The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Civil War-when I really think about them they all seem about as likely as the parting of the Red Sea.
I loved that these two guys argued with each other as if movies actually mattered. Nobody I knew talked about movies that way, but Siskel and Ebert took each movie as it came and talked about whether it was a success on its own terms.
History is full of really good stories. That’s the main reason I got into this racket: I want to make the argument that history is interesting.
Like Lincoln, I would like to believe the ballot is stronger than the bullet. Then again, he said that before he got shot.
I get younger people who watch Conan or The Daily Show, but before that it was mostly people who knew me from public radio. Those people are kind of old.
I didn’t come from any kind of academic background, but I lived in a college town and I knew people who weren’t without pretense. There was this idea in the town that if something was European it would be good.
I discovered that Robert Todd Lincoln was there for each of the first three assassinations. I wanted to write about the Lincoln Memorial, so when I found out he had attended its dedication, that helped focus it further.
Part of the success of This American Life, I think, is due to the fact that none of us sound like we should be on the radio. We don’t sound professional; we sound like people you would know.
The whole point of Louis Armstrong is that no one can really figure him out. There was a while where I thought you could try.
Not that I want the current president killed. I will, for the record and for the FBI agent assigned to read this and make sure I mean no harm, clearly state that while I am obsessed with death, I am against it.
We go in to liberate Cuba, but Cuba still isn’t free; we don’t really think through what we’ll do after the initial treaty is signed, but we’re still occupying. There’s chaos and torture and finally an outcry.
One night last summer, all the killers in my head assembled on a stage in Massachusetts to sing show tunes.
I hated the lost colony; in second grade, we were doing American History, and they said, We don’t know what happened to them. That drove me nuts. That lost colony drove me crazy.