New Podcast Episode: Digging Deeper With Nicholson Baker, And A Song By Margin Zheng

Baseless by Nicholson Baker
By Marc Eliot Stein, August 31, 2020

We spoke to author and historian Nicholson Baker last month about his new book “Baseless: My Search For Secrets In The Ruins Of The Information Act”. We had so much to discuss about this disturbing and unusual book and the questionable CIA/military activities it explores that we saved part two of the interview for this month.

In the second half of our Nicholson Baker interview, we broaden the topic to talk about the ways that wars shatter their societies, the purpose of antiwar activism, the effectiveness of nonviolent protest and political advocacy organizations, and the painful struggles that journalists, historians and researchers often face when trying to discover the truth about our shared past.

This is a far-reaching and thoughtful installment in the World BEYOND War podcast series, which examines different facets of the global antiwar movement every month. The episode kicks off with a brief musical segment featuring a composition by Margin Zheng, a young composer we met at a World BEYOND War webinar earlier this year. Margin Zheng is currently a student at Haverford College, and by strange coincidence it was only while preparing for this interview that we realized Nicholson Baker once went to the same college. We talk about this educational institution, about the meaning of pacifism and about the intersection of political awareness and the creative process, in our brief interview with Margin following the song, which features vocals by Gabriela Godin.

Margin Zheng
From this episode:

“A country that is intervened with, messed with, by an American covert action plan is a country that doesn’t get on its feet for decades. We completely mess up the political ecosystem of that country.”

“It’s almost a kind of nostalgia … the Pompeo’s of the world look back at the golden age of the CIA and say ‘you know, they did some amazing stuff there in Guatemala, the Congo, all kinds of places, let’s look back at those old binders and see what they did?”

You can find the World BEYOND War podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Google Play and any other podcast provider, including our entire growing archive of episodes.

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