To the Best of Our Knowledge

TTBOOK began as an audio magazine of ideas - two hours of smart, entertaining radio for people with curious minds. It's sort of journalistic (because some of us are, or used to be, journalists), but it's never about the President's speech to the U.N., weapons inspections in Iraq, or yesterday's stock market disaster. It's the kind of show that would spend an hour on the future of capitalism, or on the roots of Islamic fundamentalism. It might also spend an hour on hair. Or salt. Or pirates, road trips, psychic phenomena, house cleaning, animal intelligence, high energy physics, or how to say you're sorry. (You'll find all those shows in our archives.) It's the kind of show where someone might mention Charlotte Bronte or Anthony Trollope in one segment, U2 or They Might Be Giants in another.


Sunday 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on WUSF 89.7

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Anne Strainchamps

Anne Strainchamps is the host of TTBOOK. She co-founded the show, along with Steve Paulson and Jim Fleming, and has been a featured interviewer on the program for more than a decade. She has worked in public broadcasting at WAMU in Washington, DC, and at NPR. She has been a reporter, producer, news director, live talk show host, a food and wine columnist, and a chocolatier.

From To The Best of Our Knowledge

  • Magical Thinking [Rebroadcast]
    <p>"Magical thinking" gets a bad rap these days. It suggests losing your grip on reality or being so gullible that you'll believe anything - from ghosts to miracles. But what if magic isn't pure fantasy? Maybe it's the gateway to wonder.  </p> <p><strong>Guests:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Nate Staniforth</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Michael Muhammad Knight</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Haleema Shah</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Chloe Benjamin</a></p> <p><strong>Interviews in this hour:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">From Stage Tricks to Real Magic: A Magician's Search for Wonder</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Islam's Hidden History of Magic</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Why Online Quizzes, Personality Tests and Horoscopes Help You Feel Special</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Drawing Inspiration For The Fantastical From The Everyday</a></p>
  • The Ways We Are Born — Again and Again
    <p>If you think of your life as a series of births, what changes? The first birth is when you arrive here, as a wet, wiggling newborn. But there may be other transitions in your life that feel just as difficult and profound. Some people actually call those passages re-birth. But why does the birth metaphor matter?</p> <p>This hour, we examine midwives, trans men, and born again Christians. Birth. Rebirth. And Born Again.</p> <p><strong>Interviews in this hour:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Power of Choice When You're Giving Birth</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Where Are the Midwives? </a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Midwives in the Golden Age of Television</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"Happy In My Own Skin": The Transition from Bess To Benn </a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">What Does it Really Mean to Be a Born Again Christian?</a></p>
  • Rethinking David Foster Wallace
    <p>On the tenth anniversary of his suicide, David Foster Wallace faces renewed criticism over his treatment of women, in his life and work. Fans and critics are re-reading his work, struggling to reconcile genius with misogyny.</p> <p><strong>Guests:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Clare Hayes-Brady</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Colleen Leahy</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Makini Allwood</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">David Foster Wallace</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Amy Wallace-Havens</a></p> <p><strong>Interviews in this hour:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Genius and The Misogynist</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">David Foster Wallace On "Infinite Jest"</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A Podcast For Readers Struggling with The 'Virtuosic Masterpiece' of the 'Great American Hype Machine'</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Our Final Conversation with David Foster Wallace</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"I Can Still Hear His Voice": Amy Wallace-Havens Remembers Her Brother</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Life and Work In The Mind of a Literary Giant</a></p>
  • What's Wrong With Work?
    <p>It's not easy in America today to find work that matters, that’s meaningful, and that pays enough to live on. Which is the one thing we don’t talk about. What’s wrong with work — and how do we fix it?</p> <p><strong>Guests:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Alissa Quart</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">David Graeber</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">James Livingston</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Niki Okuk</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Studs Terkel</a></p> <p><strong>Interviews in this hour:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Even With Jobs, The Middle Class Is Feeling the Squeeze</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">We Joke About Some Jobs Being BS. But Is There An Epidemic Of Pointless Work? </a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">F*** Work</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Fixing the Workplace By Handing It To The Workers</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Studs Terkel on the Meaning of Work</a></p>
  • ICYMI: Our Invisible, Treacherous, Cynical, Wise, Miraculous World
    <p>Haven’t listened in a while? In case you missed it, here's a sampling of what we’ve heard on the show recently.</p> <p><strong>Shows featured:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Our Invisible Universe</a></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Roadtrippin’</a></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">What Is School For? </a></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Against Cynicism</a></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Loving Bees </a></p>
  • Could Psychedelic Drugs Save Your Life? [Rebroadcast]
    <p><strong>Guests:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ayelet Waldman</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Stephen Ross</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Katherine MacLean</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Daniel Kasza</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">William Richards</a></p> <p><strong>Interviews in this hour:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ayelet Waldman Talks about Depression, LSD, and Her Marriage With Michael Chabon</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How Psychedelic Drugs Will Revolutionize Psychiatry</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Lessons from a Psychedelic Guide</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">On A Mountain Top, With Ayahuasca And Frog Poison</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Psychedelics and God</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Psychedelics: The Next Revolution in Psychiatry?</a></p>
  • The Einstein You Don't Know [Extra]
    <p>There are the female scientists you can name, and the ones forgotten by history. Like Mileva Marić-Einstein. She might just have been more brilliant than Albert was — but we'll never know. </p> <p><strong>Guests:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Marie Benedict</a></p>
  • Striving To See in a Vast, Invisible World
    <p>From our narrow vantage point on Earth, how can we see what's out there, beyond our skies?</p> <p><strong>Guests:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Francis Halzen</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Priya Natarajan</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Seth Shostak</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Don Gurnett</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Neil deGrasse Tyson</a></p> <p><strong>Interviews in this hour:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How To Catch A Neutrino</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How Do We Investigate The Invisible Parts of the Universe?</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Search For Life In All The Wrong Places</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">What Can You Hear In Space?</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Universe Is Under No Obligation To Make Sense To Us </a></p>
  • Being Sincere in a Cynical World
    <p>Why is the world so damn cynical? Rather than surrendering to corrosive, hopeless snark, we look to some unexpected sources to make the case for sincerity.</p> <p><strong>Guests:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Jason Rohrer</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Christy Wampole</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Christian Picciolini</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ingrid LaFleur</a></p> <p><strong>Interviews in this hour:</strong></p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"You Are Our Miracle": A Game To Make You Love Your Fellow Player</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Toll of Living Awash in Irony</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Can You Change The Mind Of A White Supremacist?</a><br> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Envisioning a Better Today Through The Tomorrows of Afrofuturism</a></p>
  • The Best Of To The Best Of Our Knowledge in 2017
    <p>A taste of some of our best interviews from 2017.</p>