The Axe Files with David Axelrod

David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and CNN bring you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.

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Best of the Axe Files: Justice Sonia Sotomayor

This week we revisit our November 2018 conversation with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She joined David to discuss her remarkable personal journey from the Bronx to the highest court in the land, how her background as a prosecutor and district judge helped to inform her perspective, the shifting dynamics on the Supreme Court, and more.



Ep. 397 — Gov. Larry Hogan

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan grew up around politics—his father was the first Congressional Republican to call for former president Richard Nixon’s impeachment—but spent decades in business before running for governor of his home state. In his first months in office, he navigated protests and civil unrest sparked by the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, followed closely by his own battle with cancer...



Ep. 396 — Dr. Anthony Fauci

In his position as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become a prominent figure in the fight against Covid-19. He joins David to talk about his early interest in medicine and infectious disease, his pioneering work on HIV/AIDS, and what it’s been like to advise six different presidents on issues of domestic and global health...



Best of The Axe Files: Theo Epstein

We revisit our January 2017 conversation with Theo Epstein, President of the Chicago Cubs. He joins David to share why he fell in love with baseball at a young age, how he became general manager of the Boston Red Sox at only 28 years old, why data analytics helped steer the Red Sox and Cubs to curse-breaking championships, and more.



Ep. 395 — Erik Larson

Erik Larson is a best-selling narrative non-fiction author. His latest book, The Splendid and the Vile, chronicles British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s first year in office during Germany’s bombing blitz of London in 1940...



Best of The Axe Files: Rep. John Lewis

This week we revisit our July 2017 conversation with civil rights leader and Georgia Congressman John Lewis. He joins David in Atlanta for a special televised edition of The Axe Files to talk about his activism during the Civil Rights Movement, his relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his foray into public service, and more.



Ep. 394 — Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande is a surgeon, bestselling author and writer for The New Yorker. He joins David to talk about how Trump has misled the public in responding to the Coronavirus pandemic, why it “will be a miracle” to get a Covid-19 vaccine quickly, and how U.S. leaders are undermining the formula for safely reopening the country...



Best of The Axe Files: Lin-Manuel Miranda

When Lin-Manuel Miranda first picked up Ron Chernow’s autobiography of Alexander Hamilton, he didn’t know much about the former Treasury Secretary. He didn’t yet know he was an immigrant, and he hadn’t yet read a sentence penned by Hamilton in which he wished for a war—the line that would inspire the creation of a revolutionary hip hop musical and Disney feature film. Lin joined David in October 2016 and spoke about what Alexander Hamilton would think of our politics today...



Ep. 393 — Shannon Watts

Shannon Watts is the founder of Moms Demand Action, an advocacy group dedicated to ending gun violence. She joins David to talk about how she became an unlikely founder of a grassroots organization with millions of supporters, the increased demand for guns amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and how the NRA has faltered during the Trump administration.


 2020-07-02  59m

Yang Speaks to The Axe Files

In this crossover edition of The Axe Files, David joins entrepreneur and former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang on his new podcast Yang Speaks. They talk about the future of the Democratic Party and what Joe Biden needs to do to win, Trump’s electoral strategy, the nation’s reckoning with social, racial, and economic inequality, and what America might look like in a post-Trump world.


 2020-06-29  1h0m