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Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk

Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk

By Daniel Lelchuk
Cellist Daniel Lelchuk engages extraordinary thinkers, writers, musicians, and entertainers in spirited, passionate conversations. Diverse views. Individuality. Freedom of thought.
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Ep. 44: James Shapiro

Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk

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Ep. 117: China, the Control of the Internet, and the New Cold War with Jacob Helberg
"China wasn't trying to hack the product per se. They were trying to use products in unanticipated ways to undermine trust in democracy and in the democratic system of government." Jacob Helberg is here, with his new book in hand The Wires of War: Technology and the Global Struggle for Power. China is on our minds lately. Are we friends? Enemies? Foes? Are we at peace? At war? Helberg posits we are not on the brink of a Cold War with China— we are in the midst of one. With American sovereignty hanging in the balance, how can ordinary citizens who are concerned do something? What does China really want, and how can Washington and Silicon Valley partner together to ensure American corporations and individuals do not inadvertently became pawns? Disturbing and thought-provoking to be sure…. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk.  Jacob Helberg is a senior adviser at the Stanford University Center on Geopolitics and Technology and an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Helberg is also co-chairing the Brookings Institution China Strategy Working Group, where is helping support and lead research efforts focused on China’s intentions, foreign policy, and what the right long-term U.S. strategy should be to meet the challenge. Helberg is also a co-chair of the Brookings Institution U.S.-France Working Group on China, focused on reinvigorating the transatlantic alliance and the bilateral U.S.-France relationship vis-à-vis the global advance of autocracy and the rise of China. He is a senior member of the National Security Action Network and a member of the Manufacturing Leadership Council at the National Association of Manufacturers. From 2016 to 2020, Helberg led Google’s internal global product policy efforts to combat disinformation and foreign interference. As a policy adviser, Helberg led the implementation of Google’s most complex global news policy initiatives. These included the company’s global policy and enforcement processes against state-backed foreign interference, misinformation, and actors undermining election integrity. Prior to joining Google, Jacob was a member of the founding team of GeoQuant, a geopolitical risk forecasting technology company backed by Swiss Re’s venture capital arm, one of the world’s largest reinsurers. Helberg graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in international affairs from the George Washington University. During his time as an undergraduate, he helped launch a development program in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, which received praise from officials from French Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Department of State. Helberg spent a semester at Sciences Po Paris, a prestigious higher education institution and the alma mater of the last five French presidents, including President Macron. Helberg received his M.S. in cybersecurity risk and strategy from New York University.
40:57
October 26, 2021
Ep. 116: Nuclear Roulette and the Cuban Missile Crisis with Martin Sherwin
"As Kennedy said at the United Nations, there is a 'sword of Damocles hanging by a thread over humanity,' and we're still in that same position today and will remain in that position unless we figure out how to get rid of nuclear weapons." This is a rebroadcast of Ep. 88, aired originally April 7th, 2021. Marty Sherwin died on October 6th, 2021.  ----- Pulitzer-prize winning historian Martin J. Sherwin is on the podcast, discussing his new book Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The book sheds new light and brings fresh insights into what was one of the most volatile, potentially catastrophic periods of time in history— a time when the fate of the world was at a precipice. Many of the questions one naturally has about this period are answered by Marty Sherwin in dramatic, detailed manner. How did it happen in the first place that the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, was storing nuclear arms in Cuba? What role, contrary to what he writes in his autobiography, did Bobby Kennedy play? Who were the real heroes here that caused the world to avoid all-out nuclear war, and how close did we really come? Perhaps, most importantly: what have we, what has the world learned? Are we any better off now than before? Marty Sherwin, the world's preeminent Cold War historian is here, and he explains our past, our future, and our tragic reliance on Nuclear Arms. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon.  Martin Jay Sherwin (1937-2021) was an author and historian specializing in the development of atomic weapons and nuclear policy. Along with Kai Bird, Sherwin co-wrote American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2006. Sherwin was born in Brooklyn and studied at Dartmouth College. After four years in the Naval Air Force, Sherwin began graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, receiving a Ph.D. in history in 1971. His dissertation focused on the decision to drop the atomic bomb, and was revised and published in 1975 as A World Destroyed: The Atomic Bomb and the Grand Alliance to much acclaim. In addition to A World Destroyed and American Prometheus, Sherwin has advised a number of documentaries and television series relating to the Manhattan Project, including The Day after Trinity: A History of Nuclear Strategy, Stalin’s Bomb Maker: Citizen Kurchatov, and War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.  Sherwin also had a long and distinguished teaching career. In 1988, Sherwin founded the Global Classroom Project, which joined students from the United States and Russia in conversations over issues such as the nuclear arms race. Sherwin was professor emeritus in history at Tufts University and a professor of history at George Mason University. His collection of more than two dozen interviews and oral histories with Oppenheimer’s colleagues and friends is available on the "Voices of the Manhattan Project" website.
59:38
October 19, 2021
Ep. 115: Antibiotic Resistant Diseases and Nature's Next Medicines with Cassandra Quave
"No matter where you go in the world, there has been a system of medicine that has been primarily based on plants. Billions rely on such a system still today." Ethnobotanist (we discover what that is!) Dr. Cassandra Quave joins the podcast. She is out with a book called The Plant Hunter: A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines. The book explores many issues people often think about-- what is happening in the vast, dizzying world of plants, and can plants help us more-- maybe a lot more-- than they already are? Plants are the basis for an array of lifesaving and health-improving medicines we all now take for granted. Ever taken an aspirin? Thank a willow tree for that. What about life-saving medicines for malaria? Some of those are derived from cinchona and wormwood. In today's world of synthetic pharmaceuticals, scientists and laypeople alike have lost this connection to the natural world. But by ignoring the potential of medicinal plants, we are losing out on the opportunity to discover new life-saving medicines needed in the fight against the greatest medical challenge of this century: the rise of the post-antibiotic era. Antibiotic-resistant microbes plague us all. Each year, 700,000 people die due to these untreatable infections; by 2050, 10 million annual deaths are expected unless we act now. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk.  Dr. Cassandra L. Quave is a medical ethnobotanist whose work is focused on the documentation and analysis of botanical remedies used in the treatment of infectious disease. Her expertise and interests include the traditional medical practices of the Mediterranean, and the botanical sources of anti-infectives and natural products for skin care. Dr. Quave holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor of Dermatology in the Emory University School of Medicine and Emory Center for the Study of Human Health, where she leads drug discovery research initiatives and teaches courses on medicinal plants, food and health. Dr. Quave also serves as Director/Curator of the Emory University Herbarium, and is associated faculty with the Departments of Biology, Environmental Sciences and Anthropology at Emory. She is a member of the Emory University Antibiotic Resistance Center and the Winship Cancer Center Discovery and Development Therapeutics Program. She also serves on the training faculty for the Antibiotic Resistance and Therapeutic Discovery Training Program, the Molecular and Systems Pharmacology Graduate Program and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Graduate Program at Emory. Her work has been featured in a number of international outlets including the New York Times Magazine.
49:26
October 12, 2021
Ep. 114: Tom Nichols on the Assault on American Democracy
“A huge amount of what’s going on in American society today is a blatant display of narcissism."  Tom Nichols joins the podcast for round two. This time, instead of focusing on his theories of popular, growing distaste and disdain for "expertise," he and Daniel focus on American democracy. Narcissism...un-serious...lack of civic responsibility...these are all terms Tom uses to describe a large portion of voters in America. In Our Own Worst Enemy, Tom Nichols challenges the current depictions of the rise of illiberal and anti-democratic movements in the United States and elsewhere as the result of the deprivations of globalization or the malign decisions of elites. Rather, he places the blame for the rise of illiberalism on the people themselves. Nichols traces the illiberalism of the 21st century to the growth of unchecked narcissism, rising standards of living, global peace, and a resistance to change. Ordinary citizens, laden with grievances, have joined forces with political entrepreneurs who thrive on the creation of rage rather than on the encouragement of civic virtue and democratic cooperation.   Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk Tom Nichols is a U.S. Naval War College professor, and an adjunct at the U.S. Air Force School of Strategic Force Studies and the Harvard Extension School. He is a specialist on international security affairs, including U.S.-Russia relations, nuclear strategy and NATO issues. A nationally-known commentator on U.S. politics and national security, he is a columnist for USA Today and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He served as a staff member in the U.S. Senate and has held fellowships at CSIS and the Harvard Kennedy School. He has taught at Dartmouth, La Salle and Georgetown. He is also a five-time undefeated 'Jeopardy!' champion.
51:15
October 5, 2021
Ep. 113: How Philosophy can Save us From Ourselves with Steven Nadler and Lawrence Shapiro
“As rational beings and moral agents, it’s incumbent on us to use our faculties to the best of our abilities.” Philosophy professors Steven Nadler and Lawrence Shapiro are here, discussing their new book When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People. In it, they show how we can more readily spot and avoid flawed arguments and unreliable information; determine whether evidence supports or contradicts an idea; distinguish between merely believing something and knowing it; and much more. In doing so, the book reveals how epistemology, which addresses the nature of belief and knowledge, and ethics, the study of moral principles that should govern our behavior, can reduce bad thinking. Moreover, the book shows why philosophy’s millennia-old advice about how to lead a good, rational, and examined life is essential for escaping our current predicament. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Professor Nadler’s research focuses on philosophy in the seventeenth century. He has written extensively on Descartes and Cartesianism, Spinoza, and Leibniz. He also works on medieval and early modern Jewish philosophy. His publications include Spinoza: A Life (Cambridge, 1999; second edition, 2018); The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2008; paperback, Princeton 2010); The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy: From Antiquity through the Seventeenth Century (2009), co-edited with Tamar Rudavsky; A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age (Princeton, 2011) and The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter: A Portrait of Descartes (Princeton, 2013). Heretics: The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy  (Princeton University Press), a graphic book (with Ben Nadler), was published in 2017. His most recent books are Menasseh ben Israel: Rabbi of Amsterdam (“Jewish Lives”, Yale, 2018) and Think Least of Death: Spinoza on How to Live and How to Die (Princeton, 2020). He is also co-editor of The Oxford Handbook to Descartes and Cartesianism (2019), among other volumes. Professor Shapiro’s research spans philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. Within philosophy of mind he has focused on issues related to reduction, especially concerning the thesis of multiple realization. His books The Mind Incarnate (MIT, 2004) and The Multiple Realization Book (co-authored with Professor Thomas Polger at U. of Cincinnati, Oxford University Press, 2016) as well as articles in The Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, and Philosophy and Phenomenological Research examine these issues. His interests in philosophy of psychology include topics in computational theories of vision, evolutionary psychology, and embodied cognition. He’s published numerous articles on these topics in journals such as The Philosophical Review, British Journal for Philosophy of Science, and Philosophy of Science. His book, Embodied Cognition (Routledge Press), received the American Philosophical Association’s Joseph B. Gittler Award for best book in philosophy of the social sciences (2013) and is now in its second edition (2019). His recent interest in philosophy of religion resulted in The Miracle Myth: Why Belief in the Resurrection and the Supernatural is Unjustified (Columbia University Press, 2016).
54:35
September 28, 2021
Ep. 112: Mary Roach
How do you get people to read about science who don't think they're interested in science? You entertain people, you fascinate them-- ultimately you make them care."     Beloved nature and science writer Mary Roach is here with new book in hand called Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law. What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. These days, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology. Daniel and Mary also discuss many personal issues-- how did Mary get into science writing in the first place? How does music contribute to her ability to write? How can science and the humanities help each other, coexist in a better way?   Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk Mary Roach is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, including STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers; GULP: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, and PACKING FOR MARS: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Her new book FUZZ: When Nature Breaks the Law, debuts in September 2021. Mary's books have been published in 21 languages, and her second book, SPOOK, was a New York Times Notable Book. Mary has written for National Geographic, Wired, The New York Times Magazine, and the Journal of Clinical Anatomy, among others. She was a guest editor of the Best American Science and Nature Writing series and an Osher Fellow with the San Francisco Exploratorium and serves as an advisor for Orion and Undark magazines. She has been a finalist for the Royal Society's Winton Prize and a winner of the American Engineering Societies' Engineering Journalism Award, in a category for which, let's be honest, she was the sole entrant.
42:45
September 21, 2021
Ep. 111: Nathaniel Philbrick on George Washington
"We have to remain open and empathetic when examining the past and each other or we risk siloing ourselves into a self-reinforcing of our preconceptions." Historian Nathaniel Philbrick joins the podcast, armed with his new book in hand Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy. Does George Washington still matter? Philbrick argues for Washington’s unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen former colonies, which were then an unsure nation. When George Washington became president in 1789, the United States of America was still a loose and quarrelsome confederation and a tentative political experiment. Washington undertook a tour of the ex-colonies to talk to ordinary citizens about his new government, and to imbue in them the idea of being one thing–Americans. This trip is what Daniel refers to as "The original political listening tour." Daniel and Nathaniel also discuss, of course, the role music played in Washington's life and why, now more than ever, it is essential to study the humanity, the foibles, the flaws of historical figures rather than to cancel or whitewash.  Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Nathaniel Philbrick was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended Linden Elementary School and Taylor Allderdice High School.  He earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in America Literature from Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. He was Brown University’s first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978, the same year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI. After working as an editor at Sailing World magazine, he wrote and edited several books about sailing, including The Passionate Sailor, Second Wind, and Yaahting: A Parody. In 1986, Philbrick moved to Nantucket with his wife Melissa and their two children.  In 1994, he published his first book about the island’s history, Away Off Shore, followed in 1998 by a study of the Nantucket’s native legacy, Abram’s Eyes. He was the founding director of Nantucket’s Egan Maritime Institute and is a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association. In 2011 Philbrick’s Why Read Moby-Dick? was a finalist for the New England Society Book Award and was named to the 2012 Listen List for Outstanding Audiobook Narration from the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the ALA.  That year Penguin also published a new edition of his first work of history, Away Off Shore. In 2013 Philbrick published the New York Times bestseller, Bunker Hill:  A City, a Siege, a Revolution, which was awarded both the 2013 New England Book Award for Non-Fiction and the 2014 New England Society Book Award as well as the 2014 Distinguished Book Award of the Society of Colonial Wars. Philbrick’s writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. He has appeared on the Today Show, the Morning Show, Dateline, PBS’s American Experience, C-SPAN, and NPR. He and his wife Melissa still live on Nantucket.
51:43
September 14, 2021
Ep. 110: Survival of the City with Edward Glaeser and David Cutler
"Not only was our healthcare system failing us in its job of keeping us healthy for as little dollar and resource costs as possible, now we know it's also failing in its ability to keep us safe from pandemic." Harvard economists Edward Glaeser and David Cutler join the show for a discussion centered around their new book Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation. The two argue that while city life will survive, individual cities face major risks. What happens when offices don’t fill back up? How comfortable are companies with employees working from home? What will distinguish between cities that flourish and those that do not? Also addressed: the major inequities in healthcare and our deeply flawed health system, and how in a city, just like the world, our health is all interconnected. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics and the Chairman of the Department of Economics at Harvard University, where he has taught microeconomic theory, and occasionally urban and public economics, since 1992. He has served as Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. He has published dozens of papers on cities economic growth, law, and economics. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1992. David Cutler has developed an impressive record of achievement in both academia and the public sector. He served as Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard University from 1991 to 1995, was named John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Social Sciences in 1995, and received tenure in 1997. He is currently the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics in the Department of Economics and was named Harvard College Professor in 2014 until 2019.  Professor Cutler holds secondary appointments at the Kennedy School of Government and the School of Public Health.  Professor Cutler was associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for Social Sciences from 2003-2008.
