WNYC Presents “Shell Shock 1919, How the Great War Changed Culture” One-Hour Radio Special

WNYC Presents 
“Shell Shock 1919, How the Great War Changed Culture”


One-Hour Radio Special Hosted and Produced by Sara Fishko
Debuts over Veterans Day Weekend on Sunday, November 10th on WNYC


Sneak Preview on Thursday, November 7th at a Live Event at The Greene Space at WNYC


“You really have a feeling that here is a building that looks fantastically beautiful and it’s got its whole façade simply blown off by this war…”
-- Philipp Blom, Author, Fracture: Life and Culture in the West, 1918-1938


(New York, NY – November 4, 2019) – One hundred years after the official end of the First World War, its impact on art, culture and society can still be felt. 

On Sunday, November 10th at 11am, WNYC will debut “Shell Shock 1919, How the Great War Changed Culture,” an hour-long radio special that ponders the impact of the shock and violence of World War I by looking at the artistic movements, Modernist thinking, and cultural threads that followed it.  

Hosted and produced by Sara Fishko, the creative force behind Fishko Files and The Jazz Loft, “Shell Shock 1919, How the Great War Changed Culture” brings together the expertise and perspectives of living artists and thinkers to reflect on some of the astonishing works and trends that emerged in the years between WWI and WWII.

Guests include: 

  • Pianist and Bandleader Jon Batiste on the birth of jazz in this period
  • Philipp Blom on the impact of Sigmund Freud
  • Historian Emily Bernard on the violence of the “Red Summer of 1919” 
  • Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, on the French efforts to “Return to Order” after the war
  • David Lubin, author of Grand Illusions: American Art and the First World War, on the beauty obsession in the America of the 1920s

Encore broadcasts of “Shell Shock 1919, How the Great War Changed Culture” will air on Monday, November 11 and Saturday, November 16. 

In advance of the broadcast special, Fishko will host a panel discussion on Thursday, November 7 at 7pm at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WNYC. She will be joined by Ann Temkin, David Lubin, and Rich Blint, Assistant Professor, Literature at the New School, whose expertise is in Race and Ethnicity. From the smartly nonsensical Dada movement to the horror films of the 1920s and ‘30s, from the Harlem Renaissance to the Weimar Republic, everything changed after the war.  The evening will explore its impact from many angles. Pianist Uri Caine will perform music from that era, and audiences will listen to sneak preview clips from the radio special.

“So much of what we know and understand, so many of our ‘modern’ attitudes, come from the years after the devastation of World War I, especially the deep connection between art and politics,” said Sara Fishko.  “To connect the dots from that massive, inescapable world event to the art and culture that grew out of it, is fascinating.”

“Shell Shock 1919, How the Great War Changed Culture” is supported, in part, by the Revada Foundation of the Logan Family.


“Shell Shock 1919, How the Great War Changed Culture” Radio Special Airtimes:

  • Sunday, November 10 at 11am on WNYC 93.9 FM and 6pm on WNYC AM 820
  • Monday, November 11 at 2pm on WNYC 93.9 FM
  • Saturday, November 16 at 10pm on WNYC AM 820
  • All broadcasts are also available for live streaming at wnyc.org

“Shell Shock 1919, How the Great War Changed Culture” Live Event Details: 

  • Thursday, November 7 at 7pm
  • Tickets available here



With an urban vibrancy and a global perspective, WNYC is New York’s public radio station, broadcasting and streaming award-winning journalism, groundbreaking audio programming, and essential talk radio to the city and beyond. WNYC is a leading member station of NPR and also broadcasts programs from the BBC World Service, along with a roster of WNYC-produced local programs that champion the stories and spirit of New York City and the surrounding region. From its state-of-the-art studios, WNYC is reshaping audio for a new generation of listeners, producing some of the most-loved nationally-syndicated public radio programs including Radiolab, On the Media, The Takeaway and Snap Judgment. WNYC broadcasts on 93.9 FM and AM 820 to listeners in New York and the tri-state area, and is available to audiences everywhere at WNYC.org, the WNYC app and through major digital radio services, all made possible through the generous support of our members, donors and sponsors.