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Bob Elsewhere

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April 2009

Click here for a free podcast of the shows described below.


April 4-5


  • When the US Military deposed Saddam Hussein, many Iraqis celebrated the brutal regime’s downfall. However, the ensuing power vacuum created an environment of violent instability, forcing millions of Iraqis to flee for their safety. Iraqi refugees registered with the UN in the hopes of being relocated to a safe location, sometimes halfway around the world. Charlottesville, Virginia is the new hometown of one Iraqi woman and part of her family. In our new documentary, Iraqi Refugees in America, we’ll meet “Leila” and her courageous family as they try to build a new life in Virginia, and we’ll hear from dedicated officials of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) about the political process of refugee resettlement in the United State



  • This year marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of Sandra Cisneros seminal work The House on Mango Street. This slim book of vignettes about a young Latina girl is considered to be one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed books of the 20th century.


  • In July 2005, Scott Hicks began filming a documentary about Philip Glass to celebrate his 70th birthday in 2007. Over those initial 18 months, Hicks had unprecedented access to the composer, following him across three continents – from New York City to his property in Nova Scotia to the world premiere of his new opera in Germany and to a solo performance in Australia. On April 8th, “Glass: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts” premieres nationally on the PBS program American Masters. Hicks is best known for writing and directing Shine, a movie about the pianist David Helfgott.


April 11-12

Hour One

  • Writer Thomas Cahill first met Dominique Green in December 2003 at the request of a local judge. Green had spent twelve years on death row for a murder he says he didn’t commit. Cahill pleaded for Green’s life, even recruiting Archbishop Desmond Tutu to help, saying Green had “a level of goodness, peace, and enlightenment that few human beings ever attain.” That fight ended on October 26, 2004 in Huntsville, Texas when the 30-year-old inmate was executed by lethal injection. But Thomas Cahill continues to tell Green’s story in his new book titled A Saint on Death Row.
    Sirius XM classical music host Martin Goldsmith explains some of George Frideric Handel’s musical trickery in his masterpiece “The Messiah.”



  • Newsweek columnist Ellis Cose’s new public radio series, Against the Odds, focuses on stories of individuals who, despite enduring terrible events, have made positive contributions to the world. One of the hour-long programs is titled Hope on a Pile of Bones, and examines how the small country of Rwanda is pulling itself back together after the 1994 genocide. It all started 15 years ago this month, and before the killing stopped in July, nearly a million Rwandans were dead


  • Corneille is a young R&B artist who was born in Germany, raised in Rwanda, now holds Canadian citizenship, and sings in English and French. His sound has been compared to Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Sam Cooke. And although he has sold millions of records in both France and Canada, Corneille is relatively unknown in the US. Motown Records plans to change that with the release of his latest CD titled The Birth of Cornelius. And if the music doesn’t move people, the back-story will: Corneille’s parents and many members of his extended family were killed in the Rwandan genocide.


April 18-19




  • The $160 million in bonuses paid to AIG employees from the federal bailout money angered politicians in Washington and citizens across the country. But the $3.6 billion in bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch workers oddly has not – nor has the $210 million paid to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac employees. Washington Post reporter Amit Paley discusses who’s getting what of the bailout funds – and why some lawmakers are perplexed by the complicated rules related to executive compensation during this financial crisis.


  • Jesse Winchester went to Canada in 1967 to avoid being drafted during the Vietnam War. While in Montreal, he wrote songs that were covered by various artists, but Winchester’s career as a performer suffered because he couldn’t tour in the United States. Only after1977, when President Carter granted amnesty to draft dodgers could Winchester return to the U.S. to perform for his American fans. He tells Bob that his move to Canada was only one of many unwise career moves.


  • Bob talks with music reviewer Anthony DeCurtis about Love Filling Station, the new CD from Jesse Winchester.




  • As the Discovery channel’s hit show Mythbusters starts its seventh season, hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage talk with Bob about the hard but entertaining work of using science to confirm or expose popular myths.


  • Evan Wright was embedded with the Marines for the first forty days of the Iraq War and those reports for Rolling Stone were made into a dramatic HBO miniseries called Generation Kill. Wright’s knack for documenting human nature and power struggles didn’t start there. He’s written for Hustler and Vanity Fair and his latest book, Hella Nation, draws on detailed observations of the time he’s spent interviewing members of the underbelly of American culture.


April 25-26



    • At the end of 2006, more than 1 million highly skilled immigrant professionals and their families were waiting for permanent resident visas. But only 120,000 visas are given out every year. A new study shows that instead of continuing to wait, the foreign-born engineers, scientists and doctors are returning home. Bob talked with Vivek Wadhwa, the researcher behind the study who explains what’s causing the reverse brain drain and why it matters to the US economy.


    • Franz Wisner became famous when his fiancé dumped him just before their wedding. Wisner wrote a best-selling book about the experience called Honeymoon With My Brother. Now Wisner has taken his younger brother Kurt on another global adventure and written How the World Makes Love: … And What It Taught a Jilted Groom.


    • Singer-songwriter Elliott Murphy has released 29 albums since his debut in 1973 with Aquashow. But he’s not a household name here, maybe because he was one of the first American artists to go independent — and because he’s lived in France since 1989. Murphy talks with Bob about his music, his life on the road and his books. Murphy has written five including a semi-autobiography, Cold and Electric, and the novel, Where the Men are Rich and the Women are Naked.



    • Andrew Bacevich is a unique observer of American politics. He is a retired Army colonel, a self-described conservative Catholic, a history professor at Boston University and the father of a soldier who was killed while fighting in Iraq. Bob talks with Bacevich about his book titled The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism. It comes out in paperback April 28th.


    • Bob talks with Laura Waters Hinson, director of the documentary, As We Forgive. The movie tells the stories of survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide as they prepare to face the men who slaughtered their families and test whether reconciliation can really work.


    • In honor of Holocaust Awareness Month, Martin Goldsmith, host of Sirius XM’s Symphony Hall, talks about the musicians and composers who died in the Nazi concentration camp Terezin.