45:15
September 7, 2021
Ep. 109: Terrorism and Afghanistan with Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware
"The problem today that we didn't have during the Cold War or twenty years ago is that there's profound disagreement over what are the biggest threats to our national security." On the day the United States is scheduled to end its military presence in Afghanistan, two experts on counterterrorism — Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware— join Daniel for a special discussion. On the docket is a deep dive into many issues surrounding the exit. What could the US have done better, or differently? What could happen if ISIS-K and Al Qaeda vie for power in a Taliban-led society? Hoffman makes clear that in his opinion, the US should not be leaving. But what is the alternative? Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Professor Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for over four decades. He is a tenured professor in Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where from 2010 to 2017 he was the Director of both the Center for Security Studies and of the Security Studies Program. In addition, Professor Hoffman is visiting Professor of Terrorism Studies at St Andrews University, Scotland. He previously held the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and was also Director of RAND’s Washington, D.C. Office. Professor Hoffman also served as RAND’s Vice President for External Affairs and as Acting Director of RAND’s Center for Middle East Public Policy. Appointed by the U.S. Congress to serve as a commissioner on the Independent Commission to Review the FBI’s Post-9/11 Response to Terrorism and Radicalization, Professor Hoffman was a lead author of the commission’s final report. He was Scholar-in-Residence for Counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency between 2004 and 2006; an adviser on counterterrorism to the Office of National Security Affairs, Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq in 2004, and from 2004-2005 an adviser on counterinsurgency to the Strategy, Plans, and Analysis Office at Multi-National Forces-Iraq Headquarters, Baghdad. Professor Hoffman was also an adviser to the Iraq Study Group. He has been a Distinguished Scholar, a Public Policy Scholar, a Senior Scholar, and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.; a Senior Fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.; a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel; and, a Visiting Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also a contributing editor to The National Interest and a member of the Jamestown Foundation’s Board of Directors; a member of the board of advisers to the FBI Intelligence Analysts Association; and, serves on the advisory boards to the Arms Sales Monitoring Project at the Federation of American Scientists and of Our Voices Together: September 11 Friends and Families to Help Build a Safer, More Compassionate World. Professor Hoffman holds degrees in government, history, and international relations and received his doctorate from Oxford University. In November 1994, the Director of Central Intelligence awarded Professor Hoffman the United States Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, the highest level of commendation given to a non-government employee, which recognizes sustained superior performance of high value that distinctly benefits the interests and national security of the United States. Jacob Ware is a Research Associate in the Counterterrorism and Studies Program at the Council on Foreign Relations. 
58:41
August 31, 2021
Ep. 108: Steven Strogatz
"I don't have one philosophy that covers every student-- I just try to push everybody's buttons and see what happens." Mathematician Steven Strogatz is here. Known not just as a math professor to his students at Cornell University, he is a great explainer of math and why perhaps so many of us —from middle school, high school, and beyond — feel like math drops us and leaves us behind. Using some early disappointing math experiences to illustrate how curiosity and perseverance can prevail, Steven explains to Daniel how his passion for teaching and conveying what he calls “the beauty, the elegance, and the playfulness” of math drives him. He is also on the hunt for an elusive answer to a long-sought question…. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Steven Strogatz is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics at Cornell University. After graduating summa cum laude in mathematics from Princeton in 1980, Strogatz studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He did his doctoral work in applied mathematics at Harvard, followed by a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard and Boston University. From 1989 to 1994, Strogatz taught in the Department of Mathematics at MIT. He joined the Cornell faculty in 1994. Strogatz has broad research interests. Early in his career, he worked on a variety of problems in mathematical biology, including the geometry of supercoiled DNA, the dynamics of the human sleep-wake cycle, the topology of three-dimensional chemical waves, and the collective behavior of biological oscillators, such as swarms of synchronously flashing fireflies. In the 1990s, his work focused on nonlinear dynamics and chaos applied to physics, engineering, and biology. Several of these projects dealt with coupled oscillators, such as lasers, superconducting Josephson junctions, and crickets that chirp in unison. In each case, the research involved close collaborations with experimentalists. He also likes branching out into new areas, often with students taking the lead. In the past few years, this has led him into such topics as the role of crowd synchronization in the wobbling of London’s Millennium Bridge on its opening day, and the dynamics of structural balance in social systems. He is the author of Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos (1994), Sync (2003), The Calculus of Friendship (2009), and The Joy of x (2012). His most recent book, Infinite Powers (2019), is a New York Times Best Seller.
44:57
August 24, 2021
Ep. 107: Noel Paul Stookey
“Once you’re convinced that the root of all of us living creatures is love, then you’re always looking for the redemptive solutions that we may have."    Beloved singer/songwriter Noel Paul Stookey is here. Initially well-known as a member of the folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary, he joins Daniel for a wide-ranging conversation about songwriting, music, American culture, and much more. At age 83, he is still singing, playing guitar, and bringing joy-- and maybe some peace-- to people the country over. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Singer/songwriter Noel Paul Stookey has been altering both the musical and ethical landscape of this country and the world for decades—both as the “Paul” of the legendary Peter, Paul and Mary and as an independent musician who passionately believes in bringing the spiritual into the practice of daily life. Funny, irreverently reverent, thoughtful, compassionately passionate, Stookey’s voice is known all across this land: from the “Wedding Song” to “In These Times.”   Most recently Noel's musical political commentary entitled IMPEACHABLE (based on the familiar melody of UNFORGETTABLE) has reached viral status with the on-line community, yielding over a million facebook/youtube views.   While acknowledging his history and the meaningful association with Peter and Mary - the trio perhaps best known for its blend of modern folk music and social activism, rallying support for safe energy, peace and civil rights at some of the most iconic events in our history—including the 1963 March on Washington with Martin Luther King, Noel Paul has stepped beyond the nostalgia of the folk era.  Nearly $2 million, earned from Noel’s now-classic “Wedding Song,” were used to fund the work of other socially responsible artists, which inspired Noel, along with his daughter Liz Stookey Sunde, to launch MusicToLife in 2001. The nonprofit has introduced groundbreaking ways to bring music to life for social change through technology, entertainment, artist collaboration and education.  Whether judged by the subject matter of his current concert and recorded repertoire or by virtue of his active involvement with the MusicToLife initiative (www.musictolife.org) linking music fans to the expression of contemporary concerns via many different artists and musical genres, Stookey's current musical outlook continues to be fresh, optimistic and encouraging.
55:18
August 17, 2021
Ep. 106: Daniel Sherrell
"If we continue to power our economy with fossil fuels, human civilization will not be able to be sustained long-term or perhaps even through the end of the century." Millennial climate organizer Daniel Sherrell is here, with a new book in tow. He and Daniel talk climate, his passion for activism, what is really happening to our world, and what the average person can do if they feel so compelled. His book, Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World is described as "a new kind of book about climate change: not what it is or how we solve it, but how it feels to imagine a future–and a family–under its weight.”  It is a personal book, filled with passion and rage, and in this conversation Daniel articulates how his love for planet earth— the seasons, the coastlines, the people, the biodiversity— drives his ambition to make a difference while he still can. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Daniel Sherrell is an organizer born in 1990. He helped lead the campaign to pass landmark climate justice legislation in New York and is the recipient of a Fulbright grant in creative nonfiction. Warmth is his first book. More can be found about him at https://www.danielsherrell.com He asks listeners who wish to become involved in climate issues to visit the following sites: https://www.sunrisemovement.org https://climatejusticealliance.org
45:43
August 10, 2021
Ep. 105: Leana Wen
"Public health is not just about the care people receive in the hospital. It's about the air they breathe, the water they drink, the food they have access to, the environment in which they live-- that all can determine if they are healthy." Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Renowned public health official Leana Wen is here, discussing her path from Chinese immigrant to admired physician. In her new book Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health, she speaks about her upbringing in Shanghai, her dreams since childhood to become a doctor, and her great mentors in the USA, including former Representative Elijah Cummings. Leana and Daniel of course also journey into the world of music, about with they share a passion. Dr. Wen also offers some candid advice for the public as they try to navigate the complex, changing landscape of COVID-19.  Dr. Leana Wen is an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. A nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, she is also a contributing columnist for The Washington Post, writing on health policy and public health, and an on-air commentator for CNN as a medical analyst. The author of the critically-acclaimed book on patient advocacy, When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests (St. Martin’s Press, 2013), she has a forthcoming memoir to be published July 27th, Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health (Metropolitan Books, 2021). Previously, she served as health commissioner for the city of Baltimore, where she led the nation’s oldest continuously operating health department to combat the opioid epidemic and improve maternal and child health. She has also worked as director of patient-centered care research in the department of emergency medicine at George Washington University; president of Planned Parenthood; global health fellow at the World Health Organization; consultant to the China Medical Board; and distinguished fellow at the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity.Currently, Dr. Wen serves on the board of directors of Glaukos Corporation and as the chair of the advisory board of the Behavioral Health Group. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Baltimore Community Foundation. Her previous board experience includes being board chair of Behavioral Health System Baltimore for four years and serving on boards and advisory of boards to more than ten nonprofit and venture-backed health innovation companies. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Wen has received recognition as one of Governing's Public Officials of the Year, Modern Healthcare's Top 50 Physician-Executives, World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, and TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People. Dr. Wen lives with her husband and their two young children in Baltimore.
54:07
August 3, 2021
Ep. 104: Supreme Court Panel
"Since the 1970s the Court has been moving to the right. Bill Clinton was a centrist who appointed centrist justices, not liberals. Looking forward, the justices will be more unified around the 2nd amendment than they will around overturning Roe v. Wade." Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. The United States Supreme Court finished its term recently, and we have two great experts to give us a guided tour of what just happened. Major cases were decided about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), freedom of speech, religious liberty, and other hot-button issues. Daniel is joined by Rorie Solberg and Nancy Maveety, two experts who shed light on the cases that were decided and the nuances of the many different opinions. How much should we make of some of the odd pairings and unanimous rulings? Is there a new 'conservative center' of the court forming, with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett? And what should we expect from the new term, starting in the fall? Nancy Maveety is Chair of Political Science at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she teaches courses in constitutional law, judicial decision-making, and her latest special topics class "Booze, Drugs and the Courts." She is the author of Glass and Gavel: the U.S. Supreme Court and Alcohol (2019), as well as many scholarly works on the U.S. Supreme Court and American judicial politics, most recently Picking Judges (2016), a study of federal judicial selection politics styled as a presidential briefing book. She has also written an academic satire novel set in the Crescent City, The Stagnant Pool: Scholars Below Sea Level (2000).  Nancy is an amateur cocktail enthusiast and has been a regular attendee of New Orleans' annual Tales of the Cocktail meeting since its inception more than a decade ago. She supplements her collection and study of interesting and unusual liquors and wines with regular international travel, such as to Barcelona to participate in the vermut-drinking culture of Catalunya. She is also a board member of the New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council, a non-profit organization that helps to facilitate the hospitality and exchange of international visitors to the city. Nancy has been a Fulbright Scholar twice, first to Estonia, and more recently to China (PRC). Her interests include opera and chamber music, biking, and activities related to her carnival organization, Krewe of Muses, and her ladies' wine-tasting club, Wine Queens. She lives in Uptown New Orleans in a historic and charmingly rundown shotgun house, with her partner Tom and their beagle Woodrow J. Dog. Rorie Solberg is Associate Professor of Political Science in the School of Public Policy at Oregon State University. She is widely published in journals such as Political Research Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, Policy Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in American politics with a specialization in judicial politics from the Ohio State University. Though her interests range widely across the spectrum of judicial politics, most recently she has been focusing on diversity in judicial selection, media coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court and the influence of attitudes on judicial decisionmaking in a comparative context. At Oregon State University, she teaches courses on American Government, Constitutional Law, Gender and Law, Judicial Process and Politics and Governing after the Zombie Apocalypse.
01:04:05
July 27, 2021
Ep. 103: Jake Cohen
"The definition of Jewish food is so much broader than what we learned in Hebrew School. It's something so powerful, so beautiful." Star of the food world Jake Cohen is here, armed with his new cookbook. “Jew-Ish: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Jewish Mensch” aims to bring Jewish food into the 21st century and ask some of the critical questions about the place of Jewish food on the modern dining table. What is "Jewish food” after all besides matzo balls, bagels and lox, and brisket? How do great culinary traditions and huge diversity emerge out of oppression and the Diaspora? The conversation gets spirited as Jake passionately defends his Jewish identity in the wake of a huge increase of anti-Semitic attacks. Plus, the episode finishes with a great recipe that we will all want to make! Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Jake Cohen is a bright new star in the food world, a former food staffer at Saveur, then food editor of Tasting Table and Time Out New York, and most recently the editorial and test kitchen director of social media juggernaut the Feedfeed. When he isn't writing about food for publications including Food52, Food & Wine, and Real Simple, he's posting challah braiding videos and recipes on his Instagram and TikTok (@jakecohen). He lives in New York City with his husband, Alex.
44:20
July 20, 2021
Ep. 102: Cynthia Barnett
"There is something about seashells that stretches through human time and memory. They are a wonderful way to draw people to what is happening to the ocean and our environment." Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. Naturalist writer Cynthia Barnett is here, out with a new book that is at once history, future, and love letter to seashells and the oceans. Using seashells as an entry point for how she teaches us (in a non-dogmatic way) about the perilous state, but also history and beauty of the seas, Cynthia paints a picture of love and immense respect for the great waters. The conversation moves in many interesting directions-- from mangrove forests to seafood-- as Daniel and Cynthia take listeners on a brief guided tour of her ode to the sea.  Cynthia Barnett is an award-winning environmental journalist who has reported on water and climate change around the world. Her new book, The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans, is out in July 2021 from W.W. Norton. Ms. Barnett is also the author of Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the 2016 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, and Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis, which articulates a water ethic for America. Blue Revolution was named by The Boston Globe as one of the top 10 science books of 2011. The Globe describes Ms. Barnett’s author persona as "part journalist, part mom, part historian, and part optimist." The Los Angeles Times writes that she "takes us back to the origins of our water in much the same way, with much the same vividness and compassion as Michael Pollan led us from our kitchens to potato fields and feed lots of modern agribusiness." Her first book, Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. won the gold medal for best nonfiction in the Florida Book Awards and was named by The St. Petersburg Times as one of the top 10 books that every Floridian should read. "In the days before the Internet," the Times said in a review, "books like Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ River of Grass were groundbreaking calls to action that made citizens and politicians take notice. Mirage is such a book." Ms. Barnett has written for National Geographic magazine, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Discover magazine, Salon, Politico, Orion, Ensia and many other publications. Her numerous journalism awards include a national Sigma Delta Chi prize for investigative magazine reporting and eight Green Eyeshades, which recognize outstanding journalism in 11 southeastern states. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and master's in American history with a specialization in environmental history, and was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan, where she spent a year studying water science and history. Ms. Barnett teaches environmental journalism at the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications in Gainesville, where she lives with her husband and teenagers.
41:47
July 13, 2021
Ep. 101: Daniel Lelchuk interviewed by producer Doug Christian
"Tribalism is increasing. But isn't it boring to be surrounded by people and ideas and concepts that are carbon copy of yourself? Who wouldn't get bored with that?" Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk. As a "new century" (episode 101) of Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk begins, on this episode, he puts himself in the hot seat and asks producer Doug Christian to be the interviewer. They cover a lot of ground, from Daniel's beginnings in music to his passion for interviewing people to his thoughts about dwindling music and civics education. With decades of experience in music and radio, Doug is the perfect person to have this conversation with Daniel, which takes some unexpected turns and provides insight into the thoughts and ideas behind this podcast. 
50:03
July 6, 2021
Ep. 100: Niall Ferguson
"We need to come to terms with the randomness and unpredictability of disaster." Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk.  The great writer and historian Niall Ferguson is on the show for the 100th episode. His most recent book, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, seeks to bring many different catastrophes of history under one umbrella and ask questions about what we as a society can do better. Hardly a history of disaster, the book offers a theory of disasters. Often times, as Niall explains, it is not the boss at the top who is responsible for failure, but a middleman. What nuances do we miss when we evaluate disaster and oversimplify? Are we getting better or worse and handling disaster? Daniel and Niall also cover a fascinating segment on music, and its potential dangerous intersection with politics. Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, where he served for twelve years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History. He is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He is the author of fifteen books. His first, Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation 1897-1927, was short-listed for the History Today Book of the Year award, while the collection of essays he edited, Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals, was a UK bestseller. In 1998 he published to international critical acclaim The Pity of War: Explaining World War One and The World’s Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild. The latter won the Wadsworth Prize for Business History and was also short-listed for the Jewish Quarterly/Wingate Literary Award and the American National Jewish Book Award. In 2001, after a year as a Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England, he published The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000. Ferguson was the Philippe Roman Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics in 2010-11. His many prizes and awards include the GetAbstract International Book Award (2009), the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012), the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013), the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize (2013), the Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education (2016); and Columnist of the Year at the 2018 British Press Awards. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Buckingham (UK), Macquarie University (Australia), and the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (Chile). In addition to writing a regular column for Bloomberg Opinion, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, an advisory firm, and a co-founding board member of Ualá, a Latin American bank. He also serves on the board of Affiliated Managers Group and is a trustee of the New York Historical Society and the London-based Centre for Policy Studies. Niall Ferguson is married to the author and women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. He has five children.
01:04:12
June 29, 2021
Ep. 99: Chris Matthews
"That's what's horrible about politics today-- nobody wants anybody to look good. Are people in politics amenable, available for logic anymore?" Veteran TV star and politico Chris Matthews joins Daniel for a look back and a look forward. From Chris's early passions for politics, to his time working for Jimmy Carter and Tip O'Neill, to his star turn for more than twenty years hosting Hardball, the conversation goes in many directions. What happened to American politics? Is politics "broken?" Why is the right filled with single-issue voters-- i.e. 2nd amendment-- while people on the left have many issues that determine how they vote? Chris and Daniel also wander into territory many listeners will find surprising-- everything from Tennyson to Rachmaninoff. A conversation to thrill anyone interested in the turbulent world of American politics. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. Chris Matthews is a visiting professor at Fulbright University, Vietnam. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit; Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero; Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked; Kennedy & Nixon; and Hardball. For twenty years he anchored Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC.
