I frequently appear in the media to discuss topics related to my writings. Here are links to some of my favorite mentions and appearances:
The BBC World Service invited me to join its Forum program to talk about supermarkets, drawing on my book The Great A&P. The program, aired in February 2024, includes observations about food shopping from listeners in half a dozen countries. It’s extremely entertaining!
David Pogue devoted his “Unsung Science” podcast to the history of the shipping container in May 2023. “The Power of an Empty Metal Box” includes interviews with me and Beth Rooney of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and is great fun to listen to.
Nathaniel Meyersohn of CNN interviewed me in April 2023 about the demise of retail “category killers,” prompted by the bankruptcy of Bed Bath and Beyond. I pointed out that the adoption of modern supply chain methods was key to the growth of these chains focused on a single type of product.
In February 2023, Rajan Datar of the BBC World Service’s program The Forum interviewed me for an interesting program called “How the shipping container changed the world.“
Recode and Vox.com published my interview about shipping and globalization with reporter Rebecca Heilweil in December 2021.
In November 2021, I discussed the future of globalization with Antony Funnell on Future Tense, a popular program on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Alan Beattie, who writes the Trade Secrets column for the Financial Times, interviewed me in November 2021 about port congestion — and found my responses “somewhat against the conventional wisdom.”
Tom Standage at The Economist used the history of the shipping container as the basis for an interesting discussion of the nature of innovation on his Gamechangers podcast in September 2021.
Rob Atkinson and Jackie Whisman of the Information Technology and Industry Foundation asked me to join their podcast The Innovation Files to talk about The Great A&P and the conflict between our desire for innovation and our fondness for the local and the familiar. The podcast aired in June 2021.
In March 2021, Nelson Lichtenstein drew on my book The Great A&P to discuss how union drives to organize Amazon.com warehouses could bolster efforts to limit corporate power. See his article in the Washington Post.
Bloomberg’s Odd Lots podcast invited me to talk about the disruption of container shipping in January 2021. You can listen to my conversation with Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway here. I joined them for an encore at the end of March, just after the grounded container ship Ever Given was freed in the Suez Canal.
America Trends, a podcast about social and political trends, recorded my conversation with Larry Rifkin about globalization. The podcast is available here and on from many popular distributors.
Drinks With The Deal, a podcast aimed at listeners in the financial industry, invited me for an interesting chat in September 2020. You can find it here.
Trade Talks, a popular podcast on international trade, invited me to talk about how the container revolutionized global trade. The result was a lively episode released in June 2020.
In June 2017, the Washington Post drew on my book The Great A&P to provide readers some history of grocery retailing in conjunction with Amazon.com’s announced purchase of Whole Foods. Amazon, the writer implied, may become the modern-day A&P.
Alexis Madrigal, a journalist in the San Francisco Bay area, has done a terrific series of podcasts on the history of container shipping and its consequences. I was interviewed for the first of these. He’s come up with some very unusual sources, and the entire series is well worth listening to.
The Politics Guys, who have an interesting website, interviewed me early in 2017 about An Extraordinary Time and the prospects for economic growth. The podcast is here.
Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace interviewed me in early 2017 about An Extraordinary Time, focusing on why, regardless of its economic policies, the government has only a limited ability to make the economy grow faster in the long run.
In December 2016, I joined Jim Puplava’s Financial Sense podcast to discuss An Extraordinary Time. Our discussion focused on the role of innovation in economic growth.
Foreign Affairs.com invited me to record a podcast about An Extraordinary Time. Among other things, interviewer Park MacDougald and I discuss the role of international trade in raising productivity growth. A transcript is available here, along with a link to the audio.
BBC radio interviewed me in 2016 for a program exploring why there is so much international trade in food. I found it a very interesting show.
In September 2016, Wired asked me how quickly the bankruptcy of South Korea’s Hanjin shipping company would be resolved. My response was not particularly optimistic; the container shipping industry faces more consolidation ahead.
A marketing expert named Patrick Armitage, whom I’ve never met, wrote about how hard it is to stay motivated to write. Believe me, I understand. It was kind of him to use The Box as an example of how even a seemingly boring topic can turn out to be riveting.
Gizmodo pointed to the shopping container as an example of disruptive innovation to which Silicon Valley should pay attention. Bill Gates made the same point in 2013, when he pointed out that software and shipping containers have much in common.
In the New York Review of Books, Steve Coll had some very kind words about The Great A&P. Interestingly, the Weekly Standard, at the other end of the ideological spectrum, loved the book as well, and James Surowiecki of The New Yorker seconded my claim that big businesses contribute more to productivity growth than small ones. It’s great to see that people with such diverse viewpoints find the book valuable.
Back in 2011, I was on Fresh Air to discuss how the state of retailing and how the Great A&P changed the way we shop. You can listen to the interview here.
Around the same time, NPR‘s Renee Montagne did a segment on how George L. and John A. Hartford, the brothers who ran A&P, revolutionized modern retailing.
The New York Times quoted me in its obituary of Keith Tantlinger, the engineering genius who created the modern shipping container and many related innovations. I’m proud that The Box helped call attention to Tantlinger’s achievements. Without them, the modern economy would not have been possible.
In May 2006, just after The Box was published, I had an intense discussion about how this low-tech innovation helped reshape the world economy on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC.