A History of Conversation

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"There is not such a thing as conversation," wrote Dame Rebecca West once. "It is an illusion. There are only intersecting monologues." Essayist Stephen Miller would beg to disagree.

Miller has just written a big history of conversation itself, from Plato to Oprah, from the Book of Job to Crossfire. Miller loves great, rich, high-spirited conversation and sees it as essential to full humanity, to mental health, to friendship.

And he warns Americans are losing it in a sea of angry barrage and dull confession.

Hear a conversation with Stephen Miller about the great age of conversation — from Hume and Swift to Boswell and Dr. Johnson — for a pungent take on how we converse today.


Stephen Miller, author of "Conversation: A History of a Declining Art."

This program aired on April 13, 2006.


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