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August 2012


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In part three of our special series, “An ‘Occupational Hazard’: Rape in the Military,” Bob talks to survivors of Military Sexual Assault.  Ariana Klay was a National Merit Scholar and Division 1 Soccer player before she was recruited to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.  As an officer in the Marine Corps, she was deployed to Iraq in 2008.  A year after her return, she was gang-raped in her home one block from base in Washington, DC.  The Marine Corp convicted a fellow Marine of adultery, but not rape.  Ben Klay graduated from Yale University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government before becoming a Marine officer where he served two deployments.  Ariana and her husband Ben discuss her sexual assault, how she was treated by the Marines, and their subsequent recovery.  Then, Elle Helmer was also an officer in the Marine Corps when she was sexually attacked by her superior in 2006.  Her case is one of eight which has been filed against Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta for a lack of response. 


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Today, in part four of this week’s series, “An ‘Occupational Hazard’: Rape in the Military,” we hear an extended version of the interview with Brian Lewis who enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school.  Three years later he was raped by a senior petty officer.  Lewis will discuss that attack, why he was diagnosed with a Personality Disorder, how his military career ended, and the treatment he has received as a male survivor of Military Sexual Trauma.  Next, we revisit a conversation Bob had with Gore Vidal.  Vidal died Tuesday in Los Angeles.  In 2006, Bob visited him there and they had a wide-ranging conversation in Vidal’s Hollywood Hills living room about his life and work, touching on everything from his feelings about “right-wing nut” William F. Buckley to Vidal’s belief the Mafia was responsible for John F. Kennedy’s death.  Then, Bob talks sports with John Feinstein, Washington Post columnist and co-host of SiriusXM’s “Beyond the Brink” (Mad Dog Radio, channel 86).


