• D.D. Guttenplan on Biden and the Vision Thing; plus Disappearing Islands

    The polls about the 2024 election are not good. Democrats lack enthusiasm for Biden, especially after his debt limit deal. The Nation's editor in chief, D.D. Guttenplan argues that the president needs to remake his candidacy—now.

    Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: Climate change is raising sea levels, and soon low-lying coastal areas will be under water. But the most severe threat, the brunt of the suffering, is coming first to low-lying islands around the world, even though they are least responsible for global warming. Christina Gerhardt, author of the new book, Sea Change: An Atlas of Islands in a Rising Ocean, is on the show to discuss. 

    Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe. 

    31m | Jun 1, 2023
  • Is Planned Parenthood Too Cautious? Plus: Writing and Politics

    Has Planned Parenthood gotten too cautious and too corporate? Are the risk managers running the organization? Eyal Press reports on the courage of independent abortion services, and the failures of Planned Parenthood.

    Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: What does it mean to be a politically committed writer? That's the central question of Adam Shatz's talks new book, “Writers and Missionaries: Essays on the Radical imagination.” He joins the podcast to discuss. Shatz is The Nation’s former literary editor and the US editor of the London Review of Books.

    Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe. 

    48m | May 25, 2023
  • Jeffrey Toobin on the Roots of Jan. 6; Adam Hochschild on Anti-Woke History

    The ideological roots of the January 6 insurrection go back decades before Trump entered politics -- back to the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995. Jeffrey Toobin joins the podcast to explain. His new book is Homegrown: Timothy McVeigh and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism.

    Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: Ron DeSantis is campaigning for president promising to “stop woke history.” That is, to stop teaching about slavery and its legacy of institutional racism. Adam Hochschild found the history guide DeSantis wants: the Hillsdale College “1776 Curriculum.” He reports on what’s in it —and what’s not.

    Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe. 

    39m | May 18, 2023
  • Bhaskar Sunkara on Biden in 2024, plus Josh Gondelman on the Writers Strike

    Progressives and Biden: what is to be done—about the 2024 election? Bhaskar Sunkara, president of The Nation, comments.

    Also: 11,500 members of the Writers Union are on strike against the film, TV and streaming companies, with picket lines up in L.A. and New York. Both sides of the fight have prepared for a months-long conflict. Award-winning TV writer Josh Gondelman is on the show to explain the issues.

    Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe.

    35m | May 10, 2023
  • Impeach Clarence Thomas—Plus Joe Biden, the GOP, and “Freedom”

    On this episode of the Start Making Sense podcast, D.D. Guttenplan, editor of The Nation, argues that it’s time to impeach Clarence Thomas, on the grounds of misconduct. He also says it’s time to remove and replace Diane Feinstein, on the grounds of her inability to perform her duties, especially on the Judiciary Committee, where her absence has denied the Democrats a majority.

    Also on this episode: Joe Biden announced that the theme of his reelection campaign will be that the Democrats are the party of “freedom.” But the Republicans claim they are the defenders of freedom. Who’s right? Eric Foner, author of The Story of American Freedom, joins the show to discuss.

    Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe.

    29m | May 4, 2023
  • Anatol Lieven Reports from Ukraine, plus Amy Wilentz on Haiti

    Anatol Lieven is back after three weeks in Ukraine, where he found soldiers determined to win, and Russian bombardment doing surprisingly little damage.

    Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: A neighborhood in Port-au-Prince fights back against the gangs. Amy Wilentz comments on the news from Haiti.

    Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe.

    39m | Apr 26, 2023
  • Rebecca Solnit on Climate Action, plus John Nichols on Abortion Politics

    It’s getting late to take action about the climate emergency, but it’s not too late: that’s what Rebecca Solnit and Thelma Young Lutunatabua say in their new book, “Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility.”

    Also: abortion rights will be a key issue for Democrats in the 2024 election, especially after Republican judges have tried to ban medication abortions. John Nichols comments.

    40m | Apr 19, 2023
  • Elie Mystal, Joan Walsh and Chris Lehmann on Trump and his 34 Felonies; plus Afghan Girls in Exile

    Donald Trump and his 34 felonies: can he really be brought to justice for paying off Stormy Daniels? We feature highlights of The Nation’s roundtable discussion among Elie Mystal, Justice Correspondent, Joan Walsh, National Affairs Correspondent, and Chris Lehmann, D.C. Editor.

    Also: Afghan girls who escaped from the Taliban. The story of a boarding school that evacuated its students from Kabul during the chaotic withdrawal of the Americans, and moved -- to Kigali, Rwanda. SOLA, the School of Leadership Afghanistan is the place where Afghan girls study to become members of the generation that will one day lead a peaceful and united Afghanistan. The founder, Shabana Basij-Rasikh, explains.

    39m | Apr 13, 2023
  • Low-Paid Workers Strike and Win in LA; Minor League Baseball Players Get Organized

    In Los Angeles last week, a three-day strike by 30,000 public school custodians, food service workers, bus drivers and teacher's aides ended with a 30% pay increase. Harold Meyerson, the editor-at-large of The American Prospect, joins the podcast to discuss.

    Also: For a century, thousands of young baseball players have lived with low wages, overcrowded housing, and all-night rides in uncomfortable buses in order to play in baseball’s minor leagues, hoping to eventually make it to the majors. Now, their lives are changing because they organized a union. Kelly Candaele and Peter Dreier have more on that story.

    Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe. 

    30m | Mar 30, 2023
  • Katha Pollitt on Women in 2023, plus Christian Appy on Protest in 1969

    American women in 2023: the news is bad, but it’s not all bad. Katha Pollitt is on the Start Making Sense podcast to explain.

    Also: the largest anti-war demonstrations in American history were the protests in the fall of 1969--with more than two million people in the streets demanding “End the War in Vietnam.” But did those demonstrations help end the war? Historian Chris Appy comments on the new documentary, “The Movement and the ‘Madman,’” out on PBS American Experience March 28.

    Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe.

    35m | Mar 22, 2023
  • John Nichols on Banks and Regulations, plus Gregg Gonsalves on Masks and Covid

    Since the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank last week, we need to understand how and why medium-sized banks have been allowed to avoid strict supervision from federal banking authorities and avoid safety requirements. John Nichols comments.

    Also: Do masks work to help stop the spread of COVID-19? A New York Times columnist recently said that they don’t, and cited an authoritative review of research as his source. But it turns he was wrong about that study. Gregg Gonsalves is on the show to explain.

    Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe. 

    39m | Mar 15, 2023
  • Ron DeSantis says ‘The Left Made Me Do It”; plus our Oscar preview with John Powers

    Ron DeSantis has written a political autobiography, “The Courage to be Free.” The Nation's DC Bureau Chief, Chris Lehmann calls it “a paranoid rant disguised as campaign memoir.” Chris joins us on this episode of Start Making Sense to discuss it.

    Also: Sunday is Oscar night in America and, as usual, we have a lot of complaints about the nominations. So does John Powers, Critic at Large on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. We talk about this year’s films we didn’t like – and some we thought were wonderful.

    Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe. 

    36m | Mar 8, 2023
Start Making Sense with Jon Wiener