Skip to main content
Spotify for Podcasters
Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk

Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk

By Daniel Lelchuk

Cellist Daniel Lelchuk engages the most extraordinary thinkers, writers, musicians, and entertainers in spirited conversations and connects music to the wider world.
Available on
Apple Podcasts Logo
Google Podcasts Logo
Overcast Logo
Pocket Casts Logo
RadioPublic Logo
Spotify Logo
Currently playing episode

Episode #1: Walter Isaacson

Talking Beats with Daniel LelchukMay 19, 2020

00:00
32:19
Ep. 144: Sonic Marvels, Evolution's Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction with David George Haskell

Ep. 144: Sonic Marvels, Evolution's Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction with David George Haskell

“Going out and listening is one of the most enjoyable things we do—and fruitful. By paying attention, we feed our imagination, we feed our creativity, we renew ourselves. We bust out of the algorithms and the fake news into the sensory reality of the living earth.”

Biologist and writer David George Haksell joins the podcast, with his new book Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution's Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction. For most of the history of the planet, the only sounds that were made came from the planet itself-- oceans, storms, rivers, rain. No animals made any sound-- until they did. What happened? What is the history of sound itself on planet earth? Fast forward to now...Haskell calls us humans "both great creators and great destroyers." What do we gain when we listen and take in the natural world? Are we losing this ability and habit? Haskell and Daniel discuss this and much more in an in-depth conversation. 

Please consider supporting Talking Beats via a one-time or recurring donation. You will contribute to us presenting the highest quality interviews with the world's most compelling people.

David Haskell is a writer and biologist. His latest book, Sounds Wild and Broken (Viking), is an Editor’s Choice at the New York Times and explores the story of sound on Earth. Starting with the origins of animal song and traversing the whole arc of Earth history, he illuminates and celebrates the emergence, diversification, and loss of the sounds of our world, including human music and language.

Haskell holds degrees from the University of Oxford (BA) and from Cornell University (PhD). He is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of the South, where he served as Chair of Biology. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, a 2014-2015 Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, and an Elective Member of the American Ornithologists’ Union. His scientific research on animal ecology, evolution, and conservation has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the World Wildlife Fund, among others. He has served on the boards and advisory committees of local and national land conservation groups. Haskell’s classes have received national attention for the innovative ways they combine action in the community with contemplative practice. In 2009, the Carnegie and CASE Foundations named him Professor of the Year for Tennessee, an award given to college professors who have achieved national distinction and whose work shows “extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching.” The Oxford American featured him in 2011 as one of the southern U.S.’s most creative teachers. His teaching has been profiled in USA TodayThe Tennesseean, and other newspapers.

Dec 06, 202250:44
Ep. 143: Antony, Cleopatra, Octavian and the War that Made the Roman Empire with Barry Strauss

Ep. 143: Antony, Cleopatra, Octavian and the War that Made the Roman Empire with Barry Strauss

"In our society, you've done your job as a citizen if you've voted, done jury duty, and paid your taxes. But Athenian democracy was direct democracy, not representative democracy-- so every citizen had to hold a public office. A radically different societal make up."

Historian of the ancient world Barry Strauss is here, along with his new book, The War that Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium. In the wide-ranging conversation, Barry and Daniel cover many aspects of this pivotal yet little-known battle that was to define the future of the Roman Empire and consequently Western civilization. Besides the intricacies of the relationships between these larger than life figures and their ambitions, Barry connects leadership and its essential qualities to situations of today's world, so the characters of the Ancient World shine in a new relevance. Besides discussing this particular battle, Barry and Daniel also speak about the importance of teaching history in a university setting, and how crucial it is for students of the 21st century to face the tough lesson of the past-- whether pleasant or not. 

Please consider supporting Talking Beats via a one-time or recurring donation. You will contribute to us presenting the highest quality interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Barry Strauss is a classicist and a military and naval historian and consultant. He is Professor of History and Classics, Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies at Cornell University, the visiting Corliss Dean Page Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Series Editor of Princeton’s Turning Points in Ancient History, and an author of bestselling books. Professor Strauss has spent years researching and studying the leaders of the ancient world and has written and spoken widely of their mistakes and successes. He is also a widely acclaimed military and naval historian whose analyses of the strategies and campaigns of some of history’s great commanders reveal the successful rules of engagement that were true on the battlefield and resonate in today’s boardrooms and executive suites.

He is a former Chair of Cornell's Department of History as well as a former Director of Cornell’s Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, where he studied modern engagements from Bosnia to Iraq and from Afghanistan to Europe. He also served as Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School. He is an expert on military strategy. He is currently director as well as a founder of Cornell’s Program on Freedom and Free Societies, which investigates challenges to constitutional liberty at home and abroad. He holds fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Korea Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the American Academy in Rome, among others and is the recipient of Cornell’s Clark (now Russell) Award for Excellence in Teaching. In recognition of his scholarship, he received the Lucio Colletti Journalism Prize for literature and he was named an Honorary Citizen of Salamis, Greece. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale and a B.A. from Cornell. Professor Strauss's books have been translated into nineteen languages. He is also the author of over 60 scholarly articles and reviews.

Professor Strauss is a well-known television personality with appearances on The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, CNN, PBS, and Netflix. He is the host of the popular podcast, "ANTIQUITAS: Leaders and Legends of the Ancient World," which is accessible on most platforms.

Nov 15, 202248:26
Ep. 142: Saving Big Forests to Save the Planet

Ep. 142: Saving Big Forests to Save the Planet

"How do we make the case for and understand the necessity for intact forest ecosystems in a way that will resonate with people, and in a language that's accessible to the non scientist and the non specialist? People should be concerned about what's happening-- but also marvel at what still exists. We should marvel at what exists as the energy drink of action."

Conservationist John W. Reid joins the podcast with new book in hand, co-written with the late Thomas E. Lovejoy. The book, called Ever Green: Saving Big Forests to Save the Planet, explores the role forests play in our climate. What are some of the issues conservationists face today? How do major naturalistic figures like John Muir figure into today's movements? John also takes the listener on a tour of some of the most hidden indigenous peoples in the Amazon, and their intense relationship to the trees. There are five so-called "mega forests" in the world, and all are at risk. What can humans stand to gain if we put nationalistic enterprises aside and work to cooperate on the preservation of our treasured woodlands? How can an urban dweller in 21st century America become more connected to nature?

Please consider supporting Talking Beats via a one-time or recurring donation. You will contribute to us presenting the highest quality interviews with the world's most compelling people.

John W. Reid is a conservationist and economist whose writing has appeared in the New York Times, Atlantic, and Scientific American. In 1998 he founded Conservation Strategy Fund, a group that delivers innovative training and analytical collaborations for activists, governments, and development agencies. The organization has worked with the governments of Brazil, Indonesia, Peru, Bolivia, Uganda, Mexico, California, and others; with the World Bank, USAID, the Inter-American Development Bank, and UN agencies; and with hundreds of environmental and Indigenous organizations in over 90 countries. This practical applied brand of “conservation economics” won CSF the 2012 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Through it all, John got the greatest satisfaction teaching and mentoring emerging environmental leaders from around the world. It was also clear that economics, while strategically handy, was failing to appropriately value very big forests. It really could only see the value of their parts, often after disassembly. A new logic—or perhaps old wisdom—needed to guide the policies that would save our big places and planet in the process. Puzzling over these questions would eventually draw him into partnership with Tom Lovejoy, and to his current post with Nia Tero, an organization that supports Indigenous guardianship of vital ecosystems. John serves as Senior Economist and leads partnerships with several Indigenous peoples in the Brazil, Peru, and the US.

Thomas E. Lovejoy was a pioneering biologist who led and championed forest conservation efforts for over 50 years. Tom’s first encounter with a large forest was when he arrived at Belem, Brazil, the port city of the Amazon, in June of 1965. The dreams he had of a PhD in East Africa were immediately and permanently eclipsed by the experience of being in the world’s largest tropical forest, which was the size of the contiguous 48 states. It was beyond a biologist’s wildest dreams, vast, brimming with biological diversity (a term yet to be coined) myriad indigenous peoples, and encompassing parts of eight countries. Part of Tom’s role in conservation has been generating new ideas. He was the first to use the term “biological diversity,” in 1980. That year he produced the first projection of global extinctions for the Global 2000 Report to President Carter.

Oct 25, 202249:07
Ep. 141: The Lifelong Passion for Music with Jorja Fleezanis

Ep. 141: The Lifelong Passion for Music with Jorja Fleezanis

"I listen to classical music very specifically because I need to be able to feel at the end of what I'm listening to like I'm able confront the darkest sides of what I'm experiencing as well. I feel comforted by Beethoven. I feel comforted by his ability to say something to me that cannot be said any other way. A sense of hopelessness that is not without giving us some worth."

This is a rebroadcast of Ep. 80, aired originally in February 2021. The conversation was recorded in October 2020. Jorja Fleezanis died on September 9th, 2022. To read Daniel Lelchuk's written appreciation of Jorja Fleezanis, click here

Violinist Jorja Fleezanis is here to talk music and the staying power of music, the spell it casts, over children and adults alike. From the first time she heard a violin record as a young child to right now, after a career of more than five decades-- what does music say to her today that it didn't then? How do the names she thinks of as the 'Mt. Rushmore' -- Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann -- sustain her and grow with her? And why is she currently listening to every song The Beatles ever recorded? Jorja and Daniel explore what it is to be in an orchestra, and how the will of the ensemble must rise above political and personal fractures.

Please consider supporting Talking Beats via a one-time or recurring donation. You will contribute to us presenting the highest quality interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Jorja Fleezanis is adjunct professor emerita of music in orchestral studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Fleezanis was concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra from 1989 to 2009—the longest-tenured concertmaster in the orchestra's history and only the second woman in the U.S. to hold the title of concertmaster in a major orchestra when appointed. Prior to Minnesota, she was associate concertmaster with the San Francisco Symphony for eight years and a member of the Chicago Symphony.

A devoted teacher, Fleezanis became an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota's School of Music in 1990. She has also enjoyed teaching roles with other organizations: as teacher and artist at the Round Top International Festival Institute in Texas (1990-2007); artist-in-residence at the University of California, Davis; guest artist and teacher at the San Francisco Conservatory, where she served on the faculty from 1981 to 1989; artist and mentor at the Music@Menlo Festival (2003-2008); teacher and coach at the New World Symphony (1988-present); and faculty of the Music Academy of the West since 2016. She has been a visiting teacher at the Boston Conservatory, The Juilliard School, The Shepherd School of Music, and Interlochen Academy and Summer Camp. She is also a frequent guest mentor at Britten Pears Center at Snape Maltings, England, in programs for both young musicians and professional orchestral violinists.

