Lever Time, our weekly podcast, is on summer hiatus this week. To tide you over in the meantime, here are some wonderful podcasts recommended by The Lever’s staff. All these shows are guaranteed to illuminate, motivate, inspire, soothe, and/or entertain you!
There are few members of the American right who have committed themselves to understanding the conservative movement as much as the hosts of Know Your Enemy — two socialists attempting to (you guessed it) know their enemies. As we sit on the potential precipice of a right-wing takeover of American politics, with President Joe Biden’s approval ratings in the dumps and the Democrats seemingly unable to put together a program to improve peoples’ lives, there is no better time to try to understand what brought us to this moment. — Julia Rock
I’m a big proponent of the Mary Poppins theory: A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. That’s definitely the case with The Deprogram, a political theory podcast hosted by three international Marxists. I love this show because of the hosts’ diverse perspectives (one is from the U.S., one is from Iraq, and one is from the Balkans), how much information they’re able to squeeze into an episode, and their extremely goofy style. My only criticism is that they’re three dudes, so the vibe can get a little “bro-y” at times. But other than that, it’s a great example of international socialism. This would be a great pod to share with a young person looking for some direction. — Frank Cappello
Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown — sisters and self-described writers, activists, facilitators, and inheritors of multiracial diasporic lineages — use love, rage, awe, and spontaneous bursts of song in this podcast to explore the tools and practices we need to make it out on the other side of our current hellscape. Not sure where to start? I’d recommend their sibling miniseries, which features interviews with pairs of siblings active in the movement for a more just and inclusive world. One of my favorite interviews in the series is with Aurora and Ricardo Levins-Morales — best enjoyed with a cup of tea. — Aditi Ramaswami
If you’re like me and the mention of the genius of Web3 makes your blood boil, or you’ve really enjoyed the feeling of schadenfreude as cryptocurrency has recently imploded, then you’ll love Tech Won’t Save Us. Created and hosted by Paris Marx, this podcast methodically dismantles the many myths and outright lies surrounding Big Tech. Each episode, Paris invites in a unique voice with niche expertise to delve into a specific area of tech. — Nick Byron Campbell
Full disclosure: The folks behind this podcast, comedians Adam Cayton-Holland, Ben Roy, and Andrew Orvedahl, plus producer Ron Doyle, are good friends, and I’ve been watching them dominate the Denver comedy scene for years. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that their foul-mouthed, irreverent, and yet open-minded take on self-help isn’t a joy for everyone who listens. Each episode, longtime friends Cayton-Holland, Roy, and Orvedahl challenge themselves to “better the world by bettering themselves” — by doing everything from avoiding plastic use to writing letters to their younger selves to trying to read all of Ulysses in a single week. Do the results always lead to enlightenment? No, but it’s a fun adventure along the way. — Joel Warner
Catch your breath and make some time for a poem a day. This is a short pod where every episode is just five odd minutes. Generously curated and read to you by newly appointed U.S. poet laureate Ada Limón, the stories offered by The Slowdown confront ruin, play with beauty and time, build worlds, and otherwise hold space for life with fullness and grace. — Ricardo Gomez
Before I joined The Lever, I worked on this podcast — which features long-form interviews with guests on history, politics, and economics from a socialist perspective. In the wide-ranging archives, you can find Donna Haraway talking about cyborgs, New York state legislators dissecting the real estate industry, and journalists and historians interrogating the long history of the U.S. empire. — Julia Rock
I’m a fan of the Discovery Channel’s ”Shark Week”, so I’m really looking forward to this new podcast from Adam McKay’s team. It’s about a spate of shark attacks near a remote island, but it’s about a lot more. As the description says, it shows how the attacks prompted “local surfers, politicians, and business owners into a proxy war with conservationists and ocean lovers worldwide.” The series also looks at “the government’s response to the attacks and climate issues that may have led to the increase of incidents” on the island. Fascinating! — David Sirota
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