed by Ahmari’s beliefs and opinions..Score: 1/5

Work Won’t Love You BackPoignant and timely, this episode is a must listen to understand the current moment in which our relationship with work may never be the same. Such a treat to finally get to meet Rogé whose personal anecdotes and insights add so much to the conversation.Score: 5/5

Mark BittmanThank you for a great interview. Your show inspires me to step outside my boundaries and continue to learn. Thank you 🙏 Thank you for the interview with Rebecca traister- fabulous!!! Thank you so much for your interview with offerman- the best!!! Thank you for always enlightening my life 🙏.Score: 5/5

Thought provokingThe episode with historian Kathleen Belew should be a mandatory listening for everyone. It really gives the listener the context, insight and tools to understand the critical moment we live in this country..Score: 5/5

Last episode lacked the usual rigorous scrutiny of this podcastThe recent Sorab Ahmari episode totally lacked challenge to this man’s limited, sometimes nonsensical, and often hypocritical views. And he was allowed to talk over and completely skip answering even the weakest questions and rebuttals posed by the host. So frustrating..Score: 1/5

Super Amazing ShowI love The Ezra Klein Show. The episodes are insightful and poignant. The one about the octopuses grabbed my heart. I remember eating an octopus dish once in Spain. Thinking back on the experience, I am appalled by the way the octopus is prepared: thrown alive into a sizzling oil. My skin crawls thinking of that awful animal treatment..Score: 5/5

Sohrab AhmariHis take on economic populism is something I wholeheartedly agree with, the working class has been taken advantage of for far too long and there needs to be a correction. However, his take on how far right the Republican Party is moving is just straight up laughable. He dismisses January 6th and the insurrection as “a few guys who got out of hand and then left”. He completely leaves out the one dead officer, several others committing suicide shortly thereafter and the several hundred who were injured. So what does he do when posed with the question of January 6? He engages in what about isms, which is what the right often does when they have no defense of their own actions. He equates BLM protests, who are protesting police brutality committed against them, to an attempted overthrow of the government. They aren’t even close to the same thing. One is about persecution and the other is about white privilege. And by the way, Sohrab is brown. He’s not white. And so when the far right fascists he supports take over, he will not be welcome in their America. No matter how much he professes his love to Jesus, he will always be a brown invader..Score: 1/5

More Douthat!Thank you for highlighting diverse opinions from top intellectuals. It’s what makes the EKS so much better than most left-leaning podcasts who are afraid to have their views challenged..Score: 5/5

Climate?Ezra, an erudite and interesting thinker and interviewer with so many connections, speaks on every imaginable current topic, even aliens. Yet, while the world leaders are in Glasgow deciding the trajectory of human civilization — without exaggeration — nothing to speak of from Ezra on climate. He is not alone. Who covers climate? A little from The Daily. Some from The Economist and the World Economic Forum. Yet, this is a glaring omission by Ezra, not a special interest he is choosing not to address or leaving to others better informed..Score: 5/5

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Great episodeWonderful episode, Ezra Klein asked insightful questions and Vivek Murthy answered in such a knowledgeable and informed way. Overall an intelligent and sensitive episode which gives reflects hope and positivity in these trying times. Looking forward to the next episode.Score: 5/5

Subscribing was a no brainerI will listen to any conversation with Ezra Klein. Even as an Australian, he can make the minutiae of American politics fascinating, and always asks questions that challenge and motivate me to think and explore further. A gem..Score: 5/5

InformativeFrom Vox to NYT, Ezra is always informed and informative..Score: 5/5

AmazingThis podcast is amazing. It never lasts just the length of the recording for me. I am constantly stopping, rewinding, re-listening to record references to books, articles, ideas, and people mentioned by the helpful, clever, endearing host. Thanks so much, I’m hooked. Amanda (Sydney).Score: 5/5

Obama’s reference to a book on trees?I can’t find it In the show notes and the NYT pay wall blocks access - I’d like to know the book title please?.Score: 3/5

