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This week, the critics discuss the new movie Battle of the Sexes, about the famous tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, and debate whether it accurately represents its historical moment. Then, Chris Molanphy joins the conversation to remember the late musician Tom Petty, his legacy, his talent for writing opening lines, and much more. Finally, Sam Anderson stops by to discuss his recent profile on one of the greatest nonfiction writers alive, John McPhee, in the New York Times Magazine. The gabbers discuss which of McPhee’s works have inspired them and whether McPhee’s new book is actually helpful writing advice.
Links to some of the things we discussed this week:
- Battle of the Sexes trailer
- Dana’s review of Battle of the Sexes in Slate
- “American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
- “Tom Petty Was a Rock Chameleon” by Chris Molanphy in Slate
- “Tom Petty Was Perhaps Rock’s Greatest Writer of First Lines” by Gabriel Roth in Slate
- Full Moon Fever by Tom Petty
- Damn the Torpedoes by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
- “The Proud Pain of Tom Petty” by Nicholas Dawidoff
- Stephen Metcalf’s Hammond Lecture at Ohio State University
- “The Mind of John McPhee” by Sam Anderson in the New York Times Magazine
- Draft No. 4 by John McPhee
- “The Search for Marvin Gardens” by John McPhee in the New Yorker
- The Pine Barrens by John McPhee
- Encounters With the Archdruid by John McPhee
- A Sense of Where You Are by John McPhee
Dana: The podcast Talking Buster Keaton
Julia: The music video for “Into the Great Wide Open” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Outro: “Living Soul” by Richard “Groove” Holmes
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This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. Our intern is Daniel Schroeder.