The series 55 Voices for Democracy presented by the Villa Aurora/Thomas Mann Haus e.V., is modeled after the BBC radio speeches, through which Thomas Mann, from his home in California, turned to listeners in Germany, Switzerland and occupied Netherlands and Czechia during the war. From 1940 until 1945, Thomas Mann pleaded to thousands of listeners to resist the Nazi regime and thus became the most important German voice in exile. His conviction that the “social renewal of democracy” is condition and warrant for its victory seems more relevant than ever. In this podcast series, intellectuals, artists, and activists will engage in conversations about how to renew democracy today.
The series is produced by Tom Lutz, Professor of Creative Writing at UC Riverside and the founding editor in chief of Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the author of nine books and winner of the American Book Award.
Tom Zoellner (host) is a journalist and author. He is New York Times bestselling author of eight nonfiction books, including Uranium Train, and The Heartless Stone. He teaches at Chapman University and Dartmouth College. A former reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, he is the politics editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Aida Baghernejad (co-host) is a journalist based in Berlin. Her work appears in international media outlets, among them the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the San Francisco Chronicle, Intro Magazine, Spex and Deutschlandfunk Kultur. She has previously taught at King’s College London and the Humboldt University Berlin.
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