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Biologist Frans de Waal studies the complex emotional life of apes—including how chimpanzees resolve conflicts. Here, de Waal discusses his subjects’ true capacity for fairness, reciprocity, and empathy, and how human beings measure up.
Ta-Nehisi Coates’s memoirs and essays on race, politics, and culture are now some of the most widely read in American letters. In an interview with Topic recorded in Manhattan, Coates reflects on how parenthood made him the writer he is today.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wasn’t always a proponent of gun control. But now she admits she had it wrong. In an interview with Topic recorded in Washington, D.C., in May 2018, Gillibrand calls out the NRA for being motivated by greed.
Sarah Vowell is an author, historian and self-described “heathen” who grew up in the bosom of a Reagan-voting, gun-toting, Evangelical family. In this episode, recorded in August 2018, Vowell discusses how she self-soothes against modern politics.