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Arianna Huffington on sleep, death, and social media

Klick Health MUSE NYC Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Klick, Inc.

Arianna Huffington is best known as the editor and namesake of the Huffington Post, a juggernaut of the new media world. She's also the author of the new book The Sleep Revolution.

Huffington began her media career as a prominent conservative — and a confidant of Newt Gingrich — in the 1990s. Her first website was actually dedicated to persuading Bill Clinton to resign from the presidency. The Huffington Post came later, and the stress of it nearly killed her.

After fainting from exhaustion and seriously injuring herself, she embarked on a quest to reevaluate both her and America's attitude toward work, toward sleep, and toward wellness. The result, she says, has made her a better leader — and a more well-rested one.

You can hear my conversation with Huffington by subscribing to my podcast or streaming it on SoundCloud. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • Why she thought Bill Clinton should have resigned over the Lewinsky scandal
  • How she launched the Huffington Post
  • Her strategy for persuading celebrities and experts to contribute to her site, often for free
  • Her sleep habits, and why she's not interested in lucid dreaming
  • Her critique of America's work culture
  • What she learned launching versions of the Huffington Post in 15 other countries
  • How Huffington Post reinvented itself for the age of social media
  • Why she doesn't believe in death

And, as always, much more.

A big thanks again to Huffington for taking so much time for this conversation. For more podcast conversations — including episodes with Rachel Maddow, Bill Gates, Robert Reich, chef David Chang, and conservative activist Grover Norquist — subscribe to The Ezra Klein Show.