David Remnick is joined by The New Yorker’s award-winning writers, editors and artists to present a weekly mix of profiles, storytelling, and insightful conversations about the issues that matter — plus an occasional blast of comic genius from the magazine’s legendary Shouts and Murmurs page. The New Yorker has set a standard in journalism for generations and The New Yorker Radio Hour gives it a voice on public radio for the first time. Produced by The New Yorker and WNYC Studios.
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Elizabeth Kolbert on a Historic Climate Bill, Plus a Lesson from Kansas
The Inflation Reduction Act now before Congress is being celebrated as the most important piece of climate legislation in the history of this country—which is “a pretty low bar,” the staff writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Elizabeth Kolbert tells David Remnick, “because they’ve never really passed a piece of legislation on climate change.” The Inflation Reduction Act is a huge political victory for Democrats; will it help save the planet? And we look at how pro-choice messaging in Kansas delivered a surprise victory for reproductive choice by borrowing a classic conservative theme: government overreach.
A Trip to the Boundary Waters
Alex Kotlowitz is known as a chronicler of the city of Chicago, and of lives marred by urban poverty and violence. His books set in Chicago include “An American Summer,” “There Are No Children Here,” and “Never a City So Real.” But for some 40 years, he has returned to a remote stretch of woods summer after summer. At a young age, he found himself navigating a canoe through a series of lakes, deep in the woods along Minnesota’s border with Canada. The stretch of wilderness is known as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Larger than the state of Rhode Island, it is a patchwork of more than a thousand lakes, so pristine you can drink directly from the surface. At the age of sixty-seven, he finds the days of paddling, the leaky tents, the long portages, the schlepping of days’ worth of food (and alcohol) harder, but Kotlowitz will return to the Boundary Waters as long as he can. This spring, he brought a recorder with him on his annual canoe trip, capturing what has kept him coming back year after year. Plus, Susan Orlean remembers Ivana Trump, who died last month, at the age of 73.
Jane Mayer on Ohio’s Lurch to the Right
Last month, the story of a 10-year-old rape victim captured national headlines. The young girl was forced to travel out of state because of Ohio’s draconian abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest, which would have been nearly unthinkable until very recently. Jane Mayer took a deep dive into statehouse politics to learn how a longtime swing state—Ohio voted twice for President Barack Obama—ended up legislating like a radically conservative one. Its laws, she says, are increasingly out of step with the state’s voters, and this is owing to a sweeping Republican effort at gerrymandering. While familiar, gerrymandering “has become much more of a dark art,” Mayer tells David Remnick, “thanks to computers and digital mapping. They have figured out ways now to do it that are so extreme, you can create districts [in which the incumbent] cannot be knocked out by someone from another party.” Mayer also speaks with David Pepper, an Ohio politician and the author of “Laboratories of Autocracy,” who explains how a district is firmly controlled by one party, the representative is driven by the primary process inexorably toward extremism, until you have “a complete meltdown of democracy.”
Notes from a Warming World
Much of the globe has seen record-breaking temperatures in recent heat waves that seem increasingly routine. Dhruv Khullar, a contributor and a practicing physician, looks at the effects of extreme heat in India, where the capital, New Delhi, recorded a temperature this year of 122 degrees. “People are amazingly resilient,” he notes. “But I think we’re approaching that point where even the most resilient people, the type of lives that they have to live—because of climate change—are not going to be sustainable for very much longer.” And the climate activist Daniel Sherrell talks about his book “Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of the World” with Ngofeen Mputubwele. The book articulates Sherrell’s view that we can live now only by walking a tightrope between hope and despair.
Jamie Raskin on the Facts of January 6th, and the Danger Ahead
Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, serves on Congress’s Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the Capitol. He spoke with David Remnick about the effort to demonstrate Donald Trump’s culpability in the insurrection in a way that would resonate with voters, and about Trump’s political future. Trump is “guilty as sin, and everybody can see it,” Raskin says, and he is running low on patience for the Department of Justice to act. “As a citizen, I would hope and expect to see action,” Raskin notes, given the committee’s findings. “But I try to be careful not to browbeat the Attorney General of the United States.”
Jason Isbell on Songwriting While Sober
Jason Isbell got into the music business early; he had a publishing deal when he was twenty-one. But he really came into his own as a songwriter around ten years ago, as he was getting sober from years of alcohol and drug use. His record “Southeastern,” which comes in the tradition of musicians like Guy Clark, swept the Americana Music Awards in 2014. Isbell spoke with John Seabrook at The New Yorker Festival in 2016, shortly after his record “Something More than Free” was released, and he played a live set of songs including “Different Days,” “How to Forget,” and “Speed Trap Town.”
This segment first aired December 30, 2016.
David Does His Best, Given His Listenership
A quick review of David's reviews will tell you the low IQ individual who rails on this show. I can't help but think that David has to lean towards this bottom of the barrel human when curating shows now. I know that he doesn't have the narrow opinions that his audience demands. I first discovered David in his outstanding interview of Philip Roth. When left to his own devices, he soars. I really appreciated the Joan Didion tribute he did upon her passing. David is a good man, with a bad audience, so I forgive when he slips into their ignorance.
On the Roe episode
We really need to encourage young people to register to vote and bring friends and vote. You know the simple math, we need to gain a few Dem Senators and retain the House to protect and codify marriage equality, a woman’s right to choose, birth control, etc. To suggest otw is a bit disingenuous. Bernie, FDR or Obama could not get Sinema and Manchin to carve out the filibuster or nix it entirely. They are both voting with conservatives and beholden to special interests you get the nation. Yes we need better messaging y’day on the extremism of the GQP and that is coming I believe. But do not discourage young ppl to think it’s hopeless when it’s not. You well know the Dem Party is the only institution that can help save our Democratic Republic and fight off the very real Christofascist cult that is trying to destroy our liberties and freedoms. Encourage them to fight and vice more power not less to Dems. We could not have a weaker hold on the Senate and with those two we clearly need more liberal Senators.
Remnick your interview with Marantz was disturbing.
You never intervened to ask what an “Epistemic Universe” view was in Marantz’s rant on our USA political and Republican Party in particular future.
Orbon is Putins puppet. He has rewritten Poland’s constitution 4 times! None of his Autocratic policies are illegal because his strong armed agenda is protected by the very constitution he’s rewritten.