The New Yorker Radio Hour The New Yorker Radio Hour is a weekly program presented by the magazine's editor, David Remnick, and produced by WNYC Studios and The New Yorker. Each episode features a diverse mix of interviews, profiles, storytelling, and an occasional burst of humor inspired by the magazine, and shaped by its writers, artists, and editors. This isn't a radio version of a magazine, but something all its own, reflecting the rich possibilities of audio storytelling and conversation. Theme music for the show was composed and performed by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-YArDs.
The New Yorker Radio Hour

The New Yorker Radio Hour

From WNYC Radio

The New Yorker Radio Hour is a weekly program presented by the magazine's editor, David Remnick, and produced by WNYC Studios and The New Yorker. Each episode features a diverse mix of interviews, profiles, storytelling, and an occasional burst of humor inspired by the magazine, and shaped by its writers, artists, and editors. This isn't a radio version of a magazine, but something all its own, reflecting the rich possibilities of audio storytelling and conversation. Theme music for the show was composed and performed by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-YArDs.

Most Recent Episodes

The actor Christine Baranski on "The Good Fight," and Kurt Vile on Songwriting

Christine Baranski was a successful theatre actor who would never stoop to do television in the old days. But when she got the pilot script for "Cybill," and had two daughters to put through school, she took the role of Marianne, the tough-talking best friend of Cybill Shepherd's character. "Who goes to Hollywood at forty-two and becomes an overnight star?" Baranski asks the critic Emily Nussbaum. What made her such a sensation? "No one had seen that woman on American television" before, she notes, of her character, a badass with a Martini and an attitude. "Sex and the City" came later. Playing strong women seems to come naturally to Baranski; since 2009, she's portrayed the capable, elegant Diane Lockhart, in "The Good Wife" and then "The Good Fight." She talked with Nussbaum in a live conversation at the 2018 New Yorker Festival. Plus, Amanda Petrusich talks with the musician Kurt Vile, who performs his song "Pretty Pimpin" live.

The actor Christine Baranski on "The Good Fight," and Kurt Vile on Songwriting

Masha Gessen and Keith Gessen Debate Russian and American Politics

Masha Gessen and Keith Gessen have, taken together, written more than a dozen books and a thousand articles. Keith Gessen is a founder of n+1, an influential literary journal; Masha has written for major newspapers and journals as well as, since 2014, The New Yorker. Their parents emigrated from the Soviet Union in its latter days. Keith has spent most of his life in America, but Masha, who is older, returned to Russia as an adult and worked there as a reporter. In a conversation at the 2018 New Yorker Festival, the siblings discussed their different perspectives on the U.S.-Russia relationship. All through the Mueller investigation, Masha warned people not to expect a smoking gun to prove collusion between Putin and Trump, and then, somehow, this fierce critic of Putin was branded an apologist for his regime. Masha's most recent book is "The Future Is History"; Keith's is a novel, called "A Terrible Country."

The Neurology of Bias, and a Visit with Thundercat

Most of us have biases and prejudices we don't acknowledge—or aren't even aware of. Admitting those biases is a baseline of political "wokeness." But measuring and proving bias, and showing how it works, is another matter. Jennifer Eberhardt is a social psychologist at Stanford University who studies these issues through neuroimaging and other experiments. Bias, in her view, is not merely a learned phenomenon but one that involves neurological patterns that are "tuned" by cultural experience. And it may operate most prominently in situations where people have the least time for reflection. Eberhardt says that intervening on a policy level to reduce the consequences of bias involves slowing down decision-making in critical situations such as policing. She spoke with David Remnick about her new book, "Biased." Plus, Briana Younger, a music editor at The New Yorker, visits with the bassist and producer who helped make Kendrick Lamar's album "To Pimp a Butterfly." He goes by Thundercat.

The Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg on Coming Out: "I Realized I Couldn't Go On Like...

During an exit interview with President Barack Obama in November, 2016, just weeks after the election, David Remnick asked who would be the leaders of the Democratic Party and the contenders to oppose Trump in 2020. Obama mentioned people like Kamala Harris, of California, and Tim Kaine, of Virginia, along with a very surprising figure: Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who was only thirty-five at the time. In recent weeks, Buttigieg has been raising his profile dramatically, and raising money at a surprising clip, considering that he lacks the national profile of a senator or a governor. In a huge field of candidates, the mayor stands out. He's a Navy veteran, and was born and raised in South Bend, so he brings heartland credibility to his campaign. But he's also the youngest candidate in the field, and the first openly gay person with a real shot at the nomination. Buttigieg had not yet come out when he took office and when he joined the Navy Reserves, but deployment in Afghanistan changed his perspective. "I realized I couldn't go on like that forever. . . . Something about that really clarified my awareness of the extent to which you only get to live one life and be one person," Buttigieg tells Remnick. "Part of it was the exposure to danger," he notes, but there was more to it: "I began to feel a little bit humiliated about the idea that my life could come to an end and I could be a visible public official and a grown man and a homeowner and have no idea what it was like to be in love."

The Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg on Coming Out: "I Realized I Couldn't Go On Like...

How OxyContin Was Sold to the Masses

Patrick Radden Keefe has reported on the Sackler family and their control of Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. Among the sources for his article "Empire of Pain" was a whistle-blower named Steven May, a former sales rep who joined Purdue during the heyday of OxyContin. In an interview for the New Yorker Radio Hour, May details how the company flooded the market with a powerful painkiller that it deceptively touted as being nearly as safe as Tylenol. Plus, two beloved cartoonists—Roz Chast and Liana Finck—talk shop.

