About Significant Others
Did you know that the novel "Lolita" would not exist if Vladimir Nabokov’s wife hadn’t stopped her husband from burning the manuscript? Or that Gandhi learned his legendary method of passive resistance from his wife? Or that the person responsible for Maya Angelou’s genre-defining memoir was her good friend James Baldwin? Significant Others is a narrated, nonfiction podcast about folks just beyond the spotlight of history. Each episode tells the story of a talented, difficult and little-known individual who altered the destiny of their better-known partner, child, sibling, or friend, and impacted the world they left behind. Narrated and written by Liza Powel O’Brien and featuring the voices of Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Jameela Jamil, Rita Wilson, Timothy Olyphant, Lisa Kudrow and many more.
Significant Others is back with another bonus episode! Liza is joined by historian Heather Cox Richardson, host of the podcast Now & Then, and author of one of the most successful Substacks of all time, Letters From An American. Heather and Liza dive into presidential marriages and ask, who was the best love match? Which overlooked first ladies deserve some more credit? And which presidential relationships were doomed from the start? We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then, we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at firstname.lastname@example.org!
CNN anchor Jake Tapper joins Liza in another special bonus episode to discuss how a 2-party system can look a little bit like a long-term marriage… that neither partner actually signed up for. How has this relationship evolved over the years and in what ways do the parties rely on each other? Liza and Jake discuss all this and more. We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then, we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at email@example.com!
Significant Others is back with another bonus episode! Liza is joined by Dana Schwartz, host of the popular podcast Noble Blood, which explores the stories of the world’s most fascinating nobles. Today, Dana takes us on a crash course through the complicated dynamics of royal marriages and answers our burning questions! What set Catherine the Great apart? Did Anne Boleyn play her cards right? And who was the first appointed royal spouse that was male? Turns out that relationships aren't so easy when your nation depends on their success. Who knew? We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then, we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Significant Others is back with a bonus episode! Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Schiff returns to discuss her new book The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, which examines the essential (and somewhat forgotten) role of Samuel Adams during the Revolutionary War. Liza and Stacy explore why he has become more known as “the beer guy” than for his contributions to the cause, and ask - was Samuel Adams the Significant Other of the American Revolution? We’re working hard on Season 2! Until then, we will be releasing special bonus episodes from time to time. Want to support the show? Rate and review wherever you listen to your podcasts and keep sending suggestions of Significant Others you’d like to hear about our way!
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care altered parenting forever and made Dr. Benjamin Spock a household name. But his wife Jane, who not only helped him get the book down on paper but introduced him to the very concepts that were so revolutionary in his work, was ruined by his success. Source List: Dr. Spock, An American Life, by Thomas Maier Doctor Spock: Biography of a Conservative Radical, by Lynn Z. Bloom “Public vs. Private: Dr. Spock, Mr. Hyde,” by Mary Jo Kochakian “Parents and Dr. Spock”, American Archive of Public Broadcasting “The Man Who Raised America,” by Susan Bolotin “The Spocks: Bittersweet. Recognition in a Revised Classic,” by Judy Klemesrud “Jane C. Spock, 82, Worked on Baby Book,” The New York Times Christian Nurture, by Horace Bushnell Horace Bushnell, Britannica “The Personal Spock: The Controversial Doctor Recalls His Childhood, Which Was Influenced by a Domineering Mother,” by Elizabeth Mehren
Virginia Woolf’s father, Sir Leslie Stephen, wanted nothing more than to be a genius—but he created one instead. Starring: Jameela Jamil as Virginia Woolf and Luke Millington-Drake as Sir Leslie Stephen. Source List: “Virginia Woolf and Leslie Stephen: History and Literary Revolution,” by Katherine C. Hill To The Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf A Writer’s Diary, by Virginia Woolf Virginia Woolf, by Hermione Lee The Common Reader, by Virginia Woolf Virginia Woolf, Quentin Bell “A House of One’s Own,” by Janet Malcolm “A Beautiful Mind - Laura Makepeace Stephen and the Earlswood Asylum Medical Archives,” by Dr. Madeleine Oakley Bloomsbury Group “Virginia Woolf and Leslie Stephen,” by Louise A. DeSalvo Rob Roy, by Sir Walter Scott
Legendary filmmaker Elia Kazan gave us such cinematic classics as On the Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire, but he made himself a pariah when he named names to the government. Without his wife, Molly Day Thacher, he might never have made his controversial decision–nor even had a career to begin with. Starring: Lisa Kudrow as Molly Day Thacher and Paul F. Tompkins as Elia Kazan. Also featuring: Jack McBrayer, Jim Rash, Adam O’Byrne and Larry Powell. Source List: A Life, by Elia Kazan Elia Kazan, by Richard Schickel Tennessee Williams & Elia Kazan: A Collaboration in the Theatre, by Brenda Murphy Tennessee Williams, Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, by John Lahr “A Statement”, by Elia Kazan “You Must Remember This” Podcast
