Redefining the classic essay, this modern edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s most famous work, Self-Reliance, includes self-reflections from both historical and contemporary luminaries. With quotes from the likes of Henry Ford and Helen Keller to modern-day thought leaders like Jesse Dylan, Steve Pressfield, and Milton Glaser, we're reminded of the relevance of Emerson’s powerful words today. Emerson’s words are timeless. Persuasive and convincing, he challenges readers to define their own sense of accomplishment and asks them to measure themselves....
"Must re listen to this a few time! Classic"
Studio 360 looks at the places "where art and real life collide," exploring the creative influence and transformative power of art in modern life through richly textured stories and insightful conversation. Hosted by Kurt Andersen.
"Stimulating and Diverse - always interesting"
Ron Howard's latest film, In the Heart of the Sea, puts us in the whaling ship whose catastrophic sinking inspired Moby Dick. Kurt gets a sneak preview of the future of virtual reality storytelling – and finds the future is a bit disorienting. And the songwriter and musician Son Little plays live.
Actor Viggo Mortensen brings some of his own outdoorsy skills to his role as a dad raising his kids off the grid in Captain Fantastic. Also, with a new exhibit of her early photographs, it’s time to reconsider Diane Arbus’ conflicted legacy. And Kurt gets a lesson on speaking like a proper Brit from an accent coach. [Broadcast Date: July 21, 2016]
Producer Rick Rubin was a pioneer of hip-hop, and he’s worked with its biggest names. But he also reinvigorated the late careers of legends like Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. His one rule in the studio: no talking about business. For indie songwriter Joan as Police Woman, the best lyrics are the ones that feel too embarrassing to sing in public. And we’ll discuss controversial new policies at universities that require professors to warn students about books they may find upsetting — like The Great Gatsby.
The Metamorphosis, first published in 1915, has captivated readers and artists for 100 years. Studio 360's Kurt Andersen leads spirited conversation exploring the classic story and its impact on arts and culture with guests Ben Marcus (Leaving the Sea), Helen Phillips (The Beautiful Bureaucrat), Eric Jarosinski (NeinQuarterly), and translator Susan Bernofsky. With a reading by Heather Burns (Bored to Death).
Authors and actors including Stephen Colbert, Libba Bray (award winning young-adult novelist Going Bovine, winner of 2010 Printz Award), Oskar Eustis (Artistic Director at The Public Theater), Kurt Andersen (novelist and Studio 360 Host), Jayne Anne Phillips (novelist and National Book Award finalist Lark & Termite), filmmaker Mary McDonagh Murphy (author of the upcoming book Scout, Atticus, and Boo), and others pay tribute to the Pulitzer prize-winning classic novel about racial injustice and loss of innocence in a small Southern town.
"This is not the full story."
When Malcolm X was assassinated at 39, his life story nearly died with him. Today The Autobiography of Malcolm X — a favorite of President Obama and Justice Clarence Thomas alike — stands as a milestone in America's struggle with race. The autobiography is also a Horatio Alger tale, following a man's journey from poverty to crime to militancy to wisdom. Muslims look to Malcolm as a figure of tolerance; a tea party activist claims him for the political right; Public Enemy's Chuck D tells us, "This book is like food. It ain't McDonald's — it's sit down at the table and say grace".
Part visionary, part mad scientist, and absolute genius, Tesla should be as famous as Edison - but he's been largely forgotten. Kurt talks with Samantha Hunt about her novel The Invention of Everything Else. Then, Tesla's biggest innovation was introducing alternating current as the standard for modern electric power, breaking Thomas Edison's monopoly on DC power.
Hipster aliens! Existentially aware smart toilets! Instant genital swapping! The future will be all of these things and so much more in Conan/Daily Show writer Rob Kutner's collection of "quick hits" on what could be but probably shouldn't.
Universe not big enough for you? There's always the multiverse – many universes, scattered through time and space. In one world, you might drive a bus; in another, you might be a Formula One racer. If the idea sounds familiar, that could be because it has obsessed science-fiction and comic-book writers for decades. But artists and writers aren't the only ones fascinated by multiples – some physicists think the multiverse could be very real.
Alan Turing broke the Nazis' Enigma code and helped win World War II for the Allies — and also invented modern computing; we'll compare the legend of Turing to the reality. Mexico's violent narcocorrido songs became a form of state propaganda. And the famous jazz musician Charles Mingus had a little-known sideline: cat trainer. Who knew?
Director Alex Garland plays with notion of humans loving robots in his new movie, Ex Machina. What it takes to train a canine star for the new film White God. And composer Jeanine Tesori sings her way through the making of her Broadway hit, Fun Home.
The actor and screenwriter Simon Pegg explains how he went from making funny genre flicks with his buddies to starring in some of Hollywood's biggest franchises. Also, the musical duo The Bird and the Bee performs their lush, catchy retro-pop live in our studio. And a British bookie explains why you can bet on just about anything, except who will perform the next Bond theme.
Paul Beatty’s new novel, The Sellout, manages to make our national conversation about race witty, profane, rude — and also very funny. A real-life Peggy Olsen dishes on the not-so-glamorous reality behind the Mad Men era. And we hear about hundreds of protest songs from the Civil Rights Movement that were hidden for decades — until now.
"Just plain cool"
Lily Tomlin has created and played a whole theatre troupe's worth of characters. But her latest — a ballsy, fiercely protective grandmother in the movie Grandma — might be the closest to her real self. Also, we hear from the composer of the theme song for Seinfeld about his reaction to the trend of mashing up pop songs with his most famous tune. And the Pulitzer-winning playwright Annie Baker talks about why some people love her work — and others can't stand it.
The story of a young man in the ghetto who turns to murder was an overnight sensation. Richard Wright set out to confront white readers with the most brutal consequences of racism, and finally lay to rest the stereotype of the passive Uncle Tom — “he literally wanted to create a bigger Thomas,” one scholar argues. But some think Native Son exploited the worst stereotypes of black youth. “Is this giving me permission to go kill white women?” wondered a young Carl Hancock Rux. “Is that what we’re supposed to be doing now?”
Generations of Americans have grown up with Walt Disney shaping our imaginations. In 1955, Disney mixed up some fairy tales, a few historical facts, and a dream of the future to create an alternate universe. Not just a place for fun, but a scale model of a perfect world. "Everything that you could imagine is there," says one young visitor. "It's like living in a fantasy book." And not just for kids: one-third of Walt Disney World's visitors are adults who go without children. Visiting the parks, according to actor Tom Hanks, is like a pilgrimage - the pursuit of happiness turned into a religion.
In this smart and refreshingly hopeful book, Andersen - a brilliant analyst and synthesizer of historical and cultural trends, as well as a best-selling novelist and host of public radio's Studio 360 -shows us why the current economic crisis is actually a moment of great opportunity to get ourselves and our nation back on track.