The Art of Manliness Podcast aims to deepen and improve every area of a man's life, from fitness and philosophy, to relationships and productivity. Engaging and edifying interviews with some of the world's most interesting doers and thinkers drop the fluff and filler to glean guests' very best, potentially life-changing, insights.
Note: My guest in this episode, Dr. Earle Labor, died on September 15 at the age of 94. Earle was the world's foremost authority on one of the Art of Manliness' guiding inspirations and lights: Jack London. Earle dedicated his career to London scholarship and his work was pivotal in turning London's literature into a subject of serious study. Earle taught the very first undergraduate and graduate courses devoted to London and penned a hundred articles and ten books about him. Earle not only admired London's devotion to what the author called "the true spirit of romance and adventure," he sought that spirit in his own life. As an undergraduate, Earle started the first weightlifting course at Southern Methodist University and he coached and lifted the SMU team to victory in the 1948 Dallas Open Championships. After college, he and a buddy took an epic road trip, where they did farm work and entered boxing matches to work their way from Texas to Canada. And he served in the U.S. Navy and spent time on a destroyer. I had the privilege of interviewing Earle three times for the AoM podcast. The last time in January 2020, my son and I drove to Earle's home in Shreveport, LA to speak with him in person. To mark Earle's passing, please enjoy this rebroadcast of that conversation. The literature of Jack London has long been given the short shrift by scholars. They say he wrote some good dog stories for boys, but beyond that didn't showcase any literary genius or high-level craftsmanship. Well, my guest today begs to differ with this assessment. His name is Earle Labor. He's the preeminent Jack London scholar and 91 years young.
1 hour 6 mins
26 September Finished
Dip your toes into the world of personal finance and you can find plenty of questions which are the subject of endless debate. How much of your income should you save? Is it okay to take on debt? Which is better — renting a home or owning one? When it comes to the stock market, should you buy the dip? On his blog, Of Dollars and Data, my guest cuts through the personal finance noise by finding answers based on numbers rather than conjecture, and then converting this research into advice the average person can understand. His name is Nick Maggiulli, and he's the Chief Operating Officer and Data Scientist at Ritholtz Wealth Management, as well as the author of Just Keep Buying: Proven Ways to Save Money and Build Your Wealth.
21 September Finished
Our lives are populated by rituals. Baptisms. Funerals. Graduations. Singing happy birthday, chanting cheers at a sports event, saying grace before dinner. When we perform rituals, there's no causal link between the behavior and the hoped for effect; for example, there's no causal connection between exchanging rings at an altar and becoming wedded to another human being. But my guest would say that doesn't mean that rituals are useless and irrational; in fact, doing two decades of research on rituals caused him to do a one-eighty on his perception of their value. His name is Dimitris Xygalatas and he's an anthropologist and the author of Ritual: How Seemingly Senseless Acts Make Life Worth Living.
19 September Finished
The presence of annoying, incompetent, and underhanded people isn't a particular workplace problem, but a universal human problem. In any and every group of people, there are going to be bothersome and troublesome personalities. So if you can't entirely escape them, how do you get along with your fellow humans at work? My guest today has some research-backed advice. Her name is Tessa West, and she's a professor of psychology and the author of Jerks at Work: Toxic Coworkers and What to Do About Them.
14 September Finished
Amidst the epic clashes of armies and navies that make war such a fascinating subject, lie the smaller human interest stories that prove just as compelling. One such story is that of World War II soldier Joe Johnson Jr., which is told by Marcus Brotherton in a newly published book called A Bright and Blinding Sun: A World War II Story of Survival, Love, and Redemption.
12 September Finished