Politics and History

Larry Brilliant

Larry Brilliant is best known as part of the United Nations team of doctors responsible for curing smallpox. But back in the 1960s, he was a hippie whose guru told him his destiny was to help cure smallpox.More

Henry Morton Stanley (center) meets David Livingstone (right)

Nineteenth century European explorer David Livingstone died of malaria nearly 150 years ago, but as author Petina Gappah explains, Africans are still debating his legacy today as they assess the impact of European colonialism.More

shadow arm

Do you ever have trouble sleeping? Steve Paulson does. And maybe you do too. How can something so simple be so hard — for so many people?More

clock

In interviewing hundreds of women, writer and journalist Ada Calhoun learned something startling: that her insomnia, which felt so personal and private, might actually be generational and gendered.More

lady napping

One way to survive on not quite enough sleep? Writer Daniel Pink swears by what he calls a "nappuccino," a short nap with a cup of coffee. You might want to take notes on this one.More

A village in

Kenyan literary scholar James Ogude believes "ubuntu" — a concept in which your sense of self is shaped by your relationships with other people — serves as a counterweight to the rampant individualism that’s so pervasive in contemporary cities.More

gathering for food

Staff meetings, family reunions, dinner parties — even with all the digital ways we have to connect, face-to-face gatherings are still a regular part of our lives. Priya Parker thinks we need new traditions to make those gatherings meaningful.More

Lydia Hester

Lydia Hester is 17. A junior in high school with a pile of AP classes. And she has a nearly full-time job as an activist. She does all that, and she’s not even old enough to vote. And yes, that really bugs her.More

Deray Mckesson

Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson says hoping for big change is great, but it doesn't go anywhere without small actions where people take care of one another.More

Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker presents a Dangerous Idea: things today are actually better than they've ever been.More

Conceptually, hope feels big, amorphous, hard to define exactly. But for the past few months, "To The Best Of Our Knowledge" producers have been trying anyway. Scientists, activists, futurists, theologians, artists, authors all weighed in on what they think when they hear the word "hope."More

"From War is Beautiful" by David Shields, published by powerHouse Books.

David Shields says the New York Times is complicit in romanticizing war through imagery.More

Samantha Power

Samantha Power was President Obama's ambassador to the UN, taking part in life-and-death decisions, including whether to launch military strikes. She talks about her two biggest foreign policy challenges — whether to intervene in Libya and Syria.More

Airmen pose with an MQ-9 Reaper at Creech Air Force Base.

Was Qassem Soleimani 'assassinated'? 'Killed'? The legal differences are complicated, says Brookings Institution fellow Scott Anderson.More

Michael Twitty

Michael Twitty can trace his family’s food history back to the slave cabins and Antebellum kitchens of the South. Honoring his diasporic heritage — he’s both black and Jewish — lead Twitty to the practice of identity cooking. He calls it Kosher/Soul.More

Clock of the Long Now

Alexander Rose tells Anne Strainchamps about the Clock of the Long Now — an all mechanical clock being constructed in the high desert of Western Texas designed to run for ten thousand years.More

A building at the Zoma Museum

In Addis Ababa, curator Meskerem Assegued and artist Elias Sime have created Zoma Museum as a visionary model of an urban future, using ancient Ethiopian building techniques. They say modern development can be much more than concrete high-rises.More

Lending a helping hand.

Historian Emily Calacci says the massive migration into African cities isn't following the Western model of urban development. Instead of an infrastructure of roads, railways and electric grids, many African cities rely on "people as infrastructure."More

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