Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 293 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.
And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:
The sponsors of today’s show are Nature Box and Audible. Nature Box is the subscription service dedicated to smarter snacking. Go to NatureBox.com/Slate to get 50 percent off your first order of healthy, convenient, and affordable snacks. Get a free audiobook from Audible’s collection of more than 150,000 titles and a subscription to a daily audio digest when you sign up for a 30-day free trial at www.audiblepodcast.com/culturefest. This week’s pick for the Culture Gabfest Bucket List—the books you’ve got to read to be a smarter culture hound—is The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, read by Barbara Caruso.
Sign up for Slate Plus to get ad-free podcasts, special bonus segments, discounted event tickets, a streamlined Slate reading experience, and more. Go to slate.com/cultureplus to learn more and join today. (You’ll also see a video from Steve, Dana, and Julia welcoming you to the program.)
Culturefest is on the radio! “Gabfest Radio” combines Slate’s Culture and Political Gabfests in one show—listen on Saturdays at 7 a.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. on WNYC’s AM820.
On this week’s episode, the critics discuss the celebrity of French economist Thomas Piketty and the surging popularity of his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Is Piketty a modern-day Keynes or just a new name to drop at liberal cocktail parties? Next the gabbers turn to Last Week Tonight With John Oliver on HBO. Cheeky and uncensored, the British comedian of Daily Show fame brings a global perspective to late night. And finally, the critics welcome Slate assistant editor J. Bryan Lowder to discuss his recent series “Rethinking Spring Cleaning.” Is the annual ritual an outdated relic or the key to comfort at home?
Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:
- Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century
- John Maynard Keynes’ The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money
- Paul Krugman’s must-read review of Capital in the New York Review of Books
- Ezra Klein’s Vox.com
- Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com
- David Brooks responds to Piketty’s success among the cultural elite in the New York Times
- Krugman responds to Brooks on his New York Times blog
- Last Week Tonight With John Oliver on HBO
- The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
- The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson
- Vulture compiles the best of John Oliver on The Daily Show
- J. Bryan Lowder’s Slate series “Rethinking Spring Cleaning”
Dana: The Great Divergence by Timothy Noah about the growth of American income inequality in the late 20th century.
Bryan: Showing a tourist around your city. It allows you to see your city with fresh eyes.
Steve: The Partially Examined Life, a great, nonbloviating philosophy podcast on which Steve was a guest last week.
Outro: “Spring Cleaning” by Fats Waller
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.