A radio and web media project whose aim is to provide in-depth analysis and commentary on a variety of matters — political, economic, social and cultural — important to progressive and radical thinking and activism.
Against the Grain
12:00 PM Pacific Time: Mondays to Wednesdays
In-depth analysis and commentary on a variety of matters — political, economic, social, and cultural — important to progressive and radical thinking and activism. Against the Grain is co-produced and co-hosted by Sasha Lilley and C.S. Soong.
The Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with safeguarding the public from toxic exposure. But Jonathan Latham, executive director of the Bioscience Research Project, says that The Poison Papers — an enormous trove of documents — indicate that the EPA and the chemical industry often work hand in hand to mislead us into thinking that toxic … Continued
Langston Hughes wore many hats: writer, poet, world traveler, racial justice advocate, and central figure of the Harlem Renaissance. He spoke at U.C. Berkeley about his life and ideas, and some of his letters were published in a book co-edited by MaryLouise Patterson. Patterson’s leftist parents, Louise Thompson Patterson and William (“Pat”) Patterson, were friends … Continued
For years, the fight against global warming was hampered by misinformation about whether climate change was real or not. But Jeremy Brecher argues that that’s no longer the main barrier. Instead he believes the biggest impediment to mass action from below. The longtime environmental and labor activist discusses the struggle against climate change, taking stock … Continued
Manu Samnotra discusses the ideas of Mohandas Gandhi and, in particular, what Gandhi thought about truth and how to attain it; self-discipline and how to practice it; political independence and how to achieve it; and modern civilization and how to act in relation to it. Samnotra defines, and describes the interconnections among, satyagraha (civil disobedience), … Continued
We live in an age of anxiety and crisis. And there is a long tradition of thought that liberal elites have drawn on during such moments to rescue civilization as they know it from collapse: what we would call Keynesianism today, but which Geoff Mann argues dates back to the French Revolution, centuries before the … Continued
There’s no question: global warming is here and causing serious harm. And we’re on course for much worse, especially as the signatories to the Paris Accord — the US aside — are not on track to meet even the insufficient targets it sets. How might that shape the politics of the future? And what … Continued
If the goal is a socially just food system, is it enough for consumers to vote with their forks, or for food activism to focus on urban areas and concerns? Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern says we need to shift the focus from consumer-led food initiatives to movements led by farmworkers and supported by consumers. She finds the … Continued
What did the CIA do in the arena of literature? What did literary modernism have to do with colonialism? And how and why have foundations actively collaborated with U.S. intelligence agencies? Juliana Spahr considers the impact of politics and cultural diplomacy on literary production and on the ability of certain writers to achieve canonical status. … Continued
Ayn Rand’s novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged have been called gateway drugs to rightwing ideas for so many Americans. And while the works of the writer and philosopher have seen a resurgence since the global economic crisis, her influence has been undeniably huge and sustained since those books were originally published in mid-century. Historian … Continued
What happens when financial markets take over, when Uberization replaces traditional employment, and when credit ratings become crucial to the well-being of people and governments? According to Michel Feher, these transformations have affected labor markets, the promises governments make to their citizens, and opportunities and arenas for social struggle. (Encore presentation.) Michel Feher, Rated Agency: … Continued