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
When meritocracy wins, everybody loses
Is meritocracy responsible for rampant inequality, waning social mobility, and widespread dissatisfaction? Ezra Klein and Daniel Markovits discuss.
85 min
Nikole Hannah-Jones on the 1619 project, choosi...
Ezra Klein and Nikole Hannah-Jones discuss America's founding contradiction, racial segregation, capitalism and more
98 min
Randall Munroe, the genius behind XKCD
A quirky, weird, illuminating, curious trip through the mind of a genius
82 min
Julián Castro's quiet moral radicalism
Why Julián Castro wants to decriminalize migration, admit climate refugees, reimagine our relationship with the homeless, and protect animals.
61 min
Political animals (with Leah Garcés)
Leah Garcés and Ezra Klein discuss how building coalitions with unlikely allies may just be the key to reducing animal suffering
87 min
John McWhorter thinks we're getting racism wrong
John McWhorter and Jane Coaston discuss the limits of third-wave antiracism
63 min
The rocky marriage between libertarians and con...
Jane Coaston and Conor Friedersdorf discuss the future of the GOP in Trump's America
83 min
A mind-bending, reality-warping conversation wi...
What psychedelics, burning money, and postmodernism have in common
85 min
Jia Tolentino on what happens when life is an e...
Ezra Klein and Jia Tolentino discuss how the Internet distorts identities, cheapens solidarity, and erodes morality
99 min
The original meaning of “identity politics” (wi...
Ezra Klein and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor discuss the origins of identity politics and the future of Black liberation
79 min
Are bosses dictators? (with Elizabeth Anderson)
Elizabeth Anderson sits down with Ezra Klein to discuss workplace tyranny, the power of ideology, and a vision for a more democratic society
85 min
The Constitution is a progressive document
Gerrymandering, constitutionalism, and the future of the Supreme Court
56 min
Matt Bruenig’s case for single-payer health care
Ezra interviews Matt Bruenig
119 min
Can Raj Chetty save the American dream?
Ezra chats with Raj Chetty about the fading American dream.
77 min
Astra Taylor will change how you think about de...
Is democracy even possible? A conversation with Astra Taylor
76 min
Is big tech addictive? Nir Eyal and I debate.
Is big tech addictive? Nir Eyal and Ezra debate.
73 min
Generation Climate Change
Ezra sits down with Varshini Prakash of Sunrise Movement
91 min
Is the media amplifying Trump’s racism? (with W...
Ezra interviews Whitney Phillips
82 min
Rutger Bregman’s utopias, and mine
Ezra interviews Rutger Bregman
86 min
How white identity politics won the Republican ...
83 min
George Will makes the conservative case against...
70 min
What deliberative democracy can, and can’t, do ...
Ezra interviews Jane Mansbridge
51 min
Rod Dreher on America’s post-Christian culture ...
110 min
White threat in a browning America (Jennifer Ri...
73 min
Behind the panic in white, Christian America
91 min