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
Award-winning program of ideas, 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.
One of conservation’s greatest achievements happened mostly by accident and is still hiding in plain sight for most of us. When settlers established cities in the United States, they decimated the existing ecosystems. But in recent decades, as environmental historian Peter Alagona illustrates, there has been a remarkable return of wildlife to urban areas across … Continued
What happens when meditation and yoga are taught behind bars? Are the imprisoned student-practitioners prodded to view their suffering as generated solely by their thoughts and actions, or do the classes foster an awareness of the structural and systemic factors that contributed to their incarceration? Farah Godrej taught yoga and meditation in prison and interviewed both … Continued
The Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies, are celebrated on the left for their militant opposition to capitalism, their broad church unionism across race and gender lines, and their ability to organize migrant and other precarious workers. As Ahmed White documents, they were crushed by unprecedented violence and vigilantism, which cast a long shadow … Continued
Highlights of some of the best commentary presented on Against the Grain in 2022, featuring Nandita Sharma on nation-states and nationalism; Sarah Clark Miller on moral precarity in neoliberal times; Max Haiven on palm oil and capitalist logics; and Michael Albert on the corporate division of labor. Full-length interviews with Nandita Sharma, Sarah Clark Miller, … Continued
A twentieth-anniversary edition of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, by the UCLA-based historian Robin D. G. Kelley, recently came out. Kelley spoke about his book shortly after it was published. Kelley later joined the program to talk about Aimé Césaire, one of the thinkers featured in Freedom Dreams. (Encore presentation.) Robin D. G. Kelley, Freedom Dreams: … Continued
We’re often told that the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians rises out of a unique historical situation. But the dispossession of the Palestinians, rather than being exceptional, has strong echoes in other historical dispossessions. Gary Fields discusses the enclosure of the lands of the English peasantry, Native Americans, and the inhabitants of historic … Continued
This year saw the publication of a fifteenth-anniversary edition of Vijay Prashad’s award-winning book “The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World,” which examines the origins, the development, and what the author calls the assassination of the Third World project. Today’s program features excerpts of a two-part in-studio interview with Prashad conducted shortly … Continued
The fortunes of DDT, the synthetic pesticide which infamously devastated bird populations in the United States, rose and fell during the 20th century, and rose again in the 21st century, driven by a campaign by Big Tobacco to sew uncertainty about what can be known. Historian of medicine Elena Conis discusses the trajectory and afterlife … Continued
Covid has exposed the precarious health of working class people and people of color in this country. And the climate disaster is laying bare the vulnerability of so many around the world on a changing planet. What’s the connection? Political economist Raj Patel and physician Rupa Marya argue that capitalism, with its roots in colonialism, … Continued
Most of us assume that our medical data is protected under U.S. law — but, as sociologist Mary Ebeling illustrates, that’s wrong. Even when we don’t collect it ourselves with fitness trackers and health apps, our most sensitive health information is gathered from across the web, and package and sold as data commodities by brokers … Continued