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Paul Holdengräber: The Art of the Interview

Listen to Paul Holdengräber: The Art of the Interview

Photograph of Paul Holdengräber and Sally WarhaftPaul Holdengräber and Sally Warhaft

Paul Holdengräber and Sally Warhaft — Photo: Sophie Quick

What makes a great interview? What can public conversation do, and why does it matter? And how does a skilled interviewer handle the various nightmare breeds of interview subject, from The Robot to The Waffler; The Sermoniser to The Sphinx?

In this conversation, we bring together two master interlocutors – Paul Holdengräber and our own Sally Warhaft – for a meaningful dialogue about ... meaningful dialogue. Paul Holdengräber was the former curator of conversations at the New York Public Library, and is the founding executive director of the Onassis Foundation LA, a centre for dialogue in Los Angeles which is an outpost of the Onassis headquarters in Athens. Throughout his distinguished career, he's interviewed hundreds of artists, scientists and luminaries, from Salman Rushdie to Jay Z. Sally Warhaft is the Wheeler Centre's in-house news anchor and the host of the popular Fifth Estate conversation series and podcast. She's interrogated big names in Australian politics and high-profile international guests, from the late Malcolm Fraser to Masha Gessen and Ronan Farrow.  

How do you get, and keep, your subject on side? And what’s the role of discussion in today’s increasingly partisan political climate? Join Warhaft and Holdengräber as they talk career highlights, horror stories and the art and purpose of public conversation today.

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