What Influences Us: Gandhi, Stress, and Empathy

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Anna Sale fills in for Leonard. On today’s show: Ramachandra Guha talks about the first volume of his biography of Mohandas Gandhi, about Gandhi’s years in London and colonial South Africa. Brigid Schulte looks at why so many of us are overwhelmed by work and life. Robert Sitton discusses the life and work of Iris Barry, who founded the film department at MoMA and was its first curator. And our latest Please Explain is all about empathy.


Anna Sale

Gandhi Before India

Mohandas Gandhi is one of the most influential—and controversial—men in modern history. Ramachandra Guha discusses the first volume of his biography of Gandhi, Gandhi Before India, which gives vivid portraits of the man and the world he lived in—from India to Victorian England to South Africa. It explores the ways Gandhi inspired the devotion of thousands of followers in South Africa as he mobilized a cross-class and inter-religious coalition, pledged to non-violence in their battle against a brutally racist regime.

Comments [8]

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Brigid Schulte, a staff writer for The Washington Post, wonders: Are our brains, our partners, our culture, and our bosses making it impossible for us to experience anything but “contaminated time”? In Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time she looks at the stresses that have eroded our leisure time and tries to find ways to put the pieces of our over-scheduled lives back together. Schulte speaks to neuroscientists, sociologists, and hundreds of working parents to tease out the factors contributing to our collective sense of being overwhelmed, seeking insights, answers, and inspiration.

Comments [2]

How Iris Barry Saw Film as Art

Iris Barry was one of the first intellectuals to treat film as an art form, appreciating its far-reaching, transformative power. She founded the Museum of Modern Arts’ film department and became its first curator. In Lady in the Dark: Iris Barry and the Art of Film, Robert Sitton writes about her life and her lasting legacy.

Comments [1]

I Feel Your Pain: All About Empathy

Psychologist Paul Bloom and Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams, explain empathy's role in human psychology, behavior, and relationships—and they look at some of the downsides of empathy.

Comments [18]

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