Vox Conversations

Vox Conversations brings you discussions between the brightest minds and the deepest thinkers; conversations that will cause you to question old assumptions and think about the world and our role in it in a new light. Join Sean Illing, Jamil Smith, and their colleagues across the Vox newsroom for new episodes every Monday and Thursday.



Was the cruelty the point?

Vox's Sean Illing talks with Adam Serwer, whose new book The Cruelty Is the Point documents the role of cruelty in American politics, the way it was weaponized by the GOP during the Trump administration, and how these tactics could continue to shape the future of America.

Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox

Guest: Adam Serwer (@AdamSerwer), staff writer, The Atlantic


  • The Cruelty is the Point: The Past, Present, and Future of Trump's America by Adam Serwer (One World; 2021)
  • "The Cruelty Is the Point" by Adam Serwer (The Atlantic; Oct. 3, 2018)
  • "The Great Awokening" by Matt Yglesias (Vox; Apr. 1, 2019)

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This episode was made by: 

  • Producer: Erikk Geannikis
  • Editor: Amy Drozdowska
  • VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson

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 2021-08-23  1h1m