Friday, August 3, 2012

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Next, we conclude this week’s feature series, “An ‘Occupational Hazard’: Rape in the Military” with Congresswoman Jackie Speier who discusses military sexual violence and her bill to help prevent it, the STOP Act, the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act.  Then, on August 5, after traveling 254 days and 354 million miles, NASA’s Mars Science Lab spacecraft  - Curiosity — will attempt a touchdown on the surface of Mars.  Marc Kaufman is a science writer for the Washington Post and the author of a new e-short coming out from National Geographic, Mars Landing 2012: Inside The Nasa Curiosity Mission.  He will explain the high drama of the upcoming landing, what scientists are calling “the six minutes of terror” landing. Kauffman’s short will be followed by a full National Geographic book in 2014.  Then finally, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Vint Cerf.  He works for Google, and Cerf is known as the “Father of the Internet.”  So, he travels a lot to attend conferences and give speeches.  But he isn’t absorbed with the wonders of the Web.  Cerf makes it a point to strike up conversations with as many strangers as he can.  He says face-to-face communication teaches him something new every day, and he does his best to treat everyone he meets with respect.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Frank Partnoy is the director of the Center for Corporate and Securities Law at the University of San Diego and a well-respected expert on financial regulation. His new book Wait is a departure from his finance background, but was inspired by the behavior of policy makers that he observed during the financial crisis. Partnoy argues that most of our decisions in life are made too quickly and that for most choices we face, slowing down our response time almost always means better results. Then, Rodriguez is an American folk singer discovered in Detroit in the late 1960s.  His music received praise from critics, but sales bombed and he dropped off the scene mysteriously.  Filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul captures that story, and how the music of Rodriguez became the soundtrack for justice in South Africa throughout their struggle with apartheid.  Searching for Sugar Man is now in theaters.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Novelist Colson Whitehead has written books on almost every topic: race, gender…elevators. Now he’s written about the end of the world. Bob talks to Whitehead about his latest book Zone One. Then, Steve Prothero is the author of The American Bible, an examination of the texts that he argues have defined and re-defined what it means to be an American.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Alek Wek fled Sudan with her family at the height of the country’s civil war. Shortly after, this long-limbed beauty was discovered by a modeling scout in a London market.  Wek has appeared on ads and runways around the world. Bob talks to Wek about her modeling career and her recent mission to South Sudan on behalf of the United Nations.  Then, The Brothers Grimm were the cause of much sensation in the early nineteenth century and today is hardly any different. Grimm, NBC’s popular television show entertains adults and children with tales of creatures — human and supernatural— who battle the forces of good and evil.  Actor Russell Hornsby plays Hank Griffin, the unsuspecting partner of Nick Grimm (aka Nick Burkhardt) the closeted evil-slayer. Some of Hornsby’s television credits include Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Wife, Shameless and Law and Order. He also has a long list of film and theatre credits. Bob talks to Hornsby about his career and this contemporary iteration of German folklore.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wade Michael Page, the domestic terrorist who attacked the Sikh temple outside Milwaukee this week, seems to have not understood the difference between Sikhs and Muslims, much less the gulf between the peaceful faithful and radical fundamentalists.  Ken Ballan knows the difference.  He is a former federal prosecutor and Congressional investigator who spent five years as a researcher interviewing more than a hundred Islamic radicals.  He was tasked with finding out more about their lives, faith, and motivations. His book Terrorists in Love, now out in paperback, tells the stories of six men - from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia – and gets past the clichés about terrorism to reveal the surprising hearts and minds of some Jihadists.  Then, this summer, director and screenwriter Tony Gilroy delivers The Bourne Legacy, the fourth film based on Robert Ludlum’s internationally best-selling Bourne series.  Loosely based on the novel of the same name by Eric Van Lustbader, The Bourne Legacy is a spin-off from Jason Bourne’s story and focuses instead on agent Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner).  Gilroy received Oscar nominations in directing and screenwriting for his 2007 film Michael ClaytonThe Bourne Legacy opens tomorrow.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Donald Barlett and James Steele have been working together as an investigative reporting team for four decades, first at The Philadelphia Inquirer, then Time Magazine and now at Vanity Fair. They have also collaborated on eight books. The latest titled The Betrayal of the American Dream is the result of three years of research and writing on the plight of the American class. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Maria Zapetis.  Compared to the rest of the world, Americans live pretty well.  As a child, Zapetis’s parents provided everything she could have wanted.  She went to expensive private schools, enjoyed ski trips in the winter and cruises in the summer, and never gave a thought to her next meal.  A high school summer camp changed her perspective.  For two weeks, she lived like a villager in Africa, and the experience showed her the day-to-day struggles that billions of people experience every day.  Now, Zapetis is doing her part to help people who are less fortunate.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Writer Uzodinma Iweala follows up his critically acclaimed novel Beasts of No Nation with a nonfiction account of the AIDS crisis in Nigeria titled Our Kind of People: A Continent’s Challenge, A Country’s Hope.  He interviewed scores of people whose lives have been touched by the disease.  Then, writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater ends today’s show by recommending a few of his favorites from children’s book illustrator Calef Brown.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Iranian graphic novelist and director Marjane Satrapi rose to fame following the release of her 2007 autobiographical film Persepolis.  Persepolis won the Jury Prize at Cannes and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature that year.  Satrapi’s new film is Chicken With Plums, a French-language film about love, music and life.  It opens this weekend.  Then, after yesterday’s glowing recommendation from Daniel Pinkwater, Bob talks with children’s book illustrator and writer Calef Brown.  Brown’s work looks a little like bebop jazz sounds: bold and colorful, with a logic all of its own.  This New York Times best-selling illustrator’s most recent book is Pirateria: The Wonderful Plunderful Pirate Emporium.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Today is the 100th anniversary of Julia Childs’ birth and her grandnephew, Alex Prud’homme, joins Bob to mark the occasion.  Prud’homme completed his aunt’s bestselling memoir, My Life in France, after her death in 2001.  Then, Bob speaks with Chuck Klosterman about his second novel, now out in paperback.  In The Visible Man, Klosterman explores the titillation of peeping into private lives.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today we remember humorist David Rakoff.  He was a public radio favorite who embraced his pessimism and whose sardonic wit made life’s everyday indignities funny.  He died last week at age 47.  Then, Bob talks sports with John Feinstein, Washington Post columnist and co-host of SiriusXM’s “Beyond the Brink” (Mad Dog Radio, channel 86).


Friday, August 17, 2012

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Next, documentary filmmaker Anthony Baxter.  When the Scottish government sidestepped laws and sold land in a protected wilderness area to celebrity real estate mogul Donald Trump, Baxter started filming.  He followed Trump as he worked to build a high-end golf course and resort on the delicate sand dunes.  Baxter’s award-winning film You’ve Been Trumped opens today in L.A. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Bob Barret.  Each of us has private hopes and desires, thoughts and feelings.  Sometimes, our public personalities are a close match to our private selves.  Other times, they are in conflict.  When he was 48 years old, Barret made the difficult choice to tell his family that he is gay.  He worried about hurting his family, but he decided that he had to be honest about his true self. 


Monday, August 20, 2012

When Anthony Heilbut was growing up in New York City in the 1950s, he’d often go see R&B shows at the Apollo Theater. One day an usher urged him to check out the gospel shows, too. Heilbut did and “became obsessed with proselytizing” for gospel music.  Heilbut has written a collection of essays titled The Fan Who Knew Too Much: Aretha Franklin, the Rise of the Soap Opera, Children of the Gospel Church, and Other Meditations.  Then, Bob talks with Susan Richards Shreve, the author of fourteen novels.  Her latest is You Are The Love Of My Life.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Racial “passing” is a controversial topic in American history.  Bob talks to author Marcia Dawkins about this and more.  She’s the author of Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing And The Color Of Cultural Identity.  Then Bob talks with Lakesia Johnson about women such as Sojourner Truth, Angela Davis, and Michelle Obama.  Johnson is an English professor and the author of Iconic: Decoding Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman which documents the lives and trials of African American women who refuse to be stereotyped.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First, we have writer Stephan Talty.  His new book Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day chronicles Barcelonan poultry farmer Juan Pujo’s strange but true tale as one of World War Two’s most important double agents.  Then, contemporary jazz musician Marcus Miller.  He has  performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in music:  Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Roberta Flack, Frank Sinatra and more. Bob talks to Miller about his career and his latest album Renaissance.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

In his fourteenth book, John McWhorter asks readers to look at language the way a linguist does:  examining and appreciating spoken language as much as the written word.  McWhorter is a linguist and tells Bob there is no such thing as “improper” grammar.  His book What Language Is (And What It Isn’t and What It Could Be) is now out in paperback.  Then, Bob talks sports with John Feinstein, Washington Post columnist and co-host of SiriusXM’s “Beyond the Brink” (Mad Dog Radio, channel 86).


