112 minutes | Jun 5, 2023
What's Wrong With Men?
"Many men in this country are in crisis, and their ranks are swelling," Missouri Senator Josh Hawley said at the National Conservatism conference in 2021. "And that's not just a crisis for men. It's a crisis for the republic." Some version of this sentiment — that men are in trouble, adrift, or falling behind — is shared by writers and thinkers across the political spectrum. It's nearly impossible to open a magazine without finding an article about the state of manhood in America. Brookings Institution scholar Richard Reeves' 2022 book Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do about It is a best-seller. Figures like Jordan Peterson and Andrew Tate attract huge audiences, serving as reactionary self-help gurus for young people eager to be told what a man is and how he should behave. One doesn't have to accept the right's framing of the problem — nor any kind of gender essentialism — to acknowledge the statistics: boys and men are falling behind in education, in work-force participation, and succumbing to drugs, alcoholism, and suicide. Hawley — apparently having stewed on the topic for two years — has just released a book on "manhood," which advises a revival of biblical virtues to guide the aimless young men of 21st century America. To pair with Hawley, we read Harvey Mansfield's 2006 book on "manliness." Putting Hawley's evangelical Christian preaching in conversation with Mansfield's Straussian philosophical playfulness proved very constructive. Along the way, we talk about our own relationship to manhood and try to decide which (if any) of the virtues associated with maleness are worth preserving, defending, or even advising young men to embrace. Further reading: Harvey C. Mansfield, Manliness, Yale University Press, 2006. Joshua Hawley, Manhood: The Masculine Virtues America Needs, Regnery, 2023. Joshua Hawley, "America's Epicurean Liberalism," National Affairs, Fall 2010. Becca Rothfeld, "How to be a man? Josh Hawley has the (incoherent) answers," The Washington Post, May 18, 2023. Phil Christman, "What Is It Like to Be a Man?" Hedgehog Review, Summer 2018. Martin Amis, "Return of the Male," London Review of Books, Dec 5, 1991. Martha Nussbaum, "Man Overboard," New Republic, June 22, 2006. Idrees Kahloon, "What's the Matter With Men?" The New Yorker, Jan 23, 2023. Zoë Heller, "How Toxic Is Masculinity?" The New Yorker, Aug 1, 2022. Lisa Miller, "Tate-Pilled What a generation of boys have found in Andrew Tate’s extreme male gospel." New York Magazine, Mar 14, 2023.
2 minutes | May 18, 2023
The 2024 Race: "It's Showtime, Folks!" (TEASER)
Subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to this bonus episode, and all of our bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy Matt and Sam take the pulse of the 2024 presidential race: Is DeSantis already doomed? Does Trump still have the juice? Can Biden handle a full campaign schedule? And how do you solve a problem like Kamala? The answers to these questions and more! Enjoy some rank punditry! Sources Nate Cohn, "Why Ron DeSantis Is Struggling," New York Times, May 5, 2023 Shane Goldmacher, Maggie Haberman & Jonathan Swan, "Why Ron DeSantis Is Limping to the Starting Line," New York Times, May 13, 2023 Reid J. Epstein & Shane Goldmacher, "Biden’s Slow Start Worries Democrats. Aides Insist All Is Well," New York Times, May 14, 2023 Sam Adler-Bell, "The One Thing Trump Has That DeSantis Never Will," New York Times, Apr 10, 2023 Matthew Sitman, "The 'Weekend at Bernie’s' Primary," Commonweal, Mar 3, 2020.
