388 episodes

Winner of the 2020 Webby and People's Voice awards for best interview podcast.
Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Stacey Abrams feels about identity politics? How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy? The plans behind Elizabeth Warren’s plans? How Michael Lewis reads minds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

The Ezra Klein Show Vox

    • Philosophy
    • 4.5 • 8.8K Ratings

Winner of the 2020 Webby and People's Voice awards for best interview podcast.
Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Stacey Abrams feels about identity politics? How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy? The plans behind Elizabeth Warren’s plans? How Michael Lewis reads minds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

    Best of: Alison Gopnik changed how I think about love

    Best of: Alison Gopnik changed how I think about love

    Happy Thanksgiving! We will be back next week with brand new episodes, but on a day when so many of us are thinking about love and relationships I wanted to share an episode that has changed the way I think about those topics in a profound way. 

    Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of California Berkeley. She’s published more than 100 journal articles and half a dozen books, including most recently The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children. She runs a cognitive development and learning lab where she studies how young children come to understand the world around them, and she’s built on that research to do work in AI, to understand how adults form bonds with both children and each other, and to examine what creativity is and how we can nurture it in ourselves and — more importantly — each other.

    But this conversation isn’t just about kids -- it's about what it means to be human. What makes us feel love for each other. How we can best care for each other. How our minds really work in the formative, earliest days, and what we lose as we get older. The role community is meant to play in our lives.

    This episode has done more than just change the way I think. It’s changed how I live my life. I hope it can do the same for you.
    Book recommendations:
    A Treatise of Human Natureby David Hume
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
    The works of Jean Piaget


    Credits:
    Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma

    Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.

    New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)

    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 33 min
    Best of: Vivek Murthy on America’s loneliness epidemic

    Best of: Vivek Murthy on America’s loneliness epidemic

    At the holidays, I wanted to share some of my favorite episodes of the show with you (we’ll be back next week with brand new episodes). My conversation with Vivek Murthy tops that list, and it has particular force this Thanksgiving, when so many are alone on a day when connection means so much.
    As US surgeon general from 2014 to 2017, Murthy visited communities across the United States to talk about issues like addiction, obesity, and mental illness. But he found that what Americans wanted to talk to him about the most was loneliness. In a 2018 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 22 percent of all adults in the US — almost 60 million Americans — said they often or always felt lonely or socially isolated.
    Murthy went on to write Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, and was recently named one of the co-chairs of Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force. Those projects may sound different, but they connect: Coronavirus has made America’s loneliness crisis far worse. Social distancing, while necessary from a public health standpoint, has caused a collapse in social contact among family, friends, and entire communities. And the people most vulnerable to the virus — the elderly, the disabled, the ill — are also unusually likely to suffer from loneliness. 
    Murthy’s explanation of how loneliness acts on the body is worth the time, all on its own — it’ll change how you see the relationship between social experience and physical health. But the broader message here is deeper: You are not alone in your loneliness. None of us are. And the best thing we can do for our own feeling of isolation is often to help someone else out of the very pit we’re in.

    Book recommendations:
    Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
    Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch
    Dear Madam President by Jennifer Palmieri


    Credits:
    Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma

    Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.

    New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)

    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 21 min
    What Democrats got wrong about Hispanic voters

    What Democrats got wrong about Hispanic voters

    Donald Trump has built his presidency on top of racial dog whistles, xenophobic rhetoric, and anti-immigrant policies. A core belief among liberals was that this strategy would help Trump with whites but almost certainly hurt him with Latinos, and people of color more broadly. Then the opposite happened: In 2020, Trump gained considerable support among voters of color, particularly Latinos, relative to the 2016 election.
    What happened?
    Ian Haney López is a legal scholar at UC Berkeley and the author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. In 2017, he partnered with the leftist think tank Demos and various polling groups to better understand the effectiveness of racial dog whistles and how Democrats could combat them. The results were sobering, even to the experts who commissioned the polls. As Haney López documented in his 2019 book Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America, 60 percent of Latinos and 54 percent of African Americans have found Trumpian dog-whistle messages convincing, right in step with the 61 percent of whites who did.
    This conversation is about the complicated reality of racial politics in America. It’s about the fact that the electorate isn’t divided into racists and non-racists — most voters, including Trump supporters, toggle back and forth between racially reactionary and racially egalitarian views — and a more robust theory of how race operates in American politics that follows. And it’s about the kinds of race- and class-conscious messages that Haney López’s research suggests work best with voters of all backgrounds.

