Hillary Clinton is the former Democratic nominee for president. Her new book is What Happened.

“I hugged a lot of people after [my concession speech] was over. A lot of people cried … and then it was done. So Bill and I went out and got in the back of the van that we drive around in, and I just felt like all of the adrenaline was drained. I mean there was nothing left. It was like somebody had pulled the plug on a bathtub and everything just drained out. I just slumped over. Sat there. … And then we got home, and it was just us as it has been for so many years—in our little house, with our dogs. It was a really painful, exhausting time.”

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Direct download: Ep._261_-_Hillary_Clinton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10am EDT

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah is an essayist. Her latest piece is “A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof.”

“I remember feeling like ‘you’re playing chess with evil, and you gotta win.’ Because this is the most terrible thing I’d ever seen. And I was so mad. I still get so mad. Words aren’t enough. I’m angry about it. I can’t do anything to Dylann Roof, physically, so this is what I could do.”

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Direct download: Ep._260_-_Rachel_Kaadzi_Ghansah.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38am EDT

Ellen Barry is the former New York Times bureau chief for South Asia.

“Every time you leave a beat—and this is something that I think as foreign correspondents we rarely communicate to our readers—you’re walking away from a story which has really been your whole life for four or five years. And it’s hard to walk away…The majority of us live a story for a certain number of years, and then we just turn our backs on it.”

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Direct download: Ep._259_-_Ellen_Barry.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:31pm EDT

Kate Fagan is a columnist and feature writer for ESPN. Her latest book is What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen.

“When I was professionally closeted, I was kind of bitter. I didn’t have a ton of empathy. And I don’t think I always asked the right question, because I wouldn’t ask people questions that I wouldn’t want to be asked…I had walls up. I wouldn’t even allow myself to be vulnerable in my writing. Because the whole point of my existence at that time was to circumvent any moment that could create vulnerability in a way that would frighten me. And I think you could that see in my writing.”

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Direct download: final_fagan_full_ep_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:59pm EDT

Jay Caspian Kang is a writer at large at The New York Times Magazine and a correspondent for Vice News Tonight.

“I make a pretty provocative argument about how Asian American identity doesn’t really exist—how it’s basically just an academic idea, and it’s not lived within the lives of anybody who’s Asian. Like you grow up, you’re Korean, you’re a minority. You don’t have any sort of kinship with, like, Indian kids. You know? And there’s no cultural sharedness where you’re just like, ‘oh yeah…Asia!’”

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Direct download: Ep._257_-_Jay_Kang.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:11pm EDT

David Gessner is the author of ten books. His latest is Ultimate Glory: Frisbee, Obsession, and My Wild Youth.

“The ambition got in my way at first. Because I wanted my stuff to be great, and it froze me up. But later on it was really helpful. I’m startled by the way people don’t, you know, admit [they care] … it seems unlikely people wouldn’t want to be immortal.”

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Direct download: Ep._256_-_David_Gessner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:18am EDT

Matthew Klam is a journalist and fiction writer. His new novel is Who Is Rich?.

“The New Yorker had hyped me with this “20 Under 40” thing…and when the tenth anniversary of that list [came], somebody wrote an article about it. And they found everybody in it, and I was the only one who hadn’t done anything since then, according to them. And the article, it was a little paragraph or two, it ended with ‘poor Matthew Klam.’”

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Direct download: Ep._255_-_Matthew_Klam.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:02pm EDT

Maggie Haberman covers the White House for The New York Times.

“If I start thinking about it, then I’m not going to be able to just keep doing my job. I'm being as honest as I can — I try not to think about it. If you’re flying a plane and you think about the fact that if the plane blows up in midair you’re gonna die, do you feel like you can really focus as well? So, I’m not thinking about [the stakes]. This is just my job. This is what we do. Ask me another question.”

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Direct download: Ep._254_-_Maggie_Haberman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:24am EDT

Steven Levy writes for Wired, where he is the editor of Backchannel.

“It’s about people. Travis Kalanick’s foibles aren’t because he’s a technology executive. It’s because he’s Travis Kalanick. That’s the way he is. There is a certain strain in Silicon Valley, which rewards totally driven people, but that is humanity. And advanced technology is no guarantee—and as a matter of fact I don’t think it’ll do anything—from stopping ill-intentioned people from doing ill-intentioned things.”

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Direct download: Steve_Levy_Full_Episode_EDIT_2_-_NO_POST.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:46pm EDT

Mark Bowden is a journalist and the author of 13 books, including Black Hawk Down and his latest, Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam.

“My goal is never to condemn someone that I’m writing about. It’s always to understand them. And that, to me, is far more interesting than passing judgment on them. I want you to read about Che Thi Mung, an 18-year-old village girl, who was selling hats on corners in Hue in the daytime and going home and sharpening spikes to go into booby traps to try and kill American soldiers and ARVN soldiers in the evening. I want to understand why she would do that, why she would be so motivated to do that. And I think I did.”

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Direct download: Mark_Bowden_Full_Episode_EDIT_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22pm EDT