Fleezanis has had a number of works commissioned for her, including by the Minnesota Orchestra with the John Adams Violin Concerto and Ikon of Eros by John Tavener, the latter recorded on Reference Records. Her recording of the complete violin sonatas of Beethoven with the French fortepianist Cyril Huvé was released in 2003 on the Cyprés label. Other recordings include Aaron Jay Kernis' Brilliant Sky, Infinite Sky on CRI, commissioned for Fleezanis by the Schubert Club, and, with Garrick Ohlsson, Stefan Wolpe's Violin Sonata for Koch International.

Fleezanis studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Oct 11, 202251:03
Ep. 140: The Making of Great Leaders with David Gergen

Ep. 140: The Making of Great Leaders with David Gergen

“The idea of national service is to get people in urban America to live in rural America, and vice versa. I think people who get exposed to that want change. People want to be proud of what their generation does. They want to be able to look back thirty or forty years later and know they made a difference while they were in power.”

David Gergen joins the podcast. Advisor to four presidents in both parties, he has had a front row seat to fifty years of American politics and international affairs. He is now turning his attention to the idea of leadership with his new book Hearts Touched with Fire: How Great Leaders are Made. As he points out, when our country was founded and had a population of three million people, we produced six world-class leaders: Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, and Madison. Now in 2022, we have 330 million people and we do not seem to be able to produce one great, charismatic leader. What is happening? What is happening with the nature of civic life in this country? Is it time for baby boomers to step aside and pass the torch to a younger generation?

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality interviews with the world's most compelling people.

David Gergen is a professor of public service and founding director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. In addition, he serves as a senior political analyst for CNN and works actively with a rising generation of new leaders. In the past, he has served as a White House adviser to four U.S. presidents of both parties: Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. He wrote about those experiences in his New York Times best-seller, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton (Simon & Schuster, 2001).

In the 1980s, he began a career in journalism. Starting with the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour in 1984, he has been a regular commentator on public affairs for some 30 years. Twice he has been a member of election coverage teams that won Peabody awards, and he has contributed to two Emmy award-winning political analysis teams. In the late 1980s, he was chief editor of U.S. News & World Report, working with publisher Mort Zuckerman to achieve record gains in circulation and advertising.

Over the years, he has been active on many non-profit boards, serving in the past on the boards of both Yale and Duke Universities. Among his current boards are Teach for America, The Mission Continues, The Trilateral Commission, and Elon University’s School of Law. 

David's work as director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School has enabled him to work closely with a rising generation of younger leaders, especially social entrepreneurs, military veterans and Young Global Leaders chosen by the World Economic Forum. Through the generosity of outside donors, the Center helps to provide scholarships to over 100 students a year, preparing them to serve as leaders for the common good. The Center also promotes scholarship at the frontiers of leadership studies.

A native of North Carolina, David is a member of the D.C. Bar, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the U.S. executive committee for the Trilateral Commission. He is an honors graduate of Yale and the Harvard Law School. He has been awarded 27 honorary degrees.

Jun 07, 202247:47
Ep. 139: The Disappearance of Insects with Oliver Milman

Ep. 139: The Disappearance of Insects with Oliver Milman

"We are going to be facing food shortages because there's less pollination and more people. We need to be able to grow food, and insects are the only ones that can do what they do."

Oliver Milman, environment reporter for Guardian US is here, sounding the alarm for what might surprise many: the demise of insect populations world wide. In many cases insect populations have plummeted by 50%, 75%, and even higher. Milman, who is here with his book The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World, dives into the torrent of recent evidence that suggests this kaleidoscopic group of creatures is suffering the greatest existential crisis in its remarkable 400-million-year history. What is causing the collapse of the insect world?  Why does this alarming decline pose such a threat to us? And what can be done to stem the loss of the miniature empires that hold aloft life as we know it?

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Oliver Milman is a British journalist and the environment correspondent at the Guardian. He lives in New York City.

May 10, 202246:48
Ep. 138: The Enduring Power of the First Amendment with Stuart Brotman

Ep. 138: The Enduring Power of the First Amendment with Stuart Brotman

"How do we create a better free speech culture? How do students learn things like the first amendment in school and in their peer groups? What if at sports events before we sing the National Anthem we recite the first amendment?"

First amendment specialist Stuart Brotman joins the podcast, new book in hand. The book, called The First Amendment Lives On: Conversations Commemorating Hugh M. Hefner's Legacy of Enduring Free Speech and Free Press Values, is a series of interviews between Brotman and some of the leading free speech figures of the past half century. From Geoffrey R. Stone to Floyd Abrams to Nadine Strossen and others, Brotman paints a picture of some of the free speech pioneers of recent history. What is the state of free speech today? What is the difference between free speech in a legal sense and a culture of free speech? What are universities doing -- or not doing -- to protect that which we hold sacred? And what does the future hold, as we look to exercise the freedoms of the first amendment in new and robust ways?

