Meaning Lab
#56: Louis Menand on How to Write about Everything

#56: Louis Menand on How to Write about Everything

Cognitive Revolution | How this leading scholar of letters & culture understands the long arc of American society

This is Cognitive Revolution, my show about the personal side of the intellectual journey. Each week, I interview an eminent scientist, writer, or academic about the experiences that shaped their ideas. The show is available wherever you listen to podcasts.

Louis Menand is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of English at Harvard University. He has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1995. He is also my favorite non-fiction writer. His latest book, The Free World, is perfect. His book, The Metaphysical Club, won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for history. They are two of the greatest things I've ever read. In 2016, he won the National Humanities Medal. What else is there to say?


Like this episode? Here’s another one to check out:

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Listen now (132 min) | Ben Moser is the pulitzer prize winning author of the recent biography of Susan Sontag, innovatively entitled "Sontag." This is one of the most fun and wide ranging conversation I'd had on the show. I stewed over whether or not to release the whole two hour conversation. But I loved how so many of the themes that we began early in the conversation—which…
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Meaning Lab
Welcome to the Meaning Lab podcast. In each episode, I talk to a scientist, author, or artist about their approach to meaning-making — from language, to productivity, to writing, to travel. It's all fair game, as long as it gets us closer to understanding how we make sense of the world and our place in it.