    Book recommendations:
    Racial Realignment:The Transformation of American Liberalism, 1932–1965 by Eric Schickler
    The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú
    Born a Crime by Trevor Noah 


    Credits:
    Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma

    Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.

    New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)

    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Antitrust, censorship, misinformation, and the 2020 election

    Antitrust, censorship, misinformation, and the 2020 election

    I’ve been fascinated by the sharp change in how the tech platforms — particularly the big social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and to some degree, YouTube — are acting since the 2020 election. It’s become routine to see President Donald Trump’s posts tagged as misinformation or worse. Facebook is limiting the reach of hyper-viral stories it can’t verify, Twitter is trying to guard against becoming a dumping ground for foreign actors trying to launder stolen secrets, and conservatives are abandoning both platforms en masse, hoping to find more congenial terrain on newcomers like Parler. 

    So is Big Tech finally doing its job, and taking some responsibility for its role in our democracy? Are they overreaching, and becoming the biased censors so many feared? Are they simply so big that anything they do is in some way the wrong choice, and antitrust is the only solution?

    Casey Newton has spent the past decade covering Silicon Valley for The Verge, CNET, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Today, he writes Platformer, a daily blog and newsletter focused primarily on the relationship between the big tech platforms and democracy. He’s my go-to for questions like these, and so I went to him. We discuss: 


    The lessons the platforms learned the hard way in 2016 

    What Facebook and Twitter got right -- and wrong -- this election cycle

    The dissonance between Facebook and Twitter’s progressive employees and broader user base 

    The problem of trying to be neutral when both sides really aren’t the same

    Whether Facebook and Twitter handled the Hunter Biden New York Post story correctly

    Whether major tech platforms are biased against conservatives

    Why YouTube has been so much less aggressive than Facebook and Twitter on moderation

    The recent rise of Parler, the Twitter alternative that conservatives are flocking to by the hundreds of thousands 

    What Biden administration’s tech agenda could look like 

    The Section 230 provision at the heart of the debate over content moderation 

    How the big tech CEOs differ from each other ideologically 

    The problems that antitrust enforcement against tech platforms will solve -- and the problems it won’t solve 


    And much more

    Book recommendations:
    Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy
    No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier
    Caste by Isabel Wilkerson 

    Credits:
    Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma

    Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.

    New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)

    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 1 min
    The crisis isn’t Trump. It’s the Republican Party.

    The crisis isn’t Trump. It’s the Republican Party.

    If the past week — and past four years — have proven anything, it’s that we are not as different as we believed. No longer is the question, "Can it happen here?" It’s happening already. As this podcast goes to air, the current president of the United States is attempting what — if it occurred in any other country — we would call an anti-democratic coup.
    This coup attempt will probably not work. But the fact that it is being carried out farcically, erratically, ineffectively does not mean it is not happening, or that it will not have consequences.
    The most alarming aspect of all this is not Donald Trump’s anti-democratic antics; it’s the speed at which Republican elites have consolidated support around him. Some politicians, like Lindsey Graham, have wholeheartedly endorsed Trump's claims. On Monday, Graham said that Trump should not concede the election and that "Republicans win because of our ideas and we lose elections because [Democrats] cheat." Others — including Mike Pence, Marco Rubio, and Josh Hawley — have signaled solidarity with the president, while not quite endorsing his conspiracies. The message is clear: When faced with the choice of loyalty to Trump and the legitimacy of the democratic process, Republicans are more than willing to throw democracy under the bus.
    Anne Applebaum is a staff writer for the Atlantic, a senior fellow of international affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and most recently the author of Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. In it, Applebaum, once comfortable in center-right elite circles, grapples with why so many of her contemporaries across the globe — including right here in America — have abandoned liberal democracy in favor of strongman cults and autocratic regimes. We discuss: 

    How the media would be covering Trump’s actions — and the GOP’s enabling of him — if this were taking place in a foreign country 

