How the Rich Really Live and Why We All Should Care

April 29th, 2021
Screen%2BShot%2B2021-04-29%2Bat%2B10.06.21%2BPM.pngAlmost as wide as the wealth gap in America is the gap in the way we view wealth. We look at it as a monolithic thing. Yet part of the country demonizes it, part covets it and part of the country manages.

The same is true for kinds of wealth. Those that inherit it are different from those that win it, or those that start from nothing and create it for them and for others. All wealth is not the same

The bitch goddess success, William James said, demands strange sacrifices from those that worship her. Some people are willing to make those sacrifice and other are not

All of this speaks to the varieties of wealth in America. But are there similarities, are there patterns and behaviors of the wealthy, both good and bad, that we can understand? And if so, what does that knowledge do for us?

That’s what Michael Mechanic, a senior editor at Mother Jones, looks at in Jackpot: How the Super-Rich Really Live—and How Their Wealth Harms Us All

 
My conversation with Michael Mechanic:

A Time When Oscar Winning Movies Really Mattered: The Making of Midnight Cowboy

April 25th, 2021
Screen%2BShot%2B2021-04-25%2Bat%2B1.05.31%2BPM.pngGreat art, particularly movies at their best, reflect the times in which they were created. In 1968 political assination paralyzed the nation. In 1969 we were mired in Vietnam, New York City, was in decay and getting worse, The Stonewall Riots were energizing gay people, generational warfare, race riots were the norm, Woodstock reshaped and energized music and Richard Nixon was a year into his presidency.

Is it any wonder that the most important film of that year would be a dark, bleak film that pushed the limits of sexuality on screen and would go on to be the first X-rated film to win an Academy Award. The film was Midnight Cowboy.

My guest Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel defines the terms and history of the film in Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic

My conversation with Glenn Frankel: 

The Founding Mothers of NPR

April 21st, 2021
Screen%2BShot%2B2021-04-21%2Bat%2B12.53.18%2BPM.pngOrigin stories are usually part myth, part apocryphal and they often come to define the culture and sometimes the products of the companies themselves. What they always do is to reflect the dreams and perceptions of the founder.

The business of news and media is no different. The founders of our great news brands all have a story to tell.

Such a powerful origin story is the founding visions of National Public Radio and the extraordinary women who gave it life. These women didn't invent NPR, anymore than many tech found invented their technology. What they did do is give it shape, life and a reason for being, and in so doing assured its growth and survival. These women, Susan Stamberg, Linda Worthhieer, Nina Totenberg and Cokie Roberts are the subject of new joint biography by Lisa Napoli entitled Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR 

 
 My conversation with Lisa Napoli:

Toxic Masculinity In An Oil Boomtown

April 19th, 2021
Screen%2BShot%2B2021-04-19%2Bat%2B2.05.28%2BPM.pngThe nature of work in America has changed. Good paying jobs in the manufacturing sector have been diluted, the service sector has exploded, and the gig economy is not just about Uber and Postmates. Today, even hard, brutal work in the oil fields has been gigafide.

For the men caught up in this change the price is high, but so are the lessons and yes, even the rewards.

Michael Patrick F. Smith is a folk singer and playwright who made the dramatic move from Williamsburg, Brooklyn to the booming oil fields of Williston North Dakota in order to participate in what he thought would be a modern day gold rush.

What he learned tells us a lot about work, men, and America today. He writes about it in The Good Hand: A Memoir of Work, Brotherhood, and Transformation in an American Boomtown  

 
 My conversation with Michael Patrick F. Smith:

Elon Musk IS Leading Us Into The Future

April 7th, 2021
603d695087d37600190d0875.jpegSomeone once said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. In many ways that’s been the story of scientific progress. It seems there is always someone that leads us into the future. Someone whose vision and entrepreneurship and obsessive drive combine to turn the next big idea into the next big thing.

This has been true from Franklin, to Edison, from Henry Ford to Thomas Watson, from Bill Gates to Steve Jobs, and today Elon Musk is the inheritor of that mantel.

Electric cars, commercial space travel, high speed transportation and even new forms of education are all part of the vision that Musk sees, and his vision may be on its way to become our reality.

As we all know Musk disruption of the automotive industry is full blown. What we may not fully understand is the way in which Musk, though Space X, is disrupting the aerospace industry, how we talk about space exploration, space travel and simply what a rocket is and does.

Aerospace journalist Eric Berger captures Musk's look into the future in Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX 

 
My conversation with Eric Berger:

Imagining the Next World War : 2034

April 2nd, 2021
2103_WTL_Stavridis.jpegThere was once a time when we didn’t think a global pandemic was possible in the 21st century. The events of 9/11 took us by surprise as they did at Pearl Harbor and Midway.

Yet all of these tragic events were imaginable and some aspects of them even made their way into fiction, long before they happened.

They remind us that events like a pandemic or a world war are mostly at core, a failure of human imagination. Imagination which should be our first line of defense in preparing for our eventual future.

That is what distinguished Admiral James Stavridis and former Marine and award winning author Elliot Ackerman have given us in 2034: A Novel of the Next World War 

My conversation with Admiral James Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman: 

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