Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Bridge of Spies, Henry David Thoreau, and lectures.

Henry David Thoreau Was a Crank. But Should We Stop Reading Him?

Henry David Thoreau Was a Crank. But Should We Stop Reading Him?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Oct. 21 2015 6:19 PM

The Culture Gabfest “Pry This Lectern Out of My Cold, Dead Hands” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Bridge of Spies, Henry David Thoreau, and lectures.

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Photo illustration by Slate.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 370 with Stephen Metcalf, Laura Miller, and Dana Stevens:

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This week on Slate Plus, the hosts discuss their favorite scary movie or book.

On this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest, the gabbers review Bridge of Spies, a Cold War espionage thriller directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks. Is it a timely and nuanced portrait of American justice or retro and idealistic hokum? Next up, the critics weigh in on a recent New Yorker piece, which says Henry David Thoreau was little more than a dishonorable crank. What did the gabbers make of this polemic? Finally, lectures in college humanities classrooms are falling out of favor. Are lectures inherently discriminatory or the best format for conveying large bodies of complex information?

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Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:

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And by The Message, a new podcast series from GE Podcast Theater.  

Endorsements:  

Dana: “Walden,” E.B. White’s letter to Henry David Thoreau in One Man’s Meat

Laura: The Lost Room

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Outro: “Cold War” by Devo

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Lindsey Albracht.

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