77 minutes | May 4, 2023
"Succession," "Extrapolations," and TV Writing Today (w/ Dorothy Fortenberry and Will Arbery)
With the Writers Guild of America strike underway, the plight of television writers—especially their treatment in the age of streaming and artificial intelligence—is garnering new, and overdue, attention. Matt and Sam are joined by two friends of the podcast, Will Arbery and Dorothy Fortenberry, who write for major television shows: Will is a writer for HBO's Succession, and Dorothy for Apple TV+'s Extrapolations. They discuss how they write about political topics and themes, such as rightwing political candidates or the effects of climate change, in these fraught times, when the demands of good art can seem in tension with a simplistic and moralistic culture. Also discussed: parents, children, and families, now and in the coming climate crisis; how and whether people can change; and, of course, the WGA strike and why it matters. Sources Cited: Michael Schulman, "Why Are TV Writers So Miserable," The New Yorker, Apr 29, 2023 Alex Press, "TV Writers Say They’re Striking to Stop the Destruction of Their Profession," Jacobin, May 3, 2023. Sam Adler-Bell, "Succession's Repetition Compulsion," The Nation, Nov 10, 2021. Pope Francis, Laudato si’ (“On Care for Our Common Home”), May 2015 Listen to previous Know Your Enemy episodes with these guests: "We Can Be Heroes" (w/ Will Arbery), November 11, 2019 "Suburban Woman" (w/ Dorothy Fortenberry), October 29, 2020 "Living at the End of Our World" (w/ Daniel Sherrell & Dorothy Fortenberry), September 2, 2021 ...and don't forget to subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon for access to all of our bonus episodes!
2 minutes | Apr 29, 2023
TEASER: The January 6th Committee Report
Subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to this bonus episode, and all of our bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy The boys discuss Matt's recent Dissent essay on the 845-page report of the "Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol." What did the Jan 6 report — and the committee's work — achieve? Was the report a missed opportunity? How should political actors navigate the relationship between historical constraints and contingency? And is there a way to wed the Democrats' eagerness to "defend democracy," as such, with a more robust program for social and economic justice? We puzzle it out. Sources: Matthew Sitman, "Will Be Wild," Dissent, Apr 18, 2023. Jill Lepore, "What the January 6th Report is Missing," The New Yorker, Jan 9, 2023. David Sirota, "The Long American Meltdown Led to the January 6 Insurrection" Jacobin, Jan 6, 2022 Sam Adler-Bell, "Is the January 6 Committee Really Saving Democracy?" New York Magazine, Jul 11, 2022. Executive Summary of the Jan 6 Report
100 minutes | Apr 18, 2023
Ron DeSantis Wants to Make America Florida (w/ Gillian Branstetter)
Gillian Branstetter (of the ACLU's Women’s Rights Project and LGBTQ & HIV Project) returns to Know Your Enemy for an episode on the strange case of Ron DeSantis: what is his ideology and vision for America? And why do his political aspirations involve inflicting wanton cruelty upon LGBTQ children and adults in his home state? For our sins, we read DeSantis's new book — a campaign book, though he has not yet formally announce his presidential run — The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival. (You heard it here: it sucks.) Along the way, Gillian provides an update on the conservative war on so-called "gender ideology" and "wokeness," how organizations like hers are fighting back, and why superficial expressions of sympathy for trans people by major corporations and banks — which so outrage the right — are themselves a trap and a means of evading real justice. We also discuss Sam's New York Times piece on DeSantis as an anti-woke technocrat, an embodiment of the twin cults of expertise and meritocracy, even as he disavows and demonizes the "ruling class" and it's irksome cultural mores. Finally, we identify the violent underpinnings of DeSantis's political impulses, discussing his alleged involvement in detainee abuse at Guantanamo Bay. As Gillian summarizes DeSantis's worldview, “It’s just cold efficiency and shared enemies. That’s what he’s selling. It’s like getting a moral lecture from a gun." Sources: Gillian Branstetter, "The Gender War Is A Forever War," The Autonomy, Mar 5, 2023. — "When Biology Needs Some Help," The Autonomy, Feb 9, 2023. Ron DeSantis, The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival, Feb 2023 Sam Adler-Bell, "The One Thing Trump Has That DeSantis Never Will," NY Times, Apr 10, 2023. Adrian Daub, What Tech Calls Thinking: An Inquiry into the Intellectual Bedrock of Silicon Valley, Oct 2020. Zack Beauchamp, "Ron DeSantis is following a trail blazed by a Hungarian authoritarian," Vox, Apr 28, 2022. Angelo Codevilla, "America's Ruling Class," The American Spectator, Jul 16, 2010. Jasper Craven, "The Sunshine Imperium: The militarism of Ron DeSantis," The Baffler, Mar 2023. Daniel Luban, "The Belligerent: Angelo Codevilla and the ideological origins of the New Right," The Baffler, Oct 2022. Wendy Brown, In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West, Jul 2019. Joseph Darda, The Strange Career of Racial Liberalism, Mar 2022. Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, "Identity Politics and Elite Capture," Boston Review, May 7, 2020. Michael Kranish, "DeSantis’s pivotal service at Guantánamo during a violent year," Washington Post, March 19, 2023. ...and don't forget to subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon for access to all of our bonus episodes!
