Episode for September 5, 2023
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Widely respected in contemporary journalism, Franklin Foer has made a name for himself as one of America’s premiere reporters. Foer offers refreshing takes on some of our most pressing topics, covering everything from politics to technology, immigration to economics, liberalism to sports, with his trademark perception and candor. A fellow at the New America Foundation, Foer served as editor for The New Republic for seven years. He became a national correspondent for The Atlantic in December 2016.
In 2004, Foer published How Soccer Explains the World, a groundbreaking look at how the world’s most popular sport can help us understand international relations, cultural conflicts, and the global economy. The Wall Street Journal called the book “an insightful, entertaining, brainiac sports road trip,” and The New York Times praised it as “an eccentric, fascinating exposé of a world most of us know nothing about.” The book has been translated into 27 languages and was named one of the five most influential sports books of the decade by Sports Illustrated. It remains a favorite at colleges and universities across the country.
Foer’s latest book, World Without Mind, delivers a blistering polemic against big tech, taking on the titanic companies that seem to run our digital age. While corporations like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google boast that they are changing the world for the better, Foer explores the darker side of Silicon Valley, addressing how these very companies are undermining liberal values and violating laws that protect our privacy and intellectual property. Tracing the history of computer science—from René Descartes, to Alan Turing, to Steve Jobs—Foer concludes that we are now facing an existential crisis in the face of technology monopolists, and proposes how we can begin reining them in.
In addition to his work at The New Republic and The Atlantic, Foer has been a contributor to Slate and New York Magazine. He was also the co-editor of the celebrated collection Jewish Jocks, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award.
In his talks, Foer draws on his books and his work as a journalist to break down complicated domestic and international issues. He is a popular speaker at conferences, associations, and universities.
Foer is the brother of novelist Jonathan Safran Foer and journalist Joshua Foer. A Columbia University graduate, he lives in Washington D.C.