41:59
June 22, 2021
Ep. 98: Erik Seidel
"It's not the kind of job where you can show up and go through the motions and do well-- particularly at a high-roller event. There are plenty of amateurs today that would have been dominant players fifteen years ago." Star poker player Erik Seidel is here, talking poker and much more. Far from just a simple “how to” conversation about poker, Erik and Daniel delve into many subjects surrounding the world of poker. They discuss the complex history of the game, its rapid developments, and the major changes technology has brought to the poker world. An interesting point Erik highlights is how much the level of play has improved with the huge influence of technology as a tool for studying the game. As Erik puts it, his study used to take place while playing, but now a huge amount of preparation must be done before the game begins. In addition to his expertise in poker, Erik is a great music lover and passionate traveler—- things for which he and Daniel share a passion.  Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. Erik Seidel is an American professional poker player from Las Vegas, Nevada, who has won eight World Series of Poker bracelets and a World Poker Tour title. Seidel was born in New York City. He played professional backgammon in his youth. He eventually became a trader on the American stock exchange stock market, and then moved on to poker. Seidel was one of the group of now famous players from the former Mayfair Club in New York City, including Stu Ungar, Jay Heimowitz, Mickey Appleman, Howard Lederer, Jason Lester, Steve Zolotow, Paul Magriel, and Dan Harrington. In May 2015, Seidel won the 2015 European Poker Tour Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller for €2,015,000. Seidel mentored journalist Maria Konnikova, starting in 2018, teaching her poker and the mindset that it requires. Seidel taught Konnikova Texas Hold'em and eventually she participated in tournaments and won $350,000. In 2020, Konnikova published a book about her experience: The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, And Win. Seidel lives in Las Vegas and New York City.
40:22
June 15, 2021
Ep. 97: Mark Bittman
"We don't take food seriously enough. Children aren't taught what it means to grow food and what this is all about." Beloved and authoritative food writer Mark Bittman, armed with a new book: Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal. The conversation, which goes in many directions, is not the typical food discussion. Far from just a string of kitchen techniques, charming recipes, and culinary advice from a great cook, Mark and Daniel go on a guided tour of the food system of this country— and address some longstanding problems as well. Why do cornfields only grow solely corn while a wild field in nature grows multitudes of different plants and flowers? How can we think about putting the planet’s well-being ahead of corporate agro profits? Mark puts food and agriculture in the greater context of the social issues he has been advocating for his entire life. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. Mark Bittman is the author of 30 books, including the How to Cook Everything series and the #1 New York Times bestseller VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good. He was a food journalist and columnist, opinion columnist, and the lead magazine food writer at the New York Times, where he started writing in 1984 and stayed for 30 years. Bittman has starred in four television series, including Showtime’s Emmy-winning Years of Living Dangerously. He is a longtime TODAY regular and has made hundreds of television, radio, and podcast appearances, including on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, RealTime with Bill Maher, and CBS’s The Dish; plus NPR’s All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and Morning Edition. Bittman has written for countless publications and spoken at dozens of universities and conferences; his 2007 TED talk, “What’s wrong with what we eat,” has almost five million views. He was distinguished fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He has received six James Beard Awards and an IACP Award. Bittman is currently Special Advisor on Food Policy at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where he teaches and hosts a lecture series called Food, Public Health, and Social Justice. He is also the editor-in-chief of Heated.
42:30
June 8, 2021
Ep. 96: Richard Haass
“My own view right now is that the greatest threat to the national security of the Unites States is the division of the body politic— our own internal divisions.” Diplomat and writer Richard Haass joins the podcast. After a busy spring on Talking Beats filled with experts and luminaries on specific fields, we zoom way out in this episode and talk about our world— “a world in disarray,” as Haass describes it. One of the most significant experts on foreign policy, Dr. Haass is out with a new book called The World: A Brief Introduction. Using the book as a jumping off point for the conversation, Haass and Daniel take a deep dive into what is happening both with US foreign policy and various political instabilities all around the world. The discussion ranges from the moral and practical necessity of getting vaccines to India as soon as possible, to shifting European power bases (what will happen to Germany post Merkel?), to the role of great music serving to at least pause- if not “fix” the world’s problems. This episode paints a picture of a chaotic, difficult to understand world. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. Dr. Richard Haass is a veteran diplomat, a prominent voice on American foreign policy, and an established leader of nonprofit institutions. He is in his eighteenth year as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, publisher, and educational institution dedicated to being a resource to help people better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. In 2013, he served as the chair of the multiparty negotiations in Northern Ireland that provided the foundation for the 2014 Stormont House Agreement. For his efforts to promote peace and conflict resolution, he received the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award. From January 2001 to June 2003, Dr. Haass was director of policy planning for the Department of State, where he directed the policy planning staff and was a principal advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold the rank of ambassador, Dr. Haass also served as U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan and U.S. envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process. Dr. Haass has extensive additional government experience. From 1989 to 1993, he was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. In 1991, Dr. Haass was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for his contributions to the development and articulation of U.S. policy during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Previously, he served in the Departments of State (1981–1985) and Defense (1979–1980), and was a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate. Dr. Haass is the author or editor of fourteen books on American foreign policy and one book on management. His latest book is The World: A Brief Introduction, published by Penguin Press. Dr. Haass was born in Brooklyn, New York, and lives in New York City.
50:55
June 1, 2021
Ep. 95: Jordan Ellenberg
"People may think of themselves as having no mind for geometry at all, but that's purely an illusion." Jordan Ellenberg -- mathematician, numbers guru, and explainer -- joins the podcast on the day his new book is released. The book, called Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else, takes that subject so many people had problems with in middle school or high school and shows even the most casual reader that we all have a feel for geometry somewhere inside us-- even if we don't think we do. Coincidentally, that is something Daniel has long said about music and its mass appeal, and so Daniel and Jordan explore the fascinating parallels between geometry and music, and even get into a heated discussion over Jordan's portrayal of Puccini and his operas! Gerrymandering, politics, and math are all connected in this conversation as well, and some great poetry makes an appearance, too.  Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. Jordan Ellenberg grew up in Potomac, MD, the child of two statisticians. He excelled in mathematics from a young age, and competed for the U.S. in the International Mathematical Olympiad three times, winning two gold medals and a silver. He went to college at Harvard, got a master’s degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins, and then returned to Harvard for his Ph.D. in math. After graduate school, he was a postdoc at Princeton. In 2004, he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he is now the John D. MacArthur Professor of Mathematics.  Ellenberg’s research has uncovered new and unexpected connections between these subjects and algebraic topology, the study of abstract high-dimensional shapes and the relations between them. Ellenberg was a plenary speaker at the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings, the largest mathematics conference in the world, and he has lectured about his research around the United States and in ten other countries.  Ellenberg has been writing for a general audience about math for more than fifteen years; his work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Wired, The Believer, and the Boston Globe, and he is the author of the “Do the Math” column in Slate. His Wired feature story on compressed sensing appeared in the Best Writing on Mathematics 2011 anthology. His novel, The Grasshopper King, was a finalist for the 2004 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. His 2014 book How Not To Be Wrong was a New York Times and Sunday Times (London)bestseller and was one of Bill Gates’ top five summer books; it has been published in sixteen countries.
01:00:04
May 25, 2021
Ep. 94: André Aciman
"Art is the repository of the things we never did and wish we had done. It is the song of our regrets." The great writer of fiction and non-fiction André Aciman is here. In the discussion, he and Daniel explore the interplay of time and place. Using Aciman's recent book of essays, Homo Irrealis, as the jumping off point, many questions such as "Where and what is home?" "Who makes up a place?" "What is memory?" come up and are discussed in depth. Irrealis is what Aciman describes as "a category of verbal moods that indicate that certain events have not happened, may never happen, or should or must or are indeed desired to happen, but for which there is no indication that they will ever happen. Irrealis moods are also known as counterfactual moods and include the conditional, the subjunctive, the optative, and the imperative—all best expressed in this book as the might-be and the might-have-been." Also in the conversation is a deep look at time in music, the melancholy of Mozart, the wanderings of Freud and Cavafy, and a special reading of Proust by Aciman at the end, which provides a moving context and final note. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. André Aciman received his Ph. D. and A.M. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University and a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Lehman College. Before coming to The Graduate Center at CUNY, he taught at Princeton University and Bard College.   Although his specialty is in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English, French and Italian literature (he wrote his dissertation on Madame de LaFayette's La Princesse de Clèves), he is especially interested in the theory of the psychological novel (roman d'analyse) across boundaries and eras. In addition to teaching the history of literary theory, he teaches the work of Marcel Proust and the literature of memory and exile. André Aciman is the former executive officer of the Doctoral Program in Comparative Literature.  He is also the director of The Writers' Institute at The Graduate Center, as well as of The Center for the Humanities, and of the Critical Theory Certificate Program. He is the author of the memoir Out of Egypt, and of two collections of essays, False Papers: Essays on Exile and Memory and Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere. He has co–authored and edited The Proust Project and Letters of Transit. He is also the author of four novels, Call Me by Your Name, Eight White Nights, Harvard Square, and of the forthcoming Enigma Variations. His books have appeared in many languages. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship from The New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, The Paris Review, as well as in many volumes of The Best American Essays.
58:04
May 18, 2021
Ep. 93: Steven Nadler
"Philosophy is a dialogue. It's a dialogue of those of us who are contemporaries, but also a dialogue between us and those who came before." Renowned philosopher Steven Nadler is here. The expert on the 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza, Nadler lays out clearly not only why Spinoza matters today, but also why perhaps he is the most relevant of all philosophers to our modern day lives. Nadler explains Spinoza's concept of a "free man," and how we can all use our finite time on earth to examine our lives, our inner workings, and the people around us to have a more free, joyful existence. The conversation also goes in other directions, as Daniel and Steven discuss instances in which good, virtuous people have to look at the rules around them and make a tough decision-- to follow blindly or to bend or even break a rule if the context calls for it. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. Professor Nadler’s research focuses on philosophy in the seventeenth century. He has written extensively on Descartes and Cartesianism, Spinoza, and Leibniz. He also works on medieval and early modern Jewish philosophy. His publications include Spinoza: A Life (Cambridge, 1999; second edition, 2018); The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2008; paperback, Princeton 2010); The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy: From Antiquity through the Seventeenth Century (2009), co-edited with Tamar Rudavsky; A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age (Princeton, 2011) and The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter: A Portrait of Descartes (Princeton, 2013). Heretics: The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy  (Princeton University Press), a graphic book (with Ben Nadler), was published in 2017. His most recent books are Menasseh ben Israel: Rabbi of Amsterdam (“Jewish Lives”, Yale, 2018) and Think Least of Death: Spinoza on How to Live and How to Die (Princeton, 2020); he is also co-editor of The Oxford Handbook to Descartes and Cartesianism (2019). He has held visiting professorships at the University of Amsterdam, the École Normale Supérieure (Paris), the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris), Stanford University, and the University of Chicago, and was Scholar-in-Residence at the American Academy in Rome. He recently served as the editor of the Journal of the History of Philosophy. He is currently  director of UW-Madison’s Institute for Research in the Humanities. In 2020, he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
58:54
May 11, 2021
Ep. 92: Dennis Ross, Michael Singh, and Israel/Iran Relations
"There are signs that the Iranians would want sanctions relief, but they also have the ability to endure and don't seem to mind imposing real austerity on their own country. Economic leverage is a lever that can work but obviously by itself is not sufficient." On today's program, a special program that delves into the torrid world of mideast politics with two of our country's greatest experts-- Ambassador Dennis Ross and Michael Singh. The two guests and Daniel explore where things really are with the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) and how the US can perhaps get a process back on track. How desperate should we be do re-enter the agreement? What about the behavior of the new administration is helping Israel's confidence in our goals? How is the Biden administration operating differently-- or similarly-- to that of Trump? The conversation also features an extended section about diplomacy, and how one can conduct diplomacy over the internet. Prospects for optimism also play a role near the end of this wide-ranging discussion.  Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Prior to returning to the Institute in 2011, he served two years as special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ross is the author of several influential books on the peace process, the Middle East, and international relations. His most recent book, co-written with his Washington Institute colleague David Makovsky, is Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny (PublicAffairs, September 2019). Previously, Ross authored Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, October 2015). He also co-authored Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East (Viking, June 2009) with Mr. Makovsky. An earlier study, The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004), offers comprehensive analytical and personal insight into the Middle East peace process. Michael Singh is the Lane-Swig Senior Fellow and managing director at The Washington Institute and a former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council. During his tenure at the White House from 2005 to 2008, Mr. Singh was responsible for devising and coordinating U.S. national security policy toward the region stretching from Morocco to Iran, with a particular emphasis on Iran’s nuclear and regional activities, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Syria, and security cooperation in the broader Middle East. Previously, Mr. Singh served as special assistant to secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and at the U.S. embassy in Israel.
58:44
May 4, 2021
Ep. 91: Jim McKelvey
"As we come out of the pandemic, instead of just absentmindedly letting your time get filled back up for you, maybe choose to keep a few things compressed and use that time for something else. I am looking forward to having my life back, but also looking forward to having more control over the things I don't want to do." Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. Inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Jim McKelvey is here. In this wide-ranging conversation, he and Daniel talk about what it means to be faced with what Jim calls "a perfect problem," and how certain people are able to see the solution right in front of them. What is an inventor in modern times? Why is Square, the company he cofounded with his friend Jack Dorsey, such a game changer when it comes to small merchants being able to thrive? What does true vision look like? The conversation takes some unexpected turns as well, as Jim and Daniel discuss everything from glass blowing to musical timing to the great pianists of the past. James McKelvey is a serial entrepreneur, inventor, philanthropist and artist. He is the cofounder of Square, was chairman of its board until 2010, and still serves on the Board of Directors. In 2011, his iconic card reader design was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art. In 2016, McKelvey founded Invisibly, an ambitious project to rewire the economics of online content. In 2017, he was appointed as an Independent Director of the St. Louis Federal Reserve. 
52:15
April 27, 2021
Ep. 90: Sherry Turkle
“For years I’ve talked about how online life degrades our attention to each other in ways that are not good for empathy because people never know if you’re paying full attention to them.” The beloved Sherry Turkle joins the podcast, for a conversation that attempts to take stock of where we are, and who we are, as we gradually move from pandemic life into the still-unknown “new normal.” Daniel and Sherry discuss why video calls are so ineffective and poor at creating opportunities for empathy. Speaking of which, what is empathy? It makes up part of the title of Sherry Turkle’s new book, but for many it’s a very difficult concept to grasp. Daniel also compares "radical listening” in conversation to the art of playing music together and what in-person, real time reactions mean for creating the magical moments. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT, and the founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Professor Turkle received a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed clinical psychologist. Professor Turkle writes on the “subjective side” of people’s relationships with technology, especially computers. She is an expert on culture and therapy, mobile technology, social networking, and sociable robotics. Her newest book, The Empathy Diaries: A Memoir ties together her personal story with her groundbreaking research on technology, empathy, and ethics. Her previous book, the New York Times bestseller, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age investigates how a flight from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivity.Professor Turkle is a featured media commentator on the social and psychological effects of technology for CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, the BBC, and NPR, including appearances on such programs as Nightline, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Frontline, Dateline, 20/20, and The Colbert Report.
59:45
April 20, 2021
Ep. 89: Saul Lelchuk
"One of the delights of fiction is that you can take a reality and you can transform it into the reality that you are personally trying to show or are concerned with." Fiction writer Saul Lelchuk is here-- Daniel's older brother. Saul is out with a new book, the second installment of the Nikki Griffin series, titled One Got Away. In the discussion, Daniel and Saul talk about the creation of works of fiction-- what is the difference between an idea for a book and an actual book? How important is the process and power of daily observation? How can a creator of fiction mold reality into something new, something different? Near the end of the conversation when the discussion turns to music, Saul speaks eloquently about his love for the great jazz trumpeters such as Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, as well as poignantly recounting the tragic life of Chet Baker.  Saul A. Lelchuk holds a B.A. in English from Amherst College and a master's degree from Dartmouth College. He divides his time between Oakland, California and Hanover, New Hampshire, where he teaches graduate creative writing at Dartmouth College. Save Me From Dangerous Men is the start of a series featuring bookseller and private investigator Nikki Griffin. The series has been optioned for film and television and the foreign rights have sold in multiple countries around the world. Save Me From Dangerous Men was named a USA Today Best Book of 2019, a Booklist Top 10 Crime Debut of 2019, a Kirkus Best Mystery/Thriller of 2019, a Hudson Booksellers Best of the Year, and also has been short-listed for a Barry Award to be named at Bouchercon 2020. Lelchuk is a member of the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) and International Thriller Writers (ITW). He is represented by the LGR Literary Agency and his film/television rights by the Gersh Agency.
48:15
April 13, 2021
Ep. 88: Martin Sherwin
"As Kennedy said at the United Nations, there is a 'sword of Damocles hanging by a thread over humanity,' and we're still in that same position today and will remain in that position unless we figure out how to get rid of nuclear weapons." Pulitzer-prize winning historian Martin J. Sherwin is on the podcast, discussing his new book Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The book sheds new light and brings fresh insights into what was one of the most volatile, potentially catastrophic period of time in history— a time when the fate of the world was at a precipice. Many of the questions one naturally has about this period are answered by Marty Sherwin in dramatic, detailed manner. How did it happen in the first place that the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, was storing nuclear arms in Cuba? What role, contrary to what he writes in his autobiography, did Bobby Kennedy play? Who were the real heroes here that caused the world to avoid all-out nuclear war, and how close did we really come? Perhaps, most importantly, what have we, what has the world learned? Are we any better off now than before? Marty Sherwin, the world's preeminent Cold War historian is here, and he explains our past, our future, and our tragic reliance on Nuclear Arms. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. Martin Jay Sherwin is an author and historian specializing in the development of atomic weapons and nuclear policy. Along with Kai Bird, Sherwin co-wrote American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2006. Sherwin was born in Brooklyn and studied at Dartmouth College. After four years in the Naval Air Force, Sherwin began graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, receiving a Ph.D. in history in 1971. His dissertation focused on the decision to drop the atomic bomb, and was revised and published in 1975 as A World Destroyed: The Atomic Bomb and the Grand Alliance to much acclaim. In addition to A World Destroyed and American Prometheus, Sherwin has advised a number of documentaries and television series relating to the Manhattan Project, including The Day after Trinity: A History of Nuclear Strategy, Stalin’s Bomb Maker: Citizen Kurchatov, and War and Peace in the Nuclear Age. Sherwin has also had a long and distinguished teaching career. In 1988, Sherwin founded the Global Classroom Project, which joined students from the United States and Russia in conversations over issues such as the nuclear arms race. Sherwin is currently a professor emeritus in history at Tufts University and a professor of history at George Mason University. His collection of more than two dozen interviews and oral histories with Oppenheimer’s colleagues and friends is available on the "Voices of the Manhattan Project" website.
59:18
April 7, 2021
Ep. 87: Terry Virts
“The world does a lot better when America leads, as long as we’re leading promoting democracy and free market economies. We can’t be promoting the dictators and authoritarians of the world.” One of the most distinguished NASA astronauts of the last few decades is here, talking everything from space to his passion for Mozart. Colonel Terry Virts, former head of the International Space Station, has a book out called How to Astronaut: An Insider’s Guide to Leaving Planet Earth, which serves as the jumping-off point for this expansive conversation. Lots of the fundamental questions one has about space and space travel are answered in this discussion, such as "what is it like putting on a space suit?” and “how does one mentally handle the pressures and risks of leaving this planet?” In the second part of the conversation, Terry and Daniel zoom out and discuss the broader implications of multi-country cooperation via the International Space Station. What lessons about cultural exchanges can be taught and applied on earth that occur daily in space as astronauts from different countries come together for a common goal? How is a government different than its people? What does the study of foreign language do for one’s ability to connect with people in far away lands? Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. Col. Terry Virts (ret) served as a U.S. Air Force test fighter pilot, is a NASA veteran of two spaceflights and a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Harvard Business School. He recently directed his first film, ​One More Orbit​. He is a celebrated thought leader, speaker and author whose ​seven months in space included: piloting the Space Shuttle; commanding the International Space Station; three spacewalks; and performing scientific experiments, while working closely with multiple international partners. Virts worked with Russian Space Agency cosmonauts during some of the most stressful U.S.-Russian relations since the Cold War. While in space he took more than 300,000 photos – more than on any other space mission. The images are an integral component of the National Geographic IMAX film ​A Beautiful Planet​, which Virts also shot and stars in. His first book for National Geographic, ​View From Above​, combines his best photography with stories about spaceflight alongside his perspectives about life on earth and our place in the cosmos. An in-demand speaker at events across the globe, Virts’​ inspires audiences with stories from space as well as his insights into life on earth. He brings his unique perspective to businesses worldwide on diverse topics such as our environment, global wealth, intercultural leadership, crisis and risk management, innovation, strategy and vision and decision making.
01:08:16
March 30, 2021
Ep. 86: Oded Rechavi
"We have just a few kinds of antibiotics, and certain kinds of bacteria are totally resistant to these. If these bacteria spread, as every biologist knows is about to happen at some point, we are totally helpless." The Israeli biologist Oded Rechavi is here. The practitioner of what he describes as "radical science," he spends his life studying one millimeter long roundworms called C. elegans... but what does this have to do with humans, with inheritable traits, with our potential for survival now and in the future? Well, a lot actually. From his early passions studying art in Paris, to his breakthrough biological discovery during his PhD studies at Columbia, to his descriptions of bacteria and the possibility they can be resistant to the tools humans have developed to fight back-- the conversation is illuminating and even scary. We also learn how fortunate we are that SARS-CoV-2 turned out to be a very simple genetic code for which to combat using vaccines, and what might happen if we are confronted with a more lethal, more complex virus. It's a wild scientific world out there, and Oded Rechavi helps us sort it out.  Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. Professor Oded Rechavi’s mission is to challenge fundamental long-held scientific dogmas. He found an exception to the original “Cell Theory," provided the first direct evidence that an acquired trait can be inherited, elucidated an alternative transgenerational inheritance mechanism (that depends on inherited small RNA molecules, not DNA molecules), discovered a mechanism that allows nematodes’ brains to control the behavior of their progeny, discovered a neuronal circuit-level mechanism that explains economic irrationality, and demonstrated that parasites can be genetically engineered to deliver drugs to the nervous system.  Recently, Prof. Rechavi utilized genome sequencing to “piece together” fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Prof. Rechavi is an ERC Fellow, and was awarded many prestigious prizes, such as the Schmidt Science Polymath award, the Kadar award, Blavatnik award, the Krill Wolf award, the Alon, and F.I.R.S.T (Bikura) Prizes, and the Gross Lipper Fellowship. Prof. Rechavi was selected as one of the “10 Most Creative People in Israel Under 40”, and one of the “40 Most Promising People in Israel Under 40”.
45:42
March 23, 2021
Ep. 85: John McWhorter
"There are all sorts of things in linguistics that would be fascinating to discover: how language started, what the beginnings were, why language evolved. There are some languages that are easier to learn because grownups had to learn them a lot. English is one of those, partially because of what Vikings did to it starting in the year 787." Linguist and social commentator John McWhorter is on the show, discussing his early passion for language, current trends in linguistics, musicology, and academia, and his deep love of Broadway and 'The Great American Songbook.' He and Daniel delve into many of the fundamental questions people have about language-- how did it all start? How many languages are there in the world? Why are some so difficult? McWhorter also spends some time analyzing the extreme polarization in which our country finds itself right now-- the far left and the far right pulling increasingly apart-- and he offers a potential remedy, while acknowledging it probably isn't very likely to happen any time soon. Never afraid to speak his mind, even when it goes against the grain, he is a source of great knowledge about our American cultural fabric. In the closing segment, he gives us great recommendations for some songs and musicals to listen to right now. A few may surprise you.  John H McWhorter is an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University. He earned his B.A. from Rutgers, his M.A. from New York University, and his Ph.D. in linguistics from Stanford. Professor McWhorter has taught the American Studies seminar "Language in America," a study of American linguistic history that considered Native American languages, immigrant languages, creole languages, and Black English -- their development, interactions, and preservation. He has also taught the seminar "Language Contact," which focused specifically on the mixture of language in North America, and studied the development of creoles, pidgins, koines, "vehicular" languages, and nonstandard dialects. The seminar considered perceived legitimacy of languages, and the standing of language mixtures in media and education. Professor McWhorter is an author of more than a dozen books including The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, Losing the Race: Self Sabotage in Black America and Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English. In 2016 he published Words on the Move: Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally). He also regularly contributes to newspapers and magazines including The New Republic and The Atlantic. Some might be particularly interested in his article on how immigrants change languages in The Atlantic and an essay on policing the "N-word" in Time. 
47:44
March 16, 2021
Ep. 84: Walter Isaacson
“I love the miracles of science, and I think it’s more dangerous to fear science than to embrace it. The basic theme of my book is ‘nature is beautiful.' And the other theme? ‘Nature is useful.’ Once you realize how beautiful it is, you can use our human ingenuity to turn the beauty of nature into things than can help us.” Walter Isaacson is back on the show, this time with a new book in hand titled The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race. As Isaacson explains in the opening pages of the book, the first half of the 20th century was driven by a revolution centered around physics — Einstein, relativity and quantum theory. The second half of the 20th century was an information technology era: the computer, the microchip, and the internet, which lead to the digital revolution. Now, Isaacson posits, we are entering the most momentous era of all— a life-science revolution, driven by the cutting-edge gene editing technology called CRISPR that changes lives and changes people— literally. In the first part of this conversation, Walter and Daniel go into the development of CRISPR and its extraordinary possibilities in curing diseases and stopping viruses, as well as how it has already been abused. In the second part, they discuss the broad moral implications the use of gene editing raises, from the basic questions “Should I be able to make my son a little taller, a little more muscular?” to more profound questions such as "What is a disability?" Should deafness in children, for example, be a trait preserved by deaf parents? What is objectively a hindrance to living a full and rich life that CRISPR can easily solve? Who decides? This is our future, whether we like it or not. It is up to us as a society— not scientists and not politicians — to decide our fate and the limits we will set for ourselves. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. Walter Isaacson is a Professor of History at Tulane. He has been the editor of Time Magazine, the CEO and Chairman of CNN, and the CEO of the Aspen Institute. He is an advisory partner at Perella Weinberg, a financial services firm based in New York City, a cohost of the PBS show Amanpour & Co., a contributor to CNBC, and host of the podcast “Trailblazers, from Dell Technologies.” He is the author of Leonardo da Vinci (2017), The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (2014), Steve Jobs (2011), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986)He joined TIME in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor, and editor of digital media before becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 1996. He became chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of the Arts, and the American Philosophical Society. He serves on the board of United Airlines, Halliburton Labs, the New Orleans City Planning Commission, the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Society of American Historians, and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.
38:37
March 9, 2021
Ep. 83: Stephen Greenblatt
"Shakespeare's world was not that of the 'Renaissance Pleasure Fair.' It was a world of oppression, spying and betrayal, mass executions, censorship. But understanding how we got something precious from that should be part of what strengthens our grasp of what we have received from the past." The great literary scholar and Shakespeare expert Stephen Greenblatt is here for a discussion about The Bard--- his plays, his influence, and how one goes about teaching Shakespeare. Themes that have come up before on this show reappear here, notably what does one do with the uncomfortable, sometimes disturbing content of The Taming of the Shrew, Othello, or The Merchant of Venice? What is a college class supposed to make of all this in America in 2021? How does Greenblatt take lessons from the history of world art and culture and funnel them through Shakespeare to his students, to the readers of his books? Also included here is a deep dive into Verdi's Otello-- what Greenblatt believes to be a profoundly moving treatment of one of Shakespeare's great masterpieces.  Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. Stephen Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. He is the author of fourteen books, including Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics; The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve; The Swerve: How the World Became Modern; Shakespeare's Freedom; Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare; Hamlet in Purgatory; Marvelous Possessions; and Renaissance Self-Fashioning. He is General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature and of The Norton Shakespeare, has edited seven collections of criticism, and is a founding editor of the journal Representations. His honors include the 2016 Holberg Prize from the Norwegian Parliament, the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and the 2011 National Book Award for The Swerve, MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize (twice), Harvard University’s Cabot Fellowship, the Distinguished Humanist Award from the Mellon Foundation, Yale’s Wilbur Cross Medal, the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, the Erasmus Institute Prize, two Guggenheim Fellowships and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, Berkeley. Among his named lecture series are the Adorno Lectures in Frankfurt, the University Lectures at Princeton, and the Clarendon Lectures at Oxford, and he has held visiting professorships at universities in Beijing, Kyoto, London, Paris, Florence, Torino, Trieste, and Bologna, as well as the Renaissance residency at the American Academy in Rome. He was president of the Modern Language Association of America and a long-term fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin. He has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Philosophical Society, the Italian literary academy Accademia degli Arcadi, and is a fellow of the British Academy.
01:04:60
March 2, 2021
Ep. 82: Frank Wilczek
"Symmetry is the idea that you have patterns that allow transformation that might have changed them but don't, so a circle has a lot of symmetry because you can rotate it around the center and it's still the same object. This can also be applied to concepts in physics." Physicist Frank Wilczek is here to discuss his new book Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality, where he outlines who we are, what we are, and where we are in relation to the world and the rest of the universe. He and Daniel have a discussion that goes in many directions, centered around Wilczek's love of history and culture and the connections he brings from those fields into physics. Beginning with how a baby interacts with the physical world around him, Wilczek charts the human discovery of the fundamentals that govern and shape us and everything around us. What does it mean for an equation to be beautiful? Does the night sky still dazzle someone like Wilczek, who has been studying all this his entire life? How many stars really are there?  Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. Professor Frank Wilczek is considered one of the world's most eminent theoretical physicists. He is known, among other things, for the discovery of asymptotic freedom, the development of quantum chromodynamics, the invention of axions, and the discovery and exploitation of new forms of quantum statistics (anyons). When only 21 years old and a graduate student at Princeton University, in work with David Gross he defined the properties of color gluons, which hold atomic nuclei together. Professor Wilczek received his B.S. degree from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He taught at Princeton from 1974–81. During the period 1981–88, he was the Chancellor Robert Huttenback Professor of Physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the first permanent member of the National Science Foundation's Institute for Theoretical Physics. In the fall of 2000, he moved from the Institute for Advanced Study, where he was the J.R. Oppenheimer Professor, to the MIT Department of Physics, where he is the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics. Since 2002, he has been an Adjunct Professor in the Centro de Estudios Científicos of Valdivia, Chile. Professor Wilczek has been a Sloan Foundation Fellow (1975-77) and a MacArthur Foundation Fellow (1982-87). He has received UNESCO's Dirac Medal, the American Physical Society's Sakurai Prize, the Michelson Prize from Case Western University, and the Lorentz Medal of the Netherlands Academy for his contributions to the development of theoretical physics. In 2004 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics, and in 2005 the King Faisal Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Netherlands Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a Trustee of the University of Chicago. He contributes regularly to Physics Today and to Nature, explaining topics at the frontiers of physics to wider scientific audiences. He received the Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society for these activities. Two of his pieces have been anthologized in Best American Science Writing (2003, 2005). Together with his wife Betsy Devine, he wrote a beautiful book, Longing for the Harmonies (W.W. Norton).
01:04:13
February 23, 2021
Ep. 81: Michael Tilson Thomas
“We are so lucky in music that we can look back to someone like Beethoven or Monteverdi or Josquin des Prez and understand through their music many different qualities of how people imagined themselves to be, how they imagined life to be. Despite the fact that we’re having this lovely conversation, the acronym of my life has become AFWAP— 'as few words as possible.' That is my new ideal that I hope to realize a bit more fully until…I’m outta here." Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) is here, one of the most celebrated American musicians of the past half century. In this wide-ranging look into the thinking of this fascinating figure, MTT and Daniel discuss everything from the very fundamentals of music -- "sad" chords and "happy" chords, how harmony is like flavor such as when one adds one drop of sesame oil to a soup -- to MTT's work with such legendary figures as Jascha Heifetz, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, and Gregor Piatigorsky. Far from being a standard interview, here MTT and Daniel take a deep dive into Mozart, the ever-elusive Wunderkind that can be so difficult for players to grasp. MTT also expresses his love for working with young, promising musicians, and how after all these years in music, patterns, in all sorts of ways, become more evident. As he says at the end, "music keeps your spirit alive in a very wonderful way." With MTT seated at his keyboard, we are treated to unexpected musical examples as he illustrates the power of a turn of phrase. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.  Conductor, composer, and educator Michael Tilson Thomas is Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. In June 2020, he completed a remarkable 25-year tenure as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, becoming the Orchestra’s first Music Director Laureate.His television credits include the New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts and Keeping Score on PBS-TV, which he and the San Francisco Symphony launched in 2004. His compositions include From the Diary of Anne Frank and Meditations on Rilke, both recorded with the SF Symphony and released on SFS Media in June 2020; Shówa/Shoáh; settings of poems by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman; Island Music; Notturno; and Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind. Tilson Thomas is a 2019 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, was Musical America’s Musician and Conductor of the Year, and was inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was inducted in the California Hall of Fame, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama. Tilson Thomas was named an Officier in the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in June 2020, recognizing his continued contributions to global culture and the vast impact of his 25 years as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony. For more information, visit michaeltilsonthomas.com.
