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In this episode: Fear, says National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author James McBride, was the most powerful force in the life of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. It drove him to become "the hardest working man in show business", to hoard massive stashes of cash beneath hotel room carpets, and to seek temporary refuge in drugs. It also drove him to leave one of the most astonishing musical legacies in American history, redefining R&B, Soul, and Funk music in the process.

This, along with surprise interview clips from Charles DuhiggSteven Pinker, and A.O. Scott, is the spark that sets James McBride and host Jason Gots off on a conversational journey with many twists and turns that touches on violence, virtual reality, and what it's like to be in a writer's room with Ta-Nahesi Coates, James McBride, David Simon (creator of The Wire) and Pulitzer Prize winning historian Taylor Branch. 

 

James McBride quote: "Fear is just a monster motivator. It sells many a car and harnesses many a vote."

 

EXTRA BONUS THING! 

Our funky, funky theme song by Breakmaster Cylinder

 

About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.