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Stuart N. Brotman is the inaugural Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor of Media Management and Law and Beaman Professor of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Brotman is an honorary adjunct professor at the Jindal Global Law School in India and an affiliated researcher at the Media Management Transformation Centre of the Jönköping International Business School in Sweden. He serves as an appointed arbitrator and mediator at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and as a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar, where he was a Visiting Scholar in its Academy on Media and Global Change. He also is an Eisenhower Fellow.

He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Federal Communications Law Journal, Journal of Information Policy and the Journal of Media Law and Ethics, as a director of the Telecommunications Policy Research Institute, and on the Future of Privacy Forum Advisory Board. He is the first Distinguished Fellow at The Media Institute, where he also serves on its First Amendment Council.

At Harvard Law School, he was the first person ever appointed to teach telecommunications law and policy and its first Visiting Professor of Law and Research Fellow in Entertainment and Media Law. He also served as a faculty member at Harvard Law School's Institute for Global Law and Policy and the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program. He served as the first concurrent fellow in digital media at Harvard and MIT, at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and the Program on Comparative Media Studies, respectively.

He held a professorial-level faculty appointment in international telecommunications law and policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He also chaired both the International Communications Committee and the International Legal Education Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law and Practice.

May 03, 202256:40
Ep. 137: Cutting Edge Ethics with Susan Liautaud

Ep. 137: Cutting Edge Ethics with Susan Liautaud

"Ethics is everywhere. It's in the arts, it's in entrepreneurship, it's in family, and business. No matter what walk of life, no matter your passion, ethics is the great connector both for individuals and for the larger society."

Ethics expert Susan Liautaud joins the podcast. She has written a book called The Little Book of Big Ethical Questions, in which she poses situations and questions to the reader that we all come into contact with in our daily lives. “Would you apply for a job you know your friend is applying for?” Or “Should voting be mandatory?” Or "what about police using facial recognition technology?" "What would I have done?" "Is there one correct answer?" And ultimately: "How can ethics help us navigate these situations to find the best outcome for ourselves and others?" In a wide ranging conversation that goes in many directions, Susan and Daniel talk broad themes-- ethics and social media, for example-- and also connect ethics, structure, harmony and dissonance to Ukraine, COVID preparedness, the world of music, and more. 

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Dr. Susan Liautaud is Founder and Managing Director of Susan Liautaud & Associates Limited (SLAL), a consultancy in ethics matters internationally. She brings broad global experience with ethics and governance to business, non-profit, governmental and academic organizations and leaders. Susan is the Author of The Power of Ethics and of The Little Book of Big Ethical Questions. She also teaches cutting edge ethics courses at Stanford University and was a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford Center of Philanthropy and Civil Society from 2012 to 2015. She also founded a non-profit, independent, cross-sector laboratory and collaborative platform for innovative ethics called The Ethics Incubator. She serves as Chair of Council of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and as Vice Chair of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Susan has been appointed to the UK Cabinet Office’s Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA), to the Stanford HAI (Stanford Institute for Human- Centered Artificial Intelligence) and to SAP’s AI Ethics Advisory Panel. She also serves on a number of other boards and advisory boards, including: the French Ambassador’s Foreign Trade Advisory Council in the UK; member of the board of directors of the Pasteur Institute, and the American Hospital of Paris Board of Governors. She formerly served as Chair and member of the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières US Advisory Board, to the Advisory Council to the UK Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation board, and as member of Care International Supervisory Board.

Susan holds a PhD in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science; a Juris Doctor from Columbia University Law School; a M.A. in Chinese Studies from University of London School of Oriental and African Studies; a M.A. and two B.A.s from Stanford University. She speaks fluent French and Spanish, as well as advanced intermediate Chinese and intermediate Italian.

Apr 26, 202238:09
Ep. 136: A Defense of the Arts with Jed Perl
Apr 19, 202252:48
Ep. 135: Journey of the Mind and How Thinking Emerged from Chaos

Ep. 135: Journey of the Mind and How Thinking Emerged from Chaos

“We have a privileged position. It has always been grand in the thinking that we humans are unique and special. We must look back to see how connected we are. That we are part of a continuum.”

Two neuroscientists -- Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam -- have teamed up to provide a history of the brain and thinking beings on this earth. What was the planet like three billion years ago? How did oxygen and breathing develop simultaneously and make the planet hospitable? What is a sense of "self" that humans have that others lack? Where did language come from? Using all these fundamental questions as jumping off points, Daniel and his guests take a dive into the origins of thinking beings. The conversation also traces the development of the brain, from the simplest, tiny forms, through worms, fish, birds, dolphins, monkeys, humans, and...? As we look back and place our species on a continuum, where do we, where can we go from here?

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Ogi Ogas, PhD, was a Department of Homeland Security Fellow at the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University and a research fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He coauthored Dark Horse, The End of Average, and Shrinks, which was longlisted for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

Sai Gaddam PhD, was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Adaptive System at Boston University. He coauthored A Billion Wicked Thoughts. He lives in Mumbai.

Apr 12, 202253:40
Ep. 134: Parks of the 21st Century and Architectural History with Victoria Newhouse

Ep. 134: Parks of the 21st Century and Architectural History with Victoria Newhouse

"A park is a green space that has many purposes. But beyond that, recent parks pay a lot of attention to environmental issues that are now extremely important in view of climate change."

Renowned architectural historian Victoria Newhouse joins the podcast. After her previous books that deal with some of the most important figures and buildings in 20th century architecture, she (and photographer Alex Pisha) is out with a book on the great urban parks of the 21st century. From Shanghai to Detroit, Brooklyn to Frankfurt, and everywhere in between, great new urban parks are being designed. Often reclaiming territory where factories, industrial waterfront, and wasteland had been, these new parks are redefining what “green space” can be in the modern world. Also in the conversation is a discussion about the future of affordable housing, and how 3D printing may be the technological solution to this great and growing societal problem.

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Victoria Newhouse is an American architectural historian. She founded the Architectural History Foundation, a nonprofit scholarly book publisher, and is a frequent author on architecture-related subjects. She has written for major architecture journals and newspapers.

Newhouse established the Architectural History Foundation, a nonprofit scholarly book publisher, in 1977. The foundation aimed to support books that would otherwise be unpublished, and to raise the quality of works about architecture. Victoria Newhouse's works have a variety of subjects over time periods and regions, though she analyzes architecture in each of her works by referencing buildings' structural, social, and political aspects. Newhouse was a judge for the Pritzker Prize, "architecture's highest honor", for three years from 2006 to 2008. She writes and lectures about museums, writing articles for The New York TimesArchitectural RecordArchitectural Digest, and ArtNews. Her books include Wallace K. Harrison, Architect, Art and the Power of Placement, and Chaos and Culture: Renzo Piano Building Workshop and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.

Apr 05, 202237:00
Ep. 133: Lincoln and the Financing of the Civil War

Ep. 133: Lincoln and the Financing of the Civil War

“Lincoln was wise and humble. He didn’t lecture or harangue—he was pragmatic, opportunistic. The quality we lack today was his humility.”

Roger Lowenstein joins the podcast. The admired financial writer is out with the book Ways and Means: Lincoln and His Cabinet and the Financing of the Civil War. It tells the largely untold story of how the North and the South handled the finances of the Civil War—and the drastically different routes they took. Upon his election to the presidency, Abraham Lincoln inherited a country in crisis. Even before the Confederacy’s secession, the United States Treasury had run out of money. The government had no authority to raise taxes, no federal bank, no currency. But amid unprecedented troubles Lincoln saw opportunity—the chance to legislate in the centralizing spirit of the “more perfect union” that had first drawn him to politics. With Lincoln at the helm, the United States would now govern “for” its people: it would enact laws, establish a currency, raise armies, underwrite transportation and higher education, assist farmers, and impose taxes for them.

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Roger Lowenstein reported for The Wall Street Journal for more than a decade. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, the Washington Post, Fortune, Atlantic, the New York Review of Books, and other publications. His books include the NYT bestsellers Buffett, When Genius Failed, and The End of Wall Street, and the critically acclaimed Origins of the Crash, While America Aged, and America’s Bank.

He has three children and lives with his wife, Judy Slovin, in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Tenants Harbor, Maine.

Mar 29, 202245:40
Ep. 132: Voting Rights with Michael Waldman

Ep. 132: Voting Rights with Michael Waldman

“Up until recently, voting has gotten easier. But there is a wave of new laws in states across the country aiming to make it harder to vote and also new laws to change who counts the votes.”

Michael Waldman, writer and expert on voting rights, joins the podcast. What is the state of voting rights as the country careens towards the 2022 midterm elections? What legislatures have been hard at work to make the act of voting more difficult? And ominously, why, in some places, is who counts the votes being changed? The conversation also looks at early American voting systems and the deep philosophical differences between John Adams and Ben Franklin and the wings they represented.

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Michael Waldman is president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. A nonpartisan law and policy institute that focuses on improving systems of democracy and justice, the Brennan Center is a leading national voice on voting rights, money in politics, criminal justice reform, and constitutional law. Waldman, a constitutional lawyer and writer who is an expert on the presidency and American democracy, has led the Center since 2005. Waldman was director of speechwriting for President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1999, serving as assistant to the president. He was responsible for writing or editing nearly two thousand speeches, including four State of the Union and two inaugural addresses. He was special assistant to the president for policy coordination from 1993 to 1995.

He is the author of The Fight to Vote (Simon & Schuster, 2016), a history of the struggle to win voting rights for all citizens. The Washington Post wrote, “Waldman’s important and engaging account demonstrates that over the long term, the power of the democratic ideal prevails — as long as the people so demand.” The Wall Street Journal called it “an engaging, concise history of American voting practices,” and the Miami Herald described it as “an important history in an election year.” The Fight to Vote was a Washington Post notable nonfiction book for 2016 and a History Book Club main selection.

Waldman is also the author of The Second Amendment: A Biography (Simon & Schuster, 2014). Publishers Weekly called it “the best narrative of its subject.” In the New York Times, Joe Nocera called it “rigorous, scholarly, but accessible.” The Los Angeles Times wrote, “[Waldman’s] calm tone and habit of taking the long view offers a refreshing tonic in this most loaded of debates.” In a Cardozo Law Review symposium devoted to the book, a historian wrote, “The Second Amendment is, without doubt, among the best efforts at melding constitutional history and constitutional law on any topic — at least since the modern revival of originalism two generations ago.”

