The Gay Capital of the Nineteenth Century

Monday, January 26, 2015

Recently in the magazine, Alex Ross wrote about the little known history of gay rights in Germany in the late nineteen and early twentieth century. He joins Amelia Lester on this week’s Out Loud podcast to discuss how many of the ideas that we consider foundational to the modern gay-rights movement were first articulated in Germany more than a hundred years ago, and why this period is often overlooked. “German culture over the last couple centuries is so often seen through the lens of Hitler, of the Nazi period,” he says. “We tend to omit aspects of the story that don’t fit that narrative. And this astonishingly progressive movement around gay rights is an example of something that just doesn’t fit our stereotype.”​


The Controversial Satire of Michel Houellebecq

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

In this week’s magazine, Adam Gopnik writes about the controversial French satirist Michel Houellebecq, whose work has been derided as racist and obscene but whose books sell well in France and have been translated into many languages. Houellebecq has been in the spotlight recently not only because of the release of his latest novel, “Submission,” which imagines French society under Sharia law, but because the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo featured a caricature of Houellebecq on its cover at the time the publication was attacked by radical Islamist gunmen earlier this month. On this week’s episode of Out Loud, Gopnik joins Michael Agger, the culture editor of, to discuss Houellebecq’s career and the common misunderstandings of his work. “It’s completely off the mark to imagine Houellebecq as a liberal critic of Islam,” Gopnik argues. “He is a reactionary critic of liberalism.”


Play and Parenting at KidZania

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rather than escape into a fantasy world, at KidZania children take jobs, purchase items branded by corporate sponsors, pay taxes, and even run a legal system. Impressive, or spooky?

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Teju Cole’s Favorite Things

Monday, January 05, 2015

The writer and photographer Teju Cole recently wrote in the magazine about his favorite movie, Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Red.” On this week's Out Loud podcast, he joins Michael Agger, the culture editor of, to talk about the film and the music, poetry, and art that he revisits over and over again. “For me, the great ideal is a work that stands up to repetition,” he says. “You can have two works that have similar impact on first encounter, but only one of them can contain sustained scrutiny.” Cole also discusses how listening to music changes a person’s experience of a city, his recent trip to the Deep South to explore civil-rights history, and why he finds Switzerland to be an “endlessly fascinating” country.


Movie Stars on Broadway

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

As Maggie Gyllenhaal appears in “The Real Thing" and Bradley Cooper stars in “The Elephant Man," New Yorker theater critic Hilton Als tells us what this means for the dramatic arts.


The Puzzling Promise of Graphene

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

If you’ve heard about graphene, you’ve probably heard that it’s a miracle substance. The only atom-thick material known to man, it seems to also be the lightest, strongest, and most conductive material on earth. Its potential applications seem almost limitless. The only problem, as John Colapinto explained in a recent magazine piece, is that nobody has figured out what to do with it yet. On this week’s Out Loud, Colapinto joins Nicholas Thompson, the editor of, and Vauhini Vara, a business and technology blogger for the site, to discuss the challenges that hyped new technologies face in the marketplace, and whether graphene is likely to live up to its promise.


For Love of the Ice

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hockey fans make up a small but vocal contingent of The New Yorker’s staff. On this week’s Out Loud podcast, three of the magazine’s most ardent rink rats—Ben McGrath, who recently wrote about the hockey player P. K. Subban; Nick Paumgarten, who plays regularly in a local league; and Adam Gopnik, who is Canadian—join the editor John Bennet to discuss the sport. They talk about how they first encountered hockey and learned to love it, the relationship between hockey and writing, and why, as Bennet puts it, having a child who plays hockey “seems to exacerbates the psychosis that is parenthood.”


Famous on YouTube

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

YouTube and Vine superstars gather millions of fans—and sometimes millions of dollars—with their viral online videos. And most of us have never heard of them.


Growing Up in the Rodeo

Monday, December 01, 2014

Bull riding is the most dangerous sport in the world, and it’s become even riskier as breeders have begun selecting for extreme aggression. What happens when 10-year-olds ride them?

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Elevating Excrement

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fecal transplants, wherein the stools from healthy people are transferred to the bowels of sick people to restore good microbes, are gaining popularity as a DIY procedure.

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Music in the Age of Spotify

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Taylor Swift just pulled her entire catalog from Spotify, but as the tech industry and the music business converge, will artists and streaming services make peace?


David Remnick's Reporting on Israel

Monday, November 10, 2014

In this week’s issue of The New Yorker, David Remnick writes about Israel’s new conservative President, Reuven Rivlin, whose support for both a one-state solution and Palestinian civil rights has made him the country’s “most unlikely moralist.” On Out Loud, Remnick joins Sasha Weiss, the literary editor of, to discuss Rivlin’s role in Israeli politics, the evolution of the one-state/two-state debate, and his own experience reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the magazine. “No matter who you are and what you are and what you write, you will be reacted to with enormous emotional force, fury, and often abuse,” Remnick says. “The pitch of the battle is something to behold.”

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A Sex-Abuse Scandal in a Hasidic Community

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Hasidic Jews of Borough Park, Brooklyn, rarely interact with outsiders—they rely upon their own education and justice systems and see their extreme insularity as a means of self-preservation. But Rachel Aviv, a staff writer, spent months among Borough Park’s Hasidim for her story in this week’s magazine, about a man named Sam Kellner who was ostracized after he accused a prominent member of his community of molesting his son. On this week’s Out Loud podcast, Aviv talks to Sasha Weiss, the literary editor of, about the practical and moral complexities of reporting the story. She describes the lengths she went to in order to interview Hasidic men—buying special clothes, finding meeting places that wouldn’t violate the restriction against men and women meeting behind closed doors—and what it was like to discuss sexual abuse with men who rarely interact with non-Hasidic women. Aviv acknowledges the dangers of a community policing itself, but adds, “I hope that the story also shows that there’s a lot of courage within the community.”

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Two American Obsessions

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Food and Bob Dylan. Are both overrated? A reformed foodie weighs in on the former. Then, the New Yorker's Editor-in-Chief makes a case for Dylan's greatness.


Outsmarting Ebola

Monday, October 20, 2014

Richard Preston, author of the 1994 best-seller “The Hot Zone,” about the origins of Ebola, clears up some misconceptions about the current outbreak.


Out Loud: Oliver Sacks

Monday, October 13, 2014

Oliver Sacks looks back at his experiences with drugs in the early nineteen-sixties. Here Sacks talks with John Bennet and Sasha Weiss about some of his drug-induced hallucinations, how his interest in neurology connects to his experimentation with drugs, and how one drug experience led to his writing career.


Out Loud: Online Outrage

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

On this week’s podcast, Joshua Rothman and Rebecca Mead discuss the culture of public judgment and moral shaming on social media.


Ann Goldstein and D.T. Max on Elena Ferrante

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ann Goldstein and D.T. Max on Elena Ferrante


Jeffrey Toobin and Tim Wu on The Right To Be Forgotten

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jeffrey Toobin and Tim Wu on The Right To Be Forgotten


Lizzie Widdicombe and Judith Thurman on Full-figured Fashion

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lizzie Widdicombe and Judith Thurman on the designers, models, and activists who are bringing plus-size fashion into the mainstream.