Deep Background with Noah Feldman

Behind every news headline, there’s another, deeper story. It’s a story about power. In Deep Background, Harvard Law School professor and Bloomberg View columnist Noah Feldman will bring together a cross-section of expert guests to explore the historical, scientific, legal, and cultural context that help us understand what’s really going on behind the biggest stories in the news.iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries. 

News
News Commentary
Government
1
Michael Pollan on The Power of Plants
Author Michael Pollan discusses the psychedelic powers of plants and the history of how humans have harnessed, ignored, and controlled these powers. He also discusses his prolific career and his most recent book, This is Your Mind on Plants.
34 min
2
Psychedelic Medicine
Dr. David Rabin, neuroscientist, PhD psychiatrist and Medical Director of the Apollo Clinic, explains the ongoing research in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
38 min
3
Violence, Recovery and Modern Jewish Life with ...
30 min
4
Getting Answers on Vaccine Boosters
The process of approving booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccines in the US has been particularly fraught. Last week, two well-respected medical journals published contradictory conclusions regarding the use of vaccine boosters. Dr. Genevieve Kanter joins Deep Background to make sense of the existing research and weigh in on the booster approval process.
34 min
5
The Power of The University
The Power of The University
36 min
6
Giving Away Power with Matthew Barzun
Matthew Barzun, a political fundraiser and diplomat who served as US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, explains his collectivist method of generating power, even on deeply divided issues.
40 min
7
Imagining The New Normal
29 min
8
We Lost The War in Afghanistan. Now What?
Emile Simpson, a military expert and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, comments on the end of the war in Afghanistan and the Taliban’s recent takeover. Simpson outlines the strategic failures that contributed to the current situation and comments on the United States’s responsibility to evacuate allied Afghans.
33 min
9
Nikole Hannah-Jones on the Power of The 1619 Pr...
48 min
10
Power in Publishing with Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson, publisher and editor-in-chief of Random House’s One World imprint, discusses the new literary movement he’s building with writers like Bryan Stevenson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ibram X. Kendi.
42 min
11
Introducing…Noah Riffs
Introducing…Noah Riffs
11 min
12
Vitalik Buterin’s Plan for Legitimating Crypto
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the blockchain Ethereum, argues that cryptocurrency’s scarcest resource is legitimacy.
51 min
13
Malcolm Gladwell is All Riled Up
3 min
14
The Power of Teachers’ Unions
Randi Weingarten, President of the the American Federation of Teachers, the second largest teachers union in the country, weighs in on the power of teachers’ unions in the complicated decisions of school reopening and teaching critical race theory.
31 min
15
Power and Nations: Francis Fukuyama
On this Deep Background mini-series about global power, Francis Fukuyama weighs in on the decay of liberal democracy and the rise of China as a global superpower.
36 min
16
Pushkin Honors Juneteenth
At Pushkin, we think of Juneteenth as an opportunity to reflect on the past and think about the future: How do we build a more just and equitable society?
27 min
17
Power and Nations: Fareed Zakaria
Fareed Zakaria explains the foreign policy challenges facing the Biden administration and what it will mean for the US to decline in foreign policy influence.
48 min
18
Power and Nations: Anne-Marie Slaughter
Anne-Marie Slaughter, political scientist, international lawyer, and former Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department weighs in on the global power shifts of the last 50 years.
43 min
19
Is This A Breaking Point for Palestinian Israel...
Is This A Breaking Point For Palestinian Israelis?
42 min
20
Should Vaccination Be A Choice?
Dr. Heidi Larson, founding director of the Vaccine Confidence Project, discusses the complicated relationship between vaccine hesitancy, choice, and democracy.
37 min
21
The Future Without Herd Immunity
Dr. Marc Lipsitch explains why it’s unlikely the United States will hit the threshold for herd immunity, and what that might mean for the future of the pandemic.
43 min
22
BONUS: Understanding the Facebook Oversight Boa...
Noah Feldman comments on the Facebook Oversight Board's decision about Trump's account.
16 min
23
Are the Kids Alright?
Parenting expert Dr. Wendy Mogel joins us to discuss the deep questions about pandemic parenting.
33 min
24
Presenting: An Excerpt from The Bomber Mafia by...
The Bomber Mafia is the new audiobook by Revisionist History host (and Pushkin co-founder) Malcolm Gladwell.
10 min
25
Is Crypto B******t?
Noah Feldman has a lot of questions about cryptocurrency.
28 min
26
Understanding Hate Crime Laws
39 min
27
The Future of the NCAA
A case currently before The Supreme Court presents the single largest legal battle the NCAA has ever faced. The case, which comes after years of player activism, argues that the current limits on athlete compensation constitute a violation of antitrust law. It’s a case that could challenge the entire college sports system.
47 min
28
Amazon and Inequality
Alec MacGillis, award-winning ProPublica journalist and author of the new book “Fulfilment: Winning and Losing in One Click America,” explains Amazon’s role in deepening America’s regional wealth disparities.
44 min
29
Britney Spears’ Former Lawyer on Her Conservato...
Britney Spears’ former lawyer Adam Streisand goes deep into the details of Britney’s conservatorship.
45 min
30
Top Russian Journalist on Alexei Navalny
Did January’s pro-Navalny protests have a lasting impact in Russia?
30 min
31
Bigger Than Texas
Climate-resilient infrastructure expert Alice Hill weights in on how we can start preparing infrastructure now for extreme weather events in the future.
40 min
32
“Drug Use for Grown Ups” with Dr. Carl Hart
Dr. Carl Hart, neuroscientist and author of the provocative new book “Drug Use for Grown Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear” questions the way we understand, regulate, and police drugs in America.
42 min
33
The Most Powerful Legal Organization in the Cou...
Noah Feldman speaks to Eugene B. Meyer, the president of the Federalist Society, about the organization’s goals, how it is funded, and how it operates.
38 min
34
The Impeachment Era
Why are presidential impeachments happening more often? Are impeachments futile if they don't end in a conviction? What did Hamilton and Madison overlook about the impeachment and the transition of power? To discuss these questions, political journalist and CEO of Pushkin Industries Jacob Weisberg joins the conversation.
40 min
35
Inside Facebook’s Decision to Ban Trump
Monika Bickert, Vice President of Content Policy at Facebook, takes us inside the decision to indefinitely suspend former President Donald Trump’s account.
42 min
36
Noah Feldman on Axios Today About the Impeachme...
Noah Feldman is a guest on this episode of Axios Today, discussing the constitutionality of the impeachment trial.
11 min
37
GameStop Is Just The Beginning
Alexis Goldstein, a former Wall Street trader and senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform, discusses why GameStop’s wild ride is not actually a David vs. Goliath story.
43 min
38
The New Coronavirus Strains
Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch shares his concerns about the emerging COVID variants from the UK, South Africa, and Brazil..
33 min
39
The Inaugural Episode
Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley shares his predictions and warnings for writing historical narratives about the end of the Trump presidency.
36 min
40
The History of the White Power Movement (Rebroa...
In this rebroadcast from 2019, historian Kathleen Belew discusses the modern history of the white power movement and the often overlooked connection between incidents like Charlottesville and the Oklahoma City bombing.
49 min
41
Stacey Abrams, Architect of Social Justice (Reb...
In light of the Georgia Senate wins, we are re-sharing Noah Feldman's conversation with Stacey Abrams.
35 min
42
Noah Feldman on Axios Today about Electoral Votes 
Noah Feldman is a guest on this episode of Axios Today, discussing what to watch for as members of Congress officially count the electoral votes for the presidential election.
11 min
43
Vaccinating America
Michelle Mello, a professor of law at Stanford Law School and a professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, discusses the practical and ethical questions surrounding the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.
34 min
44
Finding Peace in Turbulent Times
Michael Alexander, the author of the new book “Making Peace with the Universe,” discusses how different spiritual masters helped guide him through a moment of crisis.
36 min
45
The Power of the Presidential Pardon
Seth Berman, a former state and federal prosecutor and a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School, discusses how Trump could use his pardoning power before leaving office.
35 min
46
Noah Feldman on Axios Today
Noah Feldman is a guest on this episode of Axios Today, discussing what we learned from the presidential election about our democratic process and what it can and cannot withstand.
9 min
47
The Big Data Revolution
Eric Lander, the head of the Broad Institute and the host of the Pushkin podcast “Brave New Planet,” explains how big data helped scientists in the search for COVID-19 vaccines.
28 min
48
What We Know about the COVID-19 Vaccines
Dr. Paul Offit, a professor of vaccinology at the University of Pennsylvania and member of the F.D.A.’s vaccine advisory panel, discusses how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work.
37 min
49
Becoming a District Attorney
Tali Farhadian Weinstein, the host of the Pushkin podcast “Hearing” and a candidate to become the next District Attorney of Manhattan, discusses how she thinks local prosecution can be reformed from within.
31 min
50
A Former Surgeon General on the Coronavirus Pan...
Joe Biden named Vivek Murthy as one of the co-chairs of his COVID-19 Advisory Board. We spoke to Dr. Murthy on September 30th and wanted to re-share that conversation with you.
35 min
51
The Election and the Courts
Richard Pildes, a professor at New York University School of Law who specializes in legal issues affecting democracy, discusses the role that the courts could play in this election.
44 min
52
Deep Background Presents: Axios Today Election ...
9 min
53
The Road out of the Pandemic
Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, comes back to Deep Background to discuss where we are now in the fight against COVID-19.
29 min
54
The Election Pollster’s Song
Anthony Salvanto, CBS News’ director of Elections and Surveys, discusses the latest polling data and how to make sense of it.
32 min
55
Deep Background Presents: Takeover
We've taken our five part "Deep Bench" mini-series about the rise of the Federalist Society and expanded it into an audiobook entitled Takeover: How a Conservative Student Club Captured the Supreme Court.
4 min
56
Deep Background Presents: Brave New Planet
Introducing Brave New Planet, a seven-part series that delves deep into powerful technologies changing our world.
73 min
57
Will Trump Concede?
Adam Przeworski, a politics professor at New York University and one of the world’s foremost scholars on democratic transitions, explains his worries about a peaceful transfer of power.
31 min
58
A Former Surgeon General on the Coronavirus Pan...
Dr. Vivek Murthy, the former Surgeon General of the United States and health care advisor to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, discusses how to rebuild public trust in science.
35 min
59
Remembering Justice Ginsburg
Richard Primus, a professor at University of Michigan Law School and a former clerk of Justice Ginsburg, discusses what it was like to work for the Justice, her legacy, and what comes next.
34 min
60
Why a Leading Election Scholar Can’t Sleep
Nathaniel Persily, a Stanford Law professor who specializes in election law, discusses his biggest concerns about the upcoming election.
32 min
61
The Allure of QAnon 
Adrian Hon, the CEO of the gaming company Six to Start, says the conspiracy theory QAnon is compelling to believers because it operates a bit like a virtual quest,
28 min
62
“Where Is The Truth Going to Come From?”
Dr. Walid Gellad, the Director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh, discusses a misleading statement from the FDA about convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19.
30 min
63
Can the Post Office Handle the Election?
Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies the post office and electoral politics, discusses whether the agency can handle a pandemic election.
28 min
64
How to Safely Reopen Schools
Dr. Sean O'Leary discusses what factors school officials should consider when deciding whether or not to reopen schools for in-person learning.
27 min
65
FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Nadine Strossen
Nadine Strossen, a former president of the ACLU and author of the book HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship, explains what the left needs to know about free speech.
28 min
66
FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Eugene Volokh
Eugene Volokh, a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles, discusses workplace harassment, racial discrimination, and the First Amendment.
30 min
67
FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Osita Nwanevu
Osita Nwanevu, a staff writer at The New Republic, explains why he’s not worried about “cancel culture.”
30 min
68
FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Suzanne Nossel
To kick off our Freedom of Speech series, Suzanne Nossel, the CEO of Pen America discusses her new book Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All.
31 min
69
SPECIAL: Turning Fact into Fiction with Roxane ...
Roxane Gay discusses her new short story "String Theory."
19 min
70
A Commitment to Justice
Debo Adegbile, who twice defended the Voting Rights Act before the Supreme Court, discusses John Lewis’ legacy.
29 min
71
Is Coronavirus the End of Cities?
Jennifer Bradley, the Founding Director of the Center for Urban Innovation at the Aspen Institute, discusses how the coronavirus has changed cities.
32 min
72
The Coronavirus is Mutating
Neville Sanjana, a geneticist at the New York Genome Center and New York University, discusses his research into a coronavirus mutation that may be helping the virus spread faster.
31 min
73
Vaccines and New Treatments for COVID-19
Dr. Saad Omer, the director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, brings us up to speed on the latest coronavirus research.
27 min
74
How to Have a Life in the Pandemic
Julia Marcus, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, discusses how to assess risk when engaging in different social activities.
30 min
75
LGBTQ Rights and the Supreme Court
William Eskridge, a professor at Yale Law School and author of the forthcoming book "Marriage Equality: From Outlaws to In-Laws," discusses this week's historic Supreme Court ruling that protects gay and transgender rights in the workplace.
