Moral Sentiments, A Squirrel With a Martini, and Women’s Independence: Considerations for your listening pleasure

planet money adam smith pietra rivoli npr virginia woolf

By Christy Lynn

Whether you travel by car or by plane, your ears might be happy for an alternative to holiday music. Below are three suggestions to make those hours in transit more enjoyable (and educational)!
It’s a great time of year to try something new on a long trip. Whether you travel by car or plane or in some other way, your ears might be happy for an alternative to holiday music. Below are three suggestions to make those hours in transit more enjoyable (and educational)!

Because this is Speaking of Smith, we’ll start with him. Dan Klein and Russ Roberts spent 6 podcasts (more than 8 hours!) discussing Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 2009. For a 250-year-old text, that’s relatively recent. The episodes are roughly divided by the books so you can pick your favorite (hello, impartial spectator) or try something new (the social distance of sympathy, perhaps?). You can browse the contents and download episodes here: https://www.adamsmithworks.org/documents/tms-econtalk 

If you need more shop bells and train whistles in your podcasts, you can check on the NPR Planet Money's T-Shirt Project inspired by Pietra Rivoli’s The Travels of a T-Shirt in the World Economy. In 2013, the Planet Money team spent months making a t-shirt and following it around the world as it was manufactured.  It’s about an hour and a half in total over 11 episodes. They range from 5 minutes to 13 minutes. I’ve thought about the episode “Two Sisters, A Small Room And The World Behind A T-Shirt” many times over the years since I first listened to it. AND if you really love the episode, you can buy the shirt and make jokes about the “Animal Spirits” anytime you want as you’ll have a charming picture of a squirrel drinking a martini to wear to parties.


And while you might not think that Virginia Woolf has much to do with economics, you would be mistaken. But it’s okay. My final suggestion is that you consider an audio version of “A Room of One’s Own”.  Audible has one that is about 5 hours AND if you have already listened to the “Two Sisters” Planet Money episode mentioned above, this work might touch you differently. And, not that you’d NEED another reason but, the Reading Room will be doing a “Read With Me” series on this text soon and I’ve been assured listening counts as “reading.” 

If you listen to any of these and have thoughts you want to share or if you have other suggestions, please drop them below. 
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