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April 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

In 2006, writer Siri Hustvedt was speaking at a memorial for her father when she suffered a seizure from the neck down.  Although she lost control over her limbs, Hustvedt continued to speak clearly, finishing her talk.  Over the next few years, as Hustvedt continued to have these bizarre seizures, she searched for a diagnosis to help her understand her condition, finally discovering answers in an emerging field in neurological science called “neuropsychoanalysis.”  Hustvedt chronicled her journey in her memoir, “The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves.” Then, singer & songwriter Sebastian Krueger is known as Inlets. He’ll answer questions about his career and perform songs from his forthcoming album “Inter Arbiter.”


Friday, April 2, 2010

David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics. Next, The Obama administration has just presented a new blueprint for education reform – an issue of great concern to Diane Ravitch.  She’s Research Professor of Education at New York University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.  Ravitch will discuss the proposed changes and her latest book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.” Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of writer and educator Wallace Stegner. He published over 30 novels, collections of short stories and essays, and historical works. “The Big Rock Candy Mountain” was among his most popular novels, and “Angle of Repose” won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Stegner wrote about the American West, which he also fought to protect.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Journalist and author Judith Warner tackles the complicated debate about the overmedication of children in her book “We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication.” Warner interviewed doctors, parents, researchers and family experts to explain what drives the medication of children and what it’s doing to today’s younger generation. Then, Bob talks with Iqbal Quadir founder of the mobile phone company GrameenPhone in Bangladesh, a partnership with the Nobel Prize winning micro-loan pioneer Mohammed Yunus.  Grameenphone created a massive, decentralized communication system, affordable to the masses of poor Bangladeshis.  Improved communications improved lives; reduced time wasted on simple inquiries and created hundreds of thousands of new businesses.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Writer Ted Conover’s book “The Routes of Man: How Roads are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today” explores six of the world’s byways, and examines how roads connect people and civilizations.  Then, The Nighthawks, a Washington DC-based blues band, return to the Sirius XM studio where they recorded the tracks for their new release, “Last Train to Bluesville.”


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Brian Katulis, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, discusses the relationship between the Obama Administration and Israel, which, to many, appears to be shifting. Katulis will talk about the recent events and how the dynamic could affect the Middle East peace process. Then, Jakob Dylan founded “The Wallflowers” in 1989, won two Grammys for the 1996 hit, “One Headlight,” and is now releasing his second solo album, “Women and Country.” Dylan visited our performance studio to discuss the evolution of his career and to play some tunes from his new album.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Set in a New York state post-World War II asylum, Shira Nayman’s second novel “The Listener” tells the story of a psychiatrist studying the effects of war neurosis and his dawning awareness of his own emotional, sexual and chemical demons. Nayman worked for years in mental institutions before and is now a campaign strategist in the rough and tumble of New York politics. Then, Bob talks with Marshall Chess, son and nephew of the co-founders of Chess Records. Marshall worked for 16 years at the label, learning every aspect of the business and observing his father Leonard and his uncle Phil interact with their artists. Marshall will also discuss the new movie coming out about the history of Chess Records called “Who Do You Love?”


Friday, April 9, 2010

David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics. Next, actress Ellie Kendrick stars in a new adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank” from PBS’s Masterpiece series. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of film actor, writer, director and producer Hugo Haas. Born in Czechoslovakia, his father and brother died in Nazi gas chambers, but Hugo escaped to America. He became active in Hollywood making numerous low-budget movies. Haas died in 1968.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland is journalist Jeff Biggers’ expose of the American coal industry.  Biggers, a native of Southern Illinois coal country, tracks the ugly history of Appalachian coal mining from the use of slaves in the mines to the mountain top removal of today.  Then, publishing industry visionary Richard Nash, will kick off our week-long look at The Future of Book Publishing. Nash is the former publisher of the independent Soft Skull Press and founder of the new social publishing house Cursor.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010    