His previous books are My Fellow Americans: The Most Important Speeches of America’s Presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama (2003, 2010), A Return to Common Sense (2007), POTUS Speaks (2000), and Who Robbed America? A Citizen’s Guide to the S&L Scandal (1990).

Mar 22, 202242:39
Ep. 131: Food and Community with Chef Ming Tsai

Ep. 131: Food and Community with Chef Ming Tsai

“Food can help with world peace. Food can bring two groups of people together who cannot see eye to eye on anything. If you just get them to the dinner table—the armor comes off.”

Celebrity Chef Ming Tsai joins the podcast, talking charity, giving back, the meaning of food and community, the power of music, and the role of food across cultures. What has this beloved chef been doing for the past two years? What has he learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic about food and the role he can play? From food trucks to gourmet restaurants, food gives us a special sense of community and belonging. Chef Tsai and Daniel, in this wide-reaching discussion, touch on some of the most important aspects of this most essential aspect of happy and healthy living, for both mind and body.

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Ming's passion for food was forged in his early years working in his family's restaurant, and although he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Yale, he never strayed far from the kitchen. After spending a summer studying at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, he went on to train under such greats as renowned pastry chef Pierre Hermé and sushi master Kobayashi, and receive a master's degree in hotel administration and hospitality marketing from Cornell. Bringing his dream to reality in 1998, Ming and his wife Polly opened the doors to the highly acclaimed Blue Ginger, a bistro-style restaurant dedicated to East-West cuisine in the Boston suburb of Wellesley, Massachusetts. Ming began cooking for television audiences on the Food Network, where he was the 1998 Emmy-winning host of East Meets West, Cooking with Ming Tsai and Ming's Quest. In addition to television, Ming is also the author of three cookbooks, including Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai (now in its 8th edition and selected by Food and Wine magazine as one of 1999's 25 best cookbooks), Simply Ming, and Ming's Master Recipes. Thanks to a partnership with Target stores, home cooks have the chance to experiment and create their own versions of Ming's East-West fare, with Ming's Blue Ginger line of quality cookware and delicious Asian-inspired ingredients and snack foods. Ming was also honored by Esquire Magazine as "Chef of the Year 1998," and The James Beard Foundation crowned him as the "2002 Best Chef in the Northeast."

Mar 15, 202251:56
Ep. 130: Abraham Lincoln and the Fight for Peace with John Avlon

Ep. 130: Abraham Lincoln and the Fight for Peace with John Avlon

"Lincoln's prescription was unconditional surrender followed by a magnanimous peace. He combined strength with mercy, and understood if you don't win the peace, you don't really win the war."

John Avlon joins the podcast, new book in hand, called Lincoln and the Fight for Peace. What is required for real leadership? Lincoln possessed a unique blend of strength, mercy, and magnanimity. What happened between the end of the Civil War and Lincoln's death? What did Lincoln do and plan that was so crucial to find a lasting peace? Who was the man and what was his character? As we look towards history as our guide in a polarized and divided modern day America, what can Abraham Lincoln teach us today? While we all may wish for a modern day Lincoln, we know there isn't. So can we use his spirit and his wisdom to guide us to better times?

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

John Avlon is senior political analyst and fill-in anchor at CNN, appearing on New Day every morning. Previously, he was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast between 2013 and 2018, during which time the site's traffic more than doubled to over one million readers a day while winning 17 journalism awards. He is the author of the books Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics, Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America, and Washington's Farewell: The Founding Father's Warning to Future Generations as well as co-editor of the acclaimed Deadline Artists anthologies of America's greatest newspaper columns. 

In his twenties, Avlon served as chief speechwriter to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. After the attacks of September 11th, 2001, he and his team were responsible for writing the eulogies for all firefighters and police officers murdered in the destruction of the World Trade Center. Avlon's essay on the attacks, "The Resilient City" concluded the anthology Empire City: New York through the Centuries and won acclaim as "the single best essay written in the wake of 9/11." He's appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Real Time with Bill Maher and The Daily Show. He won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for best online columnist 2012. 

He lives with his wife Margaret Hoover, host of Firing Line on PBS and a CNN contributor, and their two children in New York.

Feb 22, 202248:29
Ep. 129: Strongmen, News Cycles, and the Nature of Truth with Stephen Sackur

Ep. 129: Strongmen, News Cycles, and the Nature of Truth with Stephen Sackur

"The truth is a very complicated concept, perhaps now more than ever. I would hesitate to say there is such a thing as absolute truth in most issues that arise."

News personality Stephen Sackur joins the podcast. The host of HARDtalk from the BBC, he is no stranger to geopolitics, news cycles, and the rapidly changing way information is disseminated. What is a reporter’s job? How does one arrive at “the truth?” Does truth even exist, especially when one person’s fact is another’s fiction? What does the rise of authoritarian strongmen around the world mean for Western democracies, for the institutions that 30 years ago seemed the de facto best solution? This and much more is covered in thoughtful and intense discussion.

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Stephen Sackur, the presenter of HARDtalk, BBC World News' flagship current affairs interview programme, has been a journalist with BBC News since 1986. Broadcasting across BBC World News, BBC News Channel and BBC World Service, Stephen has interviewed many high-profile guests.

