"What if you were a man, sort of?" In his new memoir, author Daniel M. Lavery remembers how, in the early days of his transition, he would say it was as if a demon ambushed him in the night, whispered this question into his ear, and then disappeared without another word. It was an immediate and instantaneous revelation, but also exceptionally vague on what was supposed to happen next. "Something That May Shock and Discredit You" (published under Daniel Mallory Ortberg - he got married!) is a sprawling collection of essays, pop culture pulls, comedic historical re-tellings, and personal reflections on Lavery's life as a transgender man. It is equal parts hilarious, poignant, weird and beautiful, jumping from the Rapture to transition to Mean Girls to sobriety and then over to Marcus Aurelius, for good measure. Together they form an evocative and personal look at Lavery's own journey, and what happens when you stop letting "I dare not" wait upon "I dare". RELATED READING:
The Gettable Voter with Jon Favreau
Democrats can beat Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Another four years of a Trump White House is not a foregone conclusion. With nine months to go before the general election, there’s a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty hanging over many of us about the future of the American republic. Amidst this fear, Democratic voters are deciding which candidate is best suited to run against the President. But a lot of the fights over who that person could be are actually fights over how to build a coalition of voters big enough to beat Donald Trump in the electoral college. In envisioning how to build that coalition, you have to look at the margins. If the solid-blue, never-Trump contingency make up the reliable core of the voting bloc, then the folks on the margins are key to solving the puzzle of 2020. Former Obama speechwriter and Crooked Media co-founder Jon Favreau spent time talking with members of this crucial group in four battleground states for the second season of his podcast, "The Wilderness". He joins to discuss what a winning coalition could look like. RELATED LINKS:
The Frontlines of Addiction with Beth Macy
This is an intimate portrait of what addiction looks like in America. From the board rooms of pharmaceutical companies to the living rooms across America, Beth Macy traces the path of devastation wrought by opioids. Her latest book, “Dopesick” gives life to the urgency of the epidemic, illustrating just how woefully insufficient the national response has been to the scale of the crisis. She lays out the often-insurmountable barriers that stand between someone suffering and the treatment they need, and why stigma may be the biggest obstacle of them all. RELATED READING:
Why We’re Polarized with Ezra Klein
The title says it all on this one, folks. What is it about the American political system that cultivated this deeply dysfunctional and polarized climate? Last year, we had Ezra Klein on the show to assess how bad things were in the Trump era (conclusion: not great). Now, Klein is back to discuss his new book "Why We're Polarized" which provides a systematic look at the deep structural defects in American democracy that are manifesting themselves in two coalitions that are increasingly at each other's throats.
INTRODUCING: So You Wanna Be President? with Chris Matthews
Lesson one: win Iowa. An astounding number of Democrats and Republicans won their party's nomination after winning first in the Iowa caucuses—but America's first battleground hasn't always been a priority for campaigns. Jimmy Carter was the first to realize that a win there could propel a candidate into the national spotlight. Chris Matthews examines Carter's approach to the 1972 campaign with Gerry Rafshoon, who handled political advertising for the candidate, and veteran journalist Judy Woodruff, who covered the campaign in her early years with NBC.