Stephen Marche on How Shakespeare Changed Everything

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 184

Even 400 years after his death, William Shakespeare’s influence is profound. But is it right to say that he changed everything? That's the assertion Stephen Marche makes in his book How Shakespeare Changed Everything. In the book, Marche catalogs Shakespeare’s influence on (among other things) sex, language, psychology, and starlings. He talks with Barbara Bogaev about those legacies and more.

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Stephen MarcheStephen Marche is a novelist, essayist, and cultural commentator. His book How Shakespeare Changed Everything was originally published by Harper Collins in 2011. His newest book, The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future, has just been published by Simon & Schuster. He was interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published February 15, 2022. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “Influence Is Thine,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. Leonor Fernandez edits our transcripts. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Jenna McClennan at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California.

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MICHAEL WITMORE: Even 400 years after his death, William Shakespeare’s influence is profound. But is it right to say that he changed everything? Stay tuned.

From the Folger Shakespeare Library, this is Shakespeare Unlimited. I’m Michael Witmore, the Folger’s director.

Stephen Marche is an essayist who lives in Toronto. These days, he’s on the speaking circuit talking about the end of America. So… what’s he doing on our podcast? Well, ten years ago he wrote another book. It was called How Shakespeare Changed Everything. In it, he looked across 450 years of human existence and touched down on all the places where he saw the influence of Shakespeare. His book offers dispatches from world culture, from psychiatry, from ornithology, and more. All to bolster his contention that “William Shakespeare was the most influential person who ever lived.”

The book is a lot of fun. Stephen Marche is too. So, we offered him the chance to break away from the dysphoria of his current book tour to revel once again in Shakespeare, the subject he loves the most.

We call this podcast “Influence Is Thine.” Stephen Marche is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.


BARBARA BOGAEV: You know what I want to know? When you were writing this book, did you have a certain reader in mind? Because it often sounds like you're talking to people who think that they don't like Shakespeare. Or they have no reason to like Shakespeare, or even try it. And you're trying to tell them that not only that they should, but that they probably already do like Shakespeare, and maybe they don't know it.

STEPHEN MARCHE: Well, I mean, I think... I was a Shakespeare professor for a while, and I think when you're in that mode, you're kind of selling Shakespeare to people. Although he's not super hard to sell. Like, if you can't teach Shakespeare, you really shouldn't be in the teaching game. I honestly believe that almost everyone can get Shakespeare.

He's not like Kafka where, like, Kafka's great, but some people get him and some people don't. I mean, if you're not going to get Macbeth, I don't think you're going to get a lot out of literature in general.

So, you know, I wrote it for the general reader. I wrote it for people who are not experts. And I wrote it for people who maybe had only experienced Shakespeare as being forced to read it in high school, or who had been dragged to a couple of plays because it was sort of the virtuous thing to do.

BOGAEV: Well, that's the thing. Sometimes people run into Shakespeare, they encounter it, or they have to read it in school, and it doesn't take. It doesn't stick, right?

MARCHE: Yeah, for sure. Something in Shakespeare should stick with everyone. I mean, I know that sounds kind of ridiculous, but I do think—If you see Macbeth, if you sit through a good production of Macbeth, or Romeo and Juliet, or Othello, you're going to get something from it.

If you don't, you know, you probably just don't like theater at all. Which is fine. Some people don't. But, you know, the thing about Shakespeare is that we treat him as an elite cultural product, but ultimately he's popular culture.

BOGAEV: In terms of the academy, the big question is, why does Shakespeare matter now? Was that what was on your mind when you first started writing?

MARCHE: I think Shakespeare always matters. The thing that's really weird about him, is that he continues to matter. You know, most writers just, they have their period and then their period is over. Or they go out of fashion and they come back to fashion. But Shakespeare, you know—like the famous poetry critic who called Shakespeare “our contemporary,” the weird thing about Shakespeare is that he feels totally relevant.

I mean, during the Trump years, it was very obvious to me that Coriolanus suddenly mattered in a whole new light. And that Coriolanus was almost written as if it were—it felt to me, like it were written about the Trump era. That continues. This era of high politics we're in, rumors of war, feels distinctly Shakespearean to me. But, you know, I said that when I wrote the book, and that was over 10 years ago, too.

BOGAEV: Yeah, and you get into real specifics about what it is about Shakespeare that makes him matter. Some of them are a lot of fun to talk about. So let's get into the nitty-gritty. One of the more provocative claims that you make early on in your book is that Shakespeare changed our sex lives. Discuss.

MARCHE: Well, I mean, I think the reason, when you deal with his reception—like, when you watch how people read Shakespeare and how they performed Shakespeare through time, the amazing thing you notice is that everybody loves Shakespeare. But they also have to cut certain bits out of him because he's so complex, and he's so much about the human state, that really, people can't quite bear Shakespeare. Just like they can't quite bear life.

And sex, of course, is a huge part of it. I mean, the term “bowdlerized” comes from an editor of Shakespeare who cut all the sex out of Shakespeare.

But, when you look at what they cut out of them, I mean, some of the more fascinating cases to me are like, the Nazis and The Merchant of Venice. You would think, “Well, that's like, Shakespeare's anti-Semitic play,” and the Nazis were huge Shakespeare-philes. Joseph Goebbels did his dissertation on Shakespeare. The reason is that, you know, in that play, the Jewish people are human. And the human reality comes first in all of Shakespeare's plays. It's just unbearable to people.

And the same, you know, that sex is probably the key example to that. Because he's always there. He's a classic. No one can ignore him. He's very sexual. He's very frank about things about sex. Like, what's it like to have sex when you're drunk? Why do you want to sleep after you have an orgasm? And those sorts of truths about sexuality are in his work even if you choose not to see them. So he's kind of a figure of what we repress. He's there as this kind of repressed other.

BOGAEV: And I think a lot of people think of Shakespeare as writing about love more than sex. But you have this hilarious list of all the kinds of sex he writes about.

MARCHE: Oh my god, yeah.

BOGAEV: Why don't you just run it down for us?

MARCHE: Well, I'm not sure I could. I mean, it's been 10 years since I wrote the book. I'm not sure I could list them all. I mean, I know he has the first mention of dildo. There's gay sex, obviously, in the sonnets. There's sex between old people. There's sex between teenagers.

I think if you go looking Shakespeare for anything, you can pretty much find it. Because he is this... you know, his first role, it seems to me, is his basic describer of human reality. I mean that to me is why he survives. So, you know—did I miss any there? I got a bunch.

BOGAEV: I think, like, sodomy, fellatio, prostitution.

MARCHE: Yeah, sure.

BOGAEV: I don't know if this leads directly to my next question, but you also accuse Shakespeare of wrecking love poetry. Or at least, as love poetry had been practiced up until his time.

MARCHE: Well, he definitely took the idealism out of love poetry, to me. Now, that said, he brought it into a new kind of carnality. And he brought it into a new kind of realism that, of course, is totally unforgettable. And in my opinion, vastly superior to Petrarch or Sir Philip Sidney. Or, I mean, that's not really fair. He's just different.

But looking for a star, kind of love poetry, is kind of out the window here. Now you have more, like, how does desire work? Why does it last? What does it feel like when desire goes away? The whole range of human mystery. Which is Shakespeare. Why do people do what they do? How do they do what they do? And, you know, I think that's true for politics as well as love. But, certainly in love, the gap between him and his predecessors is huge.

BOGAEV: So what you were just saying, is that what you meant when you claimed that Shakespeare also gave birth to psychoanalysis?

MARCHE: Well, I mean, Freud certainly took a huge amount of insight from Shakespeare. In particular, the notion of repression. Which I think is, Shakespeare is both a subject of repression, in that, you know, the trying to deal realistically with sexuality led to him being repressed throughout the 19th century, which Freud, of course, took great note of.

But also, of course, in Hamlet and in several other plays, where you have the repression of a whole bunch of things. I mean, not just sexuality, but a bunch of other desires coming out in other forms.

I mean, to me, from a technical point of view, what Shakespeare is amazing at is prolepsis. Where you have this… it's like an inverted echo. Where you have slight hints of things played off in a B-plot, or in subplots, that then come to fruition in the main plot. That, to me, is like, one of the explanations for why his dramatic technique is so powerful.

When you think about it as a critic, when you come to it as a critic, it basically obeys the same structures as the process that Freud described as repression. You are seeing where things have been hidden, and you are finding how they come out.

