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*** Named a best podcast of 2021 by Time, Vulture, Esquire and The Atlantic. ***
Each Tuesday and Friday, Ezra Klein invites you into a conversation on something that matters. How do we address climate change if the political system fails to act? Has the logic of markets infiltrated too many aspects of our lives? What is the future of the Republican Party? What do psychedelics teach us about consciousness? What does sci-fi understand about our present that we miss? Can our food system be just to humans and animals alike?

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In our recent series on artificial intelligence, I kept returning to a thought: This technology might be able to churn out content faster than we can, but we still need a human mind to sift through the dross and figure out what’s good. In other words, A.I. is going to turn more of us into editors.But editing is a peculiar skill. It’s hard to test for, or teach, or even describe. But it’s the crucial step in the creative process that takes work that’s decent and can turn it into something great.Adam Moss is widely known as one of the great magazine editors of his generation: He remade The New York Times Magazine in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and during his 15 years as editor in chief of New York magazine, shaped that outlet into one of the greatest print and digital publications we have. And he’s now out with a new book, “The Work of Art: How Something Comes From Nothing.” It’s a curation of 43 conversations with artists about the marginalia, doodles, drafts and revisions that lead to great art. It’s a celebration of the hard, human work that goes into the creative act. It’s a book, really, about editing.In this conversation, we discuss what musicians, writers, visual artists, sandcastle-builders and others have in common as they create; how editing is an underappreciated and often misunderstood step in the creative process; how creativity morphs in different stages of our lives; and trusting your own “sensibility.”Mentioned:“A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby” by Kara Walker“Miss Gleason” by Amy SillmanEzra Klein Show episode with George Saunders“Mother and Child on Blue Mat” by Cheryl PopeEzra Klein Show episode with Maryanne Wolf“Fidenza” by Tyler Hobbs“In a River” by RostamBook Recommendations:Interviews with Francis Bacon by David SylvesterFaux Pas by Amy SillmanThe Sketchbooks Revealed by Richard DiebenkornThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Annie Galvin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing by Isaac Jones. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Rollin Hu, Kristin Lin and Aman Sahota. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. And special thanks to Sonia Herrero, Rachel Baker and James Burnett.
There is so much we need to build right now. The housing crunch has spread across the country; by one estimate, we’re a few million units short. And we also need a huge build-out of renewable energy infrastructure — at a scale some experts compare to the construction of the Interstate highway system.And yet, we’re not seeing anything close to the level of building that we need — even in the blue states and cities where housing tends to be more expensive and where politicians and voters purport to care about climate change and affordable housing.Jerusalem Demsas is a staff writer at The Atlantic who obsesses over these questions as much as I do. In this conversation, she takes me through some of her reporting on local disputes that block or hinder projects, and what they say about the issues plaguing development in the country at large. We discuss how well-intentioned policies evolved into a Kafka-esque system of legal and bureaucratic hoops and delays; how clashes over development reveal a generational split in the environmental movement; and what it would take to cut decades of red tape.Mentioned:“Colorado’s Ingenious Idea for Solving the Housing Crisis” by Jerusalem Demsas“The Culture War Tearing American Environmentalism Apart” by Jerusalem Demsas“Why America Doesn’t Build” by Jerusalem DemsasBook Recommendations:Don’t Blame Us by Lily GeismerThe Bulldozer in the Countryside by Adam RomeA Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George SaundersThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Kristin Lin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris with Kate Sinclair. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin, Rollin Hu and Aman Sahota. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
