The Ezra Klein Show

Winner of the 2020 Webby and People's Voice awards for best interview podcast. Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Stacey Abrams feels about identity politics? How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy? The plans behind Elizabeth Warren’s plans? How Michael Lewis reads minds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.


episode 270: Edward Norton’s theory of mind, movies, and power

You’ve heard of Edward Norton. He’s starred in critically acclaimed films like American History X, Fight Club, and Birdman, been nominated for multiple Academy Awards, and, most recently, wrote, directed, and starred in Motherless Brooklyn, a film about a detective with Tourette’s syndrome who ends up taking on the most corrupt and powerful forces in New York City politics.

Motherless Brooklyn, as it happens, is one of my all-time favorite books.

And so this conversation was an unexpected pleasure. In addition to a joint love of Motherless Brooklyn, Norton and I share an unusual number of interests: Meditation, the uncontrollable nature of the mind, the difficulty of solving problems by thinking about them, the psychology of power, media analytics, cultural ideas of heroism, thwarted masculinity in politics, Ralph Nader, and more.

It’s rare that I think a conversation could’ve gone for hours more. But it’s true for this one.


Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

This Could Be Our Future by Yancey Strickler

Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch 

 *The world according to Ralph Nader*

Book recommendations:

Barbarian Days by William Finnegan 

Wind, Sand, and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Buddhism without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor

If you like this episode, check out:

What Buddhism got right about the human brain

You will love this conversation with Jaron Lanier, but I can’t describe it

My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at

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Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld

Researcher - Roge Karma

Engineer - Jeff Geld

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 2019-10-31  1h52m