BOGAEV: Well, Shakespeare's world, in his time, sex was less identity-based. And also, you know, extremely bawdy and carnal. So, did Shakespeare change sex as you at times claim in your book? Or did he just record and reflect and document his time?

MARCHE: Both. I mean, I think the humanism that is the core of Shakespeare, to me. When I read Shakespeare, what I see is somebody just being around human beings and showing what human beings are and  being unafraid to be in the messiness of human affairs.

That humanism, which, you know, has other proponents, like, not just in the theater. You could also say that John Donne was a humanist, and Francis Bacon, and Thomas Browne, my favorite. But, by being so human, by being unafraid to stay in the human rather than covering it all under ideology or religion or under, you know, a grand system. That essentially means that he allows for a kind of, I would say, a kind of empirical focus on desire.

And that—before we judge desire, before we send everyone to heaven or hell, why don't we just look at what we're actually talking about, in desire? That spirit really did change the world. I mean, that really did affect a whole series of intellectual traditions, and still grounds what I think of as the best ones. That, to me, is still the best kinds of intellectual traditions. When you look at human beings and try to figure out how they work without judging them.

BOGAEV: We could probably talk the whole interview about sex, but moving on, you also have a lot of fun writing about the words that Shakespeare created. First of all, you make clear just the sheer number of them. Can you give us a sense? A sense of how many words Shakespeare created?

MARCHE: There's debate about how many words he created. Because I mean, the real number is first usage. But still, like, I mean, we're talking really common words here. Like “alligator”.

You know, my favorite is probably "Jessica." I mean, I just think it's crazy that an individual person invented the name Jessica, right? No one names their daughter Jessica now because they think Shakespeare invented that name. But Jessica really does maintain its power. You know, it's the same thing with...

BOGAEV: When you say he came up with Jessica... Or maybe it was the first use of Jessica in theater?

MARCHE: Well...

BOGAEV: What did Jessica come from?

MARCHE: Well, the source material was Iscah, and—changed it to Jessica. Which is like, I guess it sounds more like “Jewess” than “Iscah.” Which is, you know, Jessica's character is the daughter of [Shylock]. So that's a conscious choice on his part. That one, it's pretty clear he invented.

But, you know, some of the expressions he invented, “green-eyed monster,” “snail's pace.” It's really hard to tell if he thought that up, that's actually his poetry, or if it's just, you know, something that he heard on the street and picked up.

I mean, it hardly matters because it's still a repository of so much power and so [many] words that we use all the time. "To elbow out of the way." Like, it's just weird that somebody came up with that. And then things like, you know, "zany." Like, that's an amazing word. And, you know, he's the first usage of it. "Gnarled."

BOGAEV: Gnarled, yes.

MARCHE: They're starting to come...

BOGAEV: The onomatopoeia is what gets me. And you just mentioned it. "Gnarled" and "hobnob," "gossip."

MARCHE: Gossip.

BOGAEV: "Traditional." He created the word traditional.

MARCHE: Yeah. I mean, that one's sort of easier to see, because it's like from a Latinate root, and then he's just applying a sort of, you know, to make it an adjective.

But, “zany”? I mean, how do you come up with zany? It's so perfect. “She's zany.” I mean, that just says it all.

You know, it's not quite onomatopoeia. It's more like, the exact right sounds to convey the intellectual state. "Hobnob." Perfect. You know, that is—when we talk about the beauty of the English language and how much we love the English language, it's words like that. Like “hobnob.”

BOGAEV: Then there are some words that we kind of still don't know what they mean. And you mentioned some. Two were "prenzy" and "scamels".

MARCHE: Yeah. “Scamels.” We don't know. “Scamels” is from Caliban, as I recall. So that could be some sort of private language of Caliban’s that we don't know about, that Shakespeare just... you know, he has this way of creating little language groups, almost. Like, the way that the fairies talk in Midsummer Night's Dream, which is very separate from ordinary speech. Scamels...

We don't know what "prenzy" mean. We can't even make a real guess. But that might've meant princely. You know, the other thing is, it's very hard to tell because of the printer errors. Like, whether this is a print era error, or whether this is an actual word. But then, maybe “zany” is a printing error too. You know what I mean? And we just took it up.

BOGAEV: There's no way.

MARCHE: You know, it's hard to say. No, I don't think so. I don't think so.

