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We hear a report on how easy it is to build an assault rifle the government can't trace, and an argument for why the Middle East needs a sexual revolution. We talk with a civil rights lawyer trying to memorialize every lynching perpetrated on US soil. We ask National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates to make the case for reparations. And we listen to some Motown with biographer David Maraniss who has documented the rise and fall of Detroit.

Photo: Motown Museum (Joseph)

Building Your Own Untraceable AR-15 'Ghost Gun' Is Easy 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Gun control advocates — and gun lovers — talk about "ghost guns" that are made at home and can't be traced by law enforcement. Andy Greenberg made in his office at Wired. It's a metal AR-15, that required no waiting period, no background check — and no serial number. This summer he wrote extensively about it in Wired and he told us the story, beginning with just what he means by "ghost gun."

Andy Greenberg, Wired magazine (@a_greenberg)

The Street at the Epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 7 MIN, 15 SEC

In 2015, US-backed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians hit a diplomatic wall, and there's no place that demonstrates the complexity of the conflict better than a tiny street in Jerusalem called "The Alley of God." It's the subject of a book published this year called. A Street Divided: Stories from Jerusalem's Alley of God was written by Wall Street Journal reporter Dion Nissenbaum, who lived there.

Dion Nissenbaum, Wall Street Journal (@DionNissenbaum)

A Street Divided

Dion Nissenbaum

Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution 8 MIN, 45 SEC

In April we spoke with Egyptian-born journalist Mona Eltahawy about gender politics in the Middle East. She's author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution. In one chapter she writes about when she first moved to Saudi Arabia and was – in her own words – "traumatized into feminism."

Mona Eltahawy, syndicated columnist (@monaeltahawy )

Can the US Talk Race without Dealing with Lynchings? 7 MIN, 54 SEC

This summer, research by the Equal Justice Initiative revealed that there were 3,959 lynchings of black Americans between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and 1950. That's 700 more than previously reported. Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, is working to put up historical markers for every lynching. He's a Harvard-educated lawyer, who's argued cases before the US Supreme Court. He's also the grandson of an American slave.


Bryan Stevenson, Equal Justice Initiative (@eji_org)

Just Mercy

Bryan Stevenson

One Author's Primer on Being Black in America 9 MIN

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a public intellectual who does not shy away from uncomfortable conversations. He's the author of Between the World and Me, and winner this year of the National Book Award for nonfiction. He's a national correspondent for the Atlantic magazine and a MacArthur fellow. This fall he came to our studios in Santa Monica for a conversation.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Atlantic magazine (@tanehisicoates)

Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Detroit's Rise and Fall … and Rise? 10 MIN, 8 SEC

While other people write about Detroit's bankruptcy and troubled finances, Washington Post associate editor David Maraniss wanted to honor the city where he was born. He did it by focusing on one 18-month period during the 1960's, a time that was embodied by the Motown Sound, the auto industry and civil rights. In October, Maraniss joined us to talk about his latest book, Once in a Great City.

David Maraniss, Washington Post (@davidmaraniss)

Once in a Great City

David Maraniss


Warren Olney

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