Against the Grain – February 25, 2019

Against the Grain

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.

Upcoming Episode

Happiness seems elusive in our society, despite the many industries attempting to sell it through a multitude of products and services.  What’s missing, according to feminist Lynne Segal, is the sense that our happiness is intertwined with the happiness of others.  She calls for reclaiming radical joy, through collective life and activism. Resources: Lynn Segal, … Continued


Immigration discourse in the U.S. often revolves around the advisability of “securing” the physical border, of addressing the flow of people across the U.S.-Mexico border. But, as Elliott Young asserts, overseas mechanisms of screening and exclusion have been far more effective at keeping would-be immigrants out. Young discusses the history and racial dimensions of so-called … Continued


It’s self-evident that unequal societies like ours are bad for the poor. However, as epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson argues, they’re also bad for everyone else, including the affluent, not only because inequality affects schools and healthcare, but because it also makes us anxious and unhappy. Wilkinson reflects on our psychological well-being in wealthy but unequal countries. … Continued


What drove the Industrial Revolution? According to conventional wisdom, it was individual innovation and unfettered private enterprise. According to Priya Satia, it was war-making, the production of firearms, and massive state intervention. The central figure in her new book is a Quaker gunmaker immersed in the rapidly transforming economy of eighteenth-century England. (Encore presentation.) Priya … Continued


Against the Grain

The Pitfalls of Race-Based Medicine

Given the disparities between the lifespans of whites, African Americans, Native Americans and other groups, it might seem to be sensible to gear medicine along racial lines. But sociologist Leslie Hinkson argues that it represents a dangerous turn in science and healthcare. She discusses race, biology, and debt. (Encore presentation.) Resources: Nadine Ehlers and Leslie … Continued