Back in 2018, Dario Amodei worked at OpenAI. And looking at one of its first A.I. models, he wondered: What would happen as you fed an artificial intelligence more and more data?He and his colleagues decided to study it, and they found that the A.I. didn’t just get better with more data; it got better exponentially. The curve of the A.I.’s capabilities rose slowly at first and then shot up like a hockey stick.Amodei is now the chief executive of his own A.I. company, Anthropic, which recently released Claude 3 — considered by many to be the strongest A.I. model available. And he still believes A.I. is on an exponential growth curve, following principles known as scaling laws. And he thinks we’re on the steep part of the climb right now.When I’ve talked to people who are building A.I., scenarios that feel like far-off science fiction end up on the horizon of about the next two years. So I asked Amodei on the show to share what he sees in the near future. What breakthroughs are around the corner? What worries him the most? And how are societies that struggle to adapt to change and governments that are slow to react to them supposed to prepare for the pace of change he predicts? What does that line on his graph mean for the rest of us?This episode contains strong language.Mentioned:Sam Altman on The Ezra Klein ShowDemis Hassabis on The Ezra Klein ShowOn Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt“Measuring the Persuasiveness of Language Models” by AnthropicBook Recommendations:The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard RhodesThe Expanse (series) by James S.A. CoreyThe Guns of August by Barbara W. TuchmanThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Rollin Hu. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin, Kristin Lin and Aman Sahota. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
The internet is in decay. Do a Google search, and there are so many websites now filled with slapdash content contorted just to rank highly in the algorithm. Facebook, YouTube, X and TikTok all used to feel more fun and surprising. And all these once-great media companies have been folding or shedding staff members, unable to find a business model that works.And into this weakened internet came the flood of A.I.-generated junk. There’s been a surge of spammy news sites filled with A.I.-generated articles. TikTok videos of A.I.-generated voices reading text pulled from Reddit can be churned out in seconds. And self-published A.I.-authored books are polluting Amazon listings.According to my guest today, Nilay Patel, this isn’t just a blip, as the big platforms figure out how to manage this. He believes that A.I. content will break the internet as we know it.“When you increase the supply of stuff onto those platforms to infinity, that system breaks down completely,” Patel told me “Recommendation algorithms break down completely. Our ability to discern what is real and what is false breaks down completely. And I think, importantly, the business models of the internet break down completely.”Patel is one of the sharpest observers of the internet, and the ways technology has shaped and reshaped it. He’s a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Verge, and the host of the “Decoder” podcast. In this conversation, we talk about why platforms seem so unprepared for the storm of A.I. content; whether an internet filled with cursory A.I. content is better or worse than an internet filled with good A.I. content; and if A.I. might be a kind of cleansing fire for the internet that enables something new and better to emerge.Mentioned:Help us win a Webby Award“Scenes from a dying web” by Casey Newton“The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” by Walter Benjamin“257 CES gadgets in 3 minutes — CES 2015” by The VergeBook Recommendations:The Conquest of Cool by Thomas FrankLiar in a Crowded Theater by Jeff KosseffSubstance by Peter HookEverything I Need I Get From You by Kaitlyn TiffanyExtremely Hardcore by Zoe SchifferBeyond Measure by James VincentThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Claire Gordon. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing from Isaac Jones and Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin, Rollin Hu and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
There’s something of a paradox that has defined my experience with artificial intelligence in this particular moment. It’s clear we’re witnessing the advent of a wildly powerful technology, one that could transform the economy and the way we think about art and creativity and the value of human work itself. At the same time, I can’t for the life of me figure out how to use it in my own day-to-day job.So I wanted to understand what I’m missing and get some tips for how I could incorporate A.I. better into my life right now. And Ethan Mollick is the perfect guide: He’s a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania who’s spent countless hours experimenting with different chatbots, noting his insights in his newsletter One Useful Thing and in a new book, “Co-Intelligence: Living and Working With A.I.”This conversation covers the basics, including which chatbot to choose and techniques for how to get the most useful results. But the conversation goes far beyond that, too — to some of the strange, delightful and slightly unnerving ways that A.I. responds to us, and how you’ll get more out of any chatbot if you think of it as a relationship rather than a tool.Mollick says it’s helpful to understand this moment as one of co-creation, in which we all should be trying to make sense of what this technology is going to mean for us. Because it’s not as if you can call up the big A.I. companies and get the answers. “When I talk to OpenAI or Anthropic, they don’t have a hidden instruction manual,” he told me. “There is no list of how you should use this as a writer or as a marketer or as an educator. They don’t even know what the capabilities of these systems are.”Book Recommendations:The Rise and Fall of American Growth by Robert J. GordonThe Knowledge by Lewis DartnellBlindsight by Peter WattsThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Kristin Lin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, with Mary Marge Locker and Kate Sinclair. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing from Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin and Rollin Hu. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
