Vox Conversations
Vox Conversations
Vox
Vox Conversations brings you discussions between the brightest minds and the deepest thinkers; conversations that will cause you to question old assumptions and think about the world and our role in it in a new light. Join Sean Illing, Jamil Smith, and their colleagues across the Vox newsroom for new episodes every Monday and Thursday.
Revolutionary Love
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with author, activist, and filmmaker Valarie Kaur about her memoir See No Stranger and the Revolutionary Love Project. They discuss Kaur's personal experiences of the racism that followed 9/11, the idea of responding to violence and hatred with love, and why, two decades after 9/11, her project is more relevant than ever. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Valarie Kaur (@valariekaur), author, activist, and filmmaker References:  See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valarie Kaur (One World; 2020) Divided We Fall, dir. by Valarie Kaur (2008) "Indianapolis Sikh Community Mourns 4 Of Its Members Killed In Shooting" by Jeannette Muhammad (NPR; Apr. 18) "How 9/11 convinced Americans to buy, buy, buy" by Emily Stewart (Vox; Sept. 9) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 23
57 min
How to make meaning out of suffering
Vox’s Sean Illing talks with David Wolpe, senior rabbi of the Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, about the role and nature of God, how religion and spirituality can address our modern problems, and how to make sense and meaning out of the suffering and pain we experience. This episode was recorded in the summer of 2020 and first appeared as part of the Future Perfect series The Way Through. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David Wolpe (@RabbiWolpe), senior rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles References:  "Religion without God: Alain de Botton on 'atheism 2.0'" by Sean Illing (Vox; Feb. 24, 2018) Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times by David Wolpe (Penguin Random House; 2000) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producers: Jackson Bierfeldt & Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 20
56 min
Ken Burns's latest on The Greatest
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with acclaimed documentary filmmakers Ken and Sarah Burns. The father-daughter team discuss their latest documentary about The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, trying to say something new about a famous and already well-documented figure, how to tell the best story from 500 hours of raw footage, and what it's like when filmmaking centered around American history is the family business. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guests: Ken Burns (@KenBurns) & Sarah Burns (@sarah_l_burns), documentary filmmakers References:  Muhammad Ali, a film by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, & David McMahon (premieres Sept. 19) King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero by David Remnick (Vintage; 1999) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 16
1 hr 7 min
The road from 9/11 to Donald Trump
Sean Illing talks with national security reporter Spencer Ackerman, author of the new book Reign of Terror. They discuss the staggering changes to our country in the 20 years since 9/11; the flaws, misdeeds, and injustices of the “war on terror” and the regimes that have executed it; and how America was led by the worst act of domestic terror on its own soil down a vicious, bellicose, and anti-democratic path to an authoritarian president like Trump. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman), national security reporter, author References:  Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump by Spencer Ackerman (Viking; 2021) "The Fight Over the 'Ground Zero Mosque' Was a Grim Preview of the Trump Era" by Tim Murphy (Mother Jones; Sept. 9) "Trump Ramped Up Drone Strikes in America's Shadow Wars" by Spencer Ackerman (The Daily Beast; Nov. 26, 2018) "The Lessons of Anwar al-Awlaki" by Tim Shane (New York Times Magazine; Aug. 27, 2015) Power Wars: The Relentless Rise of Presidential Authority and Secrecy by Charlie Savage (Hachette; 2015) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 13
1 hr 8 min
Rep. Pramila Jayapal on immigrants and America after 9/11
Aarti Shahani, host of the WBEZ Chicago podcast Art of Power and author of the memoir Here We Are, talks with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) about how 9/11 changed the relationship between immigrants and America. They discuss Jayapal's experience on 9/11 as a first-generation Indian migrant, as well as how her reaction to the attacks and their aftermath shaped her political trajectory and professional career as an activist — and, eventually, a member of Congress. Host: Aarti Shahani (@aarti411), Host, Art of Power Guest: Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal), U.S. Representative (D-WA) References:  Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman's Guide to Politics and Political Change by Pramila Jayapal (New Press; 2020) "Without A Country: Pramila Jayapal On The Problems Immigrants Face" by Madeline Ostrander (The Sun; Nov. 2008) Jama v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 543 US 335 (2005) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 9
51 min
Why America's obsession with rights is wrong