01:04:28
February 16, 2021
Ep. 80: Jorja Fleezanis
"I listen to classical music very specifically because I need to be able to feel at the end of what I'm listening to like I'm able confront the darkest sides of what I'm experiencing as well. I feel comforted by Beethoven. I feel comforted by his ability to say something to me that cannot be said any other way. A sense of hopelessness that is not without giving us some worth." Violinist Jorja Fleezanis is here to talk music and the staying power of music, the spell it casts, over children and adults alike. From the first time she heard a violin record as a young child to right now, after a career of more than five decades-- what does music say to her today that it didn't then? How do the names she thinks of as the 'Mt. Rushmore' -- Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann -- sustain her and grow with her? And why is she currently listening to every song The Beatles ever recorded? Jorja and Daniel explore what it is to be in an orchestra, and how the will of the ensemble must rise above political and personal fractures. A longtime mentor, friend, and teacher of Daniel, the conversation goes in many directions-- and the emotions run high.  Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. For more information, visit talkingbeats.com Jorja Fleezanis is adjunct professor emerita of music in orchestral studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Fleezanis was concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra from 1989 to 2009—the longest-tenured concertmaster in the orchestra's history and only the second woman in the U.S. to hold the title of concertmaster in a major orchestra when appointed. Prior to Minnesota, she was associate concertmaster with the San Francisco Symphony for eight years and a member of the Chicago Symphony. A devoted teacher, Fleezanis became an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota's School of Music in 1990. She has also enjoyed teaching roles with other organizations: as teacher and artist at the Round Top International Festival Institute in Texas (1990-2007); artist-in-residence at the University of California, Davis; guest artist and teacher at the San Francisco Conservatory, where she served on the faculty from 1981 to 1989; artist and mentor at the Music@Menlo Festival (2003-2008); teacher and coach at the New World Symphony (1988-present); and faculty of the Music Academy of the West since 2016. She has been a visiting teacher at the Boston Conservatory, The Juilliard School, The Shepherd School of Music, and Interlochen Academy and Summer Camp. She is also a frequent guest mentor at Britten Pears Center at Snape Maltings, England, in programs for both young musicians and professional orchestral violinists. Fleezanis has had a number of works commissioned for her, including by the Minnesota Orchestra with the John Adams Violin Concerto and Ikon of Eros by John Tavener, the latter recorded on Reference Records. Her recording of the complete violin sonatas of Beethoven with the French fortepianist Cyril Huvé was released in 2003 on the Cyprés label. Other recordings include Aaron Jay Kernis' Brilliant Sky, Infinite Sky on CRI, commissioned for Fleezanis by the Schubert Club, and, with Garrick Ohlsson, Stefan Wolpe's Violin Sonata for Koch International. Fleezanis studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
50:20
February 9, 2021
Ep. 79: Nicholas Christakis
“We have the misfortune that the virus struck us at a particular moment in our history. We have the highest levels of income inequality in a century, we have extreme levels of political polarization, and we have a number of macro trends that have thinned out our intellectual discourse that have made it very difficult for us to have a reasoned conversation about what we should do as a nation to confront this threat.” Physician and sociologist Nicholas Christakis is here. On the docket? Variants, viruses, epidemics, pandemics, and the toll— medical, physical, social, and emotional— that COVID-19 is taking on the country and the world. What could we have done better? What happened in Wuhan, China at the outset of this pandemic? Who were the early unsung heroes who sounded the alarm? Nicholas Christakis, recently out with his new book Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live, is here to help us understand where we are in this pandemic, but also to offer historical context and perspective using previous plagues as his starting point. How much the human way of life has changed over the millennia pales in comparison to how much hasn’t when it comes to our ability to cope with, and our reactions, to a worldwide plague. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. For more information on the show, visit talkingbeats.com Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a sociologist and physician who conducts research in the areas of social networks and biosocial science. He directs the Human Nature Lab. His current research is mainly focused on two topics: (1) the social, mathematical, and biological rules governing how social networks form (“connection”), and (2) the social and biological implications of how they operate to influence thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (“contagion”).  His lab uses both observational and experimental methods to study these phenomena, exploiting techniques from sociology, computer science, biosocial science, demography, statistics, behavior genetics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology, and other fields. To the extent that diverse phenomena can spread within networks in intelligible ways, there are important policy implications since such spread can be exploited to improve the health or other desirable properties of groups (such as cooperation or innovation).  Hence, current work in the lab involves conducting field experiments: some work involves the use of large-scale, online network experiments; other work involves large-scale randomized controlled trials in the developing world where networks are painstakingly mapped. Finally, some work in the lab examines the biological determinants and consequences of social interactions and related phenomena, with a particular emphasis on the genetic origins and evolutionary implications of social networks. The author of several books and over 150 articles, Christakis was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006 and was made a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010.
01:02:00
February 2, 2021
Ep. 78: Martin Garbus and the First Amendment
"In order to justify themselves, when certain groups get together, they go far beyond their mandate. Once people start to censor, once you give them the right, you don't know where it ends. You can say 'OK, censor Nazis.' So then what do you do? You can say 'Censor Muslims' because of this. And then you can go a little further-- you can censor someone who speaks on behalf of Muslims. Then you can say Charlie Hebdo was wrong." Legendary first amendment lawyer Martin Garbus joins the podcast for a discussion of the first amendment-- what it really means, and how perhaps, in this social media dominated era, there are implications that go far beyond what previously would have been just a person yelling in the town square that is reported by the local newspaper. What happens when an inflammatory tweet goes out in the US and a day later a Mosque is shot up in New Zealand? How durable is the first amendment? Is money a freedom of expression? This conversation also includes a lengthy discussion of some of the most important cases of the past 50 years, many that Garbus has been intimately involved with-- everything from Salman Rushdie to Samuel Beckett, from the Pentagon Papers to the Cuban Five. Also covered is the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United-- and its disastrous implications for American democracy, which have been playing out just as predicted in the years since the decision.  Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever. patreon.com/talkingbeats Martin Garbus has a diverse practice that consists of individuals and companies involved in politics, media, entertainment, and the arts. His courtroom skills have earned him a distinguished reputation as a trial lawyer. Mr. Garbus is experienced in every aspect of litigation and trial, from jury selection to cross-examination to summation. He has argued cases throughout the country involving constitutional, criminal, copyright, and intellectual property law. He has appeared before the United States Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts throughout the United States. He has argued and written briefs that have been submitted to the United States Supreme Court; a number of which have resulted in changes in the law on a nationwide basis, including one described by Justice William Brennan as "probably the most important due process case in the Twentieth Century."  An international observer in foreign elections, he was selected by President Jimmy Carter to observe and report on the elections in Venezuela and Nicaragua. Mr. Garbus also participated in drafting several constitutions and foreign laws, including the Czechoslovak constitution. He also has been involved in prisoner exchange negotiations between governments. He is the author of six books and over 30 articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times. Mr. Garbus is featured in Shouting Fire, an award-winning documentary film about his life and career. He received the Fulbright Award for his work on International Human Rights in 2010. In 2014, University College Dublin's' Literary and Historical Society honored Mr. Garbus with the James Joyce Award for Excellence in Law, which is also the same year Trinity College awarded him for his human rights and free speech work.
01:29:47
January 26, 2021
Ep. 77: Dennis Washburn and 'The Tale of Genji'
"People recognized that what’s being depicted here is sometimes despicable or deplorable but at the same time alluring, extraordinarily artistic and extraordinarily revealing about life and human nature. A lot of art is about a lot of very unpleasant stuff and you can’t cancel it because of that. You can’t move away or avert your eyes because it’s not morally upright." 'The Tale of Genji' has fascinated readers around the world for a thousand years. The female writer Murasaki Shikibu, born into the middle ranks of the aristocracy during the Heian period (794–1185 CE), wrote The Tale of Genji―widely considered the world’s first novel―during the early years of the eleventh century. Dennis Washburn, Professor at Dartmouth College, is here to explore the great work with us. Washburn, who spent decades on his masterful translation that the Washington Post called "fluid, elegant" makes a case for why we in the modern world should read this great work, or at least portions. The conversation also explores some themes that come up often on university campuses and beyond-- what do we do with works of art that make us uncomfortable? What do we do with Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's favorite director, for example? How does Washburn himself teach college students rape scenes right out of Genji? The convenient thing to do is ignore and gloss over the offending portions or not teach the work at all. But Professor Washburn, passionate professor and probing scholar, makes an eloquent case for not cancelling art that disturbs us, but instead confronting it fresh each time we encounter it.  Dennis Washburn is the Burlington northern Foundation professor of Asian studies at Dartmouth College and Associate Dean of the Faculty. He holds a Ph.D. in Japanese Language and Literature from Yale University and has authored and edited studies on a range of literary and cultural topics. These include: The Dilemma of the Modern in Japanese Fiction; Translating Mount Fuji: Modern Japanese Fiction and the Ethics of Identity; and The Affect of Difference: Representations of Race in East Asian Empire. In addition to his scholarly publications, he has translated several works of Japanese fiction, including Yokomitsu Riichi’s Shanghai, Tsushima Tsushima Tuko’s Laughing Wolf, and Mizukami Tsutomu’s The Temple of the Wild Geese, for which he was awarded the US-Japan Friendship Commission Prize. In 2004 he was awarded the Japan Foreign Minister’s citation for promoting cross-cultural understanding. ----------------- www.talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: www.patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
55:46
January 19, 2021
Ep. 76: Petula Clark
“I was singing for the troops when I was only a kid of course during the Second World War and I just enjoyed singing right from the start— and it’s pretty well the same thing now. I sing because I like to sing. I don’t sing to make a living, although I guess I do!” Petula Clark is here, to open season two of this program. The star, who for seven decades has captivated audiences the world over in live concerts and on records in five different languages, has a passion for music and for the stage that remain undiminished. What drives her love, her need for music? How has she been coping with month after month of darkened theaters? She and Daniel also dig into some of the fundamental questions about music-- how do different people hear it? How can one teach it? Ever skeptical of nostalgia, Petula speaks of her deep fondness for some of the people who played a role in her life who are no longer around-- Ella Fitzgerald, her longtime friend, and Fred Astaire, with whom she starred in Francis Ford Coppola's Finian's Rainbow. Petula's love for her contemporary colleague Amy Winehouse is powerful and moving. For any lover of music or culture in the 20th century, this is a must-hear conversation.  Petula Sally Olwen Clark was born in West Ewell Surrey, England on November 15, 1932. Petula made her first broadcast as a singer for the BBC Radio Overseas Service in October 1942, and became an overnight star on BBC National Radio in December 1942 at the age of 10. After many radio shows for the BBC during World War 2, Petula made her film debut in "Medal for the General" in 1945. Notable films include the classic Powell/Pressburger film "I know where I'm going" (1945), London Town (USA "My heart goes crazy") (1946), Vice Versa (directed by Peter Ustinov) (1948), and the classic Huggett trio of family films which were to be the forerunner of television soap operas in the UK (1948-9). Her first leading role was in "Don't ever leave me" (1949), and "The Card" (USA "The Promoter") with Alec Guinness and Glynis Johns (1952). As well as her film work, Petula was a regular on BBC radio and television and British stage variety shows, and from 1957 in France and other European territories. She acted in comedy radio shows such as "Life of Bliss" and radio series with her pianist and musical director Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson. Petula was a recording star in the UK from 1949, with "The little shoemaker"(1954) being her first top 10 hit (also hitting #1 in Australia) and "With all my heart" which took her to France where by 1962 she became their top female singer with such big selling hits as "Chariot", "Coeur blessé" and "Ya ya twist", securing her the prestigious Grand Prix National du Disques Francais. Her hits in four languages included "Monsieur" selling a million copies sung in German! Her song "Sailor" became her first of 2 #1 hits in the UK. As well as her CBE presented by Queen Elizabeth in 1998, in 2012 Petula was awarded the honour of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in Paris, for her distinguished career in France. In 2013 at the age of 80 Petula was back with a new Top 30 album success in the UK ("Lost in you" Sony Records), and her new recording of "Cut copy me" became a remixed dance top 40 hit all over Europe. The song was also voted by the prestigious "Time" magazine into their Top 10 songs of 2013. -----------------  talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats  In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
39:25
January 12, 2021
Ep. 75: Lawrence Krauss
"We are connected to the universe in ways people don't realize. We're connected to stars-- we're made of stardust. Dark matter, which may sound esoteric, is responsible for galaxies and ultimately for our own existence." Lawrence Krauss is here. Explainer, thinker, physicist-- what is fascinating about him is not just his knowledge and ability to speak about the most daunting subjects that face us, but also how he connects science to other fields. How does a vibrating string on a cello make sound? How does a concert hall resonate and sound good, filled with an entire orchestra and thousands of people? What is going to happen to the earth, in simple English, eventually? Lawrence Krauss and Daniel also speak of Krauss's upcoming book, The Physics of Climate Change, and why perhaps politics and science do not always mesh together particularly well. Lawrence Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist and bestselling author, as well as being an acclaimed lecturer. He is currently President of The Origins Project Foundation, which celebrates science and culture by connecting scientists, artists, writers and celebrities with the public through special events, and unique travel opportunities. He is also host of the Origins Podcast, a video podcast involving dialogues with the most interesting people in the world. His own research interests have focused on the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, including the origin and evolution of the Universe and the fundamental structure of matter. Among his numerous important scientific contributions was the proposal, in 1995, that most of the energy of the Universe resided in empty space. Before taking his current position, Krauss served as Director of Arizona State University’s Origins Project, a national center for research and outreach on origins issues, and as Foundation Professor at ASU from 2008-2018, and also as Chair of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists from 2006-2018. During his career Prof. Krauss has held endowed professorships and distinguished research appointments at institutions including Harvard University, Yale University, University of Chicago, Boston University, University of Zurich, University of California at Santa Barbara, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), Case Western Reserve University, Australian National University, Arizona State University, and New College of Humanities. He has written over 500 publications and 10 popular books, including the international best-sellers, The Physics of Star Trek and A Universe from Nothing. His most recent book, The Greatest Story Ever Told–So Far was released in March 2017. He has written regularly for magazines and newspapers including The New York Times and the New Yorker, and appears regularly on radio, television and most recently in several feature films. Among his numerous awards are included the three major awards from all 3 US physics societies and the 2012 Public Service Award from the National Science Board for his contributions to the public understanding of science. ----------------- talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
40:04
December 4, 2020
Ep. 74: Pablo Ferrández
"When I hear Beethoven, I feel like he's reading my mind, reading my soul. It's impossible to comprehend. I compare Beethoven to someone like Da Vinci. Similar level of genius. His music is one of the great treasures we have." On today's program, cellist Pablo Ferrández is here. A colleague of Daniel on stage and a friend offstage, they have a lot talk about when it comes to cello, music, and music's role in modern life. But this is not a conversation where two musicians talk shop. Quite to the contrary-- it's a conversation with appeal to the general public, to even the most casual of listeners or someone with just a passing interest in music.  Great music shapes us, it colors every aspect of our lives, it makes itself relevant and indispensable just by virtue of it existing. So where do we turn in these pandemic times when we need music the most? What do musicians do? Why does Beethoven mean so much, so long after his death? Is "relevance" an escape word-- a myth?-- people use when they don't want to fully confront a great work of art? Prizewinner at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition and SONY Classical exclusive artist, Pablo Ferrández announces himself as a musician of stature.  A captivating performer, “Ferrández has the lot: technique, mettle, spirit, authority as a soloist, expressivity and charm” (El Pais). Recent highlights include the debuts at the Hollywood Bowl with Los Angeles Philharmonic under G.Dudamel, with Bayersichen Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra under D. Gatti, with Bamberg Symphony under C. Eschenbach, performances of Brahms Double Concerto and Beethoven Triple Concerto with Anne-Sophie Mutter, and appearances with the London Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, and Orchestre National de France, among others. The 20/21 season will bring the debuts with Filarmonica della Scala under R. Chailly, Mahler Chamber Orchestra under D. Gatti, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Festival Strings Luzern, Orchestra de la Svizzera Italiana, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and returns with the Dusseldorf Symphony at the Elbphilharmonie, Orchestra Sinfonica Nationale RAI, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Spanish National Orchestra, RTVE Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de les Illes Balears and the Basque National Orchestra.  He will also be Artist-in-residence at the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. As a recitalist and chamber musician, he frequently collaborates with such artists as Vadim Repin, Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer, Yuja Wang, Nikolay Lugansky, Khatia Buniatishvili, Beatrice Rana, Denis Kozhukhin, Maxim Rysanov, Ray Chen, Alice Sara Ott, Elena Bashkirova, Luis del Valle and Sara Ferrández. Born in Madrid in 1991, in a family of musicians, Pablo Ferrández joined the prestigious Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía when he was 13 to study with Natalia Shakhovskaya. After that he completed his studies at the Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson and became scholar of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. Mr. Ferrández plays the Stradivarius “Lord Aylesford” (1696) thanks to the Nippon Music Foundation. -----------------  talkingbeats.com  Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats  In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
39:24
December 1, 2020
Ep. 73: Richard Rothstein
"De facto segregation, it turns out, is a myth. The reason we have segregation in every metropolitan area in this country is government policy. Federal, state, and local policy that was racially explicit that ensured African-Americans and whites could not live near one another." Historian, writer, and social chronicler Richard Rothstein is here to talk about histories and patterns of what he calls "purposeful race-based housing segregation." He doesn't paint a pretty picture, and he describes a concerted effort not just in major cities but in localities and towns all over this country. Why is this not taught in our schools? What is left out of the picture when we think about housing patterns and take a social overview of our cities? Is  Richard Rothstein is a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow (emeritus) at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He is the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, which recovers a forgotten history of how federal, state, and local policy explicitly segregated metropolitan areas nationwide, creating racially homogenous neighborhoods in patterns that violate the Constitution and require remediation. He is also the author of many other articles and books on race and education, which can be found on his web page at the Economic Policy Institute: http://www.epi.org/people/richard-rothstein/. Previous influential books include Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black–White Achievement Gap and Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right. ----------------- www.talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
34:46
November 27, 2020
Ep. 72: Wendy Suzuki
"The brain is very responsive. One of its most amazing capacities is its ability to change, and one of the most common experiences of brain plasticity is the ability to have new experiences and new sounds stick with us." Dr. Wendy Suzuki is here, to talk all things music, exercise, and yes, the brain. She is a highly distinguished neural scientist--at her lab at New York University and through her research and writing-- and she is telling us the truth about how we can, at every stage in life, mold, stretch, and yes, improve our brain. This is a fascinating and energetic conversation on the topic we all wonder about. What's going on inside the brain? is improvement always possible, no matter what the age? The answer, it seems, might be yes.  Dr. Wendy A. Suzuki is a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology in the Center for Neural Science at New York University. She received her undergraduate degree in physiology and human anatomy at the University of California, Berkeley in 1987 studying with Prof. Marion C. Diamond, a leader in the field of brain plasticity. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from U.C. San Diego in 1993 and completed apost-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health before accepting her faculty position at New York University in 1998. Her major research interest continues to be brain plasticity. She is best known for her extensive work studying areas in the brain critical for our ability to form and retain new long-term memories. More recently her work has focused on understanding how aerobic exercise can be used to improve learning, memory and higher cognitive abilities in humans. Wendy is passionate about teaching (see her courses), about exercise (intenSati), and about supporting and mentoring up and coming scientists. -----------------  www.talkingbeats.com  Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
45:17
November 24, 2020
Ep. 71: Austin Carr
"I try to be quick to listen, slow to speak. I try not to join the mob in whatever is going on in the social and political climate." NFL wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints is here, talking sports, talking music, talking cancel culture. Far from being just a star athlete, he is a music lover and a pianist / singer-songwriter. With a degree in philosophy from Northwestern University, on this conversation, at both the height of football season and the height of political and social tension, Austin and Daniel take a deep dive into some sensitive issues. What is talked about in locker rooms when kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games is front-page news? How does social media quicken one's rush to judge-- sometimes without having all the facts? What gained from cancelling, from censoring, rather than challenging? In this discussion, Daniel and Austin go way beyond the art of catching a football.  A former walk-on at Northwestern University, Carr earned a scholarship and became a starter in his junior year. In his senior year in 2016, Carr led the Big Ten Conference in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Following the 2016 season, Carr was named the Richter–Howard Receiver of the Year and was named First Team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media.  Carr joined the Saints off waivers from New England at the start of the 2017 regular season, appearing in one regular season and one playoff contest in his rookie campaign. This sure-handed wideout, who originally signed as an undrafted rookie out of Northwestern with New England, has played in 21 games with five starts, recording ten receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns. The son of a classically trained pianist (mother, Janine) and drummer (father, Evan), he plays piano and writes songs in his free time. He participated in an internship for U.S. Senator Rand Paul (Ky.) in the 2019 offseason. Carr was born Dec. 25, 1993 in Santa Monica, California. ----------------- www.talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats  In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
43:06
November 20, 2020
Ep. 70: Sean Carroll
"This is the wonderful thing about physics. A very simple set of equations makes predictions that are hard to wriggle out of. So if General Relativity is right, with pretty good confidence you can extrapolate back in time to what was happening not at the Big Bang itself but to the first few seconds after the Big Bang." Physicist Sean Carroll is here talking all things space and time. With a gift for explanations of complex subjects that anyone can understand, he addresses some of the issues we all wonder about from time to time. What was happening "before" the Big Bang? What is time travel? How does the influence of Einstein in a way reign supreme over the entire field of theoretical physics, even in the 21st century? Join this wide-ranging conversation as Sean Carroll and Daniel journey through our universe. It is thought-provoking and enlightening at the same time.  Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. His research focuses on fundamental issues in quantum mechanics, gravitation, statistical mechanics, and cosmology. He has wide-ranging interests, including in philosophy, complexity theory, and information. Carroll is an active science communicator, and has been blogging regularly since 2004. His textbook "Spacetime and Geometry" has been adopted by a number of universities for their graduate courses in general relativity. He is a frequent public speaker, and has appeared on TV shows such as The Colbert Report and Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. He has produced a set of lectures for The Teaching Company on dark matter and dark energy, and another on the nature of time. He has served as a science consultant for films such as Thor and TRON: Legacy, as well as for TV shows such as Fringe and Bones. His 2010 popular book, "From Eternity to Here," explained the arrow of time and connected it with the origin of our universe. "The Particle at the End of the Universe," about the Large Hadron Collider and the quest to discover the Higgs boson, was released November 2012. "The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself" will appeared in 2016. ----------------- www.talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
54:41
November 17, 2020
Ep. 69: Miss Peppermint
"We need other people to see trans people as a way that's not taboo, as a way that's not just us on Jerry Springer or in the news. We need to see us celebrated and experiencing joy." Singer, songwriter, actress Miss Peppermint is here. The first trans woman on Ru Paul's Drag Race, the wildly popular entertainer is here to talk about her new album. She and Daniel cover a wide range of things-- from her early beginnings in the school orchestra playing cello to her roles on TV and Broadway. The highly personal talk includes a moving conversation about the alarming murder rates of trans women, and what the general public might get wrong when just reading the headlines. But this episode is all about the joy and passion for the stage and for music.  A longtime key figure in queer nightlife, Miss Peppermint regularly performs to sold-out crowds around the world. She has released four albums; Hardcore Glamour, Servin’ It Up, Sugar & Spiked and Black Pepper available on all streaming platforms - https://bio.to/PEPPERMINT. Recent projects include hosting (San Francisco) and presenting (Los Angeles) at the 2020 GLAAD Media Awards,  Black Queer Town Hall with co-creator Bob The Drag Queen, an appearance on Ryan Murphy’s Emmy award winning series “Pose”, a recurring role on the CBS series “God Friended Me” and a guest role on the Fox scripted drama “Deputy.” As an activist, Peppermint has raised six-figure sums for prominent LGBT rights groups, partnered with MAC Cosmetics’ “M.A.C. AIDS Fund” and is involved in the HIV Vaccine trials network. She has partnered with RuPaul Drag Race Winner Sasha Velour for a college speaking tour (virtually for now) that will focus on the challenges faced by transgender and non-binary people in today’s political climate among various other topics.  Peppermint takes every available opportunity to speak at universities and to various communities on the issues. In 2018, Peppermint was honored at Conde Nast’s first annual “Queeroes” awards, earned her place on Variety’s prestigious “New Power of New York” list, and was named one of Out magazine’s “OUT100” portfolio of the most influential LGBTQ people of the year. -----------------  www.talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon:  patreon.com/talkingbeats  In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
41:54
November 13, 2020
Ep. 68: 2020 Election Aftermath w/ Kim Wehle and Jonathan Allen
"I think Mitch McConnell is one of the most insidious cancerous actors in American politics and he has had a corrosive effect on the functioning of the separation of powers and the constitution itself." On today's program, we are debriefing the 2020 election. As predicted, things are getting complicated, as the country and world sort through the results of the election. But one thing is certain-- we are in for a wild ride, and now more than ever we need to sift through the news cogently and carefully. Where are we going, as a country and a democracy? Kim Wehle and Jonathan Allen are here to help us navigate.    KIM WEHLE joined the University of Baltimore Law School after several years of teaching as an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law and a Visiting Professor at the George Washington University Law School. She teaches and writes in the areas of administrative law, federal courts and civil procedure. She is particularly interested in separation of powers questions, as well as in the constitutional implications of structural and technological innovations in modern government.  Professor Wehle is also an On-Air and Off-Air Legal Expert, Analyst and Commentator for CBS News. She is a Contributor for BBC World News and BBC World News America on PBS, an Op-Ed Contributor for The Bulwark, and an Opinion Contributor for The Hill. She has regularly appeared as a guest legal analyst on various media outlets regarding Robert Mueller's probe on Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election and other issues regarding the structural Constitution and the Trump Administration, including CNN, MSNBC, NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS NewsHour, and Fox News. Her articles have also appeared in The Baltimore Sun, The Los Angeles Times, and NBC News Think. She is regularly interviewed and cited by prominent print journalists on a range of newsworthy legal issues. Professor Wehle's recent scholarship addresses the constitutional relationship of independent agencies and private contractors to the enumerated branches of government.  JONATHAN ALLEN  is an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author who covers national politics for NBC News.  Formerly the Washington bureau chief for Bloomberg News and the White House bureau chief for Politico, Jonathan is a winner of the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for reporting on Congress and the Sandy Hume Memorial Award for excellence in political journalism. He has been a frequent guest political analyst on national television programs for the past 15 years and teaches a course on presidential politics at Northwestern University.  "Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign" is his second book with Amie Parnes and their first to reach #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Their first book, "HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton," also debuted on the Times bestseller list.  Jonathan, who grew up in Silver Spring and Bethesda, Md., is a graduate of the University of Maryland and lives on Capitol Hill with his wife and two children. Before graduating from Maryland, he played baseball at St. Mary's College in Southern Maryland. -------------------------------------- www.talkingbeats.com  Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
01:00:35
November 11, 2020
Ep. 67: Randall Horton
"Language taught me to be a better human being. It taught me to understand what morality was." Poet Randall Horton joins the podcast. The only tenured professor in the Unites States (University of New Haven) with seven felony convictions, he and Daniel have an open and frank conversation about his unique life, his path to the written word, and his emotional and physical redemption through writing. What began with a clear plastic pen and a yellow legal pad, while in Montgomery County Prison in Maryland, became a new life. What can words do? What do words and music have to do with one another? Can words "save?" This is a fascinating conversation with a singular American voice.  Randall Horton is the author of the poetry collections Pitch Dark Anarchy (Triquarterly/Northwestern University Press, 2013), The Definition of Place (Main Street Rag, 2010), and The Lingua France of Ninth Street (Main Street Rag, 2009). His honors include the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award, a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature, and most recently GLCA New Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction for Hook: A Memoir(Augury Books, 2015). Horton is an associate professor of English at the University of New Haven. He is a member of the experimental performance group Heroes Are Gang Leaders which recently received the 2018 American Book Award in Oral Literature. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he now resides in East Harlem. -------------------------------------- www.talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats  In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
33:07
November 9, 2020
Ep. 66: 2020 Pre-Election Roundtable w/ Bill Kristol, Nancy Maveety, and Lawrence Douglas
On today's program, a special 2020 pre-election roundtable discussion with a distinguished panel of guests--- Bill Kristol, Nancy Maveety, and Lawrence Douglas. With so much hanging in the balance, these three experts analyze the situation from different and valuable viewpoints. While no one can predict what will happen, our guests offer various takes on what might, come Election Day-- and crucially, beyond.    --BILL KRISTOL has been a leading participant in American political debates and a widely respected analyst of American political developments for three decades. Having served in senior positions in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations, Kristol understands government from the inside; as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, he has studied American politics and society from the outside. After serving in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, Kristol founded The Weekly Standard in 1995 and edited the influential magazine for over two decades. Now, as founding director of Defending Democracy Together, an organization dedicated to defending America’s liberal democratic norms, principles, and institutions, Kristol is in the midst of the national debate on issues ranging from American foreign policy to the future of the Republican Party and the meaning of American conservatism. Kristol frequently appears on all the major television talk shows, and also is the host of the highly regarded video series and podcast, Conversations with Bill Kristol. Kristol received his undergraduate degree and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.    NANCY MAVEETY is professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at Tulane University. She is the author of Representation Rights and the Burger Years (Michigan, 1991) and Sandra Day O'Connor: Strategist on the Supreme Court (Rowman Littlefield, 1996). She is also the editor of The Pioneers of Judicial Behavior (Michigan, 2003), which is on the public law generals exam list in the politics department at Princeton. She is presently working on a book on the Rehnquist Court with a National Science Foundation grant to review the Blackmun papers. Maveety was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Estonia in 2001 which resulted in the article, "Constrained: Constitutional Courts as Conduits for Democratic Consolidation" in the Law and Society Review (June 2004). In addition to her non-fiction writing, she is also the author of a presciently titled novel called The Stagnant Pool: Scholars Below Sea Level, (University Press of the South, 2000). Her specialities include U.S. Supreme Court studies, judicial decision making, and comparative judicial politics. --LAWRENCE DOUGLAS is James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought; Chair of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought at Amherst College. He is the author of seven books, including The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust (Yale, 2001) and The Right Wrong Man: John Demjanjuk and the Last Great Nazi War Crimes Trial (Princeton, 2016), a New York Times “Editor’s Choice.” His most recent book is Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Electoral Meltdown in 2020 (Twelve/Hachette 2020). -------------------------------------- www.talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
55:08
November 2, 2020
Ep. 65: Eddie Glaude, Jr.
