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If Books Could Kill
If Books Could Kill
Michael Hobbes & Peter Shamshiri

The airport bestsellers that captured our hearts and ruined our minds

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Episodes

The Better Angels of Our Nature

This week we're tackling Steven Pinker's 900 page dissection of the reasons why violence, torture and war have declined over... more

22 Feb 2024 · 1 hour, 37 minutes
The Art of the Deal

Before Donald Trump became America's most prominent politician and birth certificate inspector, he spent his days making everyone in New... more

11 Jan 2024 · 52 minutes
The Worst Takes of 2023 [TEASER]

To hear the rest of the episode, support us on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/IfBooksPod

21 Dec 2023 · 28 minutes
The Identity Trap

"There are two kinds of political scientists: The types who deal with noisy data and post on Twitter with a... more

14 Dec 2023 · 1 hour, 47 minutes
Pundit Portraits: Kathleen Parker and Chris Cillizza [TEASER]

To hear the rest of the episode, support us on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/IfBooksPod

28 Nov 2023 · 29 minutes
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

You stare, mouth agape, at the bookstore display. It’s a self-help book, but with curse words in the title?! This... more

21 Nov 2023 · 45 minutes
The 48 Laws of Power

In 1996, a frustrated screenwriter got a fellowship in Italy. Twenty years later, Beyoncé released "Lemonade." Content warning: This episode includes... more

02 Nov 2023 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
The "Organized Retail Crime" Panic [TEASER]

Retailers have been sounding the alarm about a shoplifting epidemic driven by organized criminal syndicates. In a shocking twist, it... more

26 Oct 2023 · 31 minutes
San Fransicko

This week we're tackling "San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities," a book that dares to ask: What if everything that... more

19 Oct 2023 · 1 hour,
The 4-Hour Workweek

Have you ever wanted to escape the grind and follow your dreams? This week we're discussing "The 4-Hour Workweek," which... more

21 Sep 2023 · 56 minutes
The Clinton E-Mail Scandal [TEASER]

But her e-mails! Michael explains the non-scandal that captivated the mainstream media in 2016 while Peter attempts to sow the... more

14 Sep 2023 · 28 minutes
God And Man At Yale

Oops all grievance.Support us on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/IfBooksPodWhere to find us: TwitterPeter's other podcast, 5-4Mike's other podcast, Maintenance PhaseSources:No Ivory Tower : Mccarthyism... more

07 Sep 2023 · 1 hour, 11 minutes
'On Bullsh*t' and the Pundit Industrial Complex [TEASER]

For this month's bonus episode we dissected Harry Frankfurt's gloriously brief bestseller and applied the concept to our favorite op-ed... more

10 Aug 2023 · 16 minutes
Liberal Fascism

Who poses the greatest threat to democracy? Is it the movement that openly identifies with the symbols, goals and policies... more

27 Jul 2023 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
Are The Straights OK [TEASER]

In our "Rules" and "Game" episodes we didn't get a chance to dissect the phenomenon of online dating (i.e. describe... more

13 Jul 2023 · 24 minutes
BONUS: Conservatives vs. Pride Month

Lots of subscribers asked us to release last month's bonus episode in full so here it is! Share it with... more

06 Jul 2023 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
The Rules

In 1995 a bestselling book proposed a simple dating strategy for women: Lose weight, wear bright colors and become a... more

29 Jun 2023 · 1 hour, 9 minutes
Atomic Habits

This week we're discussing "Atomic Habits," a book about how to use science (and also some stuff that’s definitely not... more

15 Jun 2023 · 1 hour, 1 minute
The World is Flat

Much has been said about globalization, but perhaps no one has said it worse than Thomas Friedman.Content Note: Discussions of... more

01 Jun 2023 · 1 hour, 7 minutes
"Nudge" Part 2: Mr. Nudge Goes to Washington

The Nudgening.Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/IfBooksPodWhere to find us: TwitterPeter's other podcast, 5-4Mike's other podcast, Maintenance PhaseSources:David Gal's "Behavioral Winter"The i-frame... more

19 May 2023 · 1 hour, 1 minute
The Meme Stock Cult [TEASER]

In 2021, scrappy young investors from across the world joined forces to buy GameStop stock, aiming to take down greedy... more

15 May 2023 · 19 minutes
"Nudge" Part 1: A Simple Solution For Littering, Organ Donations and Climate Change

In 2008, an economist and a law professor proposed a radical new approach to politics: Telling people not to do... more

04 May 2023 · 1 hour, 10 minutes
The 5 Love Languages

What’s your love language? Is it gifts? Words of affirmation? Or is it podcasts about books with extremely weird, reactionary... more

20 Apr 2023 · 54 minutes
Ben Shapiro's Plan To End Poverty [TEASER]

Is it bootstraps? It's bootstraps.To hear the rest of the show, support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/IfBooksPod

13 Apr 2023 · 12 minutes
Rich Dad Poor Dad

In 1997, Robert Kiyosaki revealed the secret to lifelong success: Deliver grifty seminars and hire child slaves.Support us on Patreon:... more

06 Apr 2023 · 1 hour, 13 minutes
The Dumbest Campus Controversies Of The Last Decade [TEASER]

Get in loser, we're going to Oberlin.To hear the rest of the show, support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/IfBooksPod

30 Mar 2023 · 20 minutes
Hillbilly Elegy

In 2016, J.D. Vance informally launched his political career with "Hillbilly Elegy," a memoir that blames the relative poverty of... more

23 Mar 2023 · 48 minutes
The Coddling Of The American Mind

TRIGGER WARNING: if you're a SNOWFLAKE college professor afraid of how your students are expressing themselves, you might need a... more

09 Mar 2023 · 1 hour, 1 minute
The New York Times's War On Trans Kids [TEASER]

The nation's most prestigious newspaper insists on asking a very stupid question. So for this month's bonus episode, we decided... more

28 Feb 2023 · 27 minutes
The Clash of Civilizations

"If your thesis doesn't hold up to obvious criticisms, there's a chance that your thesis sucks." Thanks to Paul Musgrave... more

23 Feb 2023 · 58 minutes
The End of History

Francis Fukuyama's "The End of History and the Last Man" changed political discourse forever. Peter and Michael peel back his... more

09 Feb 2023 · 47 minutes
The Lab Leak [TEASER]

In December 2019, the coronavirus pandemic began in Wuhan, China. In May 2021, America experienced one of the most cursed... more

31 Jan 2023 · 14 minutes
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

In 1992 a yoga instructor with a distance-learning PhD had the courage to ask: "Are women not getting help around... more

26 Jan 2023 · 1 hour, 9 minutes
The Secret

Rhonda Byrne's "The Secret" sold millions of copies based on a simple premise: All of science is fake and the... more

12 Jan 2023 · 42 minutes
The Population Bomb

How a Stanford lepidopterist convinced the world to fear the breeding habits of the poor. Again. Support us on PatreonWhere... more

15 Dec 2022 · 49 minutes
A Bari Special Bonus Episode [TEASER]

Our first premium episode is a deep dive into the blog of the infamously (and  dubiously) "canceled" Bari Weiss. To... more

08 Dec 2022 · 9 minutes
The Game

Neil Strauss's "The Game" aimed to teach any man how to hook up with beautiful women. All he needed was... more

01 Dec 2022 · 55 minutes
David Brooks's "Bobos in Paradise"

David Brooks became liberals' famous conservative by telling them what they wanted to hear. But ... why did they want... more

17 Nov 2022 · 59 minutes
Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers"

In "Outliers," Malcolm Gladwell posited that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in something. Mike and... more

10 Nov 2022 · 50 minutes
Freakonomics

In 2005, two men named Steven and Stephen published the quintessential airport book. In 2022, two men named Mike and... more

02 Nov 2022 · 1 hour, 13 minutes
If Books Could Kill
Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers"
If Books Could Kill
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Description

In "Outliers," Malcolm Gladwell posited that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in something. Mike and Peter prove... more