Society And Culture
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
We asked our listeners: "Do you think we've become too busy as a society?" and quite a few people responded — pretty much all saying yes. Tim Kreider is an author and cartoonist whose recent New York Times Opinionator article “The Busy Trap” sparked this debate.
Friday, June 01, 2012
China expert Tom Doctoroff discusses what makes China tick, and how the country’s distinguishing traits define and explain the country. In What Chinese Want: Culture, Communism and China's Modern Consumer, Doctoroff looks at the impulses and conflicts within Chinese civilization.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Longtime columnist and contributing editor for Newsweek Ellis Cose examines the intergenerational shifts in how blacks and whites view and interact with each other. The End of Anger: A New Generation's Take on Race and Rage offers a fresh appraisal of the state of white guilt, black rage, and if a postracial America can ever exist.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Philip Galanes, author of the “Social Q’s” advice column for the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times, confronts today’s most awkward and pressing questions. He steers people through the treacherous terrain of modern etiquette, offering advise on how to deal with a range of situations: what to do if your dates drop you as soon as they meet your very attractive roommate to how to tell your mother-in-law to overshare on Facebook to whether it’s rude to knit at meetings. Social Q's: How to Survive the Quirks, Quandaries and Quagmires of Today is his new guide on how to navigate these and many other situations.
Do you need help with an awkward situation? Leave your question for Philip Galanes below, and he’ll address a few when he’s here on November 10 at noon!
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Journalist Dante Chinni discusses the Patchwork Nation project, using on-the-ground reporting and statistical analysis to move past red state/blue state generalizations and examine American communities in depth. Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth about the "Real" America looks at how America breaks into 12 distinct types of communities, and how they shape how Americans vote, invest, shop, and behave.
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Hollywood and the Pentagon have a long history of cooperation. On today’s Backstory segment David Sirota, a journalist radio host and author of Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now, examines how the Department of Defense leans on major studios to change their scripts in ways that promote militarism.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Mark Seal tells the story of Clark Rockefeller, a stranger-than-fiction tale of a con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller. The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter looks at the man behind the lie, and how, over 30 years, he boldly assumed a series of false identities, moved up the social ladder on both coasts, and married a rising star businesswoman with a Harvard MBA who believed he was a Rockefeller. When his marriage ended and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter, his past of astounding deceptions was exposed.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Politicians and public figures are often ostracized for changing their minds (think: "flip-flop"). However, having a change of opinion part of being human. Diane Ravitch former U.S. assistant secretary of education famously changed her opinion on the efficacy of standardized testing. She was an outspoken supporter of "No Child Left Behind," and has since changed her position and is advocating against this program. She is currently a research professor at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.
Friday, May 20, 2011
You may have noticed billboards and people handing out pamphlets in the subways claiming that the world will on May 21. Well, since that’s tomorrow, for today’s Please Explain we thought we’d investigate the long history of doomsday predictions. We’re joined by Jesus Rodriguez-Velasco, Professor in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University, who teaches a class called “The End of the World.” John R. Hall, professor of sociology at the University of California Davis, and author of Apocalypse: From Antiquity to the Empire of Modernity. And Doug Weaver, Associate Professor of Religion at Baylor University.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Bill Moyers comes by to reminisce, and bring us up to date on his life and career. Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues introduces the ideas that matter today—subjects as diverse as the politics of food, race in the age of Obama, aging in America, the power of poetry, wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan, the conflict over gay marriage, and the fate of the American newspaper.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Winston Churchill was recently voted "The Greatest Briton." Mary Lovell looks at his failures and triumphs and discusses the history of his extraordinary family. The Churchills: in Love and War, recounts Winston Churchill’s successful political and military campaigns, the building of great houses, the domestic tragedies, and his happy marriage, set against the disastrous unions of most of his family.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Novelist and essayist Geoff Dyer talks about writing criticism on a wide array of subjects—music, literature, photography, and travel journalism. Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews is a collection of 25 years of essays, reviews, and misadventures.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Brooke Allen describes her experiences traveling in Syria. The Other Side of the Mirror: An American Travels through Syria is an account of Syria's rich historical and archaeological treasures: the ancient cities of Aleppo and Damascus, the great Crusader castles, the Bronze Age ruins of Ebla and Mari, the Greco-Roman cities of Palmyra and Apamea, and it looks at Syria's people, culture, and history.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, talks about the capture of SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann by Israeli agents in Argentina in May of 1960, and how his subsequent trial in Jerusalem by an Israeli court electrified the world and sparked a public debate on where, how, and by whom Nazi war criminals should be brought to justice. The Eichmann Trial gives an overview of the trial and analyzes the dramatic effect that the survivors’ courtroom testimony had on the world.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Historian and social commentator Simon Schama discusses writing about a diverse range of subjects: from food and family to Winston Churchill, from Martin Scorsese to Rembrandt, from his travels in Brazil and Amsterdam to New Orleans. His collection Scribble, Scribble: Writing on Politics, Ice Cream, Churchill, and My Mother shows him to be a keen observer with a critical eye.
Friday, April 01, 2011
Anger is one of the forces that has sparked protests across the Middle East, from Egypt to Libya to Syria. It can be a motivating force, but it can also be destructive and damaging when it goes unchecked. On this week’s Please Explain, we’re taking a look at the roots and consequences of anger. Dr. Philip Muskin, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. Howard Kassinove, Professor of Psychology and Director, Institute for the Study and Treatment of Anger and Aggression, and author of Anger Management: The Complete Treatment Guidebook for Practitioners and Anger Management for Everyone, explain when anger becomes a problem and how anger management works.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Tina Rosenberg explains the positive force of peer pressure. Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World shows how peer pressure has reduced teen smoking in the United States, made villages in India healthier and more prosperous, helped minority students get top grades in college calculus, and even led to the fall of Slobodan Milosevic.