Calling all interview lovers: Max Linsky, Aaron Lammer, and Evan Ratliff get the info you crave from journalists, writers, and podcasters on ‘Longform’

News April 4, 2022
Longform Podcast art
Listen to ‘Longform’

If you are especially fond of interview podcasts, you are going to lose your mind with this one. “Longform” is journalists on journalists. If you’re especially fond of Max Linsky’s interviewing style on his Pineapple Street Studios podcast “70 Over 70,” or have found yourself captivated by Aaron Lammer’s crypto true crime podcast “Exit Scam,” or you’ve read any number of Evan Ratliff’s numerous works in Wired Magazine or The New Yorker, then you’re in luck.

The three interview other writers, journalists, and podcasters about why and how they do what they do. They cover a wide range of topics. From New York Times journalists who reported on the war in Afghanistan for decades to journalists/podcasters covering cryptocurrency, “Longform” truly has it all.

“Longform” has been releasing podcasts long before the industry’s boom. Beginning in 2012, this podcast has now put out over 500 episodes. Episodes of this Vox podcast are just an hour long and can be streamed in any order you desire. The three take turns interviewing their guests, providing a brief introduction with the two other hosts before segueing into their one-on-one interviews with renowned writers and podcasters.

Max recently interviewed Maya Shankar, host of “A Slight Change of Plans” which was named Apple’s Best Podcast of the Year in 2021. In it, she looks into radical change, interviews people who have experienced it and people who have influenced it. Having experienced radical change in her own life, going from a Juilliard violinist to earning her PhD before founding the White House Behavioral Science Team, she’s well versed in the subject.

Once she accomplished all of that, she created “A Slight Change of Plans,” where she interviewed people like Daryl Davis, a Black jazz-pianist who has convinced hundreds of people to leave the KKK, Tiffany Haddish, Hillary Clinton, Kacey Musgraves and more.

With Max, the two talk about her move into podcasting, interviewing, and if she considers herself a scientist, podcaster, or entertainer. For all of our sakes, she attempts to condense her life story into just a few minutes, which is no easy task given the seemingly many lives she’s lived from being a world class violinist to founding an entire White House team to creating one of the most beloved podcasts in the pod-o-sphere.

She tells Max her heartbreaking but profound realization that once she could no longer play violin due to tearing tendons in her finger in one fleeting moment, she had tethered her entire identity to being “Maya the Violinist” and subsequently lost it.

Max asks how she went from the White House to podcasts. Obviously, the Democratic party losing the 2016 election was the main reason she was flushed out of the White House, but she had always been motivated by her empathy and curiosity for humans. She says that when her and her husband’s surrogate had a miscarriage, and they lost their unborn daughter, that’s when she sprang to action.

She had already endured so much change in her life that she felt she could hustle through, but pregnancy is not one of those things. She told Max that she thought if maybe she could find people who had navigated extraordinary change and come out the other side, then she could learn from them. So “A Slight Change of Plans” actually sprang from a very personal desire – it just happened to be one that has resonated with thousands and thousands of people.

Hear from Tara Westover, author of Educated, on overcoming her fears. Listen to a recent episode with New Yorker correspondent Joshua Yaffa who has been reporting from Russia for years about the ongoing war in Ukraine and his book Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin’s Russia. Hear from the cohosts of “The Trojan Horse Affair,” Brian Reed and Hamza Syed, on the creation of the podcast.

Every episode is candid, thoughtful, and insightful. Every single interview is entirely unique, and “Longform” covers a wide range of topics through interviewing the people who have been reporting on them for years. Listening to this podcast is a no-brainer. Be sure to check it out wherever you get your podcasts.

Listen to ‘Longform’

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