Demographics

Our guest is Kyle Harper, a professor of classics and letters at the University of Oklahoma, whose books include "The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire" and "From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity." He joins us to discuss his hefty and fascinating new book, "Plagues upon the Earth: Disease and the Course of Human History." It offers a meticulously detailed "germ's-eye view" of human life on this planet -- from the origins of disease among our earliest hunter-gatherers to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic, of course, has clearly changed -- and is actually still changing -- how we think about work, play, relationships, entertainment, education, social interaction, and much more. It's also making many of us wonder about city life, i.e., what the pros and cons of living in an urban setting really are in this age of Covid. Are people still as drawn to cities as they used to be? And what does the future of the city look like? Our guest is David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University.

Our guest is Vaclav Smil, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. Smil is the author of 40+ books on topics like energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk asssessment, and public policy. He joins us to discuss his accessible and compelling new book of short essays, "Numbers Don't Lie." It's an eclectic, statistics-driven volume that effectively shows how numbers reveal the true state of our world today -- and how such numbers, much like unalterable facts, are what matter most.

Our guest is Vaclav Smil, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. Smil is the author of 40+ books on topics like energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk asssessment, and public policy. He joins us to discuss his accessible and compelling new book of short essays, "Numbers Don't Lie." It's an eclectic, statistics-driven volume that effectively shows how numbers reveal the true state of our world today -- and how such numbers, much like unalterable facts, are what matter most.

Our guest is Kayleen Schaefer, a journalist and author who has written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and other publications. Her new book, which she tells us about, is "But You're Still So Young: How Thirtysomethings Are Redefining Adulthood." The book looks carefully at how thirtysomethings in America today are -- and aren't -- meeting the milestones which sociologists commonly cite as the five markers of adulthood: finishing school, leaving home, marriage, gaining financial independence, and having kids.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in June.) Our guest is Sonia Shah, a science journalist who's long covered the intersection of science, politics, culture, and human rights for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets. Her latest book, which she tells us about, takes on many of our centuries-long assumptions about migration. That book is "The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move." Per The New York Times Book Review, it focuses "with compassion and insight a deeply complex and challenging subject....

Our guest is Sonia Shah, a science journalist who's long covered the intersection of science, politics, culture, and human rights for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Scientific American, and other outlets. Her new book, which she tells us about, takes on many of our centuries-long assumptions about migration. The book is called "The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move." This work, per The New York Times Book Review, focuses "with compassion and insight a deeply complex and challenging subject....

Our guest is the former long-serving Mayor of Oklahoma City, Mick Cornett, who joins us to discuss his new book, "The Next American City: The Big Promise of Our Midsize Metros." The book offers a hopeful and detailed look at the many dynamic urban centers that will serve as (according to Cornett) active and rapidly evolving focal points for the United States in the coming years. In cities like Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Charleston, and Des Moines, Cornett sees urban settings of relatively modest size but truly outsized accomplishment. They (and other U.S.

On today's ST, we speak by phone with the journalist, author, and veteran urbanologist Alan Ehrenhalt, whose books include "The United States of Ambition" and "The Lost City." Ehrenhalt's latest book, "The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City," is just out in paperback. This book argues that the roles and characteristics of America's cities and suburbs are basically changing places with one another --- younger adults and affluent retirees are moving into the city, while immigrants and the less affluent are moving out to the 'burbs.