Open Source with Christopher Lydon

Open Source with Christopher Lydon

Christopher Lydon in conversation on arts, ideas and politics


February 15, 2024 44 mins
Frantz Fanon is our interest in this podcast. The man had charisma across the board in a short life and a long afterlife. A black man from the Caribbean, he went to France, first as ...
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The question is how digital tech picks and chooses the content that comes to your phones and your brain, or, as Kyle Chayka puts it in a brave new book Filterworld: “how algorithms flattened culture.” ...
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January 18, 2024 39 mins
Oldest and far the richest among American universities, Harvard is the apex, in some sense, of American intellectualism, and it will be a long time figuring out just how it lost a big game it ...
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January 5, 2024 48 mins
The only way into this podcast is a long leap headfirst into postcolonial French fiction, of all things, and a novel titled The Most Secret Memory of Men. Our guest is the toast of literary ...
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December 20, 2023 33 mins
On the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, we’re face to face, almost, with an American political type that’s gone missing in our third century. Check this resume: he’s principled, he’s prepared, a two-fisted ...
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December 8, 2023 44 mins
With the historian John Judis we are looking for a longer timeline in the crisis of Gaza, Israel, Palestine. It has been, in fact, a century of layered conflict between Arabs and Jews, two peoples ...
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November 22, 2023 51 mins
The question that resurfaces in a time of horror may be what remains when memory is wiped out, when the unspeakable is left unspoken, in someone’s hope, perhaps, that it’ll be forgotten? Where does history ...
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November 9, 2023 42 mins
Just a month into the ferociously brutal and reckless war in Israel-Palestine, on what feels like a hinge of history—outcomes wildly uncertain—our refuge is Chas Freeman, the American diplomat, strategist, and historian. We call Chas ...
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November 3, 2023 37 mins
In this podcast, two old friends in and out of journalism talk about the Middle East war, which comes to feel more like a contest in war crimes. Steven Erlanger joins us—he’s the New York ...
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October 19, 2023 56 mins
We are listening in the dark, after a catastrophe yet to be contained: more than 1,000 Israeli civilians killed in a terrorist invasion from Gaza two weeks ago, thousands more Palestinians dead in a first ...
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October 5, 2023 41 mins
The question is marriage. The answer in this podcast is Clare Carlisle’s sparkling book, The Marriage Question: George Eliot’s Double Life. George Eliot, born Marian Evans, was the towering novelist of Middlemarch, Silas Marner, and ...
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September 21, 2023 31 mins
Zadie Smith is a writer who matters, twenty years now after White Teeth, her breakthrough novel when she was just out of college. Her new one is titled The Fraud: fiction that pops in and ...
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September 7, 2023 36 mins
It’s Labor Day week, 2023, and Henry David Thoreau is the heart of our conversation. It’s not with him, but it’s driven by his example: American thinking at its best on the matter of how ...
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August 24, 2023 38 mins
Harry Smith was the oddest duck you never heard of in the art underground: an unsightly, often obnoxious genius. Only the artists knew him, but it was a multitude: Bob Dylan, who sang the roots ...
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It is said about Noam Chomsky that he has been to the study of language what Isaac Newton was to the study of gravity after the apple hit his head. Chomsky had the “aha!” insight: ...
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July 27, 2023 41 mins
In The Country of the Blind, where the writer Andrew Leland is guiding our tour, they do things differently. They have their own identity riddles, their network of heroes and not-so-heroes. They have their own ...
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July 14, 2023 34 mins
This is the vitalism episode, with the passionate polymath Jackson Lears. His new book is beyond category, and gripping, too: it’s titled Animal Spirits: The American Pursuit of Vitality from Camp Meeting to Wall Street. ...
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June 29, 2023 41 mins
We’re marking the 20th birthday of podcasting in conversation with Erica Heilman, a prize practitioner. Here we are with Erica in Peacham, Vermont, settled in 1776 in the Northeast Kingdom, up toward Canada. We seek ...
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June 16, 2023 39 mins
We’re back in the pub a year later with Mark Blyth, the outspoken political economist at Brown University—which means he works and talks and thinks at the intersection of big money and big power. In ...
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June 1, 2023 42 mins
This week: a show from our archive from The Connection days. “It ain’t over till it’s over.” That’s Yogi Berra’s ageless line, in the title now of a summer hit movie just to prove Yogi ...
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