Episode Archives

Too good to be true

Two very different tales about making stuff up about the CIA. Your host shares the story of Sylvia Press, who in the 1950s, wrote a revenge novel after she was fired during the McCarthy purges. And author Jefferson Morley tells us about the time CIA director Richard Helms tried to create an American James Bond with the help of future Watergate burglar E Howard Hunt.

Get Jefferson Morley’s amazing new book: Scorpion’s Dance . Sylvia Press’s novel The Care of Devils is harder to find.

 
 

Not going back to normal (a conversation with Jeremiah Moss author of Feral City)

Jeremiah Moss’s Feral City is much much more than a Covid memoir. In many ways it is a continuation of his desire to understand how and why New York city has changed,  and if there is still a place for outsiders or if it now belongs to what he calls “the new people.” We walked around our Neighborhood together to talk about what the city was like during Covid time and what the phrase “go back to normal” really means.

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Risky Business: Hollywood and Israel

In their new book  Hollywood and Israel, film scholars Tony Shaw and Giora Goodman take us behind and beyond the screen to show how the world’s entertainment capital is an important player in international affairs and how profit always trumps propaganda.

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Trouble and Travel with James Campbell

Growing up in Glasgow in the 1960s James Campbell got into loads of trouble. At the age of 15 he left school and started work at a printing factory. But then he discovered the magic of the road and the wonderful world of “away” We talk with the author about his new memoir, “Just go down to the road”

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Second time as forced

Citizens armed only with Molotov cocktails battle with Russian tanks on the streets of… Budapest.  In November of 1956 Russian troops invaded Hungary. The revolution was crushed and thousands of Hungarians fled. Will history repeat itself? We talk with Réka Pigniczky about her memory project, a film series dedicated to the Hungarian revolution. Also: Branko Marcetic compares America’s response to the events of 1956 with our current posturing over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

 

 

Venice

Does art have anything to offer us in these trying times? Your host visits the 59th International Art Biennale in Venice, the world’s most important art fair and the first since the Global pandemic. Plus Digital Ukranians, Sound Art, and NFT parties.

 

 

How to tell the truth about lies (part ii of ii)

We conclude our investigation into Hollywood’s retelling of the secret crimes, conspiracies and lies that rocked America in the first half of the 1970s. Plus a reporter from the Washington Post newsroom who never made it into All the President’s Men yet did more to safeguard the free press and American democracy than Woodstein ever did.

 

 

Making Trouble, Asking Questions

When he was 16 your host mistook the Hollywood movie The Manchurian Candidate for real life. This confusion led to decades of trouble. This episode is both an interlude for our How to tell the truth about lies miniseries and the official TOE contribution to the 2022 Radiotopia fundraiser. 

This year to celebrate our annual fundraiser shows across the network are releasing episodes on the theme “Making Trouble.” You can listen,  learn more and donate to support our work at radiotopia.fm.

How to tell the truth about lies (part i of ii)

Journalists may write the first draft of history but Hollywood prints the legends and the myths. The 1976 film All the President’s Men remains our most authoritative account of Watergate. The film is also responsible for the myth of Deep Throat. Your host follows the myth … from 1976 to the present. This is the first half of a new ToE miniseries about America’s complicated relationship with truth and lies.

 

 

Nightvision

After testing positive in Lisbon, your host assesses Portugal’s expat and exile scenes.  Plus! lunch with the writer Joseph Roth at a hotel on the waterfront.