Kurt Andersen

Kurt Andersen


Kurt Andersen is a writer as well as host and co-creator of Studio 360.

His most recent book, "Fantasyland," spent a month on the New York Times' bestseller list, and has been called "a great revisionist history of America" (Hanna Rosin in the Times), "deeply insightful" (Harvard professor Laurence Tribe), "dazzling, an absolute joy" (Freakonomics' Stephen Dubner), "incredibly illuminating, urgent, terrifying and funny" (Harvard professor Jorie Graham) and "the most important book that I have read this year" (MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell).

He is also co-author of "You Can't Spell America Without Me," another 2017 Times bestseller, and the author of three other critically acclaimed bestselling novels — "True Believers," "Heyday" and "Turn of the Century." His other books include "Reset," about the history and consequences of the 2008 financial crisis, and "The Real Thing," a book of humorous essays. He has written and produced prime-time network television programs, and co-wrote "Loose Lips," an off-Broadway theatrical revue. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times and Vanity Fair, and frequent commentator on MSNBC.

Previously, Andersen was a staff writer and columnist for The New Yorker, a columnist for New York, and the architecture and design critic for Time. He was also editor-in-chief of both New York and Spy magazines, the latter of which he co-founded. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, and received an honorary doctorate from the Rhode Island School of Design.



Recent Stories


Christopher Alexander

His groundbreaking book A Pattern Language urged architects consider emotional and spiritual ideas when designing. It was the beginning of an elaborate, nuts-and-bolts philosophical system. Alexander failed to revolutionize the practice of architecture, but he inspired a movement in computer programming that affects how all of us use the Web. Studio 360's Lu Olkowski talked to the architect and some of his disciples, including "wiki" inventor Ward Cunningham.

Arts, Culture & Media

Randy Newman

In the last decade, Newman has made new fans writing scores for Pixar movies. But before that, he was confounding listeners with his cheerfully bitter piano songs. After a 9-year hiatus, he's put out a new record and mixed in some politics too. Newman talks with Kurt about his career and plays live for us in the studio.

Arts, Culture & Media

Branding Songzhuang

Some years back, a group of artists were hounded out of Beijing by authorities. Some went to Songzhuang village, a farming town an hour away. Now, that village is a boomtown ?- based on the market for contemporary Chinese art. Communist officials drink beer with bohemians. Will the rising tide raise all the artists' boats ?- or capsize them? Jocelyn Ford goes to Songzhuang to find out.

Arts, Culture & Media

Soft Power

China's government has a strategy of using ?soft power? to improve the country's image ?- promoting the arts, building language schools abroad, and, of course, remaking Beijing itself for the Olympics. But it's a strategy with some pitfalls. Kurt talks with Orville Schell, a journalist and scholar who directs the Asia Society Center on China-U.S. Relations.

Conflict & Justice

Overseas China

A generation of Chinese artists left the country in the 1980s and 90s. Some found great success in the west, but China still looms large in their minds. Lu Olkowski talks with artists about why calligraphy and ink drawing seem so 21st century.

Arts, Culture & Media

Poetry from the People

A few weeks ago, after featuring actor Bill Murray's passion for poetry, we asked you to send us your favorite poems. Kurt calls up a few listeners -? including a surprise celebrity listener -- to tell us theirs.

Arts, Culture & Media

Migrant Workers Lovesong

100 million Chinese have left rural homes to work in the booming cities of northern China. Their lives are hard, dangerous, and lonely. Songwriter Chen Xing wants to soothe their troubled minds. Produced by Gideon D'Arcangelo.

Arts, Culture & Media

Ang Lee

The director's latest film, Lust, Caution, is set in World War II Shanghai, occupied by Japan. As if a Chinese movie by a Taiwanese director wasn't edgy enough, the film is so erotic it made Lee himself intensely uncomfortable. Kurt talks with Lee and his screenwriter and producer, James Schamus.