The New York Public Library Podcast

Sheelah Kolhatkar is a staff writer at The New Yorker and is a former hedge fund analyst. Her book, Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street, tells the story of Steven A. Cohen and his involvement in the largest insider-trading scandal in U.S history. The book is one of the five finalists selected for NYPL's Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. Kolhatkar dropped by the Library to discuss how she wrote this real-life thriller, what Cohen is up to today, and why people outside of the financial world should be paying attention. 

Direct download: 2018.04.17_Kolhatkar_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Actor Isabella Rossellini raises chickens; evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen studies them. In My Chickens Rossellini unexpectedly breeds 38 yellow chicks of diverse heritage breeds and capitalizes on the opportunity to study their traits, behavior, and history. In Darwin Comes to Town, Schilthuizen posits that the strange and rapid adaptations made by animals in urban environments suggest that evolution is perhaps not the slow grinding process biologists have long believed in. From husbandry to research, Rossellini and Schilthuizen share some of the mysteries and wonders of our animal kingdoms.

Direct download: Rossellini_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

How have social justice movements evolved in the fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s death? Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is an author and professor of African American Studies at Princeton University whose research examines race and public policy. Shaun King is a writer for The Intercept and prominent public activist speaking out against police brutality. They discussed race in America, why movements succeed or fail, Martin Luther King Jr.'s fluctuating reputation during his life and after his death, and the social movements they envision for tomorrow.

Direct download: 2018.04.03_Taylor_King_FINALmp3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

New York Public Library President Anthony Marx brought together criminal-justice-reform advocates from the right and left to discuss the complex issues of American incarceration—Reginald Dwayne Betts, an award-winning writer and current Ph.D. candidate at Yale Law School, and Pat Nolan, Director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform. Although they come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, both have direct experience within the prison system and both have dedicated their life's work toward prison reform. They discuss how the tragedies of American incarceration started, how they persist and what action is needed for change.

Direct download: 2018.03.27_Marx_Betts_Nolan_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Civil Rights leader and legendary athlete, Dr. John Carlos, made history on the Olympic podium in 1968. After medaling in the 200 meter race in Mexico City, he and Tommie Smith raised their fists in the Black Power salute during the national anthem. Marking fifty years since that iconic moment, Dr. Carlos spoke with Sports Editor of The Nation and co-author of his memoir, Dave Zirin. Dr. Carlos shares his story of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the hardships he faced after the '68 Olympics, and the message he has for athletes continuing the movement for racial justice today.

Direct download: 2018.03.20_Carlos_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist.  "Freshwater" ​is Emezi's debut novel and one of the most anticipated books of 2018. The partially autobiographical story follows a young person, Ada, from Nigeria to American college, where a traumatic event reveals the hidden powers of the spirits within her. Emezi discussed the novel with Glory Edim, founder of the book club and digital platform, Well-Read Black Girl. She traced the origin story behind Freshwater, decolonizing identities, and navigating transition.

Direct download: 2018.03.13_Emezisesx_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The comedian and actor Patton Oswalt shares the posthumous true-crime masterpiece written by his wife Michelle McNamara, who died suddenly at the age of 46 in 2016. McNamara, a true crime reporter and creator of TrueCrimeDiary.com, spent years tracking a serial killer she dubbed the Golden State Killer. Between 1976 and 1986 he committed 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders up and down California. Oswalt wrote, “I can't help feeling that somewhere, in her final pages, she left enough clues for someone to finish the job she couldn't—to put California's worst serial killer behind bars.” Plus: a behind-the-scenes private tour of items from NYPL's true crime collections.

Direct download: 2018.03.06_Oswalt_mixdown2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

In 1971 when Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers and revealed the true story of American involvement in Vietnam, he was holding on to a much larger and more terrifying set of American secrets than he was letting on.

Ellsberg had to wait almost fifty years to bring them to light. What those secrets were and why they remained hidden for so long are revealed in his new book The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.

Direct download: 2018.02.27_Ellsberg_mixdown2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Aidan Flax-Clark speaks with author Neel Mukherjee about his new novel, "A State of Freedom" and his evolving notions of home, autonomy, migration, and ghosts. ”A ghost is someone who belonged to a particular world who had an unhappy or tragic or violent ending to that particular life and hasn’t found a resting place in another world,” Mukherjee says, “this could be a very a good working definition for who a migrant is.”

Direct download: 2018.02.20_Mukherjee_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

You may have read about Tayari Jones’s latest novel on quite a few “most anticipated books of 2018” lists, and for good reason. Inspired by her research into the painful realities of American incarceration, Jones’ “An American Marriage” blends equal parts heartbreak and humor to tell  the love story of a young couple whose marriage is tested by an unexpected calamity. It was recently selected by Oprah Winfrey for the Oprah Book Club. In a conversation with Isaac Fitzgerald, founding editor of Buzzfeed Books and co-host of Twitter Morning Show, #AmtoDM, Jones talks about her writing process, her relationships with her characters, and what it felt like to get an unannounced call from Oprah herself.

Direct download: 2018.02.13_Jones_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT