The Gray Area with Sean Illing

The Gray Area with Sean Illing takes a philosophy-minded look at culture, technology, politics, and the world of ideas. Each week, we invite a guest to explore a question or topic that matters. From the the state of democracy, to the struggle with depression and anxiety, to the nature of identity in the digital age, each episode looks for nuance and honesty in the most important conversations of our time. New episodes drop every Monday.

News Commentary
Why the hell did America invade Iraq?
The enduring relevance of America's disastrous Iraq invasion.
79 min
How to decarbonize America — and create 25 mill...
The US has the technology to decarbonize by 2035. Here's a plan to do it.
65 min
Isabel Wilkerson wants to change how we underst...
A new way of thinking about race and class
93 min
What it would take to end child poverty in America
Rep. Barbara Lee on why rebuilding the economy means investing in our kids
48 min
Hannah Gadsby on comedy, free speech, and livin...
How Hannah Gadsby's mind works
88 min
What would Keynes do?
What the 20th century’s most influential economist can teach us about rebuilding the US economy
98 min
A devastating indictment of the Republican Party
An insider perspective on the GOP’s march to Trumpism
56 min
How inequality and white identity politics feed...
Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the conservative dilemma
73 min
Best of: Jia Tolentino on what happens when lif...
The New Yorker writer explains how technology has transformed the very nature of human interaction
100 min
Dadding out with Mike Birbiglia
73 min
A rabbi explains how to make sense of suffering
Why God can't solve our suffering problem
52 min
The crisis in the news
Margaret Sullivan on the disastrous state of local journalism -- and what we can do about it
46 min
Bryan Stevenson on how America can heal
A conversation is about truth and reconciliation in America
75 min
What a post-Trump Republican Party might look like
How Oren Cass is challenging conservative economic orthodoxy
76 min
Free speech, safety, and ‘the letter’
Yascha Mounk and I discuss free speech, safety, and ‘the letter’
85 min
The frightening fragility of America's politica...
Masha Gessen on whether American democracy can survive Donald Trump
63 min
Can artificial intelligence be emotionally inte...
A fun conversation about emotional intelligence, machine learning, and AI
72 min
Danielle Allen on the radicalism of the America...
The Harvard political theorist on democracy, prison abolition, and the American founding
67 min
Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect
Land of the Giants is a podcast from our friends at Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network that examines the most powerful tech companies of our time.
17 min
Nicholas Carr on deep reading and digital thinking
How technology literally changes our brains
70 min
Your questions, answered
Ask Ezra Anything 2020 edition
78 min
Which country has the world's best healthcare s...
Ezekiel Emanuel on healthcare reform, coronavirus response and presidential leadership
68 min
The transformative power of restorative justice
sujatha baliga on how to radically reimagine our criminal justice system
72 min
Ross Douthat and I debate American decadence
Ross Douthat on American decline, utopian ambition, and the Catholic right
89 min
A serious conversation about UFOs
A religion scholar on UFOs, belief systems, and purgatory
88 min