Donald Trump can seem like a political anomaly. You sometimes hear people describe his connection with his base in quasi-mystical terms. But really, Trump is an example of an archetype — the right-wing populist showman — that recurs across time and place. There’s Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Boris Johnson in Britain, Javier Milei in Argentina. And there’s a long lineage of this type in the United States too.So why is there this consistent demand for this kind of political figure? And why does this set of qualities — ethnonationalist politics and an entertaining style — repeatedly appear at all?John Ganz is the writer of the newsletter Unpopular Front and the author of the forthcoming book “When the Clock Broke: Con Men, Conspiracists, and How America Cracked Up in the Early 1990s.” In this conversation, we discuss how figures like David Duke and Pat Buchanan were able to galvanize the fringes of the Republican Party; Trump’s specific brand of TV-ready charisma; and what liberals tend to overlook about the appeal of this populist political aesthetic.This episode contains strong language.Mentioned:“Right-Wing Populism” by Murray N. Rothbard“The ‘wave’ of right-wing populist sentiment is a myth” by Larry Bartels“How we got here” by Matthew YglesiasBook Recommendations:What Hath God Wrought? by Daniel Walker HoweAfter Nationalism by Samuel GoldmanThe Politics of Cultural Despair by Fritz R. SternThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Annie Galvin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing from Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Rollin Hu and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
We’ll be back on Friday with a new episode. In the meantime, we wanted to share one of our favorite recent episodes from our sister podcast, “Matter of Opinion.”Why does the economy look so good to economists but feel so bad to voters?The Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman joins the hosts on “Matter of Opinion” to discuss why inflation, interest rates and wages aren’t in line with voters’ perception of the economy. Then, they debate with Paul how big of an influence the economy will be on the 2024 presidential election, and which of the two presumed candidates, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, it could benefit. Plus, Ross Douthat’s lessons on aging, through Michael Caine impressions.Mentioned:“Believing Is Seeing,” from Paul Krugman’s newsletter“The Age of Diminished Expectations,” by Paul Krugman“The Trip” scene: “This Is How Michael Caine Speaks”
American policy is uniquely hostile to families. Other wealthy countries guarantee paid parental leave and sick days and heavily subsidize early childhood care — to the tune of about $14,000 per year per child, on average. (The United States, by contrast, spends around $500 per child per year.) So it’s no wonder our birthrate has been in decline, with many people saying they’re having fewer children than they would like.Yet if you look closer at those other wealthy countries, that story doesn’t entirely hold. Sweden, for example, has some of the most generous work-family policies in the world, and according to the most recent numbers from Our World in Data, from 2021, their fertility rate is 1.67 children per woman — virtually identical to ours.Caitlyn Collins is a sociology professor at Washington University in St. Louis and the author of “Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving.” To understand how family policies affect the experience of child-rearing, she interviewed over a hundred middle-class mothers across four countries with different parenting cultures and levels of social support for families: the United States, Sweden, Italy and Germany. And what she finds is that policies can greatly relieve parents’ stress, but cultural norms like “intensive parenting” remain consistent.In this conversation, we discuss how work-family policies in Sweden frame spending time with children as a right rather than a privilege, how these policies have transformed the gender norms around parenting, why family-friendly policies across the globe don’t increase birthrates, how cultural pressures in America to be both an ideal worker and an ideal parent often clash, why many American parents feel it’s impossible to have more than one or two children, how cultural discourse has led younger women to “dread” motherhood and more.Mentioned:“Parenthood and Happiness: Effects of Work-Family Reconciliation Policies in 22 OECD Countries” by Jennifer Glass, Robin W. Simon and Matthew A. Andersson“Is Maternal Guilt a Cross-National Experience?” by Caitlyn CollinsIf you're interested in this topic, we also recommend checking out this series from the New York Times Opinion:“Would You Have Four Kids if It Meant Never Paying Taxes Again?” by Jessica Grose“Are Men the Overlooked Reason for the Fertility Decline?” by Jessica Grose“If We Want More Babies, Our ‘Profoundly Anti-Family’ System Needs an Overhaul” by Jessica GroseBook Recommendations:Competing Devotions by Mary Blair-LoyMothering While Black by Dawn Marie DowHope in the Dark by Rebecca SolnitThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Annie Galvin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing from Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Rollin Hu and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Jessica Grose and Sonia Herrero.