Peter Brantley is the director of the Bookserver Project at the Internet Archive, a San Francisco-based not-for-profit library. As part of our series on the publishing industry, Bob talks with Brantley about the effects of technology on the future of reading, writing, and selling books. Then, we continue to talk about the publishing industry with Dan Visel, author, book designer, and member of the Institute for the Future of the Book, a think tank funded by the MacArthur Foundation.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010  

Continuing our publishing series, Bob talks with Cathy Langer, lead buyer for Denver’s Tattered Cover bookstore, about bookseller’s response to the current state of publishing.  Langer sits on the board for the American Bookseller’s Association and is a former president of the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association.  Then, last month, The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos) won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.  Juan Jose Campanella wrote and directed the Argentine thriller, which has been noted for its subtleties in plot and character.  Campanella will discuss the film, his time directing American television, House M.D. and Law and Order, and the international business of entertainment.


Thursday, April 15, 2010 

Alex de Campi is the author of a 24-epsiode graphic novel titled Valentine.  It’s published every month in 14 languages to e-readers, smartphones, and shortly the web. Valentine is a Creative Commons work that allows its readers to pay what they can, which has helped build a global fanbase over the comic’s first four episodes. As part of our series on the publishing industry Bob talks with de Campi about her work, her approach to digital platforms, and how she plans to make enough money to quit her day job some day.  Then, Richard Russo is a Pulitzer-prize winning novelist and screenwriter. His career has stretched over twenty-five years, and as part of our series on the publishing industry, Bob talks with Russo about changes he’s encountered in the past quarter Century and expectations on authors for the future. 


                                                                                                                                                                 Friday, April 16, 2010 

David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics. Next, book critic Laura Millerconcludes our publishing series by talking about how publishing today is affecting readers.  Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Arthur Garfield Hays. He was general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union for 30 years. Among his many cases, Hays served as a defense attorney at the Scopes trial (along with Clarence Darrow), the Sacco and Vanzetti trial, and the Scottsboro Nine trial.


Monday, April 19, 2010  

Bob talks with Bob O’Neil, Director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, about the Center’s annual “Muzzle” Awards—a dishonor given out to those who committed the most egregious or ridiculous affronts to free expression in the past year.  Then, Gabriel Thompson spent a year working alongside day laborers across the U.S. for his book Working In The Shadows: A Year Of Doing The Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do. His personal narratives about lettuce harvesting and processing chicken parts have themes of social activism, advocating immigration reform, stricter labor laws, a higher minimum wage, and unionizing.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The 18th century was an era of philosophical, astronomical, poetical and physical exploration. Startling works of originality from Keats, Coleridge and Shelley are well known but the same Romantic wellsprings of wonder, hope and, “the vivid but questing belief in a future for the globe,” inspired remarkable scientific advances.  Richard Holmes tells these twin stories in the New York Times Best Book of the Year, The Age of Wonder.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010  

Why do we still root for Superman?  He is stronger than any of us.  He didn’t earn his powers.  He always wins and is a more than a little sanctimonious.  In his new book Our Hero: Superman on Earth ProfessorTom DeHaven argues Superman continues to win our devotion because he exemplifies the classic American immigrant success story. Then, Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent had already gained acclaim in the bluegrass world long before teaming up to record their first album as a duo.  In 2008 they released their debut album, Dailey & Vincent, which was named album of the year, one of seven awards the group took home in an unprecedented feat at the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show. Now the duo has just released their new CD titled Dailey & Vincent Sing The Statler Brothers.


Thursday, April 22, 2010 

40 years ago the first Earth Day celebration brought nearly 10% of the American population out into the streets and parks across the country and launched a global phenomenon. Bob speaks with Director Robert Stone, producer and director of the new documentary film Earth Days, airing on PBS nationally, and one of the people featured in the film Denis Hayes, the organizer who pulled off that first Earth Day.  Then, director Anne Henderson’s documentary Battle of Wills is a historical mystery about the legitimacy of a portrait that it’s owners claim to be the only picture of William Shakespeare painted during his lifetime.