2 minutes | Apr 10, 2023
TEASER: Whittaker Chambers, Redux (w/ Sam Tanenhaus)
Subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to this bonus episode, and all of our bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy The great Sam Tanenhaus (author of Whittaker Chambers: A Biography) returns to the podcast for a spirited and gossipy discussion of everything we missed — or only briefly mentioned — in our main episode on Chambers, including: his religious faith, his sexuality, his ideological position in the National Review crowd, Hannah Arendt's review of Witness, and much more. Plus: we extract from Sam Tanenhaus an update on the status of his HIGHLY-anticipated biography of William F. Buckley Jr... This one is for real heads. Enjoy!
96 minutes | Apr 4, 2023
Bob Dylan's America (w/ Will Epstein)
"That’s the problem with a lot of things these days," wrote Bob Dylan in 2022, "Everything is too full now; we are spoon-fed everything. All songs are about one thing and one thing specifically, there is no shading, no nuance, no mystery. Perhaps this is why music is not a place where people put their dreams at the moment; dreams suffocate in these airless environs." This mournful attitude — for a lost age of artfulness, mystery, and hope — pervades Dylan's 2022 book, Philosophy of Modern Song. In this sense, it's a quintessentially conservative book. But decline and nostalgia are not its only themes. In short bursts of prose reflecting on sixty-six totemic songs (from Webb Pierce's 1953 hit "There Stands the Glass;" to The Fugs' 1967 proto-punk romp "CIA Man;" to Nina Simone's unimpeachable "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"), Dylan conjures a country — and canon — defined most of all by mutability, motion, and menace. Dylan's America never stops moving, reinventing itself, or rebelling against its own strictures. Things get better; things get worse; what they don't do is stay the same. To help us make sense of Bob Dylan's idiosyncratic vision of America and American song, we're joined by Know Your Enemy musician-in-residence (and Bob super-fan) Will Epstein. Besides providing the music for our show, Will is a song-writer, composer, and improvisor; his latest album, WENDY, is out from Fat Possum records. (Download it or buy the vinyl here.) Music may not be the place where most people put their dreams these days, but it's still where we put ours. And there is no better way to understand America's dreams than by listening — closely — to its music. Sources: Bob Dylan, The Philosophy of Modern Song (2022) Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One (2005) Sean Wilentz, Bob Dylan in America (2010) Clinton Heylin, Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades Revisited (2003) Martin Chilton, "Bob Dylan and the Great American Songbook," May 24, 2022 Raymond Foye, "Bob Dylan’s The Philosophy of Modern Song," The Brooklyn Rail, Nov. 2022. Hua Hsu, "How Nam June Paik’s Past Shaped His Visions of the Future," The New Yorker, Mar 29, 2023. John Szwed, Cosmic Scholar: The Life and Times of Harry Smith, coming Aug 2023. ...and don't forget to subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon for access to all of our bonus episodes!
3 minutes | Mar 29, 2023
TEASER: Our Lady of Guadalupe and American Democracy (w/ Nichole M. Flores)
Subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to this bonus episode, and all of our bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy In the second (and final) of Matt's Lent-related conversations with theologians, he's joined by Dr. Nichole M. Flores of the University of Virginia, where she is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and researches the constructive contributions of Catholic and Latinx theologies to notions of justice and aesthetics to the life of democracy. This conversation focuses on her recent book, The Aesthetics of Solidarity: Our Lady of Guadalupe and American Democracy, and considers the promise and perils of using particular religious symbols, imagery, and language in a pluralistic, democratic society. Sources: Nichole M. Flores, The Aesthetics of Solidarity: Our Lady of Guadalupe and American Democracy (2021)
3 minutes | Mar 20, 2023
TEASER: Suffering, Solidarity, and Ritual (w/ Susan Bigelow Reynolds)
Subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to this bonus episode, and all of our bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy This conversation is the first of two that Matt recorded to be released during Lent, the forty-day season when Christians prepare for Easter Sunday by fasting and giving of their time and treasure to those in need. This episodes features Catholic theologian and Emory University professor Dr. Susan Bigelow Reynolds discussing her new book, People Get Ready: Ritual, Solidarity, and Lived Ecclesiology in Catholic Roxbury. In the book, she draws on years of ethnographic research about St. Mary of the Angels, a small, urban parish near Boston's Egleston Square, to understand how that religious community "constructed rituals of solidarity as a practical foundation for building radical solidarity in the face of racial and economic injustice." Sources: Susan Bigelow Reynolds, People Get Ready: Ritual, Solidarity, and Lived Ecclesiology in Catholic Roxbury (2023) Susan Bigelow Reynolds, "Ways of the Cross," Commonweal, March 14, 2023
140 minutes | Mar 12, 2023
Whittaker Chambers and the Freight Train of History
In this episode, Matt and Sam go deep into the life and times of Whittaker Chambers, most famous for his role in the "trial of the century"—the trial of Alger Hiss for perjury after Chambers accused Hiss of being a Communist spy during his years working in the federal government, especially the State Department. The two figures, once friends, came to symbolize a clash that was bigger than themselves, and prefigured the turn American politics would take at the onset of the Cold War. Chambers would become a hero of the nascent postwar conservative movement, with his status as an ex-Communist—one of many who would congregate around National Review in the mid-to-late 1950s—bringing his moral credibility to the right as one who had seen the other side and lived to tell his tale. Before all that, though, Chambers's life was like something out of a novel: a difficult family life, early brilliance at Columbia University, literary achievement in leftwing publications, and years "underground" engaging in espionage for the Soviet Union against the United States. "Out of my weakness and folly (but also out of my strength), I committed the characteristic crimes of my century," writes Chambers in his 1952 memoir/jeremiad Witness. Your hosts break it all down, assess his crimes and contributions, and explore one of the most consequential American lives of the twentieth century. Sources: Sam Tanenhaus, Whittaker Chambers: A Biography (1997) Whittaker Chambers, Witness (1952) Whittaker Chambers, Cold Friday (1964) Whittaker Chambers, "Big Sister is Watching You," National Review, December 28, 1957 The Whittaker Chambers Reader: His Complete National ReviewWritings, 1957-1959 (2014) William F. Buckley, Jr., editor, Odyssey of a Friend: Whittaker Chambers Letters to William F. Buckley, Jr. (1969) L. Brent Bozell, Jr. and William F. Buckley, Jr., McCarthy and His Enemies: The Record and Its Meaning (1954) Murray Kempton, Part of Our Time: Some Ruins and Monuments of the Thirties (1956) Landon R.Y. Storrs, The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left (2013) Richard H. Crossman, editor, The God that Failed: A Confession (1949) Lionel Trilling, The Middle of the Journey (1947) Matthew Richer, "The Cry Against Ninevah: A Centennial Tribute to Whittaker Chambers," Modern Age, Summer 2001 Christopher Hitchens, "A Regular Bull," London Review of Books, July 1997 Christopher Hitchens and Martin Amis, "No Laughing Matter" (YouTube, 2007) Jess Bravin, "Whittaker Chambers Award Draws Criticism—From His Family," Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2019 Isaac Deutscher, "The Ex-Communist's Conscience," The Reporter, 1950. John Patrick Diggins, Up From Communism: Conservative odysseys in American intellectual history, (1975) Daniel Aaron, Writers on the Left, (1961) Larry Ceplair, Anti-Communism in Twentieth-Century America: A Critical History, (2011) ...and don't forget to subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon for access to all of our bonus episodes!