Go Ezra!The first thing I love is that Ezra is speaking slower, I find the speak-as-fast-as-you-can-because-you-are-increadably-intellengent thing really annoying and it gives me a headache. Mostly what is great about this podcast is that Ezra is taking full advantage of his profound ability to find perspectives outside the current flow of though and events. Often he does this by linking ideas from a very wide range of thought in creative and imaginative ways. When he’s given the chance to do this with powerful thinkers featured here, its exhilarating and inspiring. So far the discussions are grounded in addressing the immediate problems we currently face and so far is making a great contribution to thinking about how to solve them. Great stuff, go Ezra! Addendum: I found Agnes Callard to be to be frankly simplistic and fatuous. She doesn't debate or ask questions instead she offers some pretty shallow opinions. I can’t see why Ezra regards her so highly. It diminishes my view of this podcast..Score: 4/5

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RevolutionKikiThe compulsion to be happy at work is always a demand for emotional work from the worker. Work has no feelings. Cap… .Score: 5/5

RogueElle DanFChambliss: Excellent analysis by someone who really knows: patrick_sharkey "Why Is Murder Spiking? And Can Cities Address It With….Score: 5/5

Batyalee.briebriejoy Loved your 11/22 fab interview on The Ezra Klein Show. Learned a lot & am re-inspired. Agree w/ your… .Score: 5/5

Dtripp4801 UChicago: UChicago Asst. Prof kathleen_belew joined author pastpunditry to discuss the history of the white power movement, and how….Score: 5/5

AnneMuntean UChicago: UChicago Asst. Prof kathleen_belew joined author pastpunditry to discuss the history of the white power movement, and how….Score: 5/5

OpenMindImprovEzraklein GWillowWilson Happy Hanukkah to you and yours. The Ezra Klein show is a gift to us throughout the year..Score: 5/5

SantasowThe Ezra Klein Show | Are We Witnessing the Mainstreaming of White Power in America? .Score: 5/5

JuillardEdward UChicago: UChicago Asst. Prof kathleen_belew joined author pastpunditry to discuss the history of the white power movement, and how….Score: 5/5

UChicagoUChicago Asst. Prof kathleen_belew joined author pastpunditry to discuss the history of the white power movement… .Score: 5/5

EducationFixConsider some thoughts on #work, post pandemic. #TheGreatResignation profgalloway and… .Score: 5/5

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The Ezra Klein Show Podcast Episodes

Why Is Murder Spiking? And Can Cities Address It Without Police?

In 2020 the United States experienced a nearly 30 percent rise in homicides from 2019. That’s the single biggest one-year increase since we started keeping national records in 1960. And violence has continued to rise well into 2021.To deny or downplay the seriousness of this spike is neither morally justified nor politically wise. Violence takes lives, traumatizes children, instills fear, destroys community life and entrenches racial and economic inequality. Public opinion responds in kind: Polling indicates that Americans are increasingly worried about violent crime. And if November’s state and local campaigns were any indication, public safety will be a defining issue in upcoming election cycles.Liberals and progressives need an answer to the question of how to handle rising violence. But that answer doesn’t need to involve a return to the punitive, tough-on-crime approach that has devastated Black and brown communities for decades and led millions of people to take to the streets in protest last summer.Patrick Sharkey is a sociologist at Princeton University and the author of “Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence.” The central claim of his work is this: Police are effective at reducing violence, but they aren’t the only actors capable of doing so. Sharkey has studied community-based models for addressing violence in places as varied as rural Australia and New York City. As a result, he has developed a compelling, evidence-backed vision of how cities and communities can tackle violent crime without relying heavily on police.So this conversation is about what an alternative approach to addressing the current homicide spike could look like and all the messy, difficult questions it raises. It also explores the causes of the homicide spike, why Sharkey thinks policing is ultimately an “unsustainable” solution to crime, how New York City managed to reduce gun violence by 50 percent while reducing arrests and prison populations, whether it’s possible to overcome the punitive politics of rising crime, why America has such abnormally high levels of violent crime in the first place and more. Mentioned:“Community and the Crime Decline: The Causal Effect of Local Nonprofits on Violent Crime” by Patrick Sharkey, Gerard Torrats-Espinosa and Delaram Takyar “Reducing Violence Without Police: A Review of Research Evidence”“Social Fabric: A New Model For Public Safety and Vital Neighborhoods” by Elizabeth Glazer and Patrick Sharkey“Can Precision Policing Reduce Gun Violence? Evidence from “Gang Takedowns in New York City” by Aaron Chalfin, Michael LaForest and Jacob KaplanBook Recommendations:The Stickup Kids by Randol ContrerasThe Truly Disadvantaged by William Julius WilsonSiddhartha by Hermann HesseThis episode is guest hosted by Rogé Karma, the staff editor for “The Ezra Klein Show.” Rogé has been with the show since July 2019, when it was based at Vox. He works closely with Ezra on everything related to the show, from editing to interview prep to guest selection. At Vox, he also wrote stories and conducted interviews on topics ranging from policing and racial justice to democracy reform and the coronavirus.Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected] can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of "The Ezra Klein Show" at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Michelle Harris and Andrea López Cruzado; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld, audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Alison Bruzek.

