Vox Conversations

by Vox

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.

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Recent Reviews
  • sertralinequeen
    New favorite podcast
    I love the people you bring on the show and the conversations you have - truly refreshing, respectful exchanges about important topics.
  • meddie1996
    Literally Life Changing
    Every podcast I’ve ever listen to leads me to A) question core philosophies and world views B) put at LEAST 2 books on my good reads list (….not that I needed more help with that, sheesh)
  • Insher
    Christine Emba Eposide
    I absolutely loved your interview with Christine. I’m so glad she raised such an important issue. Transactional sex is the worst of the consequences of sexual liberation. I hope we can learn from our mistakes and make sex enjoyable for both parties.
  • paungle
    Wonderfully conducted interviews, singularly timely guests
    I’m not sure how guests and topics are chosen but both the match of the topics to what feels like contemporary/currently in the atmosphere vibes and the skill with which the guests are interviewed consistently impresses. I hope more people discover these conversations. Excellently stimulating and engaging despite silently going about my day.
  • 😉💙🙃
    Philosophy Series
    A very much enjoyed your podcast with Lindsey Stonebridge re: Arendt and am looking forward to hearing the rest of the series. One of the most informative and interesting I’ve heard from you. Thank you, Cynthia Davis
  • Lovemybicycle
    The Philosophers
    Just listened to the Hannah Arendt episode and going back to listen to the first episode on Camus. I am excited about this new addition to the Vox Conversation podcast. Thanks!
  • EgbertSouse
    Hannah Arendt episode
    Sean Illing’s interview with Prof. Lyndsey Stonebridge on Hannah Arendt, posted on April 25, 2020, is worth giving Conversations 5-stars regardless of any other episode. This interview is a lucid introduction to ideas that are essential now. Thank you so much. I will listen a second time and take notes and send it to friends as well.
  • AppleiTunes27
    Thumbs up for Dave
    Listening to the interview that Ezra Klein did with Dave Eggers. Ezra’s obfuscations and obtuse asides are designed to make himself look intellectual at the expense of authenticity and clarity, but only serve to irritate the listener. Dave Eggers, on the other hand, is the real deal… someone who makes a positive difference in this world with his humor, his writing, his tutoring company, speaking engagements, and concern for humanity. What a beautiful human.
  • 123mmurphy
    Please please change the interviewer.
    Seriously, listening to him, he is first person that has made me want to read instead of listen to the podcast. Very smart and intelligent guy, but he really just has a serious lack of human connection. I am a paid subscriber to Vox and stayed one even after Ezra left. Please please get rid of this guy. The host I am referring to is Zach Beauchamp. Please please take him off.
  • uhoh7
    Good guests…let them talk please
    VOX….where hosts talk fast and too much. Not always, but often. Less prose, more poetry in questions please. So many qualifications to questions I forget what year it is….and you don’t have to say “yeah” every second. I’m trying to think and learn here.
  • MRKuch
    Realistic hope for our democracy? (re: Charlie Sykes interview)
    I’m a long time regular listener, first time commenter, and just catching up with the episode with Charlie Sykes, former member of the Republican party. My concern is growing. There was an elephant in the room throughout the conversation: Do you understand that our democracy is facing an existential threat if Trumpists win upcoming elections, this year and especially in 2024? If we lose our democracy, none of the issues voters care about, progressive or conservative, will matter any longer. I'm afraid that the only practical hope for preventing this catastrophe for our country is for center-left and center-right voters to put aside their differences and vote Democracy Always. Regrettably, those on the far left and far right may not be capable of adapting to reality. Please consider that insulting people with whom you disagree, and/or whom you don't actually understand, is self-defeating. The threat is imminent. I, for one, am now a single-issue voter: Democracy Always.
  • scared senior
    Enjoy your podcast. Please consider your language. Sh….. is not appropriate for most ears. Used podcasts in HIgh School and wasn’t pleased to hear vulgar language. Thanks, Dr. GC
  • M Liu-S
    Great conversations
    I’d like to echo what’s said in one of the reviews about the philosophers series. So relevant and so timely.
  • ClaireInDavis
    Vox Conversations is amazing!
    When Ezra Klein left, I wondered if Conversations could hold up. I have to say (sorry Ezra) I don’t miss him at all. AND the new series on philosophers is the most thrilling information- had I asked for any series, this would be the one. I want exposed to the philosophers and have hoped to get a toe hold in an accessible way. I can’t wait for the next episode.
  • robstaf
    Gun episode
    Your conversation from 3/7/22 was an atrocity of enablement. Your guest was not engaging in open discourse, he was lecturing abhorrent right-wing propaganda under the typical guise of a reasoned, logical tone. Our country is despised and laughed at throughout the world for its insane gun violence. It made me sick to listen to him self-righteously double-down on his juvenile beliefs.
  • Cholmondeley-CLE
    Children from at least one Middle School are delightful
    The Santa Barbara Middle School is an independent experimental school which treats its students in a way that brings out the best of them. I was on the school’s Board of Trustees during 1994, 1995, and 1996. During these years the curriculum provided that students and their teachers would be “On The Road” for 30 days out of every school year. Typically there would be two short trips, a week-long trip, and an end of year two-week trip, during which the students and teachers would go on long hikes or long bike rides. A typical year end ride was called “Crossing California” which began with the rear wheels in the Colorado River and ended days of hard riding with our front tires in the Pacific Ocean. I had the opportunity of going on all rides for three years so I knew cohort of about 40 students day and night, 30 days a year, for three years - 7th to 9th grade. One way to describe these students is to report that in during these 90 days, I didn’t observe a teaching raising a voice toward a student and I didn’t see any behavior the demanded correction. I won’t attempt to describe the way the school’s philosophy was implemented, but a good example of how the school worked is the primary rule: NO PUTDOWN. Teachers don’t put down other teachers. Teachers don’t put down children. Students don’t put down teachers, and students don’t put down other students. Of course compliance by the students with the rule as it applies to them is not 100% but it might be as high as 95%. Another principle is that the school has the luxury of being highly selective in the admissions process. If accepted, each student makes a deal with the Head of school to do his/her best. Thereafter, if a student is having personal or academic difficulty the school presumes that the problem is the schools failure to serve the student and it is up to the school to figure out what’s wrong and how to correct it. Middle School students are at that wonderful age when they are just figuring out who they are. They need to be protected and engaged during this time of metamorphosis.
  • jo_z
    Nice format. Very informative.
    Nice format. Very informative.
  • Sunnycreek
    Honest conversations
    Loved the convo with David Sirota. Thank you for continuing Ezra Klein's great informative honest conversations with this current podcast. Keep up the great work!
  • Mike from Durham
    Dan, To suggest there is not an equally influential media machine behind liberals (see MSNBC and CNN) is simply disingenuous. I really enjoyed the conversation, both both parties have their echo chambers. Thank you for the discussion.
  • Oopsawally
    good show
    the Dem party will not be able to present their upper hand until they respect themselves and insist on being respected i.e. Bannon has been charged, and for completely dismissing them out of hand, without consequence. There are many more. Getting more media coverage is not the answer. Get rid of super delegates (it's a condescending policy that robs people of their vote) and get those involved in the insurrection convicted. All up Hill from there.
  • GEK of NH
    Dan Pfeiffer
    Great conversation. Dan explains so well. He educates as well as doesn’t leave one feeling hopeless. Listen to him people!
  • noslovd
    Challenge the guests
    Even if you lean left of center, a lot of these guests are out of touch with reality. Points easily challenged with evidence rarely, if ever, are. It seems the hosts are so entrenched in their own beats that they lack perspective. It would be nice to have interviewers that can speak to a range of topics like on The Weeds and challenge the guests with their own knowledge on the topics.
  • lprevost
    Disappointed - too much assumed anti-semitism
    I lean right so I wanted to get a left of center view of George Soros so I can understand him and his intentions. The podcast “who is George Soros?“ started out strong as Zack and Emily were both well read and informed. In the first third, I learned a lot about Soros as a teenager in Hungary avoiding Nazi oppression and later as a young finance genius. But after the first break, Zack and Emily’s worldviews and opinions took over. I was hoping to learn why Soros backs urban DAs who seem to want to destroy society. But unfortunately Zack and Emily spent the middle third making unprovable accusations by discrediting his enemies as “obviously antisemitic.” Their rant was based on their incredible ability to see into others hearts and understand their intent. They rolled out all the liberal tropes including bigotry, dog whistlery, and other unprovable views. It became opinion without fact and they lost me. This is unfortunate because I’m not Jewish and I can’t possibly understand the world that very well may be anti-Semitic. Similar to the left’s default label of racism, they lost me while trying to understand because they resorted to calling their enemies names without educating me. Their world view may even be correct but their approach was ineffective.
  • Crystalash
    Not as good as before but still listening
    I thought with multiple hosts this show would be even more polymathic. Kinda disappointed about the trajectory of most of the interviews though, which hardly ever goes beyond the immediate impression of each episode, often leaving me unsatisfied. Whereas with Ezra Klein, there was always some new perspective and/or argument that I’d never or wouldn’t have thought. Decent topics that need more breath and depth.
  • Grape today, grape tomorrow
    Honestly has only gotten better with two new hosts
    Stay fantastic y’all
  • gray paw
    👍wow for fascism episode
    Great show on UFOs
  • Vernon Farquhar
    Vox Conversations - Obviously Tips Left
    It has to be understood that we are in the Land of Vox and whether Ezra is watching over the shoulder or not, Everything that comes out is leaning pretty far to the Left. If you want Editorialization of Topics, this is a good place for you, especially if you want a very Left bias. That doesn’t mean it’s Bad, just that you have to do a bit more work separating the Fact from the Hyperbole and the Editorialization on Every subject. Sean does a good job but there are better places to go for Not-As-Subjective analysis of everything he covers. I mean, if you like NPR’s take on things, which usually isn’t too blatant, you’ll probably like this Podcast.