Without the profound connection between these two artists, would the world ever have gotten I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings? Starring: Christina Elmore as Maya Angelou and Larry Powell as James Baldwin. Also starring Angelica Chéri as Lorraine Hansberry. Source List: James Baldwin: A Biography, By David Adams Leeming The Three Mothers, by Anna Malaika Tubbs Notes of a Native Son, by James Baldwin At 80, Maya Angelou Reflects on a ‘Glorious’ Life, NPR, 2008 The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou, Compilation copyright 2004 by Random House, Inc. Conversations With a Native Son James Baldwin Biographical Timeline, American Masters, PBS Maya Angelou, World History Project James Baldwin’s Sexuality: Complex and Influential, NBC News “James Baldwin on Langston Hughes”, The Langston Hughes Review, James Baldwin and Clayton Riley “Talking Back to Maya Angelou”, by Hilton Als, The New Yorker “Songbird”, by Hilton Als, The New Yorker “A Brother’s Love”, by Maya Angelou “James Baldwin Denounced Richard Wright’s ‘Native Son’ as a ‘Protest Novel,’ Was he Right?” by Ayana Mathis and Pankaj Mishra, The New York Times “After a 30 Year Absence, the Controversial ‘Porgy and Bess’ is Returning to the Met Opera”, by Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine “Published More Than 50 Years Ago, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ Launched a Revolution”, by Veronica Chambers, Smithsonian Magazine “On the Horizon: On Catfish Row”, by James Baldwin “James Baldwin: Great Writers of the 20th Century” “An Introduction to James Baldwin”, National Museum of African American History & Culture “‘The Blacks,’ Landmark Off-Broadway Show, Gets 42nd Anniversary Staging, Jan 31”, by Robert Simonson, Playbill “Do the White Thing”, by Brian Logan “James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket”, American Masters, PBS “James Baldwin, The Art of Fiction”, by Jordan Elgrably “The American Dream and the American Negro”, by James Baldwin “The History That James Baldwin Wanted America to See”, by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. “Lost and ... Found?: James Baldwin’s Script and Spike Lee’s ‘Malcolm X.’” by D. Quentin Miller, African American Review
Vladimir Nabokov is best known for writing the highly controversial yet critically revered novel, Lolita. But the book might never have made it onto the shelves were it not for the other Nabokov—Vladimir's enigmatic and elusive wife, Véra. Starring: D’Arcy Carden as Véra Nabokov and Dan Bucatinsky as Vladimir Nabokov Source list: Véra by Stacy Schiff Letters to Véra by Vladimir Nabokov, Ed: Olga Voronina and Brian Boyd Vladimir Nabokov, The Russian Years by Brian Boyd Vladimir Nabokov, The American Years by Brian Boyd Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Lectures on Literature by Vladimir Nabokov, Ed: Fredson Bowers
Mary Lincoln is the First Lady everyone loves to hate. But without her, would Abe Lincoln even have been president in the first place? Theirs is a love story that contains many tragedies—and a key to how America became the country it is today. Starring: Rita Wilson as Mary Lincoln and Timothy Olyphant as Abraham Lincoln. Also featuring Matt Gourley and Mike Sweeney. Source List: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin Miller Center, The University of Virginia, www.millercenter.org The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage, by Daniel Mark Epstein Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography, by Jean H. Baker “Lincoln’s Looks Never Hindered His Approach to Life or Politics,” by Susan Bell, USC News “Mary Todd Lincoln, Patient at Bellevue Place, Batavia.” by Rodney A. Ross., Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society “Acts of Remembrance: Mary Todd Lincoln and Her Husband’s Memory.” by Jennifer L. Bach, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association “New Mary Lincoln Letter Discovered.” by Jason Emerson, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society
Mohandas Gandhi helped India win independence from Britain through nonviolent resistance but little know that he credits the inspiration for his tactics to his wife, Kasturba. So, who was the wife of this renowned saint? Starring Dipika Guha as Kasturba Gandhi and Samrat Chakrabarti as Mohandas Gandhi. Source List: The Woman Beside Gandhi: A Biography of Kasturba, Wife of the Mahatma, by Sita Kapadia Gandhi on Women, by Madhu Kishwar, Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 20, no. 41 Why Mahatma Gandhi Said Kasturba Stood Above Him, Prabhash K Dutta, New Delhi, October 2, 2018 The Truth About Gandhi, The Harvard Crimson Petty, Bad-Tempered Kasturba - What Gandhi Said While Courting Sarladevi and Esther Faerling, B.M. Bhalla, March 19, 2020 The Story of My Experiments With Truth, by Mohandas Karamchad Gandhi MAHATMA, In Eight Volumes, by D.G. Tendulkar Kasturba: A Biography, By B.M. Bhalla Gandhi Was a Racist Who Forced Young Girls to Sleep in Bed With Him, by Mayukh Sen, December 3, 2015, Vice Kasturba Gandhi, The Feisty Woman Whose Patience Inspired Gandhi's Call For Satyagraha, by Simrin Sirur, April 11, 2019, The Print
World-renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel joins Liza to discuss the dynamic between Leo and Sophia Tolstoy and whether the issues Sophia faced were a product of the times she lived in. This bonus episode is a discussion of Episode 1 of Significant Others, "Countess Sophia Tolstoy." Listen to it here.
Leo Tolstoy is widely regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. Yet, without his wife, Sophia Tolstoy, would the world have been gifted with such literary classics as War and Peace and Anna Karenina? Starring Megan Mullally as Countess Sophia Tolstoy and Nick Offerman as Leo Tolstoy. Source List: Tolstoy, A Biography by A.N. Wilson, 1988 WW Norton & Co Song Without Words: The Photographs & Diaries of Countess Sophia Tolstoy by Leah Bendavid-Val, National Geographic Society Leo Tolstoy, Diaries, Faber, Ed. R.F. Christian Tolstoy, Woman and Death by David Holbrook, Farleigh Dickinson University Press The Diaries of Sophia Tolstoy, Cathy Porter, Harper Collins
The podcast Significant Others is embedded on this page from an open RSS feed. All files, descriptions, artwork and other metadata from the RSS-feed is the property of the podcast owner and not affiliated with or validated by Podplay.