    How the last four years have shattered the belief in the idea that America is uniquely resistant to the lure of authoritarianism

    Why most politicians under increasingly autocratic regimes choose to collaborate with the regime, and why a select few choose to dissent 

    The “apocalyptic pessimism” and “cultural despair” that undergirds the worldview of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters 

    How Lindsey Graham went from outspoken Trump critic to one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in the US Senate 

    Why the Republican Party ultimately took the path of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, not John McCain and Mitt Romney

    Why what ultimately separates Never Trumpers from Trump enablers is a steadfast commitment to American democracy

    What we can expect to happen if and when a much more competent, capable demagogue emerges in Trump’s place

    Whether the Biden administration can lower the temperature of American politics from its fever pitch 

    The one thing that gives me a glimmer of hope about the Biden presidency 

     
    References:
    "Trump is attempting a coup in plain sight" by Ezra Klein, Vox
    "History Will Judge the Complicit" by Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic
    “Laura Ingraham’s Descent Into Despair” by Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic
    My EK Show conversation with Marilynne Robinson

    Book recommendations:
    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner 
    All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren 
    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson 



    Credits:
    Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma

    Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.

    New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)

    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    The Joe Biden experience

    The Joe Biden experience

    Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States. And — counting the votes of people, not just land — it won’t be close. If current trends hold, Biden will see a larger popular vote margin than Hillary Clinton in 2016, Barack Obama in 2012, or George W. Bush in 2004. 

    Commentary over the past few days has focused on the man he beat, and the incompetent coup being attempted in plain sight. But I want to focus on Biden, who is one of the more misunderstood figures in American politics — including, at times, by me. 

    Biden has been in national politics for almost five decades. And so, people tend to understand the era of Joe Biden they encountered first — the centrist Senate dealmaker, or the overconfident foreign policy hand, or the meme-able vice president, or the grieving, grave father. But Biden, more so than most politicians, changes. And it’s how he changes, and why, that’s key to understanding his campaign, and his likely presidency. 

    Evan Osnos is a staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now, a sharp biography of the next president. Osnos and I discuss: 


    The mystery of Joe Biden’s first political campaign

    Why the Joe Biden who entered the Senate in 1980 is such a radically different person than the Joe Biden who ran for president in 2020 

    What the Senate taught Biden

    Biden’s ideological flexibility, and the theory of politics that drives it

    The differences between Biden’s three presidential campaigns -- and what they reveal about how he’s grown

    The way Biden views disagreement, and why that’s so central to his understanding of politics 

    How Biden’s relationship with Barack Obama changed his approach to governance

    The similarities — and differences — between how Obama and Biden think about politics 

    Why Biden is “the perfect weathervane for where the center of the Democratic party is.” 

    Biden’s relationship with Mitch McConnell

    How Biden thinks about foreign policy

    Why Biden has become more skeptical about the use of American military might in the last decade 


    And much more.

    Book recommendations:
    Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
    The Field of Blood by Joanne B. Freeman
    The Ideas That Made America by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen 

    Credits:
    Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma

    Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.

    New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)

    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
8.8K Ratings

8.8K Ratings

Shockleymom ,

Great educational podcast

Oh my word, I am learning so much!! I love the questions and even the questions I would’ve never asked, they help me understand so much deeper. I have listened to the episode about what democrats got wrong about the Hispanic voters about 3 times today alone!! Perhaps I am a slow learner, but so what! I’m sharing this with lots of people!! Keep up the good work. And THANK YOU!

generalqt ,

Sharp and slightly annoying

This guy is so incredibly sharp, intelligent, brainy, smart, all the synonyms you can think of. It’s mesmerizing to hear him string words together to bring forth novel insights. Unfort, also a bit of egomaniac. His interviews are basically him trying to convince guests that he is smarter and more knowledgeable than them about any given my topic. Makes some interviews unbearable. Hope with age there is maturity. Looking forward to future, calmer Ezra, though hard to see how that would come about now that he’s at NYT.

viila27 ,

So meaty

Food for thought, always leaves me hungering for more. I feel like you’re the wise little brother I never had. Thank you, Ezra! (I realize it’s awkward reviewing an intelligent cast from an emotional perspective, but....)!

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