Cover art for podcast Open Source with Christopher Lydon

Open Source with Christopher Lydon

50 EpisodesProduced by Christopher LydonWebsite

Christopher Lydon in conversation on arts, ideas and politics

episodes iconAll Episodes

American Autocracy

August 6th, 2020


The late innings of Donald Trump’s four-year campaign in the White House come to look stranger than the big-league baseball season—both of which are in the deep shadow of the pandemic (13 St. Louis Cardinals tested …

Nicholson Baker Searches for Secrets

July 30th, 2020


Nicholson Baker, prose writer beyond category, has a new book for COVID time, speaking directly to the dread of weaponized biology as only Nick …

The Next Generation

July 23rd, 2020


Everybody knows the force of Black Lives Matter by now; many millions have been touched directly. But what do you know about Sisters Unchained, or Families for Justice as Healing, or Say Her Name, or the Muslim …

A Public Conversation Gone Sour

July 16th, 2020


The All-American Thinking Class is beside itself: under pressure inside and out. It is a target already in Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, for lock-step conformity, he says, against “our magnificent liberty.” But …

Reparations and the Wealth Gap

July 9th, 2020


Forty acres and a mule was the promise made to black slaves, even before the Civil War was over. General Sherman of the Union Army drew up the plan, …

Return of the Prophet: Baldwin in the 21st Century

July 2nd, 2020


This week, we revisit our 2017 show on James Baldwin.

James Baldwin was the prophetic voice of an era that isn’t over. Fifty years ago, he was a young, bug-eyed man from Harlem who wrote, in essays and novels, his …

Warrior Cops

June 25th, 2020


Once upon a time in the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, “community policing” came forth as the solution to a law-and-order problem. In 2020 …

Deaths of Despair

June 18th, 2020


The warning bell sounded in 2014: a down dip in the ever-rising American lifespan, which was 50 years, on average, in 1900, and up close to 80 years into the 21st century. Then something happened and kept happening – …

Inequality and Injustice

June 11th, 2020


“A Change is Gonna Come,” the songwriter put it: it was Sam Cooke, at a peak of the civil rights movement in 1964. And it is surely coming again, …

Reviving Reconstruction

June 4th, 2020


We’re transfixed, all of us, looking at a collision of deadly viruses, racial hatred and a pandemic disease. Suddenly what commands attention is …

Moral Economics

May 28th, 2020


John Maynard Keynes was a philosophical giant in twentieth-century England. In his day job, he was a public economist; in America he was a political …

Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach

May 21st, 2020


The force of art to rescue a world breaking down; the power of music in particular to heal people one by one, perhaps all together: this was Yo-Yo …

Coronavirus Conspiracism

May 14th, 2020


What we’re learning again in coronavirus time is that when the medical system stumbles in a pandemic – and when the media machinery, the chattering class stumbles on top it – watch out! Something like it happened two …

COVID’s Cold War?

May 7th, 2020


The coronavirus may have arrived just in time to punctuate a 50 year turn in the grand tide of events. It could mark, that is, a fresh fixation in …

Public Health Across the Pacific

May 1st, 2020


There’s a shocking big truth in those coronavirus numbers – hidden in plain sight, as the saying goes. It comes down to this: China and various neighbors in East Asia beat the lethal virus to its knees months ago. It’s …

Questions of Leadership

April 23rd, 2020


The Andrew Cuomo Daily Show has become the high ground of coronavirus talk: all kinds of numbers, trend lines, and family feeling, too. The Donald Trump Show has typically been a carnival of rage, boasting, and …

The Many Faces of Ferrante

April 16th, 2020


This is a rerun, prompted by the HBO series My Brilliant Friend, based on the  “Neapolitan Novels” of Elena Ferrante.

Ferrante’s identity remains …

Viral Inequality

April 10th, 2020


The curve of the coronavirus is bending. Just in the awful American swath of the grim COVID reaper, we have entered peak season with some flattening …

The Pandemic’s Path

April 3rd, 2020


How did it happen? And who’s accountable? Seems now a lot of people saw it coming. Stephen King wrote his viral bestseller The Stand 30 years ago; Bill Gates put his warning in a TED talk; our Pentagon had a plan to …

Profits or People

March 27th, 2020


Week 4 was when dollar signs kept turning up, and up, astonishingly: price-tags on the virus’s damage, price-tags on fighting it. The bailout of …

Springtime in the Plague Year

March 20th, 2020


It’s the virus’s world. We just live in it: isolated, locked down for the duration, sheltering in place, with an alternate risk of cabin fever. The …

Contagious Crisis

March 13th, 2020


Our journals of the plague year start this week. Coronavirus went pandemic, and the investors’ bull market turned free-falling bear. In the …

Plagues, Pathogens, and Panic

March 6th, 2020


Stuff we’re all learning in coronavirus time: the word miasma, for example, meaning noxious bad air; that we touch our faces 23 times an hour; that sanitizers like Purell were made to kill bacteria, not viruses, and …

The New Red Scare

February 28th, 2020


The winter round of the presidential race goes to Bernie Sanders, not so much for winning the most votes from Democrats as for coining the key word, the big theme for 2020, which is: billionaires! Not just the …

