The World in Time

Steve Fraser

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Puritan (detail), by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, c. 1883. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Jacob Ruppert, 1939.

One of America’s most enduring myths involves the fledging country’s supposed fortitude in refusing to import the class structures of its forebears. But, historian Steve Fraser says in the latest episode of The World in Time, “right now, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sustain that delusion.” Or, as he puts it at the beginning of his book Class Matters: The Strange Career of an American Delusion, “Class is the secret of the American experience, its past, present, and likely future. It is a secret known to all, but a source of public embarrassment to acknowledge. It lives on all the surfaces of daily life, yet is driven underground every time its naked self offends cherished illusions about how we deal with each other.”

 

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Steve Fraser, author of Class Matters: The Strange Career of an American Delusion.

 

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Discussed in this episode

More Podcasts

October 13, 2017

The World in Time:

Mark Kurlansky

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Mark Kurlansky, author of Paper: Paging Through History. More

Representation du feu terrible a Nouvelle Yorck, c. 1778, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

January 19, 2018

The World in Time:

Holger Hoock

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Holger Hoock, author of Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth, at a New York Public Library event.  More

August 31, 2018

The World in Time:

Jim Holt

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Jim Holt, author of When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought. More

September 29, 2017

The World in Time:

Peter Frankopan

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World More

July 01, 2011

The World in Time:

Working on the Railroad

Lewis Lapham talks with historian Richard White about the failures of the companies behind a major alteration of the American West. More

May 18, 2018

The World in Time:

Barbara Ehrenreich

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer. More