The Ezra Klein Show

Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.

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Collections with this podcast


    Cal Newport on doing Deep Work and escaping social media


    I was asked recently to name a book that changed my life. The book I chose was Cal Newport’s “Deep Work,” and for the most literal of reasons: it’s changed how I lived my life. Particularly, it’s led me to stop scheduling morning meetings, and to preserve that time for more sustained, creative work.

    Which is all to say that I’m a bit obsessed with Newport’s work right now, and especially his account of how the digital environment we inhabit is training us out of...


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    1h20m
    Tuesday

    G. Willow Wilson on religion, comics, and modern myths


    This is a podcast about topics we don’t always cover on this show. Religion. Spirituality. Gender roles. Traditionalist societies. Comic books.

    G. Willow Wilson is the author of The Butterfly Mosque, Alif the Unseen, and the Hugo award winning comic book, Ms. Marvel. She’s also lived a fascinating, unusual life: she’s an American who converted to Islam and then moved to Egypt, where she met her now-husband. The hallmark of her work is an empathy and appreciation for societies...


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    1h12m
    last week

    Chris Hayes on the crisis of elites and the politics of order


    I could describe this podcast, and I will. But the tl;dr is this is one of my favorite conversations so far, and you’re going to enjoy it. So just go listen. 

    Chris Hayes is, of course, the host of the MSNBC primetime show, “All In.” He’s also the author of the new book “Colony in a Nation,” as well as (the extremely prescient) Twilight of the Elites. 

    But beyond the bio, Chris is a crazily smart and insightful thinker on US politics and society, and he's...


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    1h40m
    this month

    Tyler Cowen explains it all


    I have never come across a mind quite like Tyler Cowen’s. The George Mason economist, and Marginal Revolution blogger, has an interesting opinion on, well, everything. He’s a genuine polymath who can talk knowledgeably about more subjects than I even know exist.

    So coming in to this interview, I had a simple plan: ask Cowen for his thoughts on as many topics as possible. And I think it worked out pretty well. We discuss everything from New Jersey to high school sports to finding...


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    1h31m
    this month

    Molly Ball on whether facts matter in politics


    You may remember the Atlantic's Molly Ball from the fantastic pre-election conversation we had on this podcast. She's back this week to talk about an issue I've become more and more obsessed with — does factual argument matter in American politics? Or is it just a contest of identity activation?
    In the most recent Atlantic, Ball profiles Kellyanne Conway, whose television appearances and "alternative facts" offer an unusually clear window into this debate. We talk about that, as well...


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    1h13m
    last month

    Denis McDonough on how to run the White House


    How do you actually run a White House? What is the president’s actual job? What is the chief of staff’s role? What happens if you screw up? 

    These are questions I’ve been reflecting on rather a lot lately, for obvious reasons. And so I asked Denis McDonough on the podcast to talk about them.

    McDonough served as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff from 2013 to 2017 — a position in which he earned the nickname “Obama’s Obama.” This is his first lengthy...


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    1h19m
    last month

    Cecile Richards on Planned Parenthood, labor organizing, and the Supreme Court


    Before Cecile Richards was president of Planned Parenthood, she was a labor organizer working with garment workers in El Paso, Texas. The experience taught her a key principle of political change: people do things for their reasons, not your reasons.

    In this conversation, we talk about her organizing background, and how it's informing her work as she tries to protect her the institution she leads. Defunding Planned Parenthood is a core Republican promise. It is also, as she explains,...


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    1h12m
    last month

    Tim Ferriss on suffering, psychedelics, and spirituality


    Tim Ferriss is the author of the 4-Hour Workweek, as well as the new book, Tools of Titans. He’s also the host of The Tim Ferriss Show, which is one of my favorite podcasts, and an inspiration for this show. 

    Tim is a relentless optimizer, and on his program, he interviews fascinating people to discover how they work, think, and get things done. It’s a show about the secrets of high performers. 

    Here, I ask Tim about basically the reverse of that. How does he...


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    1h48m
    last month

    Yuval Harari, author of “Sapiens,” on AI, religion, and 60-day meditation retreats


    Yuval Noah Harari’s first book, “Sapiens,” was an international sensation. The Israeli historian’s mind-bending tour through the trump of Homo sapiens is a favorite of, among others, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barack Obama. His new book, Homo Deus, is about what comes next for humanity — and the threat our own intelligence and creative capacity poses to our future. And it, too, is fantastically interesting. 

    I’ve wanted to talk to Harari since reading Sapiens....


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    1h7m
    last month

    Elizabeth Drew covered Watergate. Here's what she thinks of Trump.


    Elizabeth Drew is the author of Washington Journal, one of my favorite books about Watergate. Drew covered the story as a reporter for the New Yorker, and the book emerges from the real-time, journalistic diary she kept amidst the chaos. As such, it does something no other Watergate book does: tells the story not as a tidy tale with a clear beginning and inevitable end, but as an experience thick with confusion, rumors, alarm, and half-truths.

    Of late, I've heard a lot of people...


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    1h8m
    this year