The Case Against Loving Your Job

The compulsion to be happy at work “is always a demand for emotional work from the worker,” writes Sarah Jaffe. “Work, after all, has no feelings. Capitalism cannot love. This new work ethic, in which work is expected to give us something like self-actualization, cannot help but fail.”Jaffe is a Type Media Center reporting fellow, a co-host of the podcast “Belabored” and the author of “Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted and Alone.” Many of us, especially Gen Zers and millennials, have grown up with the idea that work should be more than just a way to make a living; it’s a vocation, a calling, a source of meaning and fulfillment. But for Jaffe, that idea is a scam, a con, a false promise. It prevents us from seeing work for what it really is: a power struggle over our time, our labor and our livelihoods.So this is a conversation about the dissonance between our expectations of what work can offer our lives and the reality of what our jobs and careers are capable of delivering; about whether work can ever really love us back. But there’s a bigger picture here, too. Workers are quitting their jobs in record numbers. Strikes are taking place across the country. In her role as a labor reporter, Jaffe has spent much of the past year interviewing workers across the country — spanning industries from retail to health care to tech — giving her insight into the shift in attitudes behind this uproar in the labor market. So that’s where we begin: Why are so many Americans radically rethinking work?We also discuss the rise of corporate virtue signaling, the threat that American consumerism poses for worker power, how the decline of religion could be contributing to the veneration of careers, why the term “burnout” doesn’t go far enough in describing the problems of modern work and how the logic of capitalism has shaped our notions of human value and self-worth.Mentioned:“Physicians aren’t ‘burning out.’ They’re suffering from moral injury” by Wendy Dean and Simon Talbot “Workism Is Making Americans Miserable” by Derek Thompson"Optimal Experience in Work and Leisure" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Judith LeFevreUndoing The Demos by Wendy BrownDirty Work by Eyal PressBook Recommendations:Lost in Work by Amelia HorganFarewell to the Factory by Ruth MilkmanConfessions of the Fox by Jordy RosenbergThis episode is guest hosted by Rogé Karma, the staff editor for “The Ezra Klein Show.” Rogé has been with the show since July 2019, when it was based at Vox. He works closely with Ezra on everything related to the show, from editing to interview prep to guest selection. At Vox, he also wrote stories and conducted interviews on topics ranging from policing and racial justice to democracy reform and the coronavirus.Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected] can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of "The Ezra Klein Show" at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld, audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin.

Are We Witnessing the Mainstreaming of White Power in America?

