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Book Cover - Mistrust
Provided: W. W. Norton & Company / Provided: W. W. Norton & Company

From the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street, and from cryptocurrency advocates to the #MeToo movement, Americans and citizens of democracies worldwide are losing confidence in what we once called the system.

This loss of faith has spread beyond government to infect a broad swath of institutions—the press, corporations, digital platforms—none of which seem capable of holding us together. The dominant theme of contemporary civic life is mistrust in institutions—governments, big business, the health care system, the press.

How should we encourage participation in public life when neither elections nor protests feel like paths to change? Drawing on work by political scientists, legal theorists, and activists in the streets, Ethan Zuckerman offers a lens for understanding civic engagement that focuses on efficacy, the power of seeing the change you make in the world.

Ethan Zuckerman is the founder of the Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and associate professor of public policy, information, and communication. From 2011–20, he led the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab. He is cofounder with Rebecca MacKinnon of the international blogging community Global Voices.

Book cover for "Monopolies Suck"
Simon & Schuster / Simon & Schuster

Something’s not right. No matter how hard you work, life seems to only get harder. In the new book, "Monopolies Suck," antitrust expert and director at the Open Markets Institute, Sally Hubbard, shows us the sways big corporations rule our lives—and what must be done to stop them.

Hubbard says the U.S. failed to protect its citizens against COVID-19, and corporate mergers led to a shortage of ventilators and critical medical supplies, while hospital monopolies underpaid vital health care workers. Small businesses are shuttering without government support, while the most powerful companies profiteer.

Hubbard says the economy is not working for the middle class, and monopolies are amplifying the systemic racism and misogyny that instigated a summer of protests and unrest.

Sarah LaDuke: May is Mental Health Awareness Month - and it seems like the topic of mental health and mental health treatment is surging to the forefront of many conversations as we face ... I don't think I really need to restate what we, as a planet, are facing.

What follows is an honest discussion about depression and suicide.

My younger sister, Jen, has been living with severe depression for years, possibly for her entire life. She's had some counseling, tried medication, and leaned hard on primarily our mother. Before I continue, I did ask her if I could talk about her in the context of this interview on the radio - and she said, "Sure, I struggle with this every day. Tell some people."

In the new book, “Beyond Contempt,” Erica Etelson shows us how to communicate respectfully, passionately, and effectively across the political divide without soft-pedaling our beliefs.

Using Non-Defensive Communication skill sets, she says we can express ourselves in ways that inspire open-minded consideration instead of triggering defensive reaction.

“Beyond Contempt” looks to foster productive dialogue that can defuse hostility, build trust, and open hearts and minds in unexpected ways. Erica Etelson is a writer, community activist, and certified Powerful Non-Defensive Communication facilitator.

Two-time Tony Award nominee Jayne Atkinson and Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht stars in Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist. In the whimsical play, a physician (played by Jayne Atkinson) discovers that her sister (Jessica Hecht) and not her Brazilian cleaning woman has been cleaning her home.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage Production is directed by Rebecca Taichman – who just won a Tony for directing the play, Indecent. The Clean House runs through July 29th.

Jayne Atkinson is best known on television for her long-running roles in 24Criminal Minds, and the current Netlix original series House of Cards. She made her Broadway debut in a revival production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons. Broadway credits also include The RainmakerOur TownEnchanted April and Blithe Spirit

Jessica Hecht has been on television in such shows as Friends, Seinfeld, Breaking Bad and The Good Wife. Hecht was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for her role in A View From The Bridge on Broadway. Other recent productions include Harvey, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, and she just finished a run in Arthur Miller’s The Price with Mark Ruffalo and Danny DeVito. 

  According to our next guest, there is the internet we know and may not completely trust and then there's a part of the Internet most people don’t know about and should be really wary of.

It is part of the internet that is encrypted and hidden and an underworld home to pornography, black markets, trolls, criminals and extremists.

Jamie Bartlett’s new book, The Dark Net, brings us deep into this world. Bartlett is the director of the Center for the Analysis of Social Media at the think tank Demos. Before joining Demos, he was a research associate at the international humanitarian agency Islamic Relief.