Vox's Zack Beauchamp talks with Columbia law professor Jamal Greene about his book How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession With Rights Is Tearing America Apart. They discuss how the US obsession with rights and their protections gives too much power to judges and the courts, makes it difficult for ordinary citizens to find reasonable solutions to legitimate problems, and has made this country's legal system not only nonsensical but dangerous. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Jamal Greene (@jamalgreene), Dwight Professor of Law, Columbia Law School References:  How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession With Rights Is Tearing America Apart by Jamal Greene (HMH Books; 2021) "From Guns to Gay Marriage, How Did Rights Take Over Politics?" by Kelefa Sanneh (New Yorker; May 24) Lochner v. New York, 198 US 45 (1905) Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 US __ (2018) District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570 (2008) "Texas's radical anti-abortion law, explained" by Ian Millhiser (Vox; Sept. 2) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 2
58 min
The news is by — and for — rich, white liberals
Vox’s Sean Illing talks with professor and media researcher Nikki Usher about her new book News for the Rich, White, and Blue, which documents systemic problems in the ways journalists and institutions decide what counts as news and whom the news is for. They discuss racial, gender, and class biases in the industry, developing a “post-newspaper consciousness,” and the role of place in shaping our civic life. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Nikki Usher (@nikkiusher), senior fellow, Open Markets Institute Center for Liberty and Journalism; professor, University of Illinois References:  News for the Rich, White, and Blue by Nikki Usher (Columbia University Press; 2021) Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics by Nicole Hemmer (U. Penn Press; 2018) "Leslie Moonves on Donald Trump: 'It May Not Be Good for American, but It's Damn Good for CBS'" by Paul Bond (Hollywood Reporter; Feb. 29, 2016) Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America by Alec MacGillis (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2021) Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress toward Racial Equality by Patrick Sharkey (U. Chicago Press; 2013) "The Media's Post-Advertising Future Is Also Its Past" by Derek Thompson (The Atlantic; Dec. 31, 2018) Prism Reports MLK50: Justice Through Journalism The 19th City Bureau Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 30
1 hr 2 min
Clint Smith III on confronting the legacy of slavery
Vox's Jamil Smith talks with author Clint Smith III about his book How the Word Is Passed, which documents the writer's personal journey visiting sites that embody the legacy of American slavery. They discuss the power of this re-confrontation, how to bridge the gaps in education and awareness of America's past, and the experience of Black writers in a nation that is "a web of contradictions." Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Clint Smith III (@ClintSmithIII), Staff writer, The Atlantic References:  How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith (Little, Brown; 2021) "Why Confederate Lies Live On" by Clint Smith (The Atlantic; May 10) "The lost neighborhood under New York's Central Park" by Ranjani Chakraborty (Vox; Jan. 20, 2020) "The Statue of Liberty was created to celebrate freed slaves, not immigrants, its new museum recounts" by Gillian Brockell (Washington Post; May 23, 2019) "No, the Civil War didn't erase slavery's harm" by W. Caleb McDaniel (Houston Chronicle; July 12, 2019) Nikole Hannah-Jones Issues Statement on Decision to Decline Tenure Offer at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and to Accept Knight Chair Appointment at Howard University (NAACP Legal Defense Fund; July 6) Crash Course: Black American History, hosted by Clint Smith Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 26
1 hr 1 min
Was the cruelty the point?
Vox's Sean Illing talks with Adam Serwer, whose new book The Cruelty Is the Point documents the role of cruelty in American politics, the way it was weaponized by the GOP during the Trump administration, and how these tactics could continue to shape the future of America. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Adam Serwer (@AdamSerwer), staff writer, The Atlantic References:  The Cruelty is the Point: The Past, Present, and Future of Trump's America by Adam Serwer (One World; 2021) "The Cruelty Is the Point" by Adam Serwer (The Atlantic; Oct. 3, 2018) "The Great Awokening" by Matt Yglesias (Vox; Apr. 1, 2019) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 23
1 hr 1 min
How seashells shaped the world — and predict our future
Vox's Benji Jones talks with author and environmental journalist Cynthia Barnett about seashells and her new book, The Sound of the Sea. They discuss the evolutionary function and human appeal of seashells, the surprising role shells played in ancient trade and commerce, and how climate change threatens the creatures that call them home. Host: Benji Jones (@BenjiSJones), Environmental reporter, Vox Guest: Cynthia Barnett (@cynthiabarnett), author References:  “Seashells changed the world. Now they’re teaching us about the future of the oceans” by Benji Jones (Vox; Jul. 10) The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans by Cynthia Barnett (W.W. Norton; 2021) The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum (Sanibel Island, FL) Evolution & Escalation: An Ecological History of Life by Geerat J. Vermeij (Princeton; 1993) Cowrie Shells and Cowrie Money: A Global History by Bin Yang (Routledge; 2020) Scallops in motion (YouTube) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 19
58 min
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