In November 2010, Stephen was awarded the "International TV Personality of the Year Award" by the Association of International Broadcasters. Before taking over HARDtalk, Stephen was based in Brussels for three years as the BBC's Europe Correspondent. He travelled across Europe to cover major stories around the continent, including Europe's worst terror attack of recent times in Madrid in 2004, and the expansion of the European Union from 15 countries to 25.

Prior to this, Stephen was the BBC's Washington Correspondent from July 1997. With a keen interest in politics, he has interviewed President George W. Bush, covered the 2000 US Presidential Elections, the Clinton scandal and impeachment trial, and the ways and means of lawmaking, including campaign finance reform. He also made a documentary for the BBC's current affairs programme Panorama on the topic of guns and weapon manufacturer lawsuits in the US.

Stephen has also been the BBC Middle East Correspondent in both Cairo (from 1992 to 1995) and Jerusalem (from 1995 to 1997), covering the peace process, the assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the emergence of the Palestinian Authority under the late Yasser Arafat. To prepare a documentary on Islamic fundamentalism, he lived with Hezbollah guerrillas in south Lebanon for two weeks.

In 1990, Stephen was appointed as a BBC Foreign Correspondent. He was part of the BBC's team of correspondents covering the Gulf War, spending eight weeks with the British Army when the conflict began. He was the first correspondent to break the story of the mass killing on the Basra road out of Kuwait City, marking the end of the war. He travelled back to Iraq just after the downfall of Saddam Hussein and filed the first television reports on Iraq's mass graves which contained the bodies of thousands of victims of Saddam’s regime.

In Eastern Europe, as witness to Communism's last days, Stephen offered a unique perspective on the rocky road to democracy and stability for this area. Serving as correspondent for BBC national radio, he reported on Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution and Germany's reunification. He has contributed countless articles to The Observer, The London Review of Books, New Statesman, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

Born in Lincolnshire, England, Stephen was educated at both Cambridge and Harvard University.

Feb 15, 202247:15
Ep. 128: Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence with Amy Zegart

Ep. 128: Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence with Amy Zegart

"There's a growing realization that great power competition is back. That Russia and China are much more serious competitors than we thought they were."

Expert on American intelligence Amy Zegart joins the show, along with her new book Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence. A look at the past, present, and future of the American intelligence world, the book pushes readers to think more deeply about the institutions charged with keeping our country safe. As Amy and Daniel discuss, America cannot function properly if the citizens do not trust the major institutions of the country-- and that includes our massive intelligence apparatus. With forays into spy novels, music, figures such as Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, and the deep polarizing tenor of today's conversation, the conversation goes in surprising and sometimes shocking direction. 

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Amy Zegart is the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy) at Stanford University. She is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Chair of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence and International Security Steering Committee, and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. She specializes in U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies and national security, grand strategy, and global political risk management.

Zegart has been featured by the National Journal as one of the ten most influential experts in intelligence reform. Most recently, she served as a commissioner on the 2020 CSIS Technology and Intelligence Task Force (co-chaired by Avril Haines and Stephanie O’Sullivan) and has advised the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. She served on the Clinton administration’s National Security Council staff and as a foreign policy adviser to the Bush 2000 presidential campaign. She has also testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and advised senior officials on intelligence, homeland security, and cybersecurity matters.

The author of five books, Zegart’s award-winning research includes the leading academic study of intelligence failures before 9/11 — Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11 (Princeton 2007). She co-edited with Herbert LinBytes, Bombs, and Spies: The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations (Brookings 2019). She and Condoleezza Rice co-authored Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity (Twelve 2018) based on their popular Stanford MBA course. Zegart’s forthcoming book is Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence(Princeton 2022). Her research has also been published in International Securityand other academic journals as well as Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Zegart received an A.B. in East Asian studies magna cum laude from Harvard University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. She serves on the board of directors of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS) and the Capital Group.

Feb 08, 202251:21
Ep. 127: The Wisdom of Eating Well with Mark Schatzker

Ep. 127: The Wisdom of Eating Well with Mark Schatzker

"We should stop thinking of food as nutritional instructions-- thou shalt eat this-- and think of eating as an opportunity to enjoy food. Because that's what we were meant to do."

Food writer Mark Schatzker is here, armed with his new book The End of Craving: Recovering the Lost Wisdom of Eating Well. Far from a book about diets and what we should and shouldn't eat, Mark blends science, history, and travel in a way to make us feel more connected to the true flavor of the foods that taste best and happen to be excellent sources of nutrition. Why does Italy have an obesity rate around 8% while in the US the rate is 42%? How do our brains process taste, pleasure, dopamine, craving, and urges? Why do diets fail? And what are the amazing links between music and food? Daniel and Mark dive into this and much more in this wide-ranging conversation. 

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Mark Schatzker is an award-winning writer based in Toronto. He is a writer-in-residence at the Modern Diet and Physiology Research Center at Yale University, and a frequent contributor to The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Condé Nast Traveler, and Bloomberg Pursuits. He is the author of The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth about Food and Flavor and Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef.

Feb 01, 202257:29
Ep. 126: Philosopher Michael Walzer on American Democracy and Liberal Ideals

Ep. 126: Philosopher Michael Walzer on American Democracy and Liberal Ideals

“In the list of things in danger, it’s truth above all that worries me the most.”

