Part of a podcast series

The Wheeler Centre

View all episodes in this series

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.

Who?

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

Portrait of Paul Holdengräber

Paul Holdengräber

Paul Holdengräber is the Founding Executive Director of the Onassis Foundation LA (OLA), an outpost of the Onassis headquarters in Athens that began its work as a ‘center of dialogue’ earlier this year. Prior to working at OLA, he was the founder and director of New York Public Library (NYPL)’s Public Programming, and the host of LIVE from the NYPL.  

The Wheeler Centre

Subscribe to the Wheeler Centre's podcast to hear full recordings of our talks – featuring the best in books, writing and ideas.