Over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency, the far-right fringe became a surprisingly visible and influential force in American politics. Eruptions of extremist violence — including the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 and the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection — have made militant groups like the Proud Boys and conspiracy theories like QAnon into household names. On his popular cable news show, Tucker Carlson recently name-checked the “great replacement” conspiracy theory. And in a recent survey, nearly a third of Republicans agreed with the statement that “true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.”The historian Kathleen Belew has spent her career studying political violence and the once-fringe ideas that now animate even right-of-center politics and news media. She is a co-editor of “A Field Guide to White Supremacy” and the author of “Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America,” which tells the story of how groups — including the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and Aryan Nations — coalesced into a radical white-power movement after the Vietnam War. These groups were united by a core set of beliefs about the threats of demographic change and governmental overreach, perceived hostility toward white Americans and the necessity of extra-political, often violent, action to achieve their aims.This is a conversation about how some of those ideas have seeped into mainstream Republican politics and what that could mean for the future of the party — and the country. It explores the radicalizing effects of Jan. 6, how irony and meme culture import far-right ideas into popular media, how warfare abroad can produce violence at home, why politics has started to feel apocalyptic across the spectrum, whether left-wing violence is as serious a threat as right-wing violence and more.Mentioned:Radical American Partisanship by Lilliana Mason and Nathan P. KalmoeMessengers of the Right by Nicole HemmerThe Hispanic Republican by Geraldo CadavaMothers of Massive Resistance by Elizabeth Gillespie McRaeBook Recommendations:Fortress America by Elaine Tyler MayFuture Home of the Living God by Louise ErdrichTiny You by Jennifer HollandThis episode is guest-hosted by Nicole Hemmer, a historian whose work focuses on right-wing media and American politics. She is an associate research scholar with the Obama Presidency Oral History Project at Columbia University and author of “Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics.” You can follow her on Twitter @PastPunditry. (Learn more about the other guest hosts during Ezra’s parental leave here.)You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of "The Ezra Klein Show" at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected]“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld, audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin.

It's Time for the Media to Choose: Neutrality or Democracy?

“Making it harder to vote, and harder to understand what the party is really about — these are two parts of the same project” for the Republican Party, Jay Rosen writes. “The conflict with honest journalism is structural. To be its dwindling self, the G.O.P. has to also be at war with the press, unless of course the press folds under pressure.”Rosen is a professor of journalism at N.Y.U., author of the blog “PressThink,” and one of America’s sharpest contemporary media critics. And his argument is a simple one: The media’s implicit model of American politics — of two coequal parties with competing governing philosophies — is fundamentally broken. Today, the most important axis of political conflict is not between left and right, but between pro- and anti-democracy forces.The way Rosen sees it, the American mainstream press must make a choice: Will it double down on its commitment to detached, nonpartisan neutrality? Or will it choose instead to boldly and aggressively defend truth and democracy?These days, Rosen’s view seems almost common-sensical. But he’s been critiquing “both sides” journalism — and the model of politics underlying it — for years now, long before such arguments came into vogue. As a result, he’s done some of the most original thinking about what an alternative model of journalism would look like, and wrestled with the inevitable political, social and economic tensions that come with it.So this conversation is about what pro-democracy journalism could look like in practice and the thorny questions that this approach to coverage raises. But it also touches on the drawbacks of the press’s focus on Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema; how journalists should cover Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson; why Rosen believes “moderate” and “centrist” are “two of the most ideology-soaked terms” in political journalism; the consequences of an economy where political news has to compete for attention with Netflix, Xbox and TikTok; and why Substack and podcasting may hold one of the keys to restoring trust in the media.Mentioned:“Americans’ Trust in Media Dips to Second Lowest on Record” by Megan Brenan“The Coming Confrontation Between the American Press and the Republican Party” by Jay Rosen on PressThink“Battleship Newspaper” by Jay Rosen on PressThink“Election Coverage: The Road Not Taken” by Jay Rosen on PressThinkCBS News poll on Build Back BetterBook Recommendations:The Boys on the Bus by Timothy CrouseMaking News by Gaye TuchmanDeciding What’s News by Herbert GansThis episode is guest-hosted by Nicole Hemmer, a historian whose work focuses on the right-wing media and American politics. She is an associate research scholar with the Obama Presidency Oral History Project at Columbia and author of “Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics.” You can follow her on Twitter @PastPunditry. (There’s more about the other guest hosts during Ezra’s parental leave here.)You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of "The Ezra Klein Show" at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected]“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld, audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin.

