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Patrick Radden Keefe on Rogues and Rebels

Patrick Radden Keefe on Rogues and Rebels

Show Notes

We could look at people who veer off society’s dominant tracks into moral gray zones as simply bad, or damaged, or living the consequences of bad choices. But from the inside, people always have reasons for doing what they do, and when all the cards are on the table, morality can become murkier. New Yorker writer Patrick Radden Keefe is fascinated by what drives people who land outside the norm, and especially those who do bad things. His latest book, “Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks,” compiles some of his best New Yorker pieces on “successful” outliers, including Mexican drug lord El Chapo Guzmán, the Sackler family, and late chef Anthony Bourdain. In the first event of the Winter Words 2023 season from Aspen Words, Keefe talks to Mitzi Rapkin, host of the literary podcast “First Draft,” about what draws him to these subjects, how he pulls information from his sources, and how he crafts narratives that keep us glued to the page.


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