When Book Bans Came to Small Town New Jersey7 December 2022 - 44 mins explicit
This episode contains strong language.
In the contentious debate over who controls what happens in America’s schools, a new battleground has emerged: library books.
This is the story of what happened when parents in one town in New Jersey tried to remove a handful of books that they said were explicit and sexually inappropriate — and the battle that ensued.
Guest: Alexandra Alter, a reporter covering publishing and the literary world for The New York Times.
As highly visible and politicized book bans have exploded across the United States, librarians — accustomed to being seen as dedicated public servants in their communities — have found themselves on the front l...
China, Russia and the Risk of a New Cold War
As Xi Jinping, China’s leader, meets with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Moscow this week, Chinese officials have been presenting his trip as a mission of peace. But American and European officials are watching for something else altogether — whether Mr. Xi will add fuel to the full-scale war that Mr. Putin began more than a year ago. Edward Wong explains what Mr. Xi is really up to, and why it’s making people wonder whether a new Cold War is underway. Guest: Edward Wong, a diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times.
21 March Finished
How TikTok Became a Matter of National Security
TikTok, the app known for short videos of lip syncing, dancing and bread baking, is one of the most popular platforms in the country, used by one out of every three Americans. In recent weeks, the Biden administration has threatened to ban it over concerns that it poses a threat to national security. Guest: Sapna Maheshwari, a business reporter for The New York Times.
20 March Finished
The Sunday Read: ‘Spirited Away to Miyazaki Land’
As an American, Sam Anderson knows what it feels like to arrive at a theme park. “The totalizing consumerist embrace,” he writes. “The blunt-force, world-warping, escapist delight.” He has known theme parks with entrances like “international borders” and ticket prices like “mortgage payments.” Mr. Anderson has been to Disney World, which he describes as “an alternate reality that basically occupies its own tax zone.” In November, when Ghibli Park finally opened, Mr. Anderson made sure to get himself there. The park is a tribute to the legendary Studio Ghibli, first started by the animator Hayao Miyazaki in 1985, out of desperation, when he and his co-founders, Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki, couldn’t find a studio willing to put out their work. Miyazaki is detail-obsessed. He agonizes over his children’s cartoons as if he were Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, insisting that, although few viewers will be conscious of all this work, every viewer will feel it. And we do. Those tiny touches, adding up across the length of a film, anchor his fantasies in the actual world. And so, after many years, and much traveling — at long last — Mr. Anderson found himself stepping into the wonders of Ghibli Park. His first impression was not awe or majesty or surrender or consumerist bliss. It was confusion.
19 March Finished
Why the Banking Crisis Isn’t Over Yet
In the past week, as spooked customers frantically withdrew $42 billion from Silicon Valley Bank, the U.S. government stepped in to craft a rescue operation for the failed lender. But efforts to contain the crisis have met resistance, and the fallout of the collapse has already spread to other regional banks, whose stocks have plummeted. Guest: Emily Flitter, a finance correspondent for The New York Times.
17 March Finished
France’s Battle Over Retirementexplicit
This episode contains strong language Millions of people have taken to the streets in France to protest a government effort to raise the retirement age to 64, from 62, bringing the country more in line with its European neighbors. Today, as Parliament holds a key vote on the proposal, we look into why the issue has hit such a nerve in French society. Guest: Roger Cohen, the Paris bureau chief for The New York Times.
16 March Finished
What to Know About the Covid Lab Leak Theory
Three years after the start of Covid, the central mystery of the pandemic — how exactly it began — remains unsolved. But recently, the debate about the source of the coronavirus has re-emerged, this time in Congress. The Energy Department has concluded, with “low confidence,” that an accidental laboratory leak in China was most likely the origin, but politics are making it harder to find definitive answers. Guest: Benjamin Mueller, a health and science correspondent for The New York Times.
15 March Finished