Two Acclaimed Writers on the Art of Revising Your Life

Many of the most contentious debates right now center on whether we, as individuals — and as a country — are willing to revise. To revise our understanding of history. To revise the kind of language we use. To revise the nature of our personal, and national, identities. To revise how we act in our everyday relationships.Revision like this is often necessary, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Making fundamental changes to the way we think, speak and act requires the kind of self-scrutiny, discomfort and sacrifice that many of us would rather avoid.There are few public figures who model revision — of one’s work and one’s life — as openly and honestly as Kiese Laymon. Laymon has written the prizewinning memoir “Heavy” as well as essays for The New York Times, ESPN and the Oxford American. His nonfiction tackles sports, popular culture, the politics of literary publishing and, above all, his home state of Mississippi. On every page, you’ll find wit, but also heart-stopping vulnerability and a reckoning with tough love: for himself, his kin, his community and the complicated places where he has spent his life.Laymon has mastered the art of revising his own words. But for him, revision is also a moral, even a spiritual, act — a crucial part of becoming a loving and responsible human being. He is the first to admit that he is a work in progress, that each period of his life is a draft that can be improved. In a way, Laymon thinks of his entire life as an act of revision. And he nurtures a radical hope that America can change for the better, too.This conversation focuses on how Laymon thinks about revision. But it also considers how he navigates a publishing world that often puts pressure on minority-group artists to suppress their full identities to appeal to white audiences, the way his writing pushes the boundaries of conventional genre and canon, why Americans have such a hard time reassessing ourselves and what we can gain from trying to change.Mentioned:"A Southern Gothic" by Adia VictoriaBook Recommendations:South to America by Imani PerryShoutin' in the Fire by Danté StewartAbolition for the People by Colin KaepernickThis episode is guest-hosted by Tressie McMillan Cottom, a sociologist and writer whose work focuses on higher education policy, popular culture, race, beauty and more. She writes a weekly New York Times newsletter and is the author of “Thick and Other Essays,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and “Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy.” You can follow her on Twitter @TressieMcPhD. (Learn more about the other guest hosts during Ezra’s parental leave here.)You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of "The Ezra Klein Show" at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected]“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Julie Beer and Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld, audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin.

Best Of: How Octopuses Upend What We Know About Ourselves

I’ve been on an octopus kick for a little while now. In that, I don’t seem to be alone. Octopuses (it’s incorrect to say “octopi,” to my despair) are having a moment: There are award-winning books, documentaries and even science fiction about them. I suspect it’s the same hunger that leaves many of us yearning to know aliens: How do radically different minds work? What is it like to be a truly different being living in a similar world? The flying objects above remain unidentified. But the incomprehensible objects below do not. We are starting to be smart enough to ask the question: How smart are octopuses? And what are their lives like?Sy Montgomery is a naturalist and the author of dozens of books on animals. In 2015 she published the dazzling book “The Soul of an Octopus,” which became a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction. It’s an investigation not only into the lives and minds of octopuses but also into the relationships they can and do have with human beings.This was one of those conversations that are hard to describe, but it was a joy to have. Montgomery writes and speaks with an appropriate sense of wonder about the world around us and the other animals that inhabit it. This is a conversation about octopuses, of course, but it’s also about us: our minds, our relationship with the natural world, what we see and what we’ve learned to stop seeing. It will leave you looking at the water — and maybe at yourself — differently.Book recommendations: The Outermost House by Henry BestonThe Old Way by Elizabeth Marshall ThomasKing Solomon's Ring by Konrad LorenzYou can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of "The Ezra Klein Show" at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected]“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Mary Marge Locker and Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld, audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin.