For a long time, the story about the world’s population was that it was growing too quickly. There were going to be too many humans, not enough resources, and that spelled disaster. But now the script has flipped. Fertility rates have declined dramatically, from about five children per woman 60 years ago to just over two today. About two-thirds of us now live in a country or area where fertility rates are below replacement level. And that has set off a new round of alarm, especially in certain quarters on the right and in Silicon Valley, that we’re headed toward demographic catastrophe.But when I look at these numbers, I just find it strange. Why, as societies get richer, do their fertility rates plummet?Money makes life easier. We can give our kids better lives than our ancestors could have imagined. We don’t expect to bear the grief of burying a child. For a long time, a big, boisterous family has been associated with a joyful, fulfilled life. So why are most of us now choosing to have small ones?I invited Jennifer D. Sciubba on the show to help me puzzle this out. She’s a demographer, a political scientist and the author of “8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death and Migration Shape Our World.” She walks me through the population trends we’re seeing around the world, the different forces that seem to be driving them and why government policy, despite all kinds of efforts, seems incapable of getting people to have more kids.Mentioned:“Would You Have Four Kids if It Meant Never Paying Taxes Again?” by Jessica Grose“Are Men the Overlooked Reason for the Fertility Decline?” by Jessica Grose“If We Want More Babies, Our ‘Profoundly Anti-Family’ System Needs an Overhaul” by Jessica GroseBook Recommendations:Extra Life by Steven JohnsonThe Bet by Paul SabinReproductive States edited by Rickie Solinger and Mie NakachiThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Rollin Hu. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Mixing by Isaac Jones. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Jessica Grose and Sonia Herrero. 
President Biden gave a raucous State of the Union speech last Thursday, offering his pitch for why he should be president for a second term. It’s the clearest picture we have yet of Biden’s campaign message for 2024. But while he listed off all kinds of proposals, it’s not as easy to parse what a second Biden term might actually look like. So I sat down with my editor Aaron Retica, who had a lot of questions for me about the speech itself and what Biden would be likely to accomplish if he got another four years in the job.We discuss how my argument for Biden to step aside holds up after he gave such a deft, high-energy performance; what a second Biden administration would likely do when it comes to abortion rights and foreign policy; the issues that didn’t receive much attention in the speech but would likely play a huge role in a second Biden term; the strongest 2024 campaign message that I’ve heard so far; and whether this is a Locke election or a Hobbes election — and what that means.Book Recommendations:Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century by John A. FarrellA Nation Without Borders by Steven HahnThe Field of Blood by Joanne B. FreemanThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Rollin Hu. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing from Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, it scrambled the landscape of abortion access in America, including in ways that one might not entirely expect. Many conservative states made the procedure essentially illegal — that part was predictable. But there’s also been this striking backlash in blue states, with many of them making historic efforts to expand abortion access, for both their residents and for women living in abortion-restricted states.And this has created all kinds of new battle lines — between states, and states and the federal government — involving travel, speech, privacy and executive power. It’s an explosion of conflicts and constitutional questions that the legal historian Mary Ziegler says has no parallel in modern times. She’s the author of six books on reproductive rights in America, including “Roe: The History of a National Obsession,” and the Martin Luther King Jr. professor of law at the University of California, Davis. “We’re seeing, from conservative and progressive states, moves to project power outside of their borders in ways we really haven’t seen in a really long time,” she told me.In this conversation, Ziegler explains the bifurcated abortion landscape that has emerged since the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe. We discuss the different political and legal strategies conservative and progressive states are using to pursue their opposing goals; why the abortion rate has gone up, even as 14 states have implemented near-total bans on abortion; and how a second Trump administration could try to restrict access to abortion for all Americans, no matter what states they live in.Mentioned:“Harsh Anti-abortion Laws Are Not Empty Threats” by Mary ZieglerBook Recommendations:The Family Roe by Joshua PragerTiny You by Jennifer L. HollandDefenders of the Unborn by Daniel K. Williams“Before Roe v. Wade” by Linda Greenhouse and Reva B. SiegelThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Claire Gordon and Kristin Lin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, with Mary Marge Locker and Kate Sinclair. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing from Efim Shapiro. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin and Rollin Hu. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
