Podcast / The Time of Monsters / Nov 26, 2023

Garry Wills and the Real Kennedy Curse

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, talking with Sam Adler-Bell and Matt Sitman about the toxic legacy of a famous family.

The Time of Monsters with Jeet Heer
The Time of Monsters with Jeet Heer

The Time of Monsters podcast features Nation national-affairs correspondent Jeet Heer’s signature blend of political culture and cultural politics. Each week, he’ll host in-depth conversations with urgent voices on the most pressing issues of our time.

Garry Wills and the Real Kennedy Curse
byThe Nation Company LLC

For this week's episode of The Time of Monsters, I’m doing a joint podcast with the crew from Know York Enemy (Sam Adler-Bell and Matt Sitman) talking about the legacy of the Kennedy family.

Our talk is based on our shared love for Garry Wills’ The Kennedy Imprisonment, a revelatory book about not just the Kennedy family but the nature of 'great man politics.'

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American financier and ambassador Joseph Kennedy (right) sits on a couch with his son, future American President John F. Kennedy in 1938.

(Pictorial Parade / Getty Images)

For this week’s episode of The Time of Monsters, I’m doing a joint podcast with the crew from Know Your Enemy (Sam Adler-Bell and Matt Sitman) talking about the legacy of the Kennedy family.

Our talk is based on our shared love for Garry Wills’s The Kennedy Imprisonment, a revelatory book about not just the Kennedy family but also the nature of “great-man politics.”

This is an in-depth discussion that touches on many topics including the mainstreaming of Catholicism in the 1950s, the appeasement policies of the British ruling class in the 1930s, Cold War liberalism’s embrace of elitism, macho culture and misogyny, and mass movements as an alternative to great-man politics. 

Know Your Enemy is one of my favorite podcasts. I very much admire its mixture of scholarly knowledge and political urgency. It was a pleasure to join Sam and Matt for this discussion.

The Time of Monsters with Jeet Heer
The Time of Monsters with Jeet Heer

The Time of Monsters podcast features Nation national-affairs correspondent Jeet Heer’s signature blend of political culture and cultural politics. Each week, he’ll host in-depth conversations with urgent voices on the most pressing issues of our time.

Hollywood’s Blockbuster Crisis
byThe Nation Company LLC

The summer season has started with a fizzle for Hollywood, as expected hits like The Fall Guy, and Furioso have far underperformed their expectations. This isn’t a matter of a few films. Over the last few years, Hollywood is discovering that audiences are no longer reliably willing to buy tickets for the action adventure franchises that are the mainstay of the film industry. In particular, the once-dominant superhero genre is now fizzling. Adding to the troubles of Tinsel Town is the fact that streaming services, long touted as the future revenue model for the industry, are being squeezed by falling profits and rising interest rates.

Historian Daniel Bessner wrote a lengthy survey of Hollywood’s woes for the May issue of Harper’s Magazine. His account gives particular focus to political economy: the way government regulations and unions once made Hollywood a hospitable home for culture workers and how this has been undermined by the rise of private equity and monopolies. Daniel joins the podcast to talk about the movie industry and its discontents.

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Jeet Heer

Jeet Heer is a national affairs correspondent for The Nation and host of the weekly Nation podcast, The Time of Monsters. He also pens the monthly column “Morbid Symptoms.” The author of In Love with Art: Francoise Mouly’s Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman (2013) and Sweet Lechery: Reviews, Essays and Profiles (2014), Heer has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The American Prospect, The GuardianThe New Republic, and The Boston Globe.

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