94 minutes | Feb 27, 2023
Realignments (w/ Timothy Shenk)
Early in Timothy Shenk's absorbing, provocative recent book, Realigners: Partisan Hacks, Political Visionaries, and the Struggle to Rule American Democracy, he describes it as "a biography of American democracy told through its majorities, and the people who made them." Looking at American figures from Martin Van Buren to Charles Sumner to Mark Hanna to Phyllis Schlafly and Barack Obama, the book attempts to define the character and conditions necessary for fashioning a durable electoral majority — in those moments when existing partisan and coalitional structures were reshuffled and articulated anew. In other words: a realignment. In this thrilling conversation, Matt, Sam, and Tim talk through the implications of past realignments and argue about whether something similar is possible today. Sources: Timothy Shenk, Realigners: Partisan Hacks, Political Visionaries, and the Struggle to Rule American Democracy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2022) Stephen Skowronek, The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to Bill Clinton (Harvard University Press, 1993) Sam Adler-Bell, "The Radical Young Intellectuals Who Want to Take Over the American Right," The New Republic, Dec 2021 Firing Line debate on the Panama Canal (YouTube) This episode was unlocked from Patreon. To hear more bonus episodes, subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy.
2 minutes | Feb 22, 2023
TEASER: Le Carre's Cold War (w/ Jamelle Bouie and John Ganz)
Subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to this bonus episode, and all of our bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy Sam is joined by returning KYE all-stars Jamelle Bouie (of the NYTimes) and John Ganz (of Unpopular Front) for a spirited discussion of the 1984 film "The Little Drummer Girl," starring Diane Keaton — an adaptation of John le Carré's 1983 novel of the same name. We approach the film — which, it turns out, is not very good — with the same analytical rigor that Jamelle and John bring to their own podcast, "Unclear and Present Danger," which focuses on the post-Cold War thrillers of the 1990s. We wind up talking about why the film doesn't work and about le Carré's ambiguous approach to spy fiction, in particular, how his perspective differs from other British chroniclers of Cold War espionage, like Ian Flemming and Graham Greene. In what ways does le Carré's approach represent an essentially (small-c) conservative disposition? And why is it so attractive to all of us? Listen to find out! Recommended Reading: Sam Adler-Bell, "The Father of All Secrets," The Baffler, Dec 2022. Laura Marsh, "The Nonconformist," NYRB, Feb 2022. Nicholas Dames, "Coming in from the Cold," n+1, Spring 2018. John le Carré, The Little Drummer Girl, Hodder & Stoughton, 1983. Tim Cornwell ed., A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré, Random House, Jan 2023.
100 minutes | Feb 13, 2023
Triumph of the Therapeutic (w/ Hannah Zeavin & Alex Colston)
Modern conservatives have long asked the following questions: how can we live together without God? Is there any substitute for religion in cohering a moral community? And if not, what can we do to revive the old sacred authority that reason, science, and liberalism have interred? These were also the questions that preoccupied Philip Rieff (1922-2006), an idiosyncratic sociologist and product of the University of Chicago, whose thought cast a long shadow over right-wing intellectuals, theologians, and other Jeremiahs of the modern condition (like Christopher Lasch and Alasdair MacIntyre). In the two books that made his name — 1959's Freud: Mind of the Moralist and 1966's Triumph of the Therapeutic: The Uses of Faith After Freud — Rieff engages deeply with psychoanalysis, deriving from Sigmund Freud a theory of how culture creates morality and, in turn, why modern culture, with its emphasis on psychological well-being over moral instruction, no longer functions to shape individuals into a community of shared purpose. Rieff, a secular Jew, remained concerned to the very end of his life with the problem of living in a society without faith, one in which the rudderless self is mediated, most of all, by therapeutic ideas and psychological institutions rather than by religious or political ones. Less sophisticated versions of this conundrum haunt conservative thought to this day — from complaints about "wokeness" as a religion to the right's treatment of sexual and gender transgression as mental pathology. To help us navigate Rieff, Freud, and the conservative underbelly of psychoanalysis, we're joined by two brilliant thinkers and writers: Hannah Zeavin and Alex Colston. Hannah is an Assistant Professor at Indiana University in the Luddy School of Informatics; Alex is a PhD student at Duquesne in clinical psychology. Most importantly, for our purposes, Hannah and Alex are also the editors of Parapraxis, a new magazine of psychoanalysis on the left. We hope you enjoy this (admittedly, heady) episode. If you do, consider signing up for a new podcast — on psychoanalysis and politics, of all things — hosted by beloved KYE guest Patrick Blanchfield and his partner Abby Kluchin entitled "Ordinary Unhappiness." Further Reading: Philip Rieff, Freud: Mind of the Moralist (Viking, 1959) — The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith After Freud (Harper & Row, 1966) — Fellow Teachers (Harper & Row, 1973) Gerald Howard, "Reasons to Believe," Bookforum, Feb 2007. Blake Smith, "The Secret Life of Philip Rieff." Tablet, Dec 15, 2022 George Scialabba, "The Curse of Modernity: Rieff's Problem with Freedom," Boston Review, Jul 1, 2007. Christopher Lasch, "The Saving Remnant," The New Republic, Nov 19, 1990. Hannah Zeavin, "Composite Case: The fate of the children of psychoanalysis," Parapraxis, Nov 14, 2022. Alex Colston, "Father," Parapraxis, Nov 21, 2022. Rod Dreher, "We Live In Rieff World," Mar 1, 2019. Park MacDougald, "The Importance of Repression," Sept 29, 2021 ...and don't forget to subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon for access to all of our bonus episodes!