32 min
76
Protests in a Pandemic
Dr. Manisha Juthani, an infectious disease specialist and associate professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine, provides tips for protesting safely.
28 min
77
The Barriers to Reform
Paul Butler, a law professor at Georgetown, a former federal prosecutor and the author of the book "Chokehold: Policing Black Men," on policing, George Floyd, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
28 min
78
Why Debt Isn't Always a Bad Thing
Jason Furman, a professor of the Practice of Economic Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, explains why we don't need to be too concerned about the mounting federal debt caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
29 min
79
A Top Obama Official on Police Brutality
Vanita Gupta, the former head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, discusses the reforms she would make to how policing works in the U.S.
32 min
80
How Accurate Are Antibody Tests?
Dr. Alex Marson, the Director of the Gladstone-UCSF Institute for Genomic Immunology, explains what antibodies tests can and cannot tell us.
27 min
81
On the Front Lines
Dr. Emily Rubin, a critical care pulmonologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses what she has learned from treating coronavirus patients since March.
27 min
82
The Second (and Third, and Fourth) Wave of COVI...
Yonatan Grad, an assistant professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, explains why we may have to practice social distancing intermittently until 2022.
31 min
83
Coronavirus and Climate Change
Bill McKibben, who was one of the first people to warn us about climate change more than 30 years ago with his book "The End Of Nature," discusses what COVID-19 and climate change have in common.
30 min
84
BONUS: How the Bond Market Broke in March
In this bonus episode, Boaz Weinstein, founder of the hedge fund Saba Capital, tells the story of how the bond market broke for a few days in March.
19 min
85
The Financial Markets and COVID-19
Boaz Weinstein, founder of the hedge fund Saba Capital, discusses why the stock market seems to be doing relatively well when the economy is in shambles.
25 min
86
SPECIAL: Noah's New Book
Jacob Weisberg, the CEO of Pushkin Industries, interviews Noah Feldman about his new book "The Arab Winter: A Tragedy."
34 min
87
The Global Fight Against COVID-19
Nader Mousavizadeh, who formerly served in the Executive Office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, explains why international organizations like the WHO and the UN have not been able to effectively coordinate a global response to the pandemic
25 min
88
When Will We Have a Vaccine?
Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine, explains what types of coronavirus vaccines are currently being researched.
25 min
89
What to Read During a Pandemic
Marta Figlerowicz, an associate professor of comparative literature at Yale, discusses classic works of literature about pandemics from Boccaccio's The Decameron to Camus' The Plague.
22 min
90
A New Strategy in the Fight Against COVID-19
Dr. Louise Ivers, the executive director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health, explains why states like Massachusetts are investing in a strategy called contact tracing.
26 min
91
The Way Out of the Pandemic? Generosity.
Pardis Sabeti, a computational biologist at Harvard and the Broad Institute, discusses when and how to re-open colleges and universities, and more.
24 min
92
The Roadblocks to Mass Testing
Omai Garner, the director of clinical microbiology testing at UCLA Health, explains why more Americans have not been tested for COVID-19.
27 min
93
Modeling the Coronavirus
Carl Bergstrom, a computational biologist at the University of Washington, explains how to make sense of all the different coronavirus models.
28 min
94
A Profound Economic Problem
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has some ideas about how to get through this financial crisis.
29 min
95
Passover, Plagues, and Coronavirus
To mark the start of Passover, Idan Dershowitz, a biblical scholar and junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, discusses the ten plagues of Egypt.
18 min
96
What Happens If We Run out of Ventilators?
Lydia Dugdale, the Director of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at Columbia University, discusses how medical supplies will likely be allocated if there are shortages.
25 min
97
The Search for a Treatment
Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, discusses what treatments for COVID-19 are currently being researched.
29 min
98
A Nobel Prize Winner’s Suggestion for Fixing th...
Paul Romer, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at New York University, argues that we can keep the economy from tanking during the coronavirus pandemic without risking people's health.
25 min
99
How to Stay Sane During a Pandemic
Laurie Santos, a Professor of Psychology at Yale, shares tips for dealing with coronavirus-induced anxiety.
30 min
100
Fighting Coronavirus with Data
Farzad Mostashari, the former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the Department of Health and Human Services, says we need to collect better data to effectively fight the spread of the virus.
28 min