The series “55 Voices for Democracy” is modeled after the BBC radio speeches, through which Thomas Mann, from his home in California, turned to listeners in Germany, Switzerland and occupied Netherlands and Czechia during the war. From 1940 until November 1945, Thomas Mann pleaded to thousands of listeners to resist the Nazi regime and thus became the most important German voice in exile. Thomas Mann’s conviction that the “social renewal of democracy” is condition and warrant for its victory seems more relevant than ever.
"55 Voices for Democracy" is an initiative launched by the Thomas Mann House in October 2019. With the new podcast series, Los Angeles Review of Books, Goethe-Institut Boston, the Goethe Pop Ups in Seattle, Houston, and Kansas City as well as Wunderbar Together expand the successful series. Tom Zoellner and his co-hosts will engage in vivid conversations with intellectuals, artists, and activists about the question of how to renew democracy today. Among the first guests are Rebecca Solnit, the political scientist Chantal Mouffe, novelist Daniel Kehlmann and the Belarusian opposition politicians Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Franak Viačorka.
(host) is the New York Times bestselling author of eight nonfiction books, including Uranium Train, and The Heartless Stone. He teaches at Chapman University and Dartmouth College. A former reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, he is the politics editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.
(co-host) is a cultural journalist based in Berlin. Her work has appeared in a number of national and international media outlets, among them the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the San Francisco Chronicle, Intro Magazine, Spex and Deutschlandfunk Kultur. She has previously taught at King’s College London and the Humboldt Universität Berlin.
(producer) is a Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the UC Riverside, the founding editor in chief of the Los Angeles Review of Books, founder of The LARB Radio Hour, The LARB Quarterly Journal, The LARB Publishing Workshop, and LARB Books. He is the author of nine books for academic and trade presses and winner of the American Book Award.