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Did you know that Lolita wouldn’t exist if Nabokov’s wife hadn’t stopped her husband from burning the manuscript? Or that Gandhi learned his legendary method of passive resistance from his wife? Or that the person responsible for Maya Angelou’s genre-defining memoir was her good friend James Baldwin? Alongside any famous name, there is often another story to tell—of an intimate relationship that made all the difference. Because no one exists in a vacuum—not even geniuses. (And especially Thoreau, who publicly preached solitude but still let his mother make him lunch).

Significant Others is a narrated, nonfiction podcast about folks just beyond the spotlight of history. Each episode tells the story of a talented, difficult and little-known individual who altered the destiny of their better-known partner, child, sibling, or friend, and impacted the world they left behind.

Narrated & written by Liza Powel O’Brien and featuring the voices of: Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Jameela Jamil, Rita Wilson, Timothy Olyphant, Lisa Kudrow and many more.

Episodes

  1. Thursday, February 29, 2024

    Hilary Liftin on the Art of Ghostwriting

    Amelia Earhart’s husband George Putnam didn’t invent ghostwriting, but he relied on it heavily to produce his best-sellers. What kind of job is ghostwriting today?

  2. Wednesday, February 28, 2024

    George Palmer Putnam

    The man who made Amelia Earhart famous may also have gotten her killed. But their marriage was completely on her terms.

    Starring John C. McGinley as George Palmer Putnam and Christa Miller as Amelia Earhart.

    Also featuring Conan O’Brien, Neve O’Brien, Tavis Doucette, Maddie Ogden, and Miles Grose.

     

    Source List

    Amelia Earhart, A Biography by Doris L. Rich, ©1989, 2010 by the Smithsonian Institution

    The Sound of Wings by Mary S. Lovell, St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY, 10010 ©1989 

    Letters From Amelia by Jean L. Backus, Beacon Press, ©1982 

    Soaring Wings by George Palmer Putnam, Manor Books Inc., ©1939, ©1967 by Margaret H. Lewis, Published by arrangement with Harocourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Inc. 

    Wide Margins, a publisher’s autobiography by George Palmer Putnam, ©1942, Harcourt, Brace and Company, NY

    EAST TO THE DAWN,The Life of Amelia Earhart by Susan Butler, Da Capo Press, ©1997 

    Whistled Like A Bird by Sally Putnam Chapman, Warner Books, Inc., Hachette Book Group

    Project Muse, “The Earhart Phenomenon and the “Accident of Sex” 

    PBS, “American Experience: Amelia Earhart”

    “Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight” by Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, Sept. 7, 2009

    National Air and Space Museum, Earhart and George Palmer Putnam

    New England Historical Society, Amelia Earhart, Reluctant Bride

    Purdue University, Putnam, George Palmer, 1887-1950

    CT Insider, Amelia Earhart’s ‘Secret’ Connecticut Wedding: From the Archives

    UPI, Husband of Missing Flier Earhart Secluded After Long Vigil

    The New York Times, 1932: I’m Not ‘Mrs. Putnam,’ I’m Amelia Earhart

    PBS American Experience, Amelia Earhart Program Transcript

    Palmer, Amy Phipps Guest Portrait

    History.com, Charles Lindbergh Completes the First Solo, Nonstop Transatlantic Flight

    Charles Lindbergh House and Museum, New York-to-Paris Flight

    Britannica, Charles Lindbergh, American Aviator

    NASA.gov, Realizing the Dream of Flight

    Medium, Ghostwriters in 2020: The Current Trends and Beyond

    The New York Times Archive, Tuesday, June 19th, 1928. Wednesday, June 20th, 1928.

    Flight Paths: Purdue University’s Aerospace Pioneers, The Earhart Brand: Amelia Earhart’s Impact on Celebrity Culture

    PBS, Navigating the Truth Behind Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan

    Ghost Writing and History by Ernest R. May,  ©1953, The American Scholar, Published By: The Phi Beta Kappa Society

  3. Thursday, February 22, 2024

    Eric Marcus on Bayard Rustin’s Legacy

    Founder and host of the podcast Making Gay History, Eric Marcus, on Rustin’s heir and the stewardship of his legacy.