Marilynne Robinson is one of the great living novelists. She has won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Humanities Medal, and Barack Obama took time out of his presidency to interview her at length. Her fiction is suffused with a sense of holiness: Mundane images like laundry drying on a line seem to be illuminated by a divine force. Whether she’s telling the story of a pastor confronting his mortality in “Gilead” or two sisters coming of age in small-town Idaho in “Housekeeping,” her novels wrestle with theological questions of what it means to be human, to see the world more deeply, to seek meaning in life.In recent years, Robinson has tightened the links between her literary pursuits and her Christianity, writing essays about Calvinism and other theological traditions. Her forthcoming work of nonfiction is “Reading Genesis,” a close reading of the first book of the Old Testament (or the Torah, as I grew up knowing it). It’s a countercultural reading in many respects — one that understands the God in Genesis as merciful rather than vengeful and humans as flawed but capable of astounding acts of grace. No matter one’s faith, Robinson unearths wisdom in this core text that applies to many questions we wrestle with today.We discuss the virtues evoked in Genesis — beauty, forgiveness and hospitality — and how to cultivate what Robinson calls “a mind that’s schooled toward good attention.” And we end on her reading of the story of Israel, which I found to be challenging, moving and evocative at a time when that nation has been front and center in the news.Book Recommendations:Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John FoxeThe Vision of Piers Plowman by William LanglandTheologia GermanicaThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Annie Galvin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris and Kate Sinclair. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing from Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin, Rollin Hu and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero and Alex Engebretson.
Joe Biden’s presidency has been dominated by two foreign policy crises: the wars in Ukraine and Gaza. The funding the United States has provided in those wars — billions to both Ukraine and Israel — has drawn backlash from both the right and the left. And now, as the conflicts move into new stages with no clear end game, Biden’s policies are increasingly drawing dissent from the center.Richard Haass is an icon of the U.S. foreign policy establishment. He served as the president of the Council on Foreign Relations for 20 years and currently writes the newsletter Home & Away. He’s recently been making the case that our foreign policy is insufficiently independent — that we’ve become captured by allies that have interests that diverge from our own. His view of this moment is a signal of larger shifts that could be coming in the U.S. foreign policy consensus.In this conversation, we discuss why he thinks America’s current strategy on both Ukraine and Israel is untenable, what he thinks the north star for our strategy in both cases should be, the Republican Party’s 180-degree turn from internationalism to isolationism, what America’s biggest national security threat really is and more.Mentioned:“The Two-State Mirage” by Marc Lynch and Shibley TelhamiBook Recommendations:The World That Wasn’t by Benn SteilSparks by Ian JohnsonDiplomats at War by Charles TrueheartThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Rollin Hu. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris with Mary Marge Locker and Kate Sinclair. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing from Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
We received thousands of questions in response to last week’s audio essay arguing that Democrats should consider choosing a candidate at August’s D.N.C. convention. Among them: Is there any chance Joe Biden would actually step down? Would an open convention be undemocratic? Is there another candidate who can bridge the progressive and moderate divide in the party? Doesn’t polling show other candidates losing to Donald Trump by even larger margins? Would a convention process leave Democrats enough time to mount a real general election campaign?In this conversation, I’m joined by our senior editor Claire Gordon to answer these questions and many more.Mentioned:“Democrats Have a Better Option Than Biden” by Ezra Klein“Here’s How an Open Democratic Convention Would Work” with Elaine Kamarck on The Ezra Klein ShowThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Annie Galvin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, with Mary Marge Locker. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing from Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Rollin Hu and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. And special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