Friday, August 24, 2012

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the news from the Beltway and beyond.  Next, Nassir Ghaemi, the director of the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts Medical Center, tells Bob that when the world is in crisis, slightly unbalanced leaders are our best hope.  Ghaemi’s book, A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness, is available in paperback.  Lastly, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Amanda Joseph-Anderson.  She talks about how the playlists of her youth, stacks of records played loud on the phonograph, brought her closer to her mother. 


Monday, August 27, 2012

This month marks a gruesome anniversary: the first spraying of Agent Orange over Vietnam and its people fifty-one years ago. Fred Wilcox has spent more than thirty years studying the aftereffects of the dioxin, both physical and psychological.   He is the author of Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam and Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange. Then, for 15 years, Dr. Eric Manheimer was the medical director for this nation’s oldest and most infamous public hospitals, Bellevue Hospital in New York City. In a new book, Dr. Manheimer recounts stories from his time there that he says illustrate the real-life consequences behind the healthcare debate.  One of the stories he tells in Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital is his own: Dr. Manheimer underwent radiation treatment for throat cancer and it caused him to identify with his patients in a whole new way.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Betty Mekdeci founded the Birth Defect Research for Children (BDRC) after her son was born with inexplicable birth defects. Mekdeci learned from whistleblowers at the FDA that a drug called Bendectin was responsible for her son’s special needs. Bendectin was removed from the worldwide market in 1982 thanks to Mekdeci.  Today, the BDRC researches and investigates all preventable causes of birth defects in children, including Agent Orange and other culprits. Bob talks to Mekdeci about her activism, research, and the National Birth Defect Registry.  Then, “All the world’s a stage…” said the notorious bard of western literature, and crisis management expert Judy Smith just might agree. Smith is the inspiration behind the Olivia Pope character in the hit television drama Scandal and her career is the impetus for the show. Smith is also the show’s co-creator/executive producer, and the author of the book Good Self/Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Biggest Assets.  Bob talks to Judy about her success.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Native Virginian Matt Bondurant turned no further than the lives of his grandfather and two granduncles for the topic of his 2009 book The Wettest Country in the World.  Now adapted for the big screen as Lawless, the film tells the story of the Bondurant family’s criminal ways during Prohibition. The movie stars actors Jason Clarke, Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf as the notorious Bondurant Boys; Gary Oldman and Jessica Chastain co-star.   Then, our resident folklorists Steve Winick and Nancy Groce dig through the folklife archive at the Library of Congress to share songs of secular praise.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

This month marked the 70th Anniversary of the opening of Heart Mountain internment camp. In 1942, Bill Manbo and his family were forced from their Hollywood home into a Japanese American internment camp at Heart Mountain in Wyoming.  While there, Manbo documented his experiences and his family’s struggle to maintain a normal life under the harsh conditions of racial imprisonment.  Manbo captured these images by using Kodachrome film.  Bob talks with Eric L. Muller about his new book Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II.  Then, last August, former Japanese American internees returned to Heart Mountain for a reunion of sorts. They brought their children, grand children, even great grandchildren. They swapped stories, visited old friends, and, most importantly, dedicated a new museum that honors those whose lives were so overturned as a result of Executive Order 9066.   As they gathered in the evening, they shared some of their stories with Bob Edwards Show producer Andy Kubis.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Next, Bob talks sports with John Feinstein, Washington Post columnist and co-host of SiriusXM’s “Beyond the Brink” (Mad Dog Radio, channel 86).  Then, one of the most famous photographs to come out of the Civil Rights era is of a black high school girl, dressed in white, walking stoically in front of Little Rock Central High School, while behind her stands a white girl screaming racial epithets, her face twisted in rage.  The two girls are now grown women.  In 1962, Hazel Bryan Massery tracked down Elizabeth Eckford and apologized, and the two had a public reconciliation in 1997.  Journalist David Margolick tells the history of their lives and complicated relationship in his book, Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock and it’s now out in paperback.   Finally, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Nora Lupi.  We say that every vote counts, come election time.  But often, the voices behind those votes are ignored, unless politicians think they represent a powerful constituency.  Our youngest voters sometimes feel invisible, but Lupi is twenty-something and politically opinionated – and she’s ready to be heard.  Lupi says elected representatives should remember that she and her peers represent the future of the country.