The Soul of Care

February 21st, 2020


Arthur Kleinman is a name that comes up again and again when you search around our big college town of Boston / Cambridge for people asking the …

Malcolm X in Boston and Beyond

February 14th, 2020


The life of Malcolm X is the classic hero’s journey, in a setting we almost know: a story of anointment, dedication, fate, faith, family, incredible …

The New Hampshire Primary

February 7th, 2020


Say what you will about the cranky-Yankee New Hampshire primary, in a remote, mostly white state in the shape of a dunce cap on the map of New England. It’s still the place where presidential candidates have to go …

The Age of Illusions

January 31st, 2020


Soldier and citizen, Andrew Bacevich is the overqualified expert who turns the standard take on our distress inside out. It’s not President Trump …

Greta Gerwig Meets Louisa May Alcott

January 24th, 2020


In the Oscar-excitement around the new Little Women, director Greta Gerwig has a note for all of us: her hero at the party is still the woman who wrote the book a hundred and fifty years ago. Louisa May Alcott was the …

The Costs of War

January 17th, 2020


A trillion dollars here, a trillion dollars there — pretty soon, as the man said, you’re talking real money. But you’re not even close to counting …

2020 Hindsight on Iraq

January 10th, 2020


We have a formal stand-down, meaning no war this week, between the US and Iran. On the long horizon of empires, rising and falling, it looks like an interval of restraint between hubris and nemesis—the ancient Greek …

The Inimitable Johnny Hodges

January 3rd, 2020


There’s a big difference between the two greatest jazz stars on the alto horn. Charlie Parker had imitators without number; Johnny Hodges was simply inimitable. Parker, known as Bird, broke frontiers of speed, harmonic …

Ben Lerner’s Literary Charge

December 26th, 2019


This week we have an Open Source literary treat. It’s our producer Adam Colman in conversation with Ben Lerner, the MacArthur Genius who speaks as a …

Labour’s Love Lost

December 20th, 2019


Britain’s long, lurching political campaign of self-discovery, on the eve of ours in 2020, was a shocker. Thunder on the right, collapse on the …

Impeachment Lite

December 13th, 2019


The impeachment season just opening begins to look like a required scandalous course for citizens on how your government actually works, and as the New York Times noted this week, it will not be pretty. Not President …

Origin Stories

December 6th, 2019


Origin stories can be educated guesses, or leaps of collective imagination as to who we are, how we got to this point. The Big Bang is one kind, …

Hong Kong Crackdown

November 22nd, 2019


“May you live in interesting times” was never in fact a Chinese curse. It’s a modern American cliché that could work as a caption on both China and …

Billionaire Noir

November 15th, 2019


The most honored movie of the year looks to be Parasite, from Korea, about the soul-crushing advance of mega-wealth and the heartbreak of poor people …

In Hoffa’s Shadow

November 8th, 2019


Jimmy Hoffa will never be found, and won’t be forgotten either. What was it about the Teamster tough guy that’s more compelling 45 years after his perfect-crime murder than in his larger-than-life career? He was a …

Lovecraft Country

November 1st, 2019


H. P. Lovecraft’s frightful horror fiction—dated between Edgar Allan Poe’s and Stephen King’s—is the weirdest of the weird. Lovecraft found ravenous, …

Monopoly vs. Democracy

October 25th, 2019


It’s new for most Americans that we’re embarrassed by our democracy. We don’t know where it went wrong, or whether it’ll survive. Matt Stoller …

Harold Bloom’s Spark

October 18th, 2019


Harold Bloom sat for 60 inspired, combative years at the high table of the All-American book group. His passing this week can be said to mark the …

The Neuro-Adventures of Oliver Sacks

October 11th, 2019


Oliver Sacks was the beloved doctor of strong souls in afflicted bodies. He was a neurologist with an eye for the invisible, the medical detective …

Impeach This

October 4th, 2019


The impeachment treatment for Donald Trump looks already an ultimate fighting contest with a nasty guy who makes up his own rules. We’re thinking it …

The CIA’s Covert Chemist

October 1st, 2019


We’re at home with Stephen Kinzer, the longtime reporter of secret U.S. operations in books like Overthrow and All the Shah’s Men. In a new book, Poisoner in Chief, Kinzer looks at a scientist named Sidney Gottlieb and …

Tech-Master Disaster: Part Three

September 27th, 2019


Take a walk through Kendall Square, Cambridge, this hour. It’s the Emerald City of biotechnology—as magical/mysterious as the Land of Oz, but it’s …

Tech-Master Disaster: Part Two

September 20th, 2019


It took the late, notorious Jeffrey Epstein to force the conversation, but now MIT can’t stop talking about what money is too dirty to take in the cause of “inventing the future,” as the tarnished Media Lab used to say. …

Tech-Master Disaster: Part One

September 13th, 2019


The late Jeffrey Epstein stands for at least three levels of mystery: the man himself, a boastful sex offender, convicted of preying on under-age …

Pick Your Populism

September 6th, 2019


Mark Blyth is that noisy wise-guy on speed in our portable Glasgow pub, and he’s locating our anxieties about a world at sea. Where we’re at, he is …

Loading ...

Listen to Open Source with Christopher Lydon


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens