PODCASTS: A not-quite episodic series

February 7, 2013
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The phonograph predates the podcast by about 125 years, but theoretically any device used to reproduce sound could carry the moniker. So we say: ready your zonographs and talking machines—as part of our ongoing podcast series, hosted by Chris Gondek of Heron & Crane, we’re delivering a fresh batch from some of our Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 favorites. More information and links for listening below.

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Stephen T. Asma’s Against Fairness vindicates our unspoken and undeniable instinct to favor—and makes the case for favoring favoritism, so to speak. In this podcast interview, Asma considers where preferential bias fits in our utilitarian construction of fairness—and what this might have to say about our larger ethical worldview. The job of the philosopher, the evolutionary advantages of favoritism, Confucian thought, quotable Gandhi, the multinational politics of maternity leave, and the ideology of equality all make an appearance in a larger discussion about what might lead us to happier, more productive lives.

Listen to the podcast here.

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First Son: The Biography of Richard M. Daley has already been heralded by Publishers Weekly as “compelling,” “dynamic,” “highly focused” and “meticulous.” In his discussion of the sometimes Shakespearean, sometimes Machiavellian life of the American political legend, third-generation Chicagoan Keith Koeneman considers how Daley learned from some of his father’s mayoral mistakes, while offering anecdotes about Daley’s childhood in Bridgeport, his relationship with his brother and adviser Bill, his thoughts on Barack Obama, and his role in transforming Chicago into a global city.

Listen to the podcast here.

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Neil Steinberg is a legendary Chicago newspaperman. In You Were Never in Chicago, Steinberg weaves the story of his own coming-of-age as a young outsider who made his way into the inner circles and upper levels of Chicago journalism, alongside a nuanced portrait of the city. In this podcast, he considers Chicago’s tendency toward the quid pro quo (“We’re without a doubt the most corrupt city in the country as far as number of government officials who end up in prison.”), the shifting turf of the city’s downtown (“It used to be you could shoot a cannon in the downtown at 6 PM.”), ethnic identity and changing neighborhoods, crafting obituaries, and some of Chicago’s unforgettable characters.

Listen to the podcast here.

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