Legendary political philosopher Michael Walzer joins the podcast. Democracy is on his mind, now more than ever. In the course of a long lifetime observing the American political scene, he has never seen our system so close to the edge. Where do America’s liberal ideals stand? How are we doing at delivering on the promise of America? The conversation goes in many directions, from the political successes and failures of Barack Obama to the intractable situation of the current US congress, from the cult of personality of Donald Trump to the anti-intellectual cancel culture and "speech commissars" rampant across American elite universities-- and wider society. 

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

One of America’s foremost political thinkers, Michael Walzer has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy, including political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice, and the welfare state. He has played a critical role in the revival of a practical, issue-focused ethics and in the development of a pluralist approach to political and moral life. Walzer’s books include Just and Unjust Wars (1977), Spheres of Justice(1983), On Toleration (1997), Arguing About War (2004), and The Paradox of Liberation (2015); he served as co-editor of the political journal Dissent for more than three decades, retiring in 2014. Currently, he is working on issues having to do with international justice and the connection of religion and politics, and also on a collaborative project focused on the history of Jewish political thought. His book, The Paradox of Liberation: Secular Revolutions and Religious Counterrevolutions, was published in March of 2015, and his new book, A Foreign Policy for the Left, was published in 2018.

Jan 25, 202245:05
Ep. 125: Rural America and Democratic Messaging with former Senator Heidi Heitkamp

Ep. 125: Rural America and Democratic Messaging with former Senator Heidi Heitkamp

“The single reason why the Democrats have lost rural America is because rural America doesn’t think the Democrats respect them, appreciate them, or know them.”

Former United States Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota, returns to the podcast. Since ending her career in the Senate, Heitkamp has focused on connecting to rural America and figuring out what Democrats can do to make gains in these crucial swathes of the country. With midterm elections looming, how does this veteran of the Democrats see her party’s odds of survival come November 2022? What are the Democrats doing— or not doing— particularly in rural America to ensure a viable path to the next elections?

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Heidi Heitkamp served as the first female U.S. senator elected from North Dakota from 2013-2019. Senator Heitkamp grew up in a large family in the small town of Mantador, ND. Throughout her time in public service, Senator Heitkamp has stood up for tribal communities and worked to improve outcomes for Native American children, women, and families. The first bill she introduced in the Senate, which became law in 2016, created a Commission on Native Children. Her bill with former Senator John McCain became law to create Amber Alerts in Indian Country. She introduced Savanna’s Act to help address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women. On the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Senator Heitkamp pushed to provide training and resources for first responders and worked to combat human trafficking in North Dakota, across the country, and around the world.

Senator Heitkamp has a long record with energy development in North Dakota. She continued those efforts in the Senate, working to responsibly harness North Dakota’s energy resources, and successfully pushed to lift the 40-year old ban on exporting U.S. crude oil while expanding support for renewable energies, like wind and solar energy development. Senator Heitkamp sat on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, where she helped write, negotiate, and pass two long-term, comprehensive Farm Bills which Congress passed.

Senator Heitkamp previously served as North Dakota’s Attorney General where she helped broker an agreement between 46 states and the tobacco industry, which forced the tobacco industry to tell the truth about smoking and health. It was one of the largest civil settlements in U.S. history. Prior to her time as Attorney General, Senator Heitkamp served as North Dakota’s Tax Commissioner. Senator Heitkamp received a B.A. from the University of North Dakota and a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School. She currently serves as a contributor to CNBC and resides in Mandan, North Dakota with her husband.

Dec 21, 202146:25
Ep. 124: Kelefa Sanneh on American Pop Music

Ep. 124: Kelefa Sanneh on American Pop Music

“I relate to the idea that music can be a kind of a home, but also the restlessness…the idea that you might want to leave home, the idea that you might want to try and chose something different from what your life, your parents have chosen for you."

Kelefa Sanneh, staff writer at The New Yorker, joins the podcast. Music, now more than ever, is in. Pop, country, rock, R&B, Hip Hop… Americans are listening to more, and a wider range of music, than ever before. In his recent book Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres, Sanneh delves into the history of popular music in America, genre by genre. He attacks some of the questions we all wonder about. How can divisiveness in culture shape the character and tone of music? How does music help us both self-identify and escape our surroundings at the same time? How does the history of race in America play in to our music? Can we partially credit racial struggles with the production of such an extraordinarily varied uniquely American musical songbook? Sanneh takes us on a guided tour through the past fifty years of American popular music, from Bob Dylan to Lil Nas X.

If you like what we do, please support the show. By making a one-time or recurring donation, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people.

Kelefa Sanneh has been a New Yorker staff writer since 2008, before which he spent six years as a pop-music critic at The New York Times. He is also a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning. Previously, he was the deputy editor of Transition, a journal of race and culture based at the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University. His writing has also appeared in a number of magazines and a handful of books, including Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop from Elvis to Jay Z, a Library of America Special Publication, and Da Capo Best Music Writing (2002, 2005, 2007, and 2011). He lives in New York City with his family.

Dec 14, 202159:31
Ep. 123: Immigration, Poetry, and Motherhood with Ananda Lima