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Bob Edwards Weekend

April 2010

April 3-4, 2010


When companies want to understand global affairs, they hire someone like George Friedman. He runs Stratfor, a private intelligence company that provides long term intelligence and analysis to the highest bidder. Friedman is the author of “The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century.”

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.


Lee Smith has been writing fiction since she was a child, and her long career has drawn comparisons to Eudora Welty. In her new collection of short stories, “Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger,” Smith offers new works and favorites from older collections. She writes about religion, family and class in equal measure, creating characters who are searching for something beyond themselves.

Tim Wendel wanted to know which baseball pitcher threw the hardest ever. Instead of a single answer, his new book High Heat, explains why we’ll likely never know. Wendell discovered that the fast ball is alchemy and no one body shape tells the full tale of the fastest hurlers.


April 10-11, 2010



A Human Terrain Team is a relatively new concept in the military.  The idea is to incorporate social scientists and cultural anthropologists into military units on the front lines to help better understand and solve the conflicts and misunderstandings that arise between the local population and the troops.  Bob sits down with Montgomery McFate and Steve Fondacaro to discuss the past and future of the program.  We’ll also introduce you to the members of a Human Terrain Team during their classroom training in Kansas and their time at the Army’s National Training Center in Ft. Irwin, California. The team deployed to southern Afghanistan last September. Our documentary is titled Kansas to Kandahar: The Making of a Human Terrain Team.


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.  He was 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.



Bob talks with Michael Lewis about his new book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. It’s a look at the mortgage crisis and the few visionaries who saw it coming and made a fortune.


Actress Ellie Kendrick stars in a new adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank from PBS’s Masterpiece series. 



April 17-18, 2010 


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 chats with Bob about how his music has evolved over the past two decades, producer T Bone Burnett, and his recent collaboration with Neko Case. 


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.



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. 


In 1962, the U.S. State Department sent poet Robert Frost to Russia to ease tensions between the two nations and show off our most celebrated poet.  Franklin Reeve accompanied Frost, acting as translator and cultural guide. Reeve wrote about the experience in his book titled Robert Frost in Russia.


April 24-25, 2010 




Publishing industry visionary Richard Nash, will kick off our series on 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.


Peter Brantley is the director of the Bookserver Project at the Internet Archive. 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.


In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gedimanabout the essay of writer, director and actor Peter Ustinov.  During his 60 years on stage and screen, Ustinov 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.



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 world of New York politics.


Bob talks with Marshall Chess, son and nephew of the co-founders of Chess Records. Marshall worked for 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?.




















Bob Edwards Weekend Highlights – April 17-18, 2010