"Baldwin to me is the inheritor of Emerson. He takes Ralph Waldo Emerson across the tracks. Baldwin is the most insightful writer about race and democracy we've ever had." Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr. returns to the podcast. Last time he was here was in June 2020. Some things have changed and some haven't. With the country at the footstep of an election, Dr. Glaude and Daniel look at the state of our country right now. What is at stake? How is this election different from others, other? They also talk about parallels, about similarities, between James Baldwin's world and the present world. What would Baldwin recognize? We also hear about Glaude's book group, which turns out to be a lot more than a book group. Daniel, with his theory that music might just be the one pillar of our lives we can fall back on, seems to be on to something... Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is a scholar who speaks to the black and blue in America. His most well-known books, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, and In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America, take a wide look at black communities and reveal complexities, vulnerabilities, and opportunities for hope. Hope that is, in one of his favorite quotes from W.E.B Du Bois, “not hopeless, but a bit unhopeful.” Other muses include James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Bobby “Blue” Bland. In addition to his readings of early American philosophers and contemporary political scientists, Glaude turns to African American literature in his writing and teaching for insight into African American political life, religious thought, gender and class. He is chair of the Department of African American Studies, a program he first became involved with shaping as a doctoral candidate in Religion at Princeton. He is the current president of the American Academy of Religion. His books on religion and philosophy include African American Religion: A Very Short Introduction and Exodus! Religion, Race and Nation in Early 19th Century Black America, which was awarded the Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Book Prize. Glaude is also the author of two edited volumes, and many influential articles about religion for academic journals. He has also written for the likes of The New York Times and The Huffington Post. Known to be a convener of conversations and debates, Glaude takes care to engage fellow citizens of all ages and backgrounds – from young activists, to fellow academics, journalists and commentators, and followers on Twitter in dialogue about the course of the nation. His scholarship and his sense of himself as a public intellectual are driven by a commitment to think carefully with others in public. Accordingly, his writing and ideas are cited and shared widely. Some like to describe Glaude as the quintessential Morehouse man, having left his home in Moss Point, Mississippi at age 16 to begin studies at the HBCU. He holds a master’s degree in African American Studies from Temple University, and a Ph.D in Religion from Princeton University. He began his teaching career at Bowdoin College. He has been a visiting scholar at Amherst College and Harvard. --------------------------------------  www.talkingbeats.com  Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
37:40
November 1, 2020
Ep. 64: John Sipher
"After 9/11, there was no right answer. As we captured terrorists, when we captured them overseas, the place where we captured them said 'We don't want them, you have to get them out of here.' CIA was stuck." John Sipher is here. He spent more than 28 years in clandestine service in the CIA and joins Daniel for a discussion about the role of the CIA overseas. What is an asset? What is trust? What cultural education does one gain intersecting as a clandestine officer abroad? What practices has the CIA engaged in that we as Americans can be proud--or ashamed of? With the election right around the corner, John Sipher paints a fascinating picture. And an urgent one. John Sipher retired in 2014 after a 28-year career in the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, which included serving in Moscow and running the CIA’s Russia operations. Sipher served multiple overseas tours, as Chief of Station and Deputy Chief of Station, in Europe, the Balkans, Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia. He also ran Russian operations at headquarters. He retired as a member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, and received the CIA’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. He is the co-founder of Spycraft Entertainment. -------------------------------------- www.talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon:  patreon.com/talkingbeats  In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
46:08
October 30, 2020
Ep. 63: Jon Alterman
“The Chinese model is we will advance your economy, we will make you rich, and we’re not going to talk about human rights, we’re not going to talk about democratization, we’re going to talk about changing the role of women. We will just do business with you. It will be win-win, and let’s let the Americans do what they want, let the Americans annoy people. We will be your partner.” On today’s program, we are talking China and we are talking the Middle East. We may not picture the Middle East when we think of Chinese foreign policy, but our guest Jon Alterman has some insights as to why we should be. With China having to allegiance to human rights, women’ issues, or democracy, many Arab states in the Middle East are fertile ground for China to expand their economic footprint. What is China doing in the Middle East? Why are there 250,000 Chinese living in the UAE? What role is— as always— oil playing in all this? Jon Alterman is here to tell us. Jon B. Alterman is a senior vice president, holds the Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and is director of the Middle East Program at CSIS. Prior to joining CSIS in 2002, he served as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State and as a special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, and from 2009-2019 he served as a member of the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel. In addition to his policy work, he often teaches Middle Eastern studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the George Washington University. Earlier in his career, Alterman was a scholar at the U.S. Institute of Peace and at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a legislative aide to Senator Daniel P. Moynihan (D-NY) responsible for foreign policy and defense. From 1993 to 1997, Alterman was an award-winning teacher at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in history. Alterman has lectured in more than 35 countries on five continents on subjects related to the Middle East and U.S. policy toward the region. He is the author or coauthor of four books on the Middle East and the editor of five more. In addition to his academic work, he is sought out as a consultant to business and government and is a frequent commentator in print, on radio, and on television. His opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and other major publications. He is a former international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he is now a life member. He received his A.B. from Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs and now serves as vice chair of Shepherd’s Table, an organization that serves 120,000 meals per year to the food insecure in Silver Spring, Maryland. -------------------------------------- www.talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
33:28
October 27, 2020
Ep. 62: Diane Rehm
“Tone is important. Moderation is important. But I can assure you there were times when I left moderation to the side.” Beloved public radio host Diane Rehm is here. Usually she is on the other side of the microphone, asking the questions and bringing the guest to life in ways the audience has never heard. But this time she is on the receiving end, as Daniel engages her on a variety of topics— everything from her favorite interviews to memorable moments of passion in the studio. Beyond that, they discuss the role of the media. What can and should the media be doing in these unprecedented times? Where is the responsibility? Diane Rehm also has very specific taste in music— and she and Daniel have something in common, too. Diane Rehm is a native Washingtonian who began her radio career in 1973 as a volunteer for WAMU 88.5, the NPR member station in Washington, D.C. She was hired as an assistant producer and later became the host and producer of two health-oriented programs. In 1979, she began hosting WAMU’s local morning talk show, Kaleidoscope, which was renamed The Diane Rehm Show in 1984. The Diane Rehm Show grew from a local program to one with international reach and a weekly on-air audience of more than 2.8 million. Diane now brings her unique mix of curiosity, honesty, intimacy and nearly 40 years as host of WAMU and NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show to the podcast world. Listen weekly to On My Mind for Diane’s conversations with newsmakers, writers, artists and thinkers on the issues she cares about most: what’s going on in Washington, ideas that inform, and the latest on living well as we live longer. You can hear the podcast through her website www.dianerehm.org or iTunes. You can also listen to archived interviews from The Diane Rehm Show (on air from 2001-2016) at https://dianerehm.org/shows. Topics range from the U.S. economy and foreign affairs to literature, science and the arts. Many of the nation’s prominent newsmakers, journalists, and authors have appeared on her program, including then-Sen. Barack Obama, former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former secretaries of State Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton, retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. In 2014, President Barack Obama presented Rehm with the National Humanities Medal. “In probing interviews with everyone from pundits to poets to Presidents, Ms. Rehm’s keen insights and boundless curiosity have deepened our understanding of our culture and ourselves,” the White House said. Diane Rehm lives in Washington D.C.  She was married to her beloved late husband, John Rehm, for 54 years. In 2017, she married John Hagedorn, a retired Lutheran Minister. She has two children and four grandchildren. -------------------------------------- www.talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats
44:25
October 25, 2020
Ep. 61: Elizabeth Rindskopf-Parker, Suzanne Spaulding, and Ted McConnell
"Many of the founders and the next generation after them advocated: we have to educate the citizenry how to best handle the rights and responsibilities we gave them, we promised them in the Declaration of Independence, and we gave unto them in the Constitution.” On today’s program, a special panel discussion about civic education as viewed as a national security imperative. This program, a collaboration with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), features three distinguished guests with varied backgrounds but a common goal. Civics education and national security— what do they have to do with each other? With the proliferation of potentially dangerous information and questionably-sourced news bombarding us unfettered online, these three “civic musketeers” are on a mission. A mission to convince institutions, schools, and the general public that our national security is directly related to general knowledge about out country and how it was meant to work. --Dean Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker joined Pacific McGeorge School of Law as its eighth dean in 2002, after serving as general counsel for the 26-campus University of Wisconsin System. Her fields of expertise include national security and terrorism, international relations, public policy and trade, technology development and transfer, commerce, and civil rights and liberties litigation. Dean Parker has served as general counsel of the National Security Agency (1984 – 1989), principal deputy legal adviser at the U.S. Department of State (1989 – 1990), and general counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency (1990 – 1995). She is also a presidentially appointed member of the Public Interest Declassification Board and a member of the Director of National Intelligence’s Security Advisory Group. --Suzanne Spaulding is senior adviser for homeland security and director of the Defending Democratic Institutions project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). She also served as a member of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. Previously, she served as under secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where she led the National Protection and Programs Directorate, managing a $3 billion budget and a workforce of 18,000, charged with strengthening cybersecurity and protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure, including election infrastructure. Spaulding has served in Republican and Democratic administrations and on both sides of the aisle in Congress. She was general counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and minority staff director for the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  --Ted McConnell is the executive director of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, a coalition of more than 60 national organizations, which are committed to improving the quality and quantity of civic learning in the nation’s schools. He has spent more than 20 years, promoting quality law-related education in Congress, state houses, board rooms, universities, and classrooms across the nation. McConnell has been involved in political and governmental sectors for more than 40 years, holding positions such as: Congressional affairs assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, assistant to the chairman of events for the Commission on Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, and 1980 presidential transition assistant. -------------------------------------- www.talkingbeats.com Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats
01:12:52
October 23, 2020
Ep. 60: Mike Espy
“I just believe if you’re elected and they imbue you with trust and faith then you represent them as well as you can…we did that over four terms in the US Congress, went on to become a cabinet secretary, and it’s my goal now to become the next United States Senator for the same reasons.” On today’s special mid-week episode, Secretary Mike Espy is here. Well known as the first African-American congressman from Mississippi since Reconstruction and then as the Secretary of Agriculture for President Bill Clinton, he is now running for the Unites States Senate. In this rare, personal look into the life of such a public figure, we hear moving tales about Espy’s childhood in Yazoo City, Mississippi, and we learn about the experiences that convinced him a life of public service was what he desired most. We also hear, of course, about his favorite music—being from Mississippi, he has lots of music opinions. Mike Espy was born in Yazoo City, MS, and graduated from Howard University and Santa Clara Law School. He returned to practice law in the Mississippi Delta and then became Assistant Secretary of State. He then became Mississippi’s Assistant Attorney General where he was the Director of Consumer Protection. Later, he was elected the first African American Congressman from Mississippi since the Reconstruction Era. After four terms in the US Congress, President-elect Bill Clinton nominated him to be Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture, the first Black person to hold that position, too. He negotiated foreign trade deals expanding markets for American farmers and took on entrenched interests to adopt badly needed reforms in the food inspection system.  He is now running for the Unites States Senate. He lives with his wife, Portia, in Jackson, Mississippi, and is a proud father and grandfather. -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
23:22
October 21, 2020
Ep. 59: Bruce Hoffman
“It’s not just violence but the threat of violence that breathes life into terrorism, that gives it its power. For terrorism to have its power, it's not just the victim or the target— it’s the target audience, or the wider vicarious number of victims that terrorists hope to intimidate, coerce, and get them to behave in a different manner than they would have.” On today’s episode, expert on counter terrorism and insurgency Bruce Hoffman. He’s spent more then forty years studying trends, groups, and patterns of terrorism all over the world— but lately his focus has been right here in the Unites States. Fall 2020 is a time that Bruce Hoffman calls “unprecedented” in its threat level and in the fact that so many threats are domesticated right here in the US. With both a look at history and the present, he sees the US invasion of Iraq as the “original sin, the initial cleavage” in the discord between certain sectors of the public and government institutions in this country. What is going to happen election day and beyond? Are people going to feel free to vote their conscience, all over this country, without feeling threatened? Bruce Hoffman is Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis senior fellow for counterterrorism and homeland security at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been studying terrorism and insurgency for four decades. He is a tenured professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he is the director of the Center for Jewish Civilization. Hoffman was previously director of both the Center for Security Studies and the Security Studies program from 2010-2017. Hoffman is also visiting professor of terrorism studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He previously held the corporate chair in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and was director of RAND’s Washington, DC, office and vice president for external affairs. Appointed by the U.S. Congress to serve as a commissioner on the Independent Commission to Review the FBI’s Post-9/11 Response to Terrorism and Radicalization (9/11 Review Commission), Hoffman was a lead author of the commission’s final report. He was scholar in residence for counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency between 2004 and 2006; an advisor on counterinsurgency to the Strategy, Plans, and Analysis office at Multi-National Forces-Iraq Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, from 2004 to 2005; and an advisor on counterterrorism to the Office of National Security Affairs, Coalition Provisional Authority, in Baghdad in 2004. Hoffman was also an advisor to the Iraq Study Group and member of the U.S. Congress–directed review of the curriculum, organization, and staffing of the U.S. National Intelligence University. Hoffman holds degrees in government, history, and international relations and received his doctorate from Oxford University. -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
38:45
October 20, 2020
Ep. 58: Tommy Emmanuel
“Music is not made to be forced. It’s gotta come through you. It’s easy to play a whole bunch of notes, and play fast, and be impressive. But it’s all about emotion. You gotta tap into the emotion of music.” Legendary guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel is here, talking all things guitar and all things music. This is a tough, unusual time for musicians of all walks of life. In this period, when instead of live concerts all around the world and constant touring, Facebook and other social media live streams are filling the void. What keeps the music going? Daniel also gets Tommy to talk about some of the basics of music as he sees it. What IS an arrangement, and what makes a good arrangement? Why are some songs—maybe all really great music, period—timeless? What is it about a good, simple melody that has such power over the listener? This episode, with one of the world’s master instrumentalists, offers great musical and personal insights. And Tommy even has a surprise for us! Tommy Emmanuel is one of the most distinguished and beloved guitarists in the world. One of six children, Tommy was born in Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia, in 1955. He received his first guitar in 1959 at age four and was taught by his mother to accompany her playing lap steel guitar. At the age of six in 1961, he heard Chet Atkins playing on the radio. He vividly remembers that moment and said it greatly inspired him. After their father died in 1966, the Emmanuels settled in Parkes. Tommy Emmanuel eventually moved to Sydney, where he was noticed nationally when he won a string of talent contests in his teen years. By the late 1970s, he was playing drums with his brother Phil in the group Goldrush as well as doing session work on numerous albums and jingles. He gained further prominence in the late 1970s as the lead guitarist in The Southern Star Band, the backing group for vocalist Doug Parkinson. During the early 1980s, he joined the reformed lineup of leading 1970s rock group Dragon, touring widely with it, including a 1987 tour with Tina Turner; he left the group to embark on a solo career. Emmanuel and his brother Phil performed live in Sydney at the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics in 2000. The event was televised worldwide with an estimated 2.85 billion viewers. In June 2010, Emmanuel was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). In 2012, Governor Steve Beshear awarded Emmanuel the state of Kentucky's honorific title of Kentucky Colonel. -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
33:26
October 18, 2020
Ep. 57: Michael Shermer
“All culture is appropriation. No culture invents their culture and says ‘this is ours’ and silos it off from everybody else. Everybody borrows everything." Science historian and best-selling writer Michael Shermer is here. Free speech and free expression have been on his mind lately, and that’s what occupies a lot of the conversation. What’s happening with free speech and campus culture? What is the border between “protected speech” and "acceptable speech?” In addition to discussing Michael’s ten commandments of free speech, he and Daniel also talk about Darwin, and why, for Michael, he is the scientist that fascinates him most. Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the host of the Science Salon Podcast, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism 101. For 18 years he was a monthly columnist for Scientific American. He is the author of New York Times bestsellers Why People Believe Weird Things and The Believing Brain, Why Darwin Matters, The Science of Good and Evil, The Moral Arc, and Heavens on Earth. His new book is Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist. Follow @michaelshermer. Michael regularly contributes opinion editorials, essays, and reviews to: the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Science, Nature, and other publications. He wrote 214 consecutive monthly columns for Scientific American. He appeared on such shows as The Colbert Report, 20/20, Dateline, Charlie Rose, Oprah, and Larry King Live (but, proudly, never Jerry Springer!). He has been interviewed in countless documentaries aired on PBS, A&E, Discovery, The History Channel, The Science Channel, and The Learning Channel. Dr. Shermer was the co-host and co-producer of the 13-hour Family Channel television series, Exploring the Unknown. His two TED talks, seen by millions, were voted in the top 100. -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
47:14
October 16, 2020
Ep. 56: Mayor Adrian Perkins
"A lot of the bigger problems that we have to solve, that computers can't solve at this time, are problems that aren't just black and white that numbers can solve. It takes leaders and staff that are diverse in experience, in educational background-- and art helps with that." On today's program, we are joined by a rising star of the Democratic Party, Mayor Adrian Perkins of Shreveport, Louisiana. The Mayor, who is running for the United States Senate, share his story, inspirations, and dreams in this wide-ranging conversation. He and Daniel speak about his early response to the virus for which he was nationally lauded, the role technology can play in making a city safer and more efficient, and how being a Democrat is very different in Cambridge, Massachusetts (where he went to law school at Harvard) and in Shreveport, Louisiana. He also speaks to the role the humanities and the arts can and should play in American cities. Adrian Perkins is the Mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana. He was born in the Cedar Grove neighborhood of Shreveport, attending Arthur Circle, Youree Drive Middle School, and Captain Shreve High School.  In the wake of 9/11, Adrian Perkins accepted a nomination to the United States Military Academy.  There, he was the captain of the track team and the first African-American graduate elected Class President in West Point's history. Perkins deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan after graduating from West Point.  He achieved the rank of Captain and Company Commander in the United States Army and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service.  After three tours of duty, the Tillman Foundation accepted Perkins into their Tillman Scholar Program, enabling him to attend Harvard Law School, where he was again elected Student Body President. On April 26, 2018, he announced his candidacy for Mayor of Shreveport, and on December 29th, 2018, Adrian Perkins was installed as the  56th Mayor of Shreveport.  -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
30:25
October 13, 2020
Ep. 55: Chloé Valdary