BOGAEV: Well, on a different tack, I am just so glad that you dug into this story about the introduction of starlings to North America via Eugene Schieffelin and New York Central Park. Because I thought I knew the story, but you dug up facts that I had no idea about. Remind us what happened here.

MARCHE: There was a guy. In the 19th century, there was full on bardolatry. He became an icon of western civilization and its advantages. And so there were many people who took extreme measures in their love of Shakespeare.

One of them was a pharmaceutical manufacturer named Eugene Schieffelin who decided to introduce every bird mentioned in Shakespeare to North America. And he tried a bunch of them. Skylarks didn't take. A bunch of them didn't take. But starlings, he introduced 60 pairs, and then a few months later, he introduced 40 other pairs. They took over.

They are incredibly damaging. If we could get rid of them all in North America, we would. They outcompete bluebirds in particular. We would have flocks of bluebirds in our skies if it were not for starlings.

BOGAEV: And that's the thing I didn't know. Why were they so successful? Why are they? Do they continue to be so successful in North America?

MARCHE: I don't want to bore you with the technical details, but actually about their beaks. They just have an advantage over all the passerine birds of North America.

BOGAEV: Right, they have bigger muscles? Or stronger muscles, and they're able to dig in and get more worms and bugs and stuff?

MARCHE: Yeah, and it allows them to forage for different things as well. So, they're much more adaptable to different climates. Then, what happens is they take over the prime nesting holes and then the bluebirds have nowhere to nest.

Yeah, they're very, very damaging. I mean, they look charming. You know, they have their own beautiful history in a way. Mozart had one that he wrote a sonata for: the Starling Sonata. I don't like to hate natural things. It's not their fault. But, they should never have been introduced in North America. Huge disaster.

BOGAEV: And remind us, all of this tsuris came from one line in what play? Henry IV?

MARCHE: In Henry IV, Part 1, yeah. "Nay, I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but 'Mortimer,' and give it him to keep his anger still in motion."

It's just a little line from Hotspur. It's not a big thing. I mean, he easily could've cut it. Like, some actor could've definitely said, “You know what, I don't like this. No one knows what a starling is. Let's cut it.”

BOGAEV: Exactly.

MARCHE: Then, all of this could've been prevented.

BOGAEV: Yeah, it's also ironic, and you point this out, that this whole debacle was due to only one line in Shakespeare. But at the end of that play, there's a discussion about how people can never control what's understood about their life after they die. This starling story, it's such a perfect metaphor for that.

MARCHE: Well, you know, I think Shakespeare's career was kind of a metaphor for that. All of this stuff that happened, he would never have imagined, right? His works weren't collected when he died. He could never have imagined any of the consequences of anything in this book. He could never have imagined any of it. So, his influence is accidental. Profound, but tangential to his actions.

And I think, this book is kind of like… I wrote it trying to create a Graham Greene light entertainment. You know what I mean? Where it's like, it is interesting anecdotes, but there is a serious core to it. Like almost a moral question. What is the power of a writer? What actually changes by this work existing?

By just simply drawing out where it did exist, it just showed, I think, a real profound weirdness. The unpredictability of the future, and the unpredictability of life in general. Certainly the unpredictability of writing a work of art, and then seeing it go into the world.

The starling story's basically an allegory of that, to me. Right? Like, you write this one line, millions of starlings are in North America, a continent you barely have heard of, you know, 300 years later. It's strange. History is not something where you... I mean, you couldn't blame Shakespeare for that. But, on the other hand, this is how effect ripples out. This is how change happens.

BOGAEV: It's super strange. I'm thinking, some people, maybe not among our listeners, but there're definitely people who don't like Shakespeare. Tolstoy was probably the most famous one. He just hated him and thought he was a hack. Why did Tolstoy hate Shakespeare so much, and why do you include this story in your book about how Shakespeare changed everything?

MARCHE: Well, I do really love Tolstoy's pamphlet on Shakespeare because it's so insane. It really is, like, he spends like 200 pages attacking Shakespeare. It's sort of like if you wrote a 200-page attack on strawberry ice cream. Like, it's upsetting to you that people enjoy it because you don't enjoy it.