Last week on the show, I argued that the Democrats should pick their nominee at the Democratic National Convention in August.It’s an idea that sounds novel but is really old-fashioned. This is how most presidential nominees have been picked in American history. All the machinery to do it is still there; we just stopped using it. But Democrats may need a Plan B this year. And the first step is recognizing they have one.Elaine Kamarck literally wrote the book on how we choose presidential candidates. It’s called “Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know About How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates.” She’s a senior fellow in governance studies and the founding director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution. But her background here isn’t just theory. It’s practice. She has worked on four presidential campaigns and 10 nominating conventions for both Democrats and Republicans. She’s also on the convention’s rules committee and has been a superdelegate at five Democratic conventions.It’s a fascinating conversation, even if you don’t think Democrats should attempt to select their nominee at the convention. The history here is rich, and it is, if nothing else, a reminder that the way we choose candidates now is not the way we have always done it and not the way we must always do it.Book Recommendations:All the King’s Men by Robert Penn WarrenThe Making of the President 1960 by Theodore H. WhiteQuiet Revolution by Byron E. ShaferThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Annie Galvin. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Kristin Lin. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Rollin Hu. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. And special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
Biden is faltering and Democrats have no plan B. There is another path to winning in 2024 — and I think they should take it. But it would require them to embrace an old-fashioned approach to winning a campaign.Mentioned:The Lincoln Miracle by Edward AchornIf you have a question for the AMA, you can call 212-556-7300 and leave a voice message or email ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com with the subject line, “2024 AMA."You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This audio essay for “The Ezra Klein Show” was fact-checked by Michelle Harris. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin, Rollin Hu and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser.
For years, Agnes Callard has been on a mission to take ethical philosophy out of the ivory tower. She examines everyday human experiences — jockeying for status, navigating jealousy, marriage — with dazzling detail, publishing regularly in mainstream publications. And she tries to live by her philosophy, too, even if it violates social conventions, as many discovered when The New Yorker published a provocative profile of Callard last year. We recorded this conversation in May 2021, before the New Yorker article drew attention to the details of her home life. (She lives with both her husband and her ex-husband.) But after our episode with Rhaina Cohen about imagining relationships more expansively, we thought it would be interesting to revisit Callard, who has spent so much time dissecting the dynamics and ethics of different relationships and their possibilities.Mentioned:“Who Wants to Play the Status Game?” by Agnes Callard, The Point“Against Advice,” by Agnes Callard, The Point“The Other Woman,” by Agnes Callard, The Point“Parenting and Panic,” by Agnes Callard, The Point"Aspiration" by Agnes CallardBook Recommendations:"Tolstoy: A Russian Life" by Rosamund Bartlett"Pessoa: A Biography" by Richard Zenith"Augustine of Hippo" by Peter Brown“Real Death” by Mount EerieThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld, audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin.
“If only we had a partner for peace.”That’s been the refrain in the Israel-Palestinian conflict for as long as I’ve followed it. But the truth is you don’t need just a partner — you need two partners able to deliver at the same time.So you could see it as a tragedy of history that Salam Fayyad joined the Palestinian Authority in 2002, at the height of the second intifada, just as Israeli society shifted hard to the right.A Western-educated economist, Fayyad is a technocrat at heart. And as the Palestinian Authority’s finance minister, and then as prime minister, he dedicated himself to the spadework of state-building. His theory was that instead of waiting around for the peace process to deliver Palestinian statehood, he would just build a state — institutions, infrastructure, security, sewers and all — and then statehood would follow.And by many measures, he was remarkably successful. The economy boomed, crime plummeted, and in 2011 the United Nations declared the authority ready to run an independent state. But in April 2013, Fayyad resigned. And today, the Palestinian Authority in tatters, widely seen by Palestinians as corrupt and a failure.Fayyad is now a visiting senior scholar at Princeton. And I wanted to have him on the show to talk about his time building a Palestinian state. What did he learn working with the various factions — including Hamas — in Palestinian politics? What did he learn working with Israel? How did we still end up here? And what, given all he’s seen and done, does he think should happen now?Mentioned:Into the Breach: Salam Fayyad and Palestine“A Plan for Peace in Gaza” by Salam FayyadBook Recommendations:Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. RobinsonThe Arabs by Eugene RoganOn The Trails of Mariam by Nadia HarhashThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Rollin Hu. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld with additional mixing from Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
Around 40 percent of people who marry eventually get a divorce. Almost half of children are born to unmarried women. The number of close friends Americans report having has been on a steep decline since the 1990s, especially among men. Millions of us are growing old alone. We are living out a radical experiment in how we live, love, parent and age — and for many, it’s failing.That’s partial context, I think, for the recent burst of interest and media coverage of polyamory. People want more love in their lives, and opening their relationships is one way to find it. A poll from last year found that one-third of Americans believe their ideal relationship would involve something other than strict monogamy.But polyamory, for all its possibilities, isn’t right for many, and it doesn’t have that much to say about parenting or aging or friendship. As radical as it may sound, it’s not nearly radical enough. It’s not just romance that could be imagined more expansively. It’s everything.“If this is such a significant relationship in my life, why is there no term for it?” wonders NPR’s Rhaina Cohen about a relationship that transcends the language we have available for friendship. Her forthcoming book, “The Other Significant Others: Reimagining Life With Friendship at the Center,” is a window into a world of relational possibilities most of us never even imagined existed. It’s a call to open up what we can conceive of as possible. Some of these models might appeal to you. Others might not. But they all pose a question worth asking: What kinds of relationships would you want in your life, if you felt you could ask for them?Mentioned:“Men’s Social Circles are Shrinking” by Daniel A. CoxThe Two-Parent Privilege by Melissa S. KearneyHow Should a Person Be? by Sheila HetiBook Recommendations:Far From the Tree by Andrew SolomonWe All Want Impossible Things by Catherine NewmanThy Neighbor’s Wife by Gay TaleseThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on X @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Annie Galvin. Fact-checking by Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld with additional mixing from Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Michelle Harris, Rollin Hu and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. And special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
Political analysts used to say that the Democratic Party was riding a demographic wave that would lead to an era of dominance. But that “coalition of the ascendant” never quite jelled. The party did benefit from a rise in nonwhite voters and college-educated professionals, but it has also shed voters without a college degree. All this has made the Democrats’ political math a lot more precarious. And it also poses a kind of spiritual problem for Democrats who see themselves as the party of the working class.Ruy Teixeira is one of the loudest voices calling on the Democratic Party to focus on winning these voters back. He’s a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the politics editor of the newsletter The Liberal Patriot. His 2002 book, “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” written with John B. Judis, was seen as prophetic after Barack Obama won in 2008 with the coalition he’d predicted. But he also warned in that book that Democrats needed to stop hemorrhaging white working-class voters for this majority to hold. And now Teixeira and Judis have a new book, “Where Have All the Democrats Gone?: The Soul of the Party in the Age of Extremes.”In this conversation, I talk to Teixeira about how he defines the working class; the economic, social and cultural forces that he thinks have driven these voters from the Democratic Party; whether Joe Biden’s industrial and pro-worker policies could win some of these voters back, or if economic policies could reverse this trend at all; and how to think through the trade-offs of pursuing bold progressive policies that could push working-class voters even further away.Mentioned:“‘Compensate the Losers?’ Economic Policy and Partisan Realignment in the U.S.”Book Recommendations:Political Cleavages and Social Inequalities, edited by Amory Gethin, Clara Martínez-Toledano, and Thomas PikettyVisions of Inequality by Branko MilanovicThe House of Government by Yuri SlezkineThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Annie Galvin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Rollin Hu and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.
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Comments (232)

New Jawn

It's not a debate, Jerusalem, it's a discussion. Points are not awarded for a speed speech.

Apr 18th
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Claude Poliakoff

spot on concerns re: AI impact & how society should address them. The only subject I believe to be important is coping with the disenfranchisement of an unpredictable # of people. We've already seen how susceptible large segments of our society are to fear mongering misrepresentations of our government. If so many can be convinced of their mistreatment, adding that on to the truly disenfranchised cohort, shouldn't we prepare the best coping plan possible, given the speed of this powerful technol

Apr 14th
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adullsam

Boris Johnson isn't really a thing in the UK anymore

Apr 3rd
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Derek Welch

what a fabulous episode. politicians on both sides can learn a lot from the clear-eyed, fair perspectives that Richard shares here.

Mar 8th
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Erik Nelson

I also believe there's literal misinformation here about how the money works. As I understand it, the considerable Biden/Harris warchest cannot just be transferred to any candidate. I believe it can used by Harris directly because it was raised with her name on the ticket. Or, I think it can be transferred to the DNC. The DNC can of course spend it on campaigning for any candidate, but but not with direct coordination and under the direction of that campaign.

Feb 28th
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Erik Nelson

Absolutely delusional. I don't even know where to start. This would be a complete bloodbath of cutthroat, haphazard oppo research attacks vs the vetting that happens over many months in a primary process. Incredibly irresponsible to paint a rosy picture of how this would play out

Feb 28th
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Granny InSanDiego

This Pollyanna view of Biden is disturbing. The cause of inflation was the war in Ukraine. In 2020, Bernie had momentum heading into the SC primary. This panicked the Democratic National Committee. Bernie wasn't taking corporate dollars. So the Democratic machine, especially in the person of Rep. James Clyburn, got on the Biden bandwagon. Clyburn took more money from Big Pharma than any other House member. To claim Biden has a good track record on the environment is not accurate.

Feb 17th
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Nicolas Brylle

Excellent vision on what can/could be. Please Americans, don't let that insane orange psychopath anywhere close to any sort of government office...

Feb 16th
Reply (1)

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Feb 4th
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andrea brooks

omg. cost of living, cost of living cost of living!!!! until that addressed all the blue collar people are going to keep wigging out!

Jan 25th
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Jan 12th
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Ben Curulli

Rabbi Sharon Brous was a credit to all Jewish and Palestinian people. I am neither Jewish or Palestinian but that was as good a commentary I have heard. bravo.

Nov 18th
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rom

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this powerful conversation. Thank you for listening to Amjad, thank you for not finding excuses for Israel or dismissing the torture Palestinians have been living through, and thank you for not trying to mislead or control the narrative. I’m honestly so deeply moved, I wish all your NYT colleagues followed suit. And Amjad your eloquence and how clear, concise and cohesive you are is inspiring I wish I could be as smart as you.

Nov 11th
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Nick Kennedy

Thank you for this excellent presentation. Really valuable for understanding. Thank you for your personal leadership in working to provide clarity, unburdened by partisan limitations.

Nov 7th
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Carlos Barron

I've been an avid listener of "The Ezra Klein Show" for quite some time now, and I must say that it continues to be one of the most thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating podcasts out there. Ezra Klein's ability to engage with a wide range of guests, from experts in various fields to prominent thinkers and policymakers, is truly remarkable. https://advertisingflux.com/business-directory-2/branded-popcorn-bags/ The in-depth conversations on pressing issues like politics, economics, culture, and social justice always provide a fresh perspective and deeper insights. I appreciate how Ezra approaches complex topics with nuance and a commitment to understanding multiple viewpoints, making it a great platform for anyone who values informed and civil discourse. https://www.freelistingusa.com/listings/branded-popcorn-bags

Nov 4th
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Aakash Amanat

"The Ezra Klein Show" is a podcast that consistently delivers insightful and thought-provoking discussions on a wide range of topics. Ezra Klein's skill as an interviewer shines through as he engages with a diverse array of guests, from scholars and experts to public figures and thought leaders. The depth of the conversations on this podcast is truly remarkable, often exploring complex issues in a way that's accessible to listeners from various backgrounds. https://sites.google.com/view/customthankyoubags/home What sets this podcast apart is its commitment to fostering meaningful and nuanced discussions, making it a valuable resource for those who seek a deeper understanding of important societal and political issues. https://sites.google.com/view/custom-popcorn-bags/home

Nov 1st
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David Henderson

I was nervous about listening to this episode. I've enjoyed your podcast so much this past year, and I worried that this might be two dimensional and biased like so much of the media content I've seen these last 10 days. I shouldn't have worried. Thank you for a complex, heartfelt, informative, and nuanced episode.

Oct 20th
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A.K. Ferrara

Thanks, Ezra!

Oct 18th
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Robin Henry

As a trained librarian, I am surprised that she is surprised. The issue started when the mission of many libraries and librarians changed from providing access to advocating. She said neutrality was something to strive for and she was right. When librarians quit being neutral, parents and others get worried. Libraries provide access to books and ideas and sometimes stuff. They don't try to tell you what to think, or they shouldn't. That's where the rub is.

Sep 20th
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