Writer Walter Isaacson grew up in a family full of engineers and spent his spare time making radios and televisions sets. While he became a journalist and author instead, his interest in technology and science remained and has informed his selection of biography subjects, from Albert Einstein to Steve Jobs. Walter joined David to talk about his latest biography on Elon Musk and Musk’s “epic hero visions of himself,” his technological genius, how Musk’s father’s treatment of him affected his personality, the openness and transparency Musk allowed Isaacson, and criticism Isaacson received for getting too close to Musk during the writing of his book, “Elon Musk.”
Oct 19, 2023
David French has held many roles: religious-liberties attorney, army officer, writer and political commentator, and outspoken critic of Donald Trump. French joined David to talk about the dissonance he felt in adhering to his conservative Christian values in the face of a changing GOP, his decision to leave the Republican Party in 2016, the hate and threats he and his family endured for criticizing Trump, his views on same-sex marriage and abortion, his steadfast belief in the First Amendment, and why he is greatly concerned for America today.
Oct 12, 2023
This week, we’re revisiting a 2015 interview with Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Then serving as House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi spoke with David about her childhood in Baltimore, her tenure as Speaker of the House and all of its challenges, the key to building consensus, and politics and power.
Oct 5, 2023
As a child, journalist and writer Lawrence Wright cherished his summer visits to the library with his mother when he would load up cardboard boxes with books to devour. His love of reading evolved into a love of writing, and he has since written deeply reported books, novels, plays, and screenplays, as well as working as a staff writer for The New Yorker. Lawrence joined David to talk about the Texas of his childhood and what the current state of Texas portends for America; writing about faith, from Islamic extremism to Scientology; his concerns over political violence; the type of Texas he would like to see in the future; and his newest book, “Mr. Texas: A Novel.”
Sep 28, 2023
After a decades-long career in public service spanning three presidential administrations, Susan Rice left her post as President Biden’s domestic policy advisor in May 2023. Rice joined David to talk about the differences between working on domestic policy and national security, Biden taking office in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of mental health care, the challenges of immigration policy, gun violence’s impacts on generations of young people, the stakes of the war in Ukraine, and the threat of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Sep 21, 2023
After decades in public office and a 2019 run for president focused on fighting climate change, Washington Governor Jay Inslee recently announced he would not seek reelection in 2024. Gov. Inlsee joined David to talk about where we are in tackling the climate crisis, moving away from a fossil fuel economy, the problems with social media, what he views as a lack of leadership in the Republican Party, and why he is optimistic about the climate future.
Sep 14, 2023
Born in California to immigrant parents, Scott Galloway says that he’s the product of an America willing to invest in unremarkable people. While Scott has made a name for himself as an entrepreneur, author, professor, and outspoken podcast host, he’s endeared himself to audiences through his candor and vulnerability. Scott joined David to talk about what makes America unique, higher education and its moral short fallings, the benefits of immigration, the dangers of social media, problems with the tax code, and his belief that Donald Trump will drop out of the presidential race and make a plea deal.
Sep 7, 2023
Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova grew up during the downfall of the Soviet Union. She spent much of her career helping rebuild Ukraine’s economy after the country became independent, working in the private sector before joining Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance. She was appointed Ambassador to the U.S. in 2021 in part to help strengthen economic ties, but her priorities quickly shifted after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Amb. Markarova joined David to talk about her upbringing and the difficulty and hope that came with Ukrainian independence, her view of President Zelensky, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and why this war in an existential threat to all who believe in democracy.
Aug 31, 2023
Former US Deputy Attorney General and Attorney General for the Northern District of Georgia Sally Yates has been mostly quiet about the indictments facing former President Donald Trump—the man who fired her as Acting Attorney General just days after he took office. This week, Sally talked to David about the legal perils and “strong cases” against Trump, the idea of a two-tiered legal system, the importance of sticking to facts and truth, concerns over degradation of US institutions, and her recent investigation into allegations of abusive behavior and sexual misconduct in women’s soccer.
Aug 24, 2023
Arthur Brooks has held many roles in his life: professional French horn player in Barcelona, leader of the American Enterprise Institute, and now a professor of happiness at Harvard. The author and social scientist has a new book on the subject, “Build the Life You Want,” co-authored with Oprah Winfrey, coming out in September 2023. Arthur joined David to talk about the science of happiness, the relationship between new technology and waves of populism, how America’s dignity gap influences its politics, and the need to rebuild human connection.
Aug 17, 2023