"Racism or deep-seated feelings of supremacy come from a gaping hole, a deep feeling of insecurity for which one overcompensates." Writer and activist Chloé Valdary joins the podcast for a discussion of her "Theory of Enchantment" program and her feelings on race in America today. She and Daniel discuss how conversations about race have shifted in the past few years. She also makes reference to James Baldwin and Martin Luther King, Jr. as examples of illustrating how love serves as her guiding principal when dealing with every situation she faces.  After spending a year as a Bartley fellow at the Wall Street Journal, Chloé Valdary developed The Theory of Enchantment, an innovative framework for compassionate antiracism that combines social emotional learning (SEL), character development, and interpersonal growth as tools for leadership development in the boardroom and beyond. Chloé has trained around the world, including in South Africa, The Netherlands, Germany, and Israel. Her clients have included high school and college students, government agencies, business teams, and many more. She has also lectured in universities across America, including Harvard and Georgetown. Her work has been covered in Psychology Today Magazine and her writings have appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
42:52
October 11, 2020
Ep. 54: Jacques Pépin
“I know a lot of professional chefs who are very good technicians, can work very fast, and are relatively lousy cooks.” On today’s program, beloved chef Jacques Pépin returns to the program. A Talking Beats favorite, he is out with a new cookbook, “Quick and Simple.” Chef Pépin is here to discuss the book and other ideas for Fall cooking. We are all a little more willing to turn on the oven and the stove now that the weather is turning cooler. So what should we cook? The chef also offers his tips for turning a simple country meal into bourgeois food and finally, into… Michelin quality! One interesting part of the discussion is the comparison to music that comes up. What do great chefs and great musicians have in common? At the end of the conversation, we hear about the amazing unifying power of food and drink—how food can literally break down barriers between disparate people? Chef Pépin makes the perfect case for it. The winner of sixteen James Beard Awards and author of twenty-nine cookbooks, including "A Grandfather's Lessons," "Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen," and "Essential Pépin," Jacques Pépin has starred in twelve acclaimed PBS cooking series. He was awarded France's highest distinction, the Legion of Honor. -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
40:13
October 9, 2020
Ep. 53: Bill Kristol
"On the one hand I hate to see our whole public life taken over by this person, but on the other hand, we asked for it. We made him president." On a special episode devoted to current political analysis, influential commentator Bill Kristol joins the podcast for a look at where we are and where we are going-- or could be going. He makes some fascinating points and has some candid and sharp observations for politicians in office, and especially, those who are retired. He addresses some of the big questions hanging over us all: What will happen if President Trump does not accept the results of the election, and where do conservatives go post-"this period"-- back to the Republican Party? He and Daniel also have a long exchange about Mozart...as it turns out, they share a love for the Italian operas of Mozart/Lorenzo da Ponte, as well as the piano concerti.  Bill Kristol has been a leading participant in American political debates and a widely respected analyst of American political developments for three decades. Having served in senior positions in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations, Kristol understands government from the inside; as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, he has studied American politics and society from the outside. After serving in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, Kristol founded The Weekly Standard in 1995 and edited the influential magazine for over two decades. Now, as founding director of Defending Democracy Together, an organization dedicated to defending America’s liberal democratic norms, principles, and institutions, Kristol is in the midst of the national debate on issues ranging from American foreign policy to the future of the Republican Party and the meaning of American conservatism. Kristol frequently appears on all the major television talk shows, and also is the host of the highly regarded video series and podcast, Conversations with Bill Kristol. Kristol received his undergraduate degree and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
42:09
October 8, 2020
Ep. 52: Senator Heidi Heitkamp
“The democratic party has lost the ability to communicate in rural America. We’re trying to figure out how we can better explain policies to rural America, but also how we can better explain rural America to urban America.” Former Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) joins the podcast to discuss where American politics are right now. She and Daniel talk about her roots in a big working-class family in a small town in North Dakota, her early passion for public service and leadership, and how maybe Americans really are more united than we might think. Can we get back to that place where Republicans and Democrats have passionate political debates over coffee and then go hang the Christmas lights together, as Senator Heitkamp says? The conversation also includes an informative and moving discussion of Native American peoples and their many continued plights in North Dakota and the country. U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp served as the first female senator elected from North Dakota from 2013-2019. Senator Heitkamp grew up in a large family in the small town of Mantador, ND. Alongside her six brothers and sisters, she learned the value of hard work and responsibility, leading her to choose a life of public service. During her six years in the U.S. Senate, Senator Heitkamp quickly became a proven senator who worked across the aisle to fight for North Dakotans. Senator Heitkamp personally showed that if senators work together, it can lead to real solutions. Throughout her time in public service, Senator Heitkamp has stood up for tribal communities and worked to improve outcomes for Native American children, women, and families. The first bill she introduced in the Senate, which became law in 2016, created a Commission on Native Children. Her bill with former Senator John McCain became law to create Amber Alerts in Indian Country. She introduced Savanna’s Act to help address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women. And she worked to help address the detrimental impact exposure to trauma can have on children and families – particularly those in Native communities. On the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Senator Heitkamp pushed to provide training and resources for first responders and also worked to combat human trafficking in North Dakota, across the country, and around the world. She helped write legislation, which was signed into law, to crack down on trafficking online, which led to the closure of Backpage.com. Senator Heitkamp previously served as North Dakota’s Attorney General, battling drug dealers, protecting senior citizens from scams, and working to keep sexual predators off streets and away from kids, even after their prison terms were up. Senator Heitkamp received a B.A. from the University of North Dakota and a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School. She currently serves as a contributor to CNBC, She lives in Mandan, North Dakota with her husband, Dr. Darwin Lange, a family practitioner. They have two children, Ali and Nathan. -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
39:39
October 6, 2020
Ep. 51: Alvin Cailan and Alexandra Cuerdo
“Filipino food is at the center of the social calendar. It’s at the center of how we live our lives. It’s a way of expressing love and it’s a way of expressing community.” Chef Alvin Cailan, one of the country’s most celebrated Filipino chefs, and award-winning director Alexandra Cuerdo are out with a new cookbook all about Filipino food. The book, titled "Amboy: Recipes from the Filipino-American Dream,” paints a rich and exciting picture of Filipino food and Alvin’s melding of tradition and innovation as he brings this food into the kitchens of America. There are almost four million Filipinos in the Unites States. Why is Filipino food not more commonly found? How should we approach making this in our home kitchens? Alvin Cailan's career began with a classical French culinary education at Oregon Culinary Institute, followed b stints at some of the West Coast's finest restaurants. Chef Alvin first grabbed the public's attention as a trailblazer in the culinary world when he launched the Eggslut food truck in Los Angeles.  Chef Alvin is now focusing on his true passion: bolstering the modern Filipino food movement across the country, and today, he is arguably America's most high-profile champion of it. He is planning to open his next restaurant, Amboy, in Los Angeles soon. He has been featured in prestigious publications like Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, and Bloomberg. Alvin is also the host of the hugely popular The Burger Show on the Complex/First We Feast YouTube channel. Alexandra Cuerdo is a writer and director, recently named one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women In the World by the Filipina Women's Network. Her feature directorial debut, Ulam: Main Dish, is the first Filipino food documentary to achieve worldwide distribution, which Jonathan Gold called a "love letter" to Filipino food. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed, Vogue, TimeOut, Eater and more. She is based in Los Angeles and New York. -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
43:19
October 4, 2020
Ep. 50: Moshe Safdie
"I try to think that anything I do--it could be a house, it could be a small kindergarten--must reach for the kind of spiritual in the sense of the uplifting and make you feel better as a human being." To mark the 50th episode of Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk, legendary architect Moshe Safdie joins the program for a wide-ranging discussion and rare look into the depths of one of the world's great visionaries of buildings. What is the role of an architect? What does the intersection of utility and art look like? Can a physical structure ever contain the spiritual power that great music possesses? How does a master architect, who must delegate, inspire, and ultimately empower those around him, resemble a great maestro standing on the podium in front of an orchestra? This is a must-hear conversation for art lovers the world over. Moshe Safdie is an architect, urban planner, educator, theorist, and author. Over a celebrated 50-year career, Safdie has explored the essential principles of socially responsible design with a distinct visual language. A citizen of Israel, Canada and the United States, Moshe Safdie graduated from McGill University. After apprenticing with Louis I. Kahn in Philadelphia, Safdie returned to Montréal to oversee the master plan for the 1967 World Exhibition. In 1964 he established his own firm to realize Habitat ’67, an adaptation of his undergraduate thesis and a turning point in modern architecture. Author of four books and a frequent essayist and lecturer, Safdie’s global practice includes projects in North and South America, the Middle East, the developing world and throughout Asia and Australia. Projects span a wide range of typologies, including airports, museums, performing arts, libraries, housing, mixed use and entire cities. His honors include the Companion of the Order of Canada, the Gold Medal from both the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the American Institute of Architects, la Medaille du Merité from the Order of Architects of Québec, Canada, and Israel’s Rechter Prize. The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum awarded Mr. Safdie the National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2016. -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
49:43
October 2, 2020
Ep. 49: Dr. Michael Osterholm
"In a given year, only about 20% of the respiratory illnesses that we see are actually caused by influenza. 80% are caused largely by other viral pathogens." Infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Osterholm joins Daniel for a frank assessment of where we are, at the beginning of October, as we as a country and world continue to navigate the torrid waters of the COVID-19 pandemic. Daniel gets the expert doctor, not exactly known for his optimism, to paint us a picture: How have we done at mitigation? What really is the science and effectiveness behind mask wearing? Can indoor air be trusted? When can we go back to the concert hall? This episode is a must-hear-- a sobering picture of where we are and what we need to do in the coming months.  Dr. Osterholm is Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, a professor in the Technological Leadership Institute, College of Science and Engineering, and an adjunct professor in the Medical School, all at the University of Minnesota. From June 2018 through May 2019, he served as a Science Envoy for Health Security on behalf of the US Department of State. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling 2017 book, Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs, in which he not only details the most pressing infectious disease threats of our day but lays out a nine-point strategy on how to address them, with preventing a global flu pandemic at the top of the list. In addition, Dr. Osterholm is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and the Council of Foreign Relations. In June 2005 Dr. Osterholm was appointed by Michael Leavitt, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to the newly established National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity. In July 2008, he was named to the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center’s Academy of Excellence in Health Research. In October 2008, he was appointed to the World Economic Forum Working Group on Pandemics. Dr. Osterholm has also been an international leader on the growing concern regarding the use of biological agents as catastrophic weapons targeting civilian populations. In that role, he served as a personal advisor to the late King Hussein of Jordan. Dr. Osterholm provides a comprehensive and pointed review of America's current state of preparedness for a bioterrorism attack in his New York Times best-selling book, Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming Bioterrorist Catastrophe. -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
36:40
October 1, 2020
Ep. 48: Ambassador Michael McFaul
“Putin wants you to believe that he is a return to Russian traditions and to the glory days when Russia was a revered, respected power in the international system.” Former United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation Michael McFaul comes on Talking Beats to talk all things Russia and all things Putin. One of the biggest issues that he and Daniel talk about is the role of Putin in Russian history— where does he fit in? What is he trying to take Russia forward--or back-- to? Over the past fifteen years, Putin has become more emboldened and more brazen with his actions— what will be next? One of the most seasoned Russia experts in the West, Ambassador McFaul has a unique insider perspective and enormous expertise. Michael McFaul is the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in Political Science, Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, all at Stanford University. He is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post. McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014). He has authored several books, most recently the New York Times bestseller,  “From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia.”  Earlier books include Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should, How We Can; Transitions To Democracy: A Comparative Perspective  (eds. with Kathryn Stoner); Power and Purpose: American Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (with James Goldgeier); and Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin. His current research interests include American foreign policy, great power relations between China, Russia, and the United States, and the relationship between democracy and development.Prof. McFaul was born and raised in Montana. He received his B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and his M.A. in Soviet and East European Studies from Stanford University in 1986. As a Rhodes Scholar, he completed his D. Phil. in International Relations at Oxford University in 1991. --------------------------------------  Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats  In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
38:54
September 29, 2020
Ep. 47: Piet Oudolf
“From the moment I started with plants, I felt it had something deeper than what you saw. It was not just about the flower. It had a special appeal--that there’s something we love about plants because we are part of nature.” On this episode, Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf joins the podcast. He and Daniel talk about the fundamentals of gardening itself and its enormous appeal— even more so these days in times of COVID. What is it about the act of putting seeds into the earth, tending to them, and gaining aesthetic beauty from them as they grow into plants? Where does this impulse come from? What happens to gardens in winter?  One of the most interesting points of the discussion focuses around place and cultures.. How does a garden designer from rural Holland go about approaching gardens in Michigan, England, or New York? Piet Oudolf is one of the most influential garden designers in the world. He is a leading figure of the "New Perennial" movement — his designs and plant compositions using bold drifts of herbaceous perennials and grasses which are chosen at least as much for their structure as for their flower color. Working primarily with perennial plant varieties, Oudolf practices a naturalistic approach to gardening. Taking a cue from architectural design, Oudolf prioritizes the seasonal life cycle of a plant over decorative considerations like flower or colour. He focuses primarily on structural characteristics, such as leaf or seed pod shape, present before and after a plant has flowered. He has designed some of the most important public gardens in the world, including the landscape for the Venice Biennale, RHS Wisley, Millennium Park Chicago, and the High Line New York City. -------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
34:50
September 27, 2020
Ep. 46: Michael Ian Black
“You’ve got a president who is so wrapped up in his own flawed masculinity that he won’t say that for him to acknowledge this disease is equivalent to him admitting his own weakness, his own powerlessness, his own vulnerability. He won’t wear a mask because he thinks it makes him look weak.” On today’s program, comedian, actor, and writer Michael Ian Black joins the podcast. He is recently out with a new book, entitled “A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son.” The book, which takes the form of an extended letter to his college-age son, is both a plea and a roadmap for young boys and men to re-examine what it means to be “manly” and what masculinity really means in the modern world. Long past are the days, according to Michael Ian Black, where masculinity needs to be proven by the classic feats of strength. Yet boys are often afraid to express their emotions, as kids and as they get older— and the results can be disastrous. Is there a remedy for this? Michael Ian Black is a multi-media talent who’s starred in numerous films and TV series, written and/or directed two films, is a prolific author and commentator, and regularly tours the country performing his ribald brand of jokes and observations. He most recently starred in TVLand's “The Jim Gaffigan Show” and Comedy Central’s “Another Period.” He also reprised one of his iconic film roles in Netflix’s “Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later,” and previously in "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp." His third standup comedy special, “Noted Expert,” was released on Epix. Michael regularly tours the country as a stand-up comedian and lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children. --------------------------------------- Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
33:32
September 25, 2020
Ep. 45: Bonnie Glaser
“China is pushing a set of norms and trying to undermine democracies and rule of law around the world and interfering in their societies in ways that is causing a lot of worry.” On this episode, China policy expert Bonnie Glaser joins Daniel to discuss what is happening currently with US-China relations. Where is China building military bases around the world that might shock us? What should Americans think of TikTok, WeChat, and even Zoom? How do Chinese citizens view the surveillance state that is de rigeur in Chinese society? With US-China relations at a low point since at least 1979, the overarching question is: are we headed for an all-out cold war with China? The answer might surprise you. Bonnie S. Glaser is a senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she works on issues related to Asia-Pacific security with a focus on Chinese foreign and security policy. She is concomitantly a nonresident fellow with the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, and a senior associate with the Pacific Forum. Ms. Glaser has worked for more than three decades at the intersection of Asia-Pacific geopolitics and U.S. policy. From 2008 to mid-2015, she was a senior adviser with the CSIS Freeman Chair in China Studies, and from 2003 to 2008, she was a senior associate in the CSIS International Security Program. Prior to joining CSIS, she served as a consultant for various U.S. government offices, including the Departments of Defense and State. Ms. Glaser has published widely in academic and policy journals, including the Washington Quarterly, China Quarterly, Asian Survey, International Security, Contemporary Southeast Asia, American Foreign Policy Interests, Far Eastern Economic Review, and Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, as well as in leading newspapers such as the New York Times and International Herald Tribune and in various edited volumes on Asian security. Ms. Glaser received her B.A. in political science from Boston University and her M.A. with concentrations in international economics and Chinese studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. --------------------------------- Help support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
45:03
September 22, 2020
Ep. 44: James Shapiro
“The reason great works of art sustain themselves for over 400 years whether it’s a Mozart horn concerto or the Tempest is because when that work was created it spoke with great immediacy to its audiences.” James Shapiro, specialist of the works and life of William Shakespeare, joins Talking Beats for a look into the origins of Shakespeare’s popularity in the United States and the role his works play today. Why is Shakespeare taught and read everywhere? Why are his plays so immediately relevant 400 years after the fact? What can we always be learning from the great master dramatist and poet, who is both current and ahead of us at once? Professor James Shapiro of Columbia University is author of Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Jonson, Shakespeare (1991); Shakespeare and the Jews (1995), which was awarded the Bainton Prize; Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play (2000); 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), winner of the Theatre Book Prize as well as the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize; Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? (2010), winner of the Lionel Trilling Award in 2011; and 1606: The Year of Lear, which won the James Tait Black Prize. He has co-edited the Columbia Anthology of British Poetry, served as the associate editor of the Columbia History of British Poetry, and edited a volume on Shakespeare in America for the Library of America.  He has also co-authored and presented a 3-hour BBC documentary, The King and the Playwright (2012).  He has been awarded fellowships by the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEH, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and the Huntington Library.  He is currently at work on a book on Shakespeare in a Divided America.  He serves on the Board of Directors of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and in 2011 was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His most recent book is Shakespeare in a Divided America: What his Plays tell us About our Past and Future. Please consider supporting Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk via our Patreon: patreon.com/talkingbeats  In addition to early episode access, bonus episodes, and other benefits, you will contribute to us being able to present the highest quality substantive, long-form interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.
32:58
September 20, 2020
Ep. 43: Melissa Clark
“I’m always curious. I always want to try something new. I’m always delving into the ‘what if.’” On this special episode to coincide with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Melissa Clark returns to the podcast. She and Daniel talk about why Jewish food is so diverse around the world, how there is so much more to Rosh Hashanah than matzo balls and brisket