2 minutes | Jan 31, 2023
TEASER: Realignments (w/ Timothy Shenk)
Subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to this bonus episode, and all of our bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy Early in Timothy Shenk's absorbing, provocative book, Realigners: Partisan Hacks, Political Visionaries, and the Struggle to Rule American Democracy, he describes it as "a biography of American democracy told through its majorities, and the people who made them." Looking at American figures from Martin Van Buren to Charles Sumner to Mark Hanna to Phyllis Schlafly and Barack Obama, the book attempts to define the character and conditions necessary for fashioning a durable electoral majority — in those moments when existing partisan and coalitional structures were reshuffled and articulated anew. In other words: a realignment. In this thrilling conversation, Matt, Sam, and Tim talk through the implications of past realignments and argue about whether something similar is possible today. Sources: Timothy Shenk, Realigners: Partisan Hacks, Political Visionaries, and the Struggle to Rule American Democracy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2022) Stephen Skowronek, The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to Bill Clinton (Harvard University Press, 1993) Sam Adler-Bell, "The Radical Young Intellectuals Who Want to Take Over the American Right," The New Republic, Dec 2021
82 minutes | Jan 18, 2023
The Eyes of the Ranger (w/ Jesse Brenneman)
This episode is a little different. Rather than dissecting an influential conservative book written by long-dead intellectual, Matt and Sam are joined by Know Your Enemy's brilliant producer (and host of the very funny podcast, Tech Talk) to unpack a different kind of "text"—the hit CBS television show from the 1990s, Walker, Texas Ranger, starring the very much still-living Chuck Norris. Set in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Norris stars as Sergeant Cordell Walker, a member of the storied Texas Rangers who takes on drug dealers, Satanists, corrupt cops, and other bad guys, a task aided by his incredible martial-arts skills. The episodes of Walker discussed in this conversation were carefully curated by Jesse, and they provide a great deal of fodder for understanding conservatism (and America) in the 1990s, law and order politics, the American penchant for moral panics, how the Right has changed in the decades since the show aired, and more. Sources: Walker, Texas Ranger on IMDB "Chuck Norris's code of honor," drawn from the Chuck Norris System of martial arts (Chun Kuk Do) Chuck Norris, Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America (2008) Aaron Cantú, The Chaparral Insurgents of South Texas,The New Inquiry, April 2016. ...and don't forget to subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon for access to all of our bonus episodes!
2 minutes | Jan 8, 2023
TEASER: The Death of Pope Benedict XVI (w/ Michael O'Loughlin)
Listen to the entire conversation by subscribing to Know Your Enemy on Patreon! On Dec. 31, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died at the age of 95. During his long career as a towering figure in the Catholic Church in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond—especially his decades helming the Vatican's powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then as Pope and Pope Emeritus—Benedict was involved in nearly all of the Church's crises and controversies. He cracked down on liberation theologians, held a reactionary line on homosexuality at the height of the AIDS crisis, and slowly awakened to the depths and depravity of the Catholic sex-abuse scandal—but he also wrote movingly about God's love and took positions on the environment and the economy that would be mostly ignored by his conservative fans. To try to make sense of Benedict's life and work, especially his relationship with American Catholics, Matt is joined by Michael O'Loughlin, the national correspondent at America magazine and author of Hidden Mercy: AIDS, Catholics, and the Untold Stories of Compassion in the Face of Fear. Listen to the entire conversation by subscribing to Know Your Enemy on Patreon!
