Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week

Capitalism has decreased quality of life. It has given us needs that aren't real. It has befuddled us with crazy schedules and crazy distractions. It has given our overlords great power, whether they're our bosses or our legislators. I think that addiction has always been with humans, but what prevents us from addressing it is our lack of political will, our distraction, and our inability to, as individuals in the society, create change.

Ann Neumann returns to This is Hell! to discuss her Baffler Magazine article, "Pain and Suffering: Demonizing opioids has unintended consequences." "The Moment of Truth" follows the interview.

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Posted by Alexander Jerri



We Believe the Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980s

Richard Beck
Interview: The texture of fear: Inside the mass hysteria of 1980s child sex abuse scares.

The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy.

David Graeber
Interview: David Graeber follows the rules, to the boring / fascinating heart of bureaucracy itself.


Seeing Green: The Use and Abuse of American Environmental Images

Finis Dunaway
Interview: How mass media moved environmentalism from the political to the personal.


Murder at Camp Delta: A Staff Sergeant’s Pursuit of the Truth About Guantanamo Bay

By Joseph Hickman
Interview: An eyewitness report on chaos, death and the torture of life at Guantanamo Bay.



Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

by Johann Hari
Interview: Telling the stories of private tragedies and public failures from the global drug war.


A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars

Andrew Hartman
Interview: The American left won the culture wars, but neoliberalism destroyed the battlefield.

Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline

Jennifer Carlson
Interview: Understanding the politics of American gun culture in an age of economic and social instability.


The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease

Marc Lewis
Interview: Development, not recovery: Why addiction is not a disease.


The Audacious Ascetic: What the Bin Laden Tapes Reveal About Al-Qa'ida

Flagg Miller
Interview: Al-Qaeda on Al-Qaeda: Analyzing the Bin Laden tape archive.

The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
Interview: On survival, growth and mushrooms in the ruins of capitalism.


Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial Statesman

Greg Grandin
Interview: Wars abroad for battles at home: Henry Kissinger's imperial architecture.



Class War: The Privatization of Childhood

Megan Erickson
Interview: Selling childhood in an age of austerity and division.


In Harm's Way: The Dynamics of Urban Violence

Javier Auyero & María Fernanda Berti
Interview: A new understanding of urban... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 1PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM or stream at


9:10 - Writer Roy Scranton looks ahead to a future of mass global death, and what is left behind.

Roy is author of Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization from City Lights.


10:05 - Dan Litchfield apologizes for his tiny part in the whole Volkswagon / diesel thing.

His part was pretty tiny, don't be too mad at him.


10:35 - CEPR's Mark Weisbrot explains what's behind rightward gains in the Venezuelan and Argentine elections.

Mark wrote the Hill post What next for Venezuela? and the new book Failed What the "Experts" Got Wrong about the Global Economy.


11:05 - Law professor Mehrsa Baradaran explores the rise of predatory finance and the unbanked class.

Mehrsa is author of How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy from Harvard University Press.


12:05 - Journalist Doug Henwood explains how American politics are 'Ready for Hillary' - and why that's the problem.

Doug is author of My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency from OR Books.


12:45 - In a live, undead Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen is awakened by the ghosts of the living.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Here is what Chuck is reading to prepare for Saturday's show:

Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization - Roy Scranton [City Lights]

Volkswagen diesel civil suits to be heard in California - Reuters

What next for Venezuela? - Mark Weisbrot [The Hill]

How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy - Mehrsa Baradaran [Harvard University Press]

My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency - Doug Henwood [OR Books]

Episode 877


Dec 5 2015
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On this day in 1876(139 years ago) – during the final act of a play called The Two Little Orphans at the Brooklyn Theater in New York, a canvas drop curtain behind the stage was set aflame by a gas-powered stage lamp. The play continued while the audience of about a thousand heard stagehands yelling and swearing as they tried to put the fire out. Only when the flames became visible to the audience did the actors fall out of character and urge the crowd to stay calm. One actor actually told the audience that the fire was “part of the play”—only to break and run a moment later, when a flaming chunk fell to the stage at her feet. After that, all hell broke loose—and while the main floor audience got out of the building safely, the gallery and balcony areas became death traps. Almost three hundred people were killed.

On this day in 1933(82 years ago) – organized crime and the bootlegging industry took a major hit as Utah became the thirty-sixth US state to ratify the Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution, which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment and thus ended Prohibition. After fourteen “dry” years—during which violent crime had soared and thousands had died from drinking industrial alcohol, bathtub gin, and other poison concoctions—law-abiding Americans could once again purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. Millions of others, meanwhile, simply moved their stocks of wine and liquor up from the secret cellar and back to the kitchen. But some 38 percent of Americans continued to live under various forms of state or local prohibition for many years to come. The last completely “dry” state, Mississippi, did not repeal its law until 1966—and some two hundred counties across the United States remain “dry” to this day.    

On this day in 1952(63 years ago) – the city of London came to a near standstill as cold weather and heavy fog combined with coal smoke and other air pollution to produce the most severe smog event in the history of the UK. For three days, the so-called Great Smog of 1952 was so thick that visibility was limited to a few yards. Not only was driving impossible, but even walking down the street became difficult, as people could not see their own feet or the streets and sidewalks they were walking on. The smog even penetrated indoors, to the point that... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 1PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM or stream at


9:10 - Journalist Antony Loewenstein explores the merger between disaster capitalism and endless global war.

Antony is author of Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe from Verso Books.


10:05 - Live from Sao Paulo, Brian Mier reports on a massive student protest movement against school closings in Brazil.

Brian covered the protest movement in the Brasil Wire article We Rule the School.


10:35 - Writer Barbara Ehernreich links a rise in low-income white deaths to the GOP's deathwish politics.

Barbara wrote the article Dead, White, and Blue The Great Die-Off of America's Blue Collar Whites for TomDispatch.


11:05 - Authors Anna Bernasek and D.T. Mongan explain how personal data is being turned against consumers.

Anna and Dan are authors of All You Can Pay: How Companies Use Our Data to Empty Our Wallets from PublicAffairs.


12:05 - Brandon Smith and Jamie Kalven talk about fighting the City of Chicago to break the Laquan McDonald story.

Brandon and Jamie's story is covered in the Columbia Journalism Review story How a little-known, Uber-driving freelancer brought the lawsuit that forced Chicago to release a police shooting video. Follw Brandon's writing at and Jamie's work at Invisible Institute.


12:45 - Jeff Dorchen exercises his Baffler-approved right to be an anti-Hillary misogynist.

No clue how The Baffler got involved in this one, send the hate mail Jeff's way, we still want to book guests from the magazine!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Here is what Chuck is reading to prepare for Saturday's show:

Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe - Anthony Lowenstein [Verso Books]

We Rule the School - Brian Miier [Brasil Wire]

Dead, White, and Blue The Great Die-Off of America's Blue Collar Whites  - Barbara Ehrenreich [TomDispatch]

All You Can Pay: How Companies Use Our Data to Empty Our Wallets -  Anna Bernasek And D.T. Mongan [PublicAffairs Books]

How Chicago tried to cover up a police execution - Curtis Black [Chicago Reporter]

Episode 876


Nov 28 2015
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On this day in 1908(107 years ago) – an enormous explosion ripped through the Pittsburgh-Buffalo Coal Mine near Marianna, Pennsylvania. The blast was so loud that it could be heard for miles, and hardware and debris from the mine opening was later found half a mile away. The explosion killed 154 miners. Only one survived. Experts later found that the explosion had been caused by an ignition of concentrated coal dust triggered by a routine dynamite charge being used to loosen the coal in a mine wall.

On this day in 1942(73 years ago) – the dance orchestra was about to begin its second set for an over-capacity crowd at Boston’s ritzy Cocoanut Grove supper club when a sixteen-year-old busboy in the downstairs lounge lit a match. Moments later, flames raced across the lounge ceiling and quickly spread up the stairwells into the main ballroom, which was heavily festooned with fake palm trees, bamboo furniture, cloth draperies, and paper decorations, many of which covered the exit signs. As fire spread to the restaurant kitchen, the refrigerators, running on flammable propellant due to a wartime shortage of freon, exploded. In minutes the club was a raging inferno as screaming patrons pounded on padlocked exits and jammed both sides of a revolving door, rendering it useless. Other unlocked doors which opened inward were also useless in the chaos, and a plate glass window had been boarded over. When firefighters finally got inside, they found 492 dead people – some charred to cinders, others still seated at tables with drinks in their hands, overcome by poisonous smoke. It was the deadliest nightclub fire in US history. Barney Welansky, the Cocoanut Grove’s mob-connected owner, was convicted of nineteen counts of manslaughter, and died of cancer after four years in prison. 

On this day in 1979(36 years ago) – an Air New Zealand DC-10 airliner departed from Auckland on a sightseeing flight over Antarctica, having received erroneous flight programming information the night before. The airplane veered from its usual course, was caught in a whiteout, and crashed into Mount Erebus, the southernmost active volcano on earth. All 257 passengers on board the plane were killed instantly, along with the ten-member crew. Crash investigators later determined that the crew had been unaware of danger until six seconds before their impact with the mountain. It was Air... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 1PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM or stream at


9:10 - Anthropologist Scott Atran warns that the West is giving ISIS exactly what it wants.

Scott is co-author of the New York Review of Books essay Paris: The War ISIS Wants.


10:05 - Lawpagandist Brian Foley presents a guide to making lots of money for your lawyer.

Brian just started his own law practice in Philadelphia.


10:35 - Black Agenda Report's Glen Ford explains how Democratic money is cashing out #BlackLivesMatter.

Glen has been writing about #BlackLivesMatter for Black Agenda Report, including the recent pieces “Black Lives Matter” Groups Hoping for a Big Payday

and This Ain’t Your Grandfather’s Civil Rights Movement.


11:05 - Journalists Valerie Brown and Elizabeth Grossman examine bad science and worse politics at the EPA.

Valerie and Elizabeth are authors of the In These Times investigation Why the US Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market.


12:05 - Historian Suzanna Reiss traces the history of American empire though the travels of its drugs.

Suzanna is author of We Sell Drugs: The Alchemy of US Empire from University of California Press.


12:45 - Jeff Dorchen reports live from South Carolina on the surreal self-image of the USA.