The Life-Altering Differences Between White and Black Debt

Public policy in the United States often overlooks wealth. We tend to design, debate and measure our economic policies with regard to income alone, which blinds us to the ways prosperity and precarity tangibly function in people’s lives. And that blind spot can ultimately prevent us from addressing social inequality at its roots.Take the debate over student loan cancellation. Cancellation is often framed as an economically regressive policy — an elite giveaway of sorts — with the majority of benefits going to individuals toward the top end of the income distribution. But that distributive picture flips when you look at wealth instead of income. One recent paper found that if the federal government decided to forgive up to $50,000 in student loan debt, the average person in the 20th to 40th percentiles for household assets would receive more than four times as much debt cancellation as the average person in the top 10 percent.Louise Seamster is a sociologist at the University of Iowa whose work focuses on the intersection of wealth, race, education and inequality. She’s one of the sharpest minds studying the way systems of wealth creation and depletion shape everything from the benefits of higher education to the barriers to racial equality to the nature of democratic citizenship. And her cutting-edge research on the student debt crisis and the racial wealth gap served as a major source of inspiration for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s $50,000 loan forgiveness plan.This conversation begins with a discussion of the student debt crisis in particular: what it’s like to live with crushing levels of debt, the debate over whether cancellation is fair to those who have paid off their loans, why you can’t truly understand the student debt crisis without understanding the wealth dynamics that undergird it, how loan forgiveness would alter the racial wealth gap, what an entirely different model for funding higher education would look like and more.But this discussion is also more broadly about what it means to think in terms of wealth — and its inverse, debt — and what a radically different picture that reveals about the American economy and society.Mentioned:“Racialized Debts: Racial Exclusion From Credit Tools and Information Networks” by Raphaël Charron-Chénier and Louise Seamster“An Administrative Path to Student Debt Cancellation” by Luke Herrine“Black Debt, White Debt” by Louise Seamster“Student Debt Cancellation IS Progressive: Correcting Empirical and Conceptual Errors” by Charlie Eaton, Adam Goldstein, Laura Hamilton and Frederick Wherry“Student Debt Forgiveness Options: Implications for Policy and Racial Equity” by Raphaël Charron-Chenier, Louise Seamster, Tom Shapiro and Laura Sullivan“Predatory Inclusion and Education Debt: Rethinking the Racial Wealth Gap” by Louise Seamster and Raphaël Charron-Chénier“Racial Disparities in Student Debt and the Reproduction of the Fragile Black Middle Class” by Jason N. Houle and Fenaba R. AddoBook Recommendations:The Color of Money by Mehrsa BaradaranA Pound of Flesh by Alexes HarrisThe Sum of Us by Heather McGheeThis episode is guest-hosted by Tressie McMillan Cottom, a sociologist and writer whose work focuses on higher education policy, popular culture, race, beauty and more. She writes a weekly New York Times newsletter and is the author of “Thick and Other Essays,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and “Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy.” You can follow her on Twitter @TressieMcPhD. (Learn more about the other guest hosts during Ezra’s parental leave here.)You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of "The Ezra Klein Show" at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected]“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Mary Marge Locker and Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld, audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin.