95 minutes | Dec 26, 2022
Jesus and Bob Dylan (w/ the Jokermen)
Merry Christmas! Here's a little bonus content to tide you over until 2023. In April, Matt and Sam appeared on the excellent Jokermen podcast to discuss Bob Dylan's Christian rock records. And now we're sharing it with you. Lots to chew on in here for fans of KYE, Dylan, Jesus, and rock n' roll. Enjoy.
87 minutes | Dec 19, 2022
J. Edgar Hoover, G-Man (w/ Beverly Gage)
For forty-eight years, American presidents came and went, but J. Edgar Hoover remained as the powerful director of the FBI. In her authoritative new biography, G-Man, Yale historian Beverly Gage brings Hoover to life, uncovering the all-too-human man who played such an outsized role in twentieth-century U.S. political history. Gage's decade of research provides fascinating insights into the troubles that impinged on Hoover's childhood; his formative time in a white supremacist, Southern fraternity at George Washington University, Kappa Alpha; his early years in what was then the Bureau of Investigation and eventual rise to running it; Hoover's personal life and sexuality, including his longterm relationship with Clyde Tolson; and the transformation of the FBI across the 1930s and 1940s, and the ways it drew Hoover into a number of controversies that followed, from the Kennedy assassination to COINTELPRO and the FBI's attacks on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sources: Beverly Gage, G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century (Viking, 2022) Michael Kazin, "J. Edgar Hoover’s Long Shadow," New Republic, Dec 9, 2022 Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, trans. Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop (1835, 2002) Please consider making an end-of-year donation to Dissent this holiday season, Know Your Enemy's beloved sponsor. And don't forget to subscribe to KYE on Patreon for access to all of our bonus episodes.
3 minutes | Dec 7, 2022
TEASER: More Mail, More Bag
Subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to this bonus episode, and all of our bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy Matt and Sam pick up where they left off in their recent mailbag episode and keep answering listener questions. Topics include: KYE merchandise, the existence of Hell, Francis Fukuyama, Mormonism, gun violence, and more. Sources: David Bentley Hart, That All Shall Be Saved (Yale University Press, 2019) John G. Turner, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet (Harvard University Press, 2012) Francis Fukuyama, "Still the End of History," Atlantic, October 17, 2022 Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (Free Press, 1992) W.H. Auden, "In Memory of Sigmund Freud" (1940) Christopher Isherwood, Christopher and His Kind (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1976) Sohrab Ahmari, "Urban Jeremiah: Mike Davis, 1946-2022," Compact, October 26, 2022
70 minutes | Dec 1, 2022
You Have Questions, We Have Answers (Mailbag episode)
As the end of the year approaches, Matt and Sam are once again answering questions from you, their beloved listeners. Like previous mailbag episodes, there was an abundance of excellent questions that were submitted. Topics include: the possibilities for the religious left, white Christian nationalism, your hosts' literary habits and favorite novels, conspiracy theories—and more. For those who especially enjoy this type of episode, check out the next KYE bonus episode on Patreon, which will take up even more listener questions! Sources: Hannah Gold, "The Loud Parts," Harper's, October 2022 Jewish Currents, "The Jews" (On the Nose podcast episode), November 23, 2022 Alastair Roberts, "On Thomas Achord," Alastair's Adversaria, November 27, 2022 Rod Dreher, "The Thomas Achord – Alastair Roberts Mess," The American Conservative, November 27, 2022 Matthew Sitman, "Whither the Religious Left?" New Republic, April 15, 2021 Ned Rorem, Lies: A Diary, 1986-1999 (2002) Breece D'J Pancake, The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake (2002) Breece D'J Pancake, "Trilobites," The Atlantic, December 1977 Andre Dubus, Selected Stories (1995) Janet Malcolm, "I Should Have Made Him for a Dentist," New York Review of Books, March 2018 John le Carré, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963) Art Shay, Album for an Age: Unconventional Words and Pictures from the Twentieth Century (2000) ...and don't forget to subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon for access to all of our bonus episodes