Nikil Saval (BSS #544)

Was there ever an age in which the office provided reasonable security for the worker? Is it possible for the office worker to be given respect and adequate compensation in the 21st century? We talk with Nikil Saval, author of CUBED, to figure out how a system designed to pit office workers against each other went wrong. It turns out that misguided philosophy, austere architectural developments, and a carefully manufactured belief culture against organized labor are all part of a very complicated narrative we all take for granted.


Islamophobia, Extremism, and the War on Terror: Arun Kundnani (BSS #540)

Twelve and a half years after 9/11, Islamophobia remains alive and well. Where did it come from? Why does it perpetuate in American and British culture? And what effect does it have on our democratic values? To get some answers to these questions, we talked with Arun Kundnani, author of THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING. It turns out that prominently positioned people continue to reinforce Muslim stereotypes, encouraging law enforcement agencies to adopt flawed radicalization models that are not predicated upon reality. These prejudicial policies have caused innocent Americans, whose only crime is to practice Islam, to be harassed, needlessly harangued by authorities, and falsely imprisoned. This 67 minute conversation investigates these issues at length.


Dorthe Nors, Save NYPL, and Blake Bailey (BSS #538)

In this triple-decker edition of Bat Segundo, we talk with author Dorthe Nors about Denmark, emotional connections to animals, the dangers of self-destruction and how folks songs fused with Swedish existentialism can produce an original voice, investigate Mayor Bill de Blasio’s silence on saving New York libraries and report on a protest, and talk with Blake Bailey about switching from literary biography to memoir.


Julia Angwin (BSS #537)

Why are we so consumed with providing every moment of our lives to a faceless corporation who will share this data with other companies without our consent? What makes the NSA worse than the Stasi? And to what extent are we determined to become enslaved by convenience? We talk with journalist Julia Angwin, author of DRAGNET NATION, about these dilemmas, the inevitability of mutually assured disinformation, and why the black helicopter lifestyle is becoming more legitimate.


Simon Winchester II (BSS #527)

In 2007, we aired an infamous program with Simon Winchester, in which he argued with us over the finer points of local history. His new book, THE MEN WHO UNITED THE STATES, shifts the action to a bigger stage, taking on the entire United States. With greater historical stakes, the affable Englishman returns for a conversational rematch six years later. This program features an affably argumentative and cheerfully divergent chat between two wildly energized men united by the common belief that history is always worth returning to.


Wendy Lower (BSS #526)

More than seven decades after World War II, we’re still deeply uncomfortable about the idea that women under the Nazi regime committed barbaric acts. We talk with Holocaust scholar (and National Book Award finalist) Wendy Lower about the realities she confronts in her new book, HITLER’S FURIES. How much are the women who were socialized under Nazi policies to blame? Why did the postwar courts allow these women, some of whom massacred children, to return to society without consequence?

Lots of jellybeans

Samira Kawash (BSS #522)

This is the second of two shows devoted to Halloween. Did you know that there was once a chocolate bar called the Chicken Dinner? That cigarette companies once considered candy to be a threat to discretionary spending? Or that candy was used by the military for safety purposes? We didn’t either, until we read Samira Kawash’s CANDY: A CENTURY OF PANIC AND PLEASURE. We discuss the serpentine history of candy with the Candy Professor herself!


Eric Schlosser (BSS #515)

In the mid-20th century, nuclear missiles were maintained with flimsy safeguards and rapidly failing technology. How close were we to DR. STRANGELOVE? And how safe are we today? We talk with investigative journalist Eric Schlosser, the author of COMMAND AND CONTROL, to discuss our remarkably reckless military history, which culminated in several close disasters, and what this means in an age driven by terrorism and religious fundamentalism.


Alissa Quart (BSS #514)

In the second of two related programs devoted to the American epidemic of gravitating to mainstream culture in an age of limitless choice, we talk with REPUBLIC OF OUTSIDERS author Alissa Quart about how outsiders and iconoclasts have been appropriated by institutional forces. Why have we shifted to a culture hostile to original voices? Why is it all about being liked? And how does cosplay, transphobia, animal rights, and Mad Pride fit into all this?


Cole Stryker (BSS #487)

Cole Stryker is most recently the author of Hacking the Future. (PROGRAM NOTE: This episode’s introduction contains the first appearance of Jorge and Mr. Segundo in two years. As The Bat Segundo Show winds down, we will do our best to resolve numerous plot threads that were established years before in these introductions.) Condition of Read More


Lynn Povich (BSS #484)

Lynn Povich is most recently the author of The Good Girls Revolt. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Wondering why mysterious men are packing him off to Paris. Author: Lynn Povich Subjects Discussed: The Henry Luce “tradition” of men working as writers and women working as researchers, well-educated women being exploited in a two-tier system, Janet Flanner, Read More


Lisa Cohen (BSS #479)

Lisa Cohen is most recently the author of All We Know. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Working his obsolete connections. Author: Lisa Cohen Subjects Discussed: Spending years conducting book research, Esther Murphy, Mercedes de Acosta, and Madge Garland, Garland’s connection to Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf’s diaries, the early history of British Vogue, the side effects of Read More

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