Why This Conservative Wants a More Radical Republican Party

“Progressives understand that culture war means discrediting their opponents and weakening or destroying their institutions. Conservatives should approach the culture war with a similar realism,” Sohrab Ahmari writes. “To recognize that enmity is real is its own kind of moral duty.”Five years ago, Ahmari was a self-described “secular mainstream conservative” working for The Wall Street Journal. Now a contributing editor at The American Conservative and the recently departed op-ed editor at The New York Post, Ahmari has become a fierce critic of the Republican Party as it existed before the rise of Donald Trump, a champion of right-wing populist leaders like Hungary’s Viktor Orban and a devout Catholic who believes social conservatives need to take a far more aggressive posture in the culture war.Ahmari may be singular, but he is not alone. His political evolution is a microcosm for the ways the American right as a whole has been radicalized in recent decades. Many conservatives today are animated by a profound sense of anxiety about the direction of the country: A feeling that something about the American project has gone deeply, terribly wrong. A visceral fear of a “woke” progressivism with seemingly unmatched cultural power and influence. And a willingness to endorse ideas and leaders once considered fringe.But Ahmari isn’t just a critic. He’s also one of the leading conservative intellectuals trying to chart a post-Trump future for the Republican Party. One that fuses Bernie Sanders-style economic populism with an aggressive social conservatism that isn’t afraid to use the power of the state to enforce its vision of the common good.So this conversation begins with Ahmari’s religious and political journey but also explores his heterodox political vision for the Republican Party, the surprising similarities in how radical feminists and religious traditionalists understand the legacy of the sexual revolution, his view that cultural and economic deregulation has decimated the American working class, the possibility of a left-right alliance around banning pornography, and why he views the cultural left and its corporate allies as a greater threat to American democracy than anything Donald Trump can offer.Mentioned:From Fire, by Water by Sohrab AhmariThe Unbroken Thread by Sohrab AhmariBook Recommendations:The Adventures of Tintin by HergéThe Charterhouse of Parma by StendhalThe Gnostic Religion by Hans JonasThis episode is guest-hosted by Ross Douthat, a New York Times columnist whose work focuses on politics, conservatism, religion and, more recently, chronic illness. He is the author of “The Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery” and “The Decadent Society.” You can read his work here and follow him on Twitter @DouthatNYT. (Learn more about the other guest hosts during Ezra’s parental leave here.)You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of "The Ezra Klein Show" at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected]“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Mary Marge Locker and Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld, audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin.

Long Covid and the Blind Spots of American Medicine

One of the most frightening, least understood aspects of the coronavirus pandemic is what’s come to be known as “long Covid.” Stories abound of young, healthy adults who experienced mild or asymptomatic coronavirus infections and recovered fairly quickly, only to experience an onset of debilitating symptoms weeks or even months later. One major study of almost two million Covid patients in the United States found that nearly a quarter sought medical treatment for new conditions one month or more after their initial infection.Scientists still don’t fully understand what’s causing long Covid or how to best treat it. But in that sense, long Covid isn’t all that novel. Today, millions of Americans suffer from chronic illnesses set off by the body’s response to infections. Many of these conditions routinely go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed. And even those who find their conditions identified correctly often struggle to find treatments that work for them.“To have a poorly understood disease,” writes Meghan O’Rourke, “is to be brought up against every flaw in the U.S. health care system; to collide with the structural problems of a late-capitalist society that values productivity more than health; and to confront the philosophical problem of conveying an experience that lacks an accepted framework.”O’Rourke, an award-winning journalist and poet and the editor of The Yale Review, has spent more than a decade of her life struggling with chronic illness, a journey she documents in her forthcoming book, “The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness.” In it, O’Rourke uses her experience to illuminate the facets of American society that often remain invisible to the rest of us: the blind spots in our scientific and medical paradigms, the shortcomings of our individualistic ethos, the way economic inequalities show up in our bodies, our culture’s tendency to pathologize suffering.So this conversation begins with long Covid and the debates surrounding it, which O’Rourke has done excellent reporting and writing on. But it is also about what it’s like to experience America’s hidden chronic illness epidemic firsthand, and what that epidemic reveals about the society that too often pretends it doesn’t exist.Mentioned:“Long-Haulers Are Fighting for Their Future” by Ed Yong“Lyme Disease Is Baffling, Even to Experts” by Meghan O’Rourke“Unlocking the Mysteries of Long Covid” by Meghan O’RourkeThe Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery by Ross DouthatBook Recommendations:The Journal of a Disappointed Man by W.N.P. BarbellionOn Immunity by Eula BissThe Cancer Journals by Audre LordeThis episode is guest-hosted by Ross Douthat, a New York Times columnist whose work focuses on politics, conservatism, religion and, more recently, chronic illness. He is also the author of numerous books, including “The Deep Places” and “The Decadent Society.” You can read his work here and follow him on Twitter @DouthatNYT (Learn more about the other guest hosts during Ezra’s parental leave here.)You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of "The Ezra Klein Show" at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected]“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Mary Marge Locker and Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld, audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin.

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