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Bob Edwards Weekend - August 2011

August 6-7


In Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate, journalist Juan Williams uses his very public firing from NPR as a launching pad to discuss the countless ways in which honest debate in America is stifled. Williams writes about the lack of discourse in the halls of Congress and the health care town halls to the partisan talk shows and print media. Bob talks with Williams about his new book, his departure from NPR and his expanded role at Fox News. 

Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney is back – yet again – to discuss his latest project, Magic Trip. He uses archival footage shot in 1964 by Ken Kesey and “The Merry Band of Pranksters” as they traveled by psychedelic bus from the West coast to the World’s Fair in New York City. They documented their LSD-fueled trip to the “World of Tomorrow” with 16mm film, but never quite finished editing the 100 hours of footage.

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Julia Pistell.  She is never too busy to take a lunch break. She’s not hungry, she’s simply curious. Pistell has had many jobs in several countries, and her lunch breaks have given her an opportunity to meet new people, learn a different language, tame wild cats, and write letters to a far-off love. She says what you do at lunch is the true reflection of who you are.



Melissa Fay Greene was last on this program to talk about There is No Me Without You, a book about a middle-class Ethiopian widow whose home became a refuge for hundreds of AIDS-orphaned children. In the years since, Greene and her husband adopted four children from Ethiopia. Those kids joined another son adopted from Bulgaria as well as Greene’s four other children by birth. When the number of children hit nine, Greene turned her reporter’s eye to events at home and has now written, No Biking in the House Without a Helmet.


August 13-14


Joe and Terry Graedon are co-hosts of the public radio show The People’s Pharmacy and co-authors of many books, their latest is titled Quick and Handy Home Remedies. The Graedons join Bob to discuss their favorite beneficial foods and what items in your fridge or cupboard can treat some common ailments.

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Bryan McGuire. Whenever things went wrong in his life, he knew who to blame: his father. In McGuire’s eyes, his dad was a collection of misdeeds and shortcomings, and they fueled his anger at the world. Then McGuire himself became a father, and he saw his dad in a new light, eventually finding the courage to forgive the old wrongs.



Brooke Gladstone is the editor and host of the public radio program On the Media. Her new book, The Influencing Machine, is a guide through the complexities of modern media in comic book form. Gladstone argues that it’s wrong to see “The Media” as an external force since so many of us are directly constructing, filtering and shaping the news that we consume.

Scientists at the FDA estimate that the painkiller Vioxx directly led to the deaths of 40,000 people over the five years that the drug was on the market. Former NPR reporter Snigdha Prakash covered the story while it was unfolding and now she has written a book about the lawsuits and trials that eventually led the drug company Merck to reach a multi-billion dollar settlement. In All The Justice Money Can Buy, Prakash describes the legal maneuverings and scientific manipulation that make it very difficult to hold powerful corporations accountable.


August 20-21, 2011


Privately or in public, few people enjoy being embarrassed. Poet and critic Wayne Koestenbaum examines humiliations’ various forms and settings in the latest from Picador’s BIG IDEAS, Small Books series. It’s simply and appropriately titled Humiliation.

The 1980s conjure happy nostalgia for some, while others remember it as a low point in American history. For the good and the bad, author David Sirota claims that the decade of Ronald Reagan and Bill Cosby has an outsized influence on our national perspective today. His book is titled Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now – Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything.  

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Mark Olmsted. Every morning as he walks his dog, Olmsted fills several garbage bags with trash from the street. He’s not a neat freak — he’s a recovering drug addict. Picking up trash from the street is Olmsted’s way of making amends and putting the Serenity Prayer into action.  


Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to talk about politics and other news.

Legendary guitarists George Harrison, Pete Townshend and Brian Setzer all wailed on the same axe, the Gretsch 6120. First sold in the 1950s with the endorsement of Chet Atkins, the 6120 has since become a favorite of musicians and collectors the world over. Author and guitar aficionado Edward Ball and his fellow guitarist Fred Stucky play selections on the renowned instrument and explain why the Gretsch is so well loved.


Bob Edwards Weekend is heard on XM 121 