Politics and History

Traveling in Canada

Barry Lopez is an anthropologically-minded travel writer with deep interests in environmentalism and human nature. "To the Best of Our Knowledge" executive producer Steve Paulson asked Lopez why he travels, and how he writes about the people he encounters.More

Fighter jets

From the European Union to the United States, analysts have claimed that the Western world is seeing a resurgence of populism. Dutch philosopher Rob Riemen disagrees though, he says it's time to call the problem what it is: fascism.More

Benito Mussolini, during the march on Rome, with some of the quadriumviri: from left Emilio De Bono, Italo Balbo and Cesare Maria De Vecchi.

A new museum of fascism is scheduled to open in Predappio, Italy—the birthplace of Benito Mussolini. The town is already a pilgrimage site for neo-Fascist groups. Journalist Ilaria Maria Sala says the Mussolini museum has sparked controversy.More

gas station

Can you hear racism and intolerance? Jennifer Stoever can when she listens to the “sonic color line” — a way to hear racial division, how it’s reinforced and maintained, by whom and why, and at what cost. 
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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

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

Steven Pinker

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

Man along an unnamed road in Obafemi Owode, Nigeria.

Chigozie Obioma grew up in Nigeria — he’s a novelist and teaches at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He says that despite rampant corruption, poverty, and an HIV/AIDS crisis, Nigerians are definitely more optimistic than most. He explains why.More

The Schlitz Bottling Floor, c. 1666.

Milwaukee has a reputation as America's "Brew City." But why? Historian Ben Barbera lays out the economic forces and acts of God that built the houses of Miller, Pabst and Schlitz.More

Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail.

Sean Wilentz is a leading American historian and a proud liberal. Steve Paulson asked for his take on the new pink tint in Democratic politics.More

Margery Kempe was one of the world's most famous Christian mystics — a medieval pilgrim with a penchant for uncontrollable sobbing. More

An aerial shot of the Garden Homes neighborhood in Milwaukee.

Could socialism ever really take off in America? Half a century ago, socialists ruled a major American city — Milwaukee. Haleema Shah walks the streets of Wisconsin's biggest city to learn more about what socialist policy looked like on the ground.More

we are the 99 percent

Bernie Sanders may be the public face of American socialism, but if you really want to understand its exploding popularity, you need to understand its pull among millennials, explains Bhaskar Sunkara, the founder and editor of Jacobin magazine. ​​​​​More

Elizabeth Feinler, Radia Perlman, and Stacy Horn.

You know the Apple origin story with the two Steves in the garage. You know the Facebook origin story with Mark Zuckerberg in his dorm. But journalist Claire Evans argues, if you want to tell the internet origin story, you have to talk about women.More

The Lucky Inn in Center of the World, Ohio

Amidst economic devastation, producer Charles Monroe-Kane asks what it takes to survive in the Rust Belt.More

Yanis Varoufakis

You’re the finance minister of a small bankrupt nation. It's 2015 and the biggest financial power in Europe is forcing you into a deal you know will ruin your country. What do you do? Yanis Varoufakis said "no."More

Avery Trufelman

Avery Trufelman hosts "Articles of Interest," a six-part podcast from "99 Percent Invisible" about some iconic items of clothing — from blue jeans to Hawaiian shirts to pockets. Anne wanted to know how that work connects to what she wears every day.More

Girls in pink, boys in blue

Historian Jo Paoletti speaks with Shannon about gender's ever-changing relationship with fashion.More

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