  • RogerFree
    Clint Smith
    Great conversation - definitely ordering his book - thank you for featuring this important work
  • Eriked
    Thanks Sean and David!
    Wow, that conversation was absolutely fantastic (The Cult of Toughness). As a high school Social Studies teacher, I need to tell you how much I appreciated the dialogue. Just wonderful!!!
  • wyode
    Love. Love. Love this podcast
    Addresses the deep basic questions of these times. So intelligent. So insightful. Please keep it up.
  • Terence315
    Love the insightful interviews, hate the vocal fry
    Please please pay attention to how your journalists are speaking. The vocal fry of some of the interviewers is really hard to listen to. What happened to radio voices? Shouldn’t it be part of the job?
  • Orb7_rulez
    Assemble global neutralism
    Two Words Im Not Sorry for Breaking rules Penultimate in The slinger It is A cold Hard world Frozen solid Dry ice Wicked compression Horrendously absurd Silently, defiantly Onwards Toxicity Glittering Frosty Two Words Greenhouse Gas Global Warming Carbon Dioxide Wicked Compression Ice Cold Dry Ice Solidly Severed Ice Shelved Great Pyramids Of Freeza Square Cut Negative 108F Opps I Flunked Oppression And Yell Leroy Jenkins LoL WoW!
  • TenDollaFatha
    Great stuff
    Loved the interview with Jill Lepore about Muskism.
  • Peter Jarka-Sellers
    Amazing discussions always
    Really thoughtful conversations on a wide variety of topics
  • curtsnrt
    The hosts are great, as are the guests
    I love that there are different hosts focusing on different topics. The guests are sometimes the ones making the rounds (new book to promote, etc) but also often just interesting. I learn a lot from listening and really appreciate the show.
  • MalinoisGuy
    Sean Illing interview
    Illing's ever present existential dread is unavoidable. It’s unfortunate because the topics he discusses are always contemporary, insightful, and engaging. I struggle to listen to an entire episode before turning it off, lest my mood sour too much.
  • newsjunqui
    Elder Care
    Could totally relate to this podcast having cared for both aging parents. Not enuff attention on this topic & so many exhausted caregivers. Thank u for this.
  • Temsalet S.
    Nuanced, thorough, well-thought-out
    Just finished listening to the latest episode on anti anti-racism. Such a nuanced conversation. Thank you, Sean. May I recommend a guest? I think it would be interesting to hear Sean talk to Bari Weiss.
  • Scroop Moth
    McWhorter interview
    Sean Illing’s interview of John McWhorter was masterful.
  • AMD.InnSaei
    Fighting Fire with Fire
    One of the bravest conversation on climate change I’ve heard. And one that we don’t engage in enough. In the face of the destruction of the literal foundations of life on earth, what is a moral response? What should we consider that would normally be unthinkable?
  • Bah humbug 28
    Thank you for this latest esp on race (Stevenson). Thanks for the frank and honest conversations. I could listen to truth alllll day!!!
  • Friedroeos
    The death of cool
    I’ve never written a podcast review before but this episode really blew me away. It really just seems like two insecure millennial women got together to otherize, investigate, and lowkey police young women. It was honestly an embarrassing take. Disappointing to see older women take almost an hour to ridicule the behaviors of young women. The whole thing made be abundantly angry and nauseous.
  • bjohns383
    Sept 2
    This episode was really good. Haven’t been impressed with the others I’ve heard, but Jamal Greene was fantastic
  • midwestBlue
    sept 2 pod
    great pod. very informative discussion. great guest. thank you
  • Vile Goji
    Media bias favors people with heads
    and other news gems
  • BIGlittle box in the making
    Clint Smith III episode
    Insightful (his)story that needs to be told again and again until we all get it. Confederate Reunion Grounds and Quakertown in TX are both parts of this story.
  • mizm0nk
    I love bill Maher
    Love Bill Maher, so I tuned into the episode. Host could use a little more pep in his voice
  • Mandatory Nicknames are stupid
    Bill Maher’s microphone can’t be loud enough
    I’m a fan of Maher. I watch his show every week. I love how he brings guests that have opinions I disagree with and tries to have a sane conversation with them. Doesn’t always happen, but he keeps trying. I also love that he’s a liberal that is just as critical of the left as he is of conservatives. While I don’t think he’s the greatest comic, I think he is great and more people need to hear him. Thank you for this interview!!
  • LaurenLeeDC
    Sean Illing is an A++ Host
    Wow these hosts are all over the place but Sean’s conversations are consistently thought provoking and interesting. Can he host all of the episodes?
  • dylanator247
    The BoBos have a podcast!
    The bourgeois bohemians are at it again, so curl up on your thrift store couch with your rescue cat and some Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream while listening to leisure studies grads wax poetic about how’d they’d do a better job running a communist regime
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