Friday, April 23, 2010  

On April 24, 1915, the Ottomans arrested approximately 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders, marking what many scholars call the start of the Armenian Genocide.  Ninety-five years later, the g-word is still taboo in Turkey and as recently as two years ago, a journalist was fatally shot in Istanbul for talking about it.  Taner Akcam is a Turkish scholar at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University and author of A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish ResponsibilityRouben Adalian is the Director of the Armenian National Institute.  They’ll discuss the archival evidence of what happened, a recent conference they hosted of Turkish and Armenian historians, and how the two nations might be able to move forward.  Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of writer, director and actor Peter Ustinov.  He had a career spanning 60 years on stage and screen. He won two Academy Awards for best supporting actor, as well as three Emmy Awards and a Grammy Award for best children’s recording. Ustinov also served as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF for many years.                                                 


Monday, April 26, 2010  

Bob talks with former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund and current Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Simon Johnson about his new book 13 Bankers.  Johnson argues that the fundamental causes of our financial crisis are still with us and that a second financial shock is inevitable unless the six largest banks are broken up.  Then, in 1958, Kris Wilski was a young man living in his native Poland when U.S. jazz ambassador Dave Brubeck stopped in Warsaw for a memorial round of concerts and goodwill.  Bob talks with Wilski about his experiences in celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010  

Master novelist Ian McEwan’s new book Solar tells the story of a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who, at this mid-point in his career, is happy to coast along on his famous name, even while his personal life falls apart around him.  McEwan is the Booker Prize winning author of the novels Atonement, Saturday, and Amsterdam. Then, Dr. Arthur Burnett, director of the Male Consultation Clinic at Johns Hopkins, is an authority on prostate cancer. Journalist Norman Morris, former CBS News producer, is a prostate cancer survivor himself. Co-authors of the book Prostate Cancer Survivors Speak Their Mind, they’ll talk honesty about the latest in diagnosis, treatment, and after effects. The book features personal stories from famous prostate cancer survivors like Sen. John Kerry and golf legend Arnold Palmer.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010  

Actress Carol Burnett hosted The Carol Burnett Show for 11 years, winning an outstanding 25 Emmys along the way.  Her book This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection recounts some of Burnett’s most memorable stories and beloved roles over her 55 year career.  Then, Brothers Willy and Cody Braun grew up touring and playing with their father’s western swing band.  Then they moved from Idaho to Austin, Texas to form their own band and named it after a brazen Australian bank robber. Reckless Kelly has just released its seventh studio album called Somewhere In Time.  The Braun brothers join Bob to discuss the band’s career arc and the new CD.


Thursday, April 29, 2010 

Thomas Jefferson is revered as one of the visionary founding fathers of our country, but his tenure as governor of Virginia during the Revolutionary War nearly derailed his legacy. Led by Benedict Arnold, the British took Virginia with relative ease and Jefferson was forced to flee his beloved home. The memories and lessons gleaned from these events had a profound effect on the rest of Jefferson’s life. Michael Kranish is a reporter in the Boston Globe’s Washington bureau and the author of Flight from Monticello: Thomas Jefferson at War.  Then, private eye Leonid McGill is a suspect in a murder case in award-winning novelist Walter Mosley’s latest book Known to Evil.  Translated into over 20 languages, Mosley is best known as the author of the popular Easy Rawlins’s detective series.  This is Mosley’s second novel about McGill, a bad-guy turned good-guy contemporary detective working the means streets of New York City. 


Friday, April 30, 2010  

David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics.  Next, Bob talks with brothers Benjamin and Peter Bratt about their new feature film, La Mission.  Benjamin plays a father struggling to come to terms with his son’s homosexuality in this loving portrait of San Francisco’s gentrifying Latino neighborhood. The film was directed and written by Peter Bratt.   Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Walter Lanier “Red” Barber.   Red Barber was a play-by-play announcer from 1933 – 1966, working for the Cincinnati Reds, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees. In retirement, he wrote seven books and appeared in weekly conversations with Bob Edwards on NPR. Barber was among the first broadcasters honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame.