The Gray Area with Sean Illing

The Gray Area with host Sean Illing is a philosophical take on culture, politics, and everything in between. We don’t pretend to have the answers, but we do offer a space for real dialogue. Resist certainty, embrace ambiguity, and get some cool takes on a very hot world. Formerly the Vox Conversations podcast. New episodes drop every Monday.

News Commentary
James Carville unpacks the midterms
Sean Illing is joined by political strategist James Carville to process the surprising outcomes in the midterm elections, and assess the state of both parties in the aftermath
43 min
Why are billionaires prepping for the apocalypse?
Sean Illing talks with Douglas Rushkoff about the apocalyptic mindset of Silicon Valley tech billionaires, and why the ultra-wealthy are preparing for the end times
49 min
Today's Republicans were made in the 1990s
Sean Ililing talks with author Nicole Hemmer, who shows how the GOP became what it is today
60 min
Yuval Noah Harari thinks humans are unstoppable
Sean is joined by Yuval Noah Harari, whose bestselling books take a zoomed-out view of the history of human beings — and a glimpse at what our future might hold
56 min
Dying with dignity
Sean Illing talks with journalist Katie Engelhart about the morality and legality of physician-assisted dying — asking what a death with dignity really looks like
54 min
Finding hope in a world on the brink
Sean talks with philosopher and psychoanalyst Jonathan Lear about how to keep flourishing as human beings in a world that feels like it's falling apart all around us
53 min
The new American Reconstruction
Sean Illing talks with author and historian Peniel Joseph about whether we're living in a new era of reconstruction, and the two warring ideas shaping American history
61 min
Is America losing its religion?
Sean is joined by religious scholar and bestselling author Reza Aslan to discuss the state of religion in America today
48 min
How we got to January 6th
Sean talks with reporter Luke Mogelson, who was amongst the rioters as they broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6, about how it happened, what led up to it, and what comes next
53 min
Neil deGrasse Tyson gets political
America's personal astrophysicist takes on our most vexing societal problems. But can science really make political struggles disappear?
53 min
Introducing The Gray Area
Embrace uncertainty
1 min
Best of: Why America's obsession with rights is...
54 min
A GOP insider on why the party went Trump
56 min
How do we fix the harm we cause?
45 min
A new philosophy of love
55 min
The politics of 'Yellowstone'
25 min
How society sexualizes us
51 min
The Parent Trap
How society is failing parents and children
55 min
40 Acres: Reaching reconciliation
28 min
40 Acres: The old Jim Crow
43 min
40 Acres: $14 trillion and no mules
44 min
40 Acres: The original promise
49 min
What Clarence Thomas really thinks
And why he's the most misunderstood Supreme Court Justice, according to the author of The Enigma of Clarence Thomas
59 min
Even Better: Don't call it a budget
45 min
The quest for authenticity
Better living through the existentialism of Simone de Beauvoir
46 min