Off For Two Weeks

The Dish is taking our annual summer vacation, back on September 10.

This is Chris, sending a quick reminder that Andrew and I are taking our annual two-week break in August, so we’ll return to regular Dish programming on Friday, September 10. In the meantime, we are switching things up with the Dishcast, airing a two-part interview of Andrew from 2012, conducted by the journalist Johann Hari (author of the bestselling books Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs and Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope).

The idea to re-air the interview came from two Dish readers, one of whom provided the lost audio files. I vividly remember listening to the interview, almost a decade ago, because it was one of the most revealing conversations I’ve ever heard of Andrew (and I’ve known him a long time). Johann has a real knack for allowing people to reveal themselves. Listen to the first half of the episode here, and the second half will arrive next Friday in your inbox and pod platform. For three clips of Andrew’s conversation with Johann — on two of the earliest influences that made Andrew a conservative; on the genius of his dissertation subject, Michael Oakeshott; and on why true conservatives should want to save the planet from climate change — head over to our YouTube page.

The post for Andrew’s interview also contains something we are going to start dabbling in: transcripts of podcast episodes. The first is an interview Andrew did last month on Debra Soh’s podcast, focused on the AIDS crisis and the marriage movement. We don’t currently have the staff bandwidth to transcribe every episode of the Dishcast, but we will try to make transcripts available for our most popular episodes. (Your input is always appreciated: dish@andrewsullivan.com.)

Also, if you’re still interested in checking out Andrew’s new collection of essays, you can buy it here. A fan of the book writes:

I am leisurely working my way through Out On a Limb and enjoying it. Andrew’s essay on the AIDS quilt was especially moving and caused me to tear up.

Another reader “just got Out On a Limb a few days ago and I’m reading the hell out of it!”:

What a wonderful book! Your essays really make me think about the issues you bring up. I’m going to reread the essay on “What’s So Bad About Hate?” It’s making me think about hate crime laws and if they’re really needed.

I love the fact that you dedicate your book to your readers because I’m one of your dedicated readers!

Here’s the dedication:

You can also listen to Andrew reading “The Reagan Of The Left?” — his first impression of Barack Obama — here, and “Surprised By Grief” — his dedication to his deceased beagle, Dusty — here.

From another “longstanding Dishhead who recently got my copy of Out On a Limb”:

I’m slightly younger than Andrew is, and I was a bit of late bloomer academically and intellectually. So, I did not start reading him until after 9/11. But I swiftly became a fan, and I have enjoyed following his work since then. A lot of the pieces collected in Out On a Limb escaped my notice initially, so it’s terrific to encounter them now.

This may sound gratuitous, or overblown, but hear me out. One of my favorite artists is Bruce Springsteen. I saw him for the first time in 1985, when I was just 15. And one of the great pleasures of my life, since then, is that Bruce and I have grown older at the same rate. I’ve carefully followed his work, and I’ve found various ways of admiring and relating to him, for the past 35 years. (I’ve seen him play scores of shows. The last time was in 2018, when I was 48, and Bruce was 68.) It kind of blows my mind.

Andrew is not quite a rock star. But a bit like Bruce, he has cultivated a relationship, of sorts, with his most admiring readers. He’s given a lot of himself over the years. So I want to share this quick word to say how gratifying, and edifying, it has been to follow his work over this time. He’s added a lot to my life, and to others, too. 

And he was spotted this week by a reader in a kayak passing through the tidal pools of Provincetown, in a photo I pulled from Instagram: