Joe Clement and Peter Frase talk about Kurt Vonnegut's first novel, Player Piano, originally published in 1952. The story of Player Piano is set not too long after WWII, and is about social anxieties and alienation in class society in the shadow of the machines that replaced much human labor in the United States during the war. It focuses on a soul-searching engineer, Paul Proteus, and his clandestine recruitment into a revolution against the machines. Joe and Peter discuss the novel's economic vision, how it reflects anxieties of its time and how they might still resonate today, the crisis for patriarchy technology creates and the patriarchal bias Vonnegut still has beneath his satire, the politics of sabotage and direct action in the economy, and more.
The originally aired interview was 10 minutes long. This version adds 15 minutes of conversation.