Has the Mueller Report Changed Anything?

The Mueller investigation has been a two-year obsession for nearly everyone who cares about politics in America. For one side, the special counsel was a bête noire, a leader of a witch hunt; for the other, Mueller was a deus ex machina who would end the political disruptions of Trumpism. But the report received by Attorney General William Barr was highly ambivalent, neither indicting nor exonerating the President, and leaving to the A.G. to decide the crucial question of obstruction of justice. To weigh the consequences of the Mueller report, David Remnick sat down with the staff writers Masha Gessen and Susan Glasser. "Any other political figure of course would be glad that an investigation like this is over, and would want to move on as quickly as possible," Glasser notes. "True to form, [Trump] is already talking about various vindictive moves, and 'investigating the investigators.' . . . It's a strategy compatible with his overall approach of appealing to his supporters, and maximum divisiveness."

U.K. Edges Closer to the Cliff of a No-Deal Brexit

Since the minute that British citizens voted, in a 2016 referendum, to leave the European Union, confusion and disorganization has consumed the U.K. Three years later, little has changed: confusion and disorganization may carry the U.K. over the cliff of a no-deal Brexit with devastating economic consequences. While we can't predict what will happen on the deadline of March 29th, we continue to learn about what brought the U.K. to this precarious position. Like the 2016 presidential election in the U.S., the campaign for Brexit employed divisive social media campaigns, mysterious sources of financing, Cambridge Analytica, and questionable meetings with Russians. At the center of it was a man named Arron Banks, an insurance magnate who is happy to take credit for his efforts to promote Brexit by whatever means necessary. Ed Caesar has reported on Banks's outsized role in the referendum, and found that Banks is had been under investigation in Britain and in South Africa, where he has business interests in diamonds, as well as a person of interest in the Mueller investigation. Caesar spoke with David Remnick about the shady past and the uncertain future of Brexit. Plus, a visit with Roomful of Teeth, the Grammy-winning vocal octet that's building a unique repertoire and redefining classical singing for the future.

Emilia Clarke on a Near-Death Experience Scarier than "Game of Thrones"

Emilia Clarke was an unknown young actor when she landed the part of Daenerys, of the House of Targaryen, on a show called "Game of Thrones." After an eventful first season—capped by her walk into a funeral pyre and rebirth as the Mother of Dragons—Clarke's future looked bright. But after filming wrapped, Clarke faced a crisis more frightening than anything on the show: a life-threatening stroke called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. In the aftermath of an emergency surgery, she experienced verbal aphasia and was unable to say her name. "It was the scariest thing I've ever experienced," she told David Remnick. "It wasn't that I didn't think I was going to make it, it was that I wasn't prepared to make it." She feared that the impairment was permanent and would end her life as an actor. "It was in that moment I asked them to just let me die." Clarke was still recovering from the aftermath of the stroke and the surgery when she began doing a press tour—lying down between appearances and sipping from a morphine bottle, and keeping the crisis a secret. "No one knows who the hell I am," she recalls thinking. "I was a young girl who was given a huge opportunity. I did not for any reason want to give anyone a reason to think I was anything other than capable of fulfilling the duties they had given me. And I didn't know what the show was at that moment. All I knew was I had a job." Emilia Clarke wrote about her experience for the first time in an essay for newyorker.com.

The Hot Fashion Trends in Silicon Valley, and the Top Chef Niki Nakayama

Silicon Valley has a reputation for being a place where young geniuses are too busy disrupting the world to buy clothes; jeans and a hoodie generally qualify as business attire. But that is changing, the New Yorker fashion correspondent Rachel Syme notes. Tech moguls have become more conscious of appearances, and a distinctive look—based on optimized, streamlined garments, like trendy Allbirds sneakers—is emerging. Tech moguls have become more conscious of appearances, for better or worse; Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of Theranos, raised hundreds of millions of dollars partly on the image she cultivated with a turtleneck à la Steve Jobs. Syme spoke with the professional stylist Victoria Hitchcock, who runs a thriving practice in Silicon Valley showing the powerful how to project "powerful" for the digital age—without looking like a bunch of bankers. Plus, Helen Rosner talks with Niki Nakayama, one of Los Angeles's top chefs, about setting up a kitchen that is hospitable to women, and about the impossibility of creating authentically Japanese cuisine in America.

The Hot Fashion Trends in Silicon Valley, and the Top Chef Niki Nakayama

American Exiles in East Africa (Part 2)

Pete O'Neal was a street hustler and small-time pimp who gave up crime to fight oppression, founding the Kansas City chapter of the Black Panther Party. Charlotte Hill was a high-school student who gave up a college scholarship to join the Panthers and do community service. Their love affair seemed charmed. But, after O'Neal was convicted, in 1970, on a firearms charge that he considered trumped up, he jumped bail and the couple fled the United States. Since then, O'Neal has never been able to return. After spending time in Sweden and then Algeria, the couple moved to Tanzania, where President Julius Nyerere was welcoming people of the African diaspora to join in the nation-building that followed decolonization. In a village called Imbasseni, not far from Mount Kilimanjaro, Pete and Charlotte O'Neal resumed the community service that had brought them together as Panthers. They founded the United African Alliance Community Center, a combination children's home, school, library, and Y.M.C.A.—work that they might never have been able to accomplish in their home country. As well documented as the nineteen-sixties were, the staff writer Jelani Cobb notes, the stories of radicals forced into exile are hardly known. The producer KalaLea reports from Tanzania. (Part 2 of a two-part story.) Tshidi Matale, Kiva, and L. D. Brown contributed music for this story.

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