You know, there was a famous thing where he would say to his disciples, “Give me any passage by Shakespeare and I'll explain to you how rotten it is.” And they would get up and read it, but once they started reading it, they'd be overwhelmed by it. All they'd want to do is talk about how great it was. This infuriated him, of course, like, to no end, right? They'd be like, "Oh, can you believe this bit from Macbeth? It's unbelievable."

But I think the reason is that he really saw art as a moral project. He saw it as a political project as well: something that was supposed to better humanity. You know, I don't think Shakespeare understood literature that way at all. I think his works are incredibly morally dubious. They don't really take a moral position, I would say. They don't really take a religious position. They see good and evil in the same people, mixed up together. They see human contradiction and paradox very clearly. They see human reality and the reality of desire with incredible clarity. When you do that, you kind of lose moral sensibility.

I mean, I think that's why a lot of people have hated Shakespeare but had to keep him as a kind... and that's why they bowdlerize him. That's why, you know, turn Romeo and Juliet into a happy ending, and all the rest of it.

The thing about Tolstoy, he was frank about it. He was confident enough to say, “I just hate this guy.” You know, Shaw also had his problems with Shakespeare, right? Because for Shaw, plays had explicit political goals. There are no political goals in Shakespeare. Except for him not to be personally killed by the queen, that would be one of the political goals there. But, there were no, “This is going to be a guide to how to run the world.”

BOGAEV: Shaw didn't write a whole book about it, either. And I love what you said about Tolstoy's book. You called it one of the loneliest books ever written.

MARCHE: It's amazing, to write an argument that you know is gonna be dismissed out of hand by everyone. Right?

BOGAEV: You against the world. Yeah.

MARCHE: You're just like, “Actually, Shakespeare's terrible.” I mean, weird book to write, right? Like, even if you hate… let's say I hate Kanye West. Even to write that about Kanye West would be absurd, right? It's like, people like him for a reason, right? It's more important to understand that than to just hate.

But, yeah, I mean, he was a very... his morality made him lonely—Tolstoy—I think, in a lot of ways. And that of course, is, you know, there's a lot of writing about that around particularly the end of his life. George Orwell, of course, wrote about it very brilliantly in Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool. And, again, of course, it's not hard to see in Tolstoy, Shakespearean figurations, right? I mean, in his life as well.

So, yeah, I mean, I think also, there was a competition. He thought he was competing with Shakespeare. But I don't think Shakespeare really competes with anyone. You know? So, it's kind of one-sided.

BOGAEV: Well, it's a big jump from Tolstoy to Wetzel's Pretzels. But I love that your favorite place to read Shakespeare is the food court in the mall. Why?
MARCHE: I mean, you can't do it anymore because of COVID. You can't go and work in public places anymore. Well, I mean, I like having people around me when I write. I like having people around me when I work. I find it very humanizing. It allows you to remember things.

But, yeah, I think, especially when I was working on Hamlet, I loved to work in mall food courts. Because I sort of think of Hamlet as a play about loneliness and a play about these blank public spaces that have kind of been emptied and trying to find a soul in the middle of these soulless places. So, yeah, I mean, I do love working in malls. Maybe I'll get back to it, if there are malls in the future. Which, at the moment, doesn't seem very likely.

BOGAEV: Well, the first thing I thought when I read that, was that it kind of replicates the atmosphere a little bit. Not nearly as many prostitutes, I'm sure. But replicates the atmosphere of going to the theater in Shakespeare's time. All the eating, some rowdiness, you don't know what's going to happen.

MARCHE: As you say, fewer prostitutes. Also fewer bears being attacked by dogs.

BOGAEV: True. Depends on the mall.

MARCHE: Although, you know, I say that, but, you know, we've been driven out of both of them by the plague. Which is a perfect comparison.

I've been thinking of it lately. If I had another shot at this book after ten years, I might talk about why he never wrote about plague. Because he only wrote about it in one play. I wonder why he chose not to write about that, when he wrote about everything else.

BOGAEV: Well that really leads me to my last question. Which is, as you said, it's a really different world right now, since the time that you wrote this book. Which was what, around 2009?

MARCHE: Yeah, must've been. Yeah.

BOGAEV: Yeah, where Barack Obama had only been president for a year.

MARCHE: Just come to office. Yeah.

BOGAEV: Right, and people were still piling up all these hopes and fears about what that meant. Social media was, kind of, not much. Cultural criticism was still, you know, in the hands of people-in-power and experts.

MARCHE: A few. Yeah.

BOGAEV: So, with that all gone now, I wonder if there's anything else that you might have considered about Shakespeare's influence besides the plague question.

MARCHE: I definitely would've written about Coriolanus. I also would've written about Steve Bannon, because he actually wrote a screenplay based on Coriolanus. If you ever get a chance to look at it, it is really something.

BOGAEV: It was a hip-hop Coriolanus.

MARCHE: It was a hip-hop, yeah, hip-hop Coriolanus in L.A. Where he rewrote the language. Which is, you know… I mean, that seems insane. You don't rewrite Shakespeare—

BOGAEV: Steve Bannon does.

MARCHE: Yeah, I guess so. But, yeah, I mean, that play, which is about elites who use patriotism and then try to transcend it into a kind of cross-national criminal elite. Like, that seems to me, a very, very, relevant play.

I've been thinking a lot about Hamlet a lot lately, too. About breakdown and how your self is affected by borders falling apart. You know, I do really believe that he—this thing that is really strange about him, is that he doesn't lose relevance. He keeps mattering. I think that's because of his relentless focus on the human. It's like he was there before us. You know what I mean? It's like he's waiting at the door. You open it, and he's there.

BOGAEV: Well, I can see why you're thinking about Coriolanus. Because you've just come out with this new book on a very different topic. It's called The Next Civil War, and it predicts the end of America. So, what is the Shakespeare connection? If there is one, for you here?

MARCHE: Well, it's certainly like, how will people respond to breakdown? I mean, I also think that, you know, it's a very crude explanation for tragedy. Although I actually find it quite convincing. That there's a tragic flaw in a character. I mean, the Shakespeare professors listening to this will be horrified that I would bring this up.

But, you know, I think there is a thing in tragedy where, what is beautiful about a character, a person, a moment in time, is also what leads to its destruction. That paradox is beautiful and terrible at the same time. And, you know, what I see in America is exactly that thing, where what gave it strength is now shredding it.

Yeah, I mean, I think that would be one connection. If that's not too bleak for a Shakespeare show.

BOGAEV: Well, it's... I don't think we have a choice. But when you were writing that book, did you find yourself going back to Shakespeare or searching anything out in Shakespeare, or...?

MARCHE: What Shakespeare… to me, is, the permanence of Shakespeare, the reason you go back to Shakespeare all the time, is that he is a humanist. He is the humanist who is most in love with the human, and the most in love with the capacity of language to describe the human.

That, to me, is like—you know, if that gets battered around, from a lot different sides, there's a lot of people who don't want humanism and who want to live in ideologies. But, when you go back to Shakespeare, you realize that's all nonsense. That all there really is, is this attempt to understand human beings on their own level. That's what literature's about, that's what leading a humanist existence is about, and its power is permanent.

I would say, you know, when you go back to Shakespeare, because you can find anything there, he's not necessarily a guide. You know what I mean? Like, you don't go back to find things. But if you want to write, like, say, a description of a sheriff who goes off the rails and turns himself into a traitor, you would of course look to Shakespeare because he's done that. Right? He knows how to create those characters. He knows how to balance that action with externalities, like, things happening outside of it. You know, he's just the master of that sort of thing.

So, yeah, Shakespeare's never very far from my thoughts, to be honest. Like, he's sort of always with me.

BOGAEV: Stephen, it's great talking with you. Thank you so much for coming on this show.

MARCHE: My pleasure. Really enjoyed it.


WITMORE: Stephen Marche is a novelist, essayist, and cultural commentator. His book How Shakespeare Changed Everything was originally published by Harper Collins in 2011. His newest book, The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future, has just been published by Simon & Schuster. He was interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

Our podcast, “Influence Is Thine,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer, with help from Leonor Fernandez.

We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Jenna McClennan at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California.

There’s something I’d like to ask you to do. On Apple Podcasts, they decide which podcasts to recommend by looking at which ones have the most reviews and ratings by their listeners. So if you like Shakespeare Unlimited, and you’d like others to know how good it is, please rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Thank you so much for your help.

Shakespeare Unlimited comes to you from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger is dedicated to advancing knowledge and the arts. You can find more about the Folger at our website, Thanks for listening. For the Folger Shakespeare Library, I’m Folger Director Michael Witmore.