  4. Wednesday, February 21, 2024

    Bayard Rustin

    The architect of the March on Washington and co-author of Dr. King’s memoir was a mentor to the great civil rights martyr. But he was nearly hidden from history—largely by choice.

    Starring: J. Holtham as Bayard Rustin and Anthony Obi as Martin Luther King, Jr. 

    Also featuring: Miles Grose, Matt Gourley, and Jesse Thorn.

     

    Source List:

    The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Bayard Rustin, To Bayard Rustin, Glenn E. Smiley, From Bayard Rustin, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Address at NAACP Mass Rally for Civil Rights

    Facing History & Ourselves, Brother Outsider: Remembering Gay Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin

    Lambda Legal, 67 Years Later, Bayard Rustin’s California Arrest and Jail Time Have Been Pardoned

    Jewish News Syndicate, Bayard Rustin (1912-1987)

    Bill of Rights Institute, Bayard Rustin, Nonviolence vs. Jim Crow, 1942

    PBS.org., Who Designed the March on Washington?

    The Weekly Challenger, The FBI Plot to Bring Down the Gay Man Behind the March on Washington

    Making Gay History, Bayard Rustin

    Washington Blade, Looking Back: 50 Years of the Blade

    The Washington Post, Bayard Rustin, Organizer of the March on Washington, Was Crucial to the Movement, In ‘I Must Resist,’ Bayard Rustin Lived a Life with No Apologies 

    Montgomery Advertiser, 21, 22, 23, & 24 February 1956

    Cross Country Solidarity, The Montgomery Bus Boycott: The Full Story

    LA Times, Glenn Smiley; Advised King on Nonviolence

    The Guardian, When Martin Luther King Gave Up His Guns

    Why a Gay, Black Civil Rights Hero Opposed Affirmative Action

    Malcolm X and Bayard Rustin Debate on WBAI

    CivilRights.org, Bayard Rustin and the Presidential Medal of Freedom: A Perfect Fit

    Yale Law School, Bayard Rustin Centennial

    Researchgate.net, Arrest Record for Bayard Rustin

    Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

    Beacon Broadside, Roy Wilkins’s Reluctant Tribute to W.E.B. Du Bois

    Legal Defense Fund, Brown v. Board of Education

    Greensboro.com, Thurmond, FBI Had Close Ties, Records Show

    The New York Times, Negro Rally Aide Rebuts Senator

    I Must Resist, Bayard Rustin’s Life In Letters, Ed. Michael Long, City Lights Books, ©2012

    Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D’Emilio, Free Press/Simon & Schuster, ©2003

    ALABAMA V. KING, By Dan Abrams and Fred Grey with David Fisher, Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd., ©2022 

    Martin Luther King, Jr., Homosexuality, and the Early Gay Rights Movement By Michael Long, First published by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN, a division of St. Martin’s Press, ©2012

    Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by David J Garrow, ©1986, Edition published 2015 by Open Road Media

     

  5. Thursday, February 15, 2024

    Sarah Vowell on Peggy Shippen & Revolutionary America

    Author Sarah Vowell on the particular struggles women faced in revolutionary America and how Peggy Shippen’s environment influenced her decisions.

    Sarah’s books can be found here.

  6. Wednesday, February 14, 2024

    Peggy Shippen

    Benedict Arnold is famous for betraying his country–but it was his wife who made the treason possible.

    Starring: Susan Yeagley as Peggy Shippen and Andy Richter as Benedict Arnold. Also featuring: Luke Millington-Drake, Jim O’Heir, Matt Gourley, and Roman Mars.

     

    Show notes:

    John Andre sketch of Peggy Shippen

    Source List:

    American Battlefield Trust, Peggy Shippen, 10 Facts: Benedict Arnold and Peggy Shippen, Benedict Arnold

    History.com, Benedict Arnold

    New York Historical Society, Life Story: Margaret “Peggy” Shippen Arnold

    National Endowment for the Humanities, Love and the Revolution

    Massachusetts Historical Society, Letters from John Adams to Abigail Adams

    NPS.gov, Benedict Arnold

    History.com, Why Benedict Arnold Tried to Capture Quebec

    The George Washington Presidential Library, Joseph Reed

    Medium.com, The Highest-paid Spy in the American Revolution

    Brobeck, Stephen. “Revolutionary Change in Colonial Philadelphia: The Brief Life of the Proprietary Gentry.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 33, no. 3, 1976, pp. 410–34. JSTOR

    Benedict Arnold, Patriot and Traitor by Willard Sterne Randall, ©1990 by Willard Sterne Randall, 2001 Dorset Press

    Defiant Brides: The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married, Nancy Rubin Stuart, ©2013 by Nancy Rubin Stuart, Beacon Press

  7. Wednesday, February 7, 2024

    Significant Others Returns!

    Significant Others is back for season 2! Starting February 14th, join Liza Powel O’Brien as she explores more stories of the little-known individuals just beyond the spotlight of history. Would Benedict Arnold have betrayed his country were it not for his wife, Peggy? Who is really to blame for Friedrich Nietzche’s connection to Nazism? Find out when Significant Others returns, February 14th with new episodes every Wednesday and follow-up episodes on Thursdays.

  8. Thursday, January 25, 2024

    Bonus Episode: Dr. Susan Flinn on the Significant Others Within Ourselves

    In our final bonus episode before the new season, Liza is joined by psychoanalyst and couples therapist Dr. Susan Flinn to explore the significant others within ourselves and how they impact our relationships. They also discuss this idea of our ideal self, our ideal mate, and how these can set us up for disappointment. 

    Season 2 premieres on February 14th! Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts, and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  9. Thursday, December 28, 2023

    Bonus Episode: Liza Mundy on the History of Women at the CIA

    In this month’s bonus episode, Liza is joined by Liza Mundy, journalist and author of the book, The Sisterhood: The Secret History of Women at the CIA, to discuss the profound influence women have had at the CIA from it’s creation in 1947 to present day in the post-9/11 world. Liza Mundy shares how women fought to become operatives, facilitated their husband’s spy careers, and tracked down Osama Bin Laden. 

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts, and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  10. Thursday, November 30, 2023

    Bonus Episode: Dr. Emily Wilson on the Art of Translation

    In this month’s bonus episode, Liza is joined by Dr. Emily Wilson, the first woman to translate Homer’s The Odyssey into English. Liza and Dr. Wilson explore the vital but often underrecognized role of a literary translator, why she set out to translate The Odyssey and The Iliad, and the attention she pays to characters who historically have been dismissed in these works.

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts, and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  11. Thursday, October 26, 2023

    Bonus Episode: Eric Roth on the Role of the Screenwriter

    In this bonus episode, Liza is joined by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Eric Roth to discuss the often invisible craft of screenwriting. Eric shares his process of adapting a book to film, the relationship between screenwriter and director, and what it was like working with Martin Scorsese on Killers of the Flower Moon.

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts, and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  12. Thursday, September 28, 2023

    Bonus Episode: Benjamin Binstock on Examining Vermeer

    In this month’s bonus episode, Liza is joined by Benjamin Binstock, art historian and author of Vermeer’s Family Secrets: Genius, Discovery, and the Unknown Apprentice, to discuss the historical examination of Vermeer’s works and the possibility that perhaps there was another hand at play. 

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts, and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  13. Thursday, August 24, 2023

    Bonus Episode: Laurie Sandell on Ruth Madoff

    Bonus Episode: Laurie Sandell on Ruth Madoff

    In this month’s bonus episode, Liza is joined by Laurie Sandell, author of Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family, to discuss Ruth Madoff and her role in the Madoff scandal. Laurie and Liza dive into who Ruth Madoff was as a person, her relationship with Bernie, and if she has any regrets.

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts, and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  14. Thursday, July 27, 2023

    Bonus Episode: Dr. Mali Heled Kinberg on James Joyce and Nora Barnacle

    On this month’s bonus episode, Liza is joined by Dr. Mali Heled Kinberg, UCLA faculty lecturer and holder of a doctorate in English Literature from Cambridge University, to discuss the fascinating and unique relationship between literary giant James Joyce and his partner, Nora Barnacle. Liza and Mali explore Nora’s profound influence on her husband and the scandalous letters the two exchanged throughout their relationship.

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts, and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  15. Thursday, June 29, 2023

    Bonus Episode: Marc Grossman on Helen and Cesar Chavez

    In this month’s bonus episode, Liza is joined by Marc Grossman who was speechwriter, press secretary, and personal aide to Cesar Chavez for 24 years. Marc shares his unique insight into the marriage of Cesar and Helen Chavez, and how Helen was a powerful force in her own right and became the mother of the United Farm Workers’ movement. 

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts, and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  16. Thursday, May 11, 2023

    Bonus Episode: Anna Malaika Tubbs on Significant Mothers

    In this month’s bonus episode, we celebrate Mother’s Day! Liza is joined by bestselling author Anna Malaika Tubbs to discuss her book, The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation. Anna and Liza dive into the lives of these incredible mothers who have historically been ignored, and they acknowledge their roles in raising and shaping sons who forever changed the course of our nation.  

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts, and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com! 

     

    The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs

    The Life of Louise Norton Little by Deborah Jones

    The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

     

  17. Thursday, April 27, 2023

    Bonus Episode: Elizabeth Winkler on if Shakespeare was a Woman

    In this month’s bonus episode, Liza is joined by Elizabeth Winkler, author of the new book Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies to discuss this question of Shakespeare’s authorship. Elizabeth and Liza dive into the compelling evidence that Shakespeare could have in fact been a woman and explore why even the thought of questioning his authorship is so taboo.

    Elizabeth's original article for The Atlantic can be found here.

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts, and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  18. Thursday, March 30, 2023

    Bonus Episode: Mo Rocca on the Art of the Obituary

    Significant Others is bringing you another bonus episode! This time Liza is joined by Mo Rocca, the host of the popular podcast Mobituaries, to discuss how people are remembered through their obituaries. Mo and Liza dive into memorable obituaries, what makes a powerful obit, and who maybe didn’t get their proper due. 

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts, and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  19. Tuesday, February 28, 2023

    Bonus Episode: Heather Cox Richardson on Presidents and First Ladies

    Significant Others is back with another bonus episode! Liza is joined by historian Heather Cox Richardson, host of the podcast Now & Then, and author of one of the most successful Substacks of all time, Letters From An American. Heather and Liza dive into presidential marriages and ask, who was the best love match? Which overlooked first ladies deserve some more credit? And which presidential relationships were doomed from the start?

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then, we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  20. Thursday, January 12, 2023

    Jake Tapper on the Significant Relationship Between Political Parties

    CNN anchor Jake Tapper joins Liza in another special bonus episode to discuss how a 2-party system can look a little bit like a long-term marriage… that neither partner actually signed up for. How has this relationship evolved over the years and in what ways do the parties rely on each other? Liza and Jake discuss all this and more. 

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then, we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  21. Monday, December 19, 2022

    Bonus Episode: Dana Schwartz on Royal Partnerships

    Significant Others is back with another bonus episode! Liza is joined by Dana Schwartz, host of the popular podcast Noble Blood, which explores the stories of the world’s most fascinating nobles. Today, Dana takes us on a crash course through the complicated dynamics of royal marriages and answers our burning questions! What set Catherine the Great apart? Did Anne Boleyn play her cards right? And who was the first appointed royal spouse that was male? Turns out that relationships aren't so easy when your nation depends on their success. Who knew?

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then, we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at significantpod@gmail.com!

  22. Thursday, December 1, 2022

    Bonus Episode: Stacy Schiff on Samuel Adams

    Significant Others is back with a bonus episode! Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Schiff returns to discuss her new book The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, which examines the essential (and somewhat forgotten) role of Samuel Adams during the Revolutionary War. Liza and Stacy explore why he has become more known as “the beer guy” than for his contributions to the cause, and ask - was Samuel Adams the Significant Other of the American Revolution? 

    We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then, we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way!

  23. Thursday, September 8, 2022

    Malcolm Gladwell on Dr. Spock

    Best-selling author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell joins Liza to discuss the concept of “celebrity doctors” and the destructive dynamic between the famous Dr. Spock and his complicated wife Jane.

  24. Wednesday, September 7, 2022

    Jane Cheney Spock

    The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care altered parenting forever and made Dr. Benjamin Spock a household name. But his wife Jane, who not only helped him get the book down on paper but introduced him to the very concepts that were so revolutionary in his work, was ruined by his success.

     

    Source List:

    Dr. Spock, An American Life, by Thomas Maier

    ​​Doctor Spock: Biography of a Conservative Radical, by Lynn Z. Bloom

    “Public vs. Private: Dr. Spock, Mr. Hyde,” by Mary Jo Kochakian

    “Parents and Dr. Spock”, American Archive of Public Broadcasting

    “The Man Who Raised America,” by Susan Bolotin

    “The Spocks: Bittersweet. Recognition in a Revised Classic,” by Judy Klemesrud

    “Jane C. Spock, 82, Worked on Baby Book,” The New York Times

    Christian Nurture, by Horace Bushnell

    Horace Bushnell, Britannica 

    “The Personal Spock: The Controversial Doctor Recalls His Childhood, Which Was Influenced by a Domineering Mother,” by Elizabeth Mehren

     

  25. Thursday, September 1, 2022

    Julie Lythcott-Haims on Sir Leslie Stephen

    Parenting expert Julie Lythcott-Haims sits down with Liza to explore what parents should and shouldn’t want for their children; and whether or not Sir Leslie Stephen may have gotten some things right.

  26. Wednesday, August 31, 2022

    Sir Leslie Stephen

    Virginia Woolf’s father, Sir Leslie Stephen, wanted nothing more than to be a genius—but he created one instead.

    Starring: Jameela Jamil as Virginia Woolf and Luke Millington-Drake as Sir Leslie Stephen.

     

    Source List:

    “Virginia Woolf and Leslie Stephen: History and Literary Revolution,” by Katherine C. Hill

    To The Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf

    A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf

    A Writer’s Diary, by Virginia Woolf

    Virginia Woolf, by Hermione Lee

    The Common Reader, by Virginia Woolf

    Virginia Woolf, Quentin Bell

    “A House of One’s Own,” by Janet Malcolm

    “A Beautiful Mind - Laura Makepeace Stephen and the Earlswood Asylum Medical Archives,” by Dr. Madeleine Oakley

    Bloomsbury Group

    “Virginia Woolf and Leslie Stephen,” by Louise A. DeSalvo

    Rob Roy, by Sir Walter Scott

  27. Thursday, August 25, 2022

    Mark Harris on Molly Day Thacher and Elia Kazan

    Journalist and biographer Mark Harris joins Liza to discuss the legacy of Elia Kazan and whether or not there is such a thing as a happy ending in Hollywood.

  28. Wednesday, August 24, 2022

    Molly Day Thacher

    Legendary filmmaker Elia Kazan gave us such cinematic classics as On the Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire, but he made himself a pariah when he named names to the government. Without his wife, Molly Day Thacher, he might never have made his controversial decision–nor even had a career to begin with.

    Starring: Lisa Kudrow as Molly Day Thacher and Paul F. Tompkins as Elia Kazan. Also featuring: Jack McBrayer, Jim Rash, Adam O’Byrne and Larry Powell.

     

    Source List:

    A Life, by Elia Kazan

    Elia Kazan, by Richard Schickel

    Tennessee Williams & Elia Kazan: A Collaboration in the Theatre, by Brenda Murphy

    Tennessee Williams, Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, by John Lahr

    “A Statement”, by Elia Kazan

    “You Must Remember This” Podcast

  29. Thursday, August 18, 2022

    W. Kamau Bell on James Baldwin and Maya Angelou

    Author and comedian W. Kamau Bell joins Liza to discuss the legacies of Maya Angelou and James Baldwin, and the importance of affinity groups.

     

     

     

  30. Wednesday, August 17, 2022

    James Baldwin and Maya Angelou

    Without the profound connection between these two artists, would the world ever have gotten I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings?

     Starring: Christina Elmore as Maya Angelou and Larry Powell as James Baldwin. Also starring Angelica Chéri as Lorraine Hansberry.

     

    Source List:

    James Baldwin: A Biography, By David Adams Leeming

    The Three Mothers, by Anna Malaika Tubbs

    Notes of a Native Son, by James Baldwin

    At 80, Maya Angelou Reflects on a ‘Glorious’ Life, NPR, 2008

    The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou, Compilation copyright 2004 by Random House, Inc.

    Conversations With a Native Son

    James Baldwin Biographical Timeline, American Masters, PBS

    Maya Angelou, World History Project

    James Baldwin’s Sexuality: Complex and Influential, NBC News

    “James Baldwin on Langston Hughes”,  The Langston Hughes Review, James Baldwin and Clayton Riley 

    “Talking Back to Maya Angelou”, by Hilton Als, The New Yorker

    “Songbird”, by Hilton Als, The New Yorker

    “A Brother’s Love”, by Maya Angelou

    “James Baldwin Denounced Richard Wright’s ‘Native Son’ as a ‘Protest Novel,’ Was he Right?” by Ayana Mathis and Pankaj Mishra, The New York Times

    “After a 30 Year Absence, the Controversial ‘Porgy and Bess’ is Returning to the Met Opera”, by Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine

    “Published More Than 50 Years Ago, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ Launched a Revolution”, by Veronica Chambers, Smithsonian Magazine

    “On the Horizon: On Catfish Row”, by James Baldwin

    “James Baldwin: Great Writers of the 20th Century” 

    “An Introduction to James Baldwin”, National Museum of African American History & Culture

    “‘The Blacks,’ Landmark Off-Broadway Show, Gets 42nd Anniversary Staging, Jan 31”, by Robert Simonson, Playbill

     “Do the White Thing”, by Brian Logan

    “James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket”, American Masters, PBS

    “James Baldwin, The Art of Fiction”, by Jordan Elgrably

    “The American Dream and the American Negro”, by James Baldwin

    “The History That James Baldwin Wanted America to See”, by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.

    “Lost and ... Found?: James Baldwin’s Script and Spike Lee’s ‘Malcolm X.’” by D. Quentin Miller, African American Review

  31. Thursday, August 11, 2022

    Stacy Schiff on the Nabokovs

    Biographer Stacy Schiff joins Liza to discuss the lengths she went to in researching her Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Véra.

     

    A full list of Stacy Schiff’s books can be found here:

    https://www.stacyschiff.com/books-and-essays-by-stacy-schiff.html

  32. Wednesday, August 10, 2022

    Véra Nabokov

    Vladimir Nabokov is best known for writing the highly controversial yet critically revered novel, Lolita. But the book might never have made it onto the shelves were it not for the other Nabokov—Vladimir's enigmatic and elusive wife, Véra.

    Starring: D’Arcy Carden as Véra Nabokov and Dan Bucatinsky as Vladimir Nabokov

     

    Source list:

    Véra by Stacy Schiff

    Letters to Véra by Vladimir Nabokov, Ed: Olga Voronina and Brian Boyd

    Vladimir Nabokov, The Russian Years by Brian Boyd

    Vladimir Nabokov, The American Years by Brian Boyd

    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

    Lectures on Literature by Vladimir Nabokov, Ed: Fredson Bowers

     

  33. Thursday, August 4, 2022

    Conan O’Brien on the Lincolns

    Liza is joined by her significant other, self-proclaimed Lincoln super-fan Conan O’Brien, to discuss how crucial Mary Lincoln was to her husband's political career.

  34. Wednesday, August 3, 2022

    Mary Lincoln

    Mary Lincoln is the First Lady everyone loves to hate. But without her, would Abe Lincoln even have been president in the first place? Theirs is a love story that contains many tragedies—and a key to how America became the country it is today. Starring: Rita Wilson as Mary Lincoln and Timothy Olyphant as Abraham Lincoln. Also featuring Matt Gourley and Mike Sweeney. 

    Source List:

    Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin

    Miller Center, The University of Virginia, www.millercenter.org

    The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage, by Daniel Mark Epstein

    Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography, by Jean H. Baker

    “Lincoln’s Looks Never Hindered His Approach to Life or Politics,” by Susan Bell, USC News

    “Mary Todd Lincoln, Patient at Bellevue Place, Batavia.” by Rodney A. Ross., Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

    “Acts of Remembrance: Mary Todd Lincoln and Her Husband’s Memory.” by Jennifer L. Bach, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association

    “New Mary Lincoln Letter Discovered.” by Jason Emerson, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

  35. Thursday, July 28, 2022

    Dipika Guha on the Gandhis

    Playwright Dipika Guha joins Liza to give insight into the complicated relationship between her home country of India and Gandhi's legacy in this time of call-out culture.

  36. Wednesday, July 27, 2022

    Kasturba Gandhi

    Mohandas Gandhi helped India win independence from Britain through nonviolent resistance but little know that he credits the inspiration for his tactics to his wife, Kasturba. So, who was the wife of this renowned saint?

    Starring Dipika Guha as Kasturba Gandhi and Samrat Chakrabarti as Mohandas Gandhi.

     

    Source List:

    The Woman Beside Gandhi: A Biography of Kasturba, Wife of the Mahatma, by Sita Kapadia

    Gandhi on Women, by Madhu Kishwar, Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 20, no. 41

    Why Mahatma Gandhi Said Kasturba Stood Above Him, Prabhash K Dutta, New Delhi, October 2, 2018

    The Truth About Gandhi, The Harvard Crimson

    Petty, Bad-Tempered Kasturba - What Gandhi Said While Courting Sarladevi and Esther Faerling, B.M. Bhalla, March 19, 2020

    The Story of My Experiments With Truth, by Mohandas Karamchad Gandhi

    MAHATMA, In Eight Volumes, by D.G. Tendulkar

    Kasturba: A Biography, By B.M. Bhalla

    Gandhi Was a Racist Who Forced Young Girls to Sleep in Bed With Him, by Mayukh Sen, December 3, 2015, Vice

    Kasturba Gandhi, The Feisty Woman Whose Patience Inspired Gandhi's Call For Satyagraha, by Simrin Sirur, April 11, 2019, The Print

     

     

  37. Thursday, July 21, 2022

    Esther Perel on The Tolstoys

    World-renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel joins Liza to discuss the dynamic between Leo and Sophia Tolstoy and whether the issues Sophia faced were a product of the times she lived in.

    This bonus episode is a discussion of Episode 1 of Significant Others, "Countess Sophia Tolstoy." Listen to it here.  

  38. Wednesday, July 20, 2022

    Countess Sophia Tolstoy

    Leo Tolstoy is widely regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. Yet, without his wife, Sophia Tolstoy, would the world have been gifted with such literary classics as War and Peace and Anna Karenina? Starring Megan Mullally as Countess Sophia Tolstoy and Nick Offerman as Leo Tolstoy.Source List:Tolstoy, A Biography by A.N. Wilson, 1988 WW Norton & CoSong Without Words: The Photographs & Diaries of Countess Sophia Tolstoy by Leah Bendavid-Val, National Geographic SocietyLeo Tolstoy, Diaries, Faber, Ed. R.F. ChristianTolstoy, Woman and Death by David Holbrook, Farleigh Dickinson University PressThe Diaries of Sophia Tolstoy, Cathy Porter, Harper Collins

  39. Tuesday, July 12, 2022

    Introducing Significant Others from Team Coco

    Did you know that the novel "Lolita" would not exist if Vladimir Nabokov’s wife hadn’t stopped her husband from burning the manuscript? Or that Gandhi learned his legendary method of passive resistance from his wife? Alongside any famous name, there is often another story to tell—of an intimate relationship that made all the difference. Starting July 20th, join Liza Powel O’Brien as she explores the stories of the little-known individuals just beyond the spotlight of history. Because no one lives in a vacuum—not even geniuses.

     

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