Episode #1239

John Wesley Harding and The Swerve

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Friday, September 30, 2011

John Wesley Harding John Wesley Harding (Allison Michael Orenstein)

This week, singer-songwriter-turned-novelist John Wesley Harding performs live in the studio. And Kurt Andersen digs deep into a new book called The Swerve — it’s the story of how an ancient Roman poem predicted radical philosophical, scientific, even sexual ideas centuries before their time. Plus we uncover the secret life of the jazz bandleader Ina Ray Hutton.

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Finding the Future in a 2,000 Year Old Poem

An epic poem written more than 2,000 years ago by a Roman named Lucretius may be one of Western culture's most profound examples of art anticipating scientific discovery and modern thought. The poem is called "On the Nature of Things", and it presents all kinds of radical ...


Wesley Stace Becomes John Wesley Harding

Wesley is a talented man. His third novel (under his given name, Wesley Stace) came out this year, a crime story called Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer. Under the stage name...

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Is Life Too Short for Re-reading?

A couple weeks ago, Kurt Andersen threw out a notion into the Twitter and Facebook universes: “I'm not 100% sure, but I just realized I don't think I've ever read a book (my own and T...

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Secrets of a Blonde Bombshell

In the 1930s, Ina Ray Hutton conducted, tapped, and sang as the “blonde bombshell bandleader,” strutting her stuff in front of her all–female swing band, the Melodears. (You can’t m...

Comments [58]

Comments [2]

Josh Rogosin from NYC

jb -- That was "Shangri-La" off the album of the same name by the band, "Yacht." - josh

Oct. 03 2011 10:21 AM

Thanks for another great show. Quick question- what's the name of the incidental music after the Steven Greenblat interview, around 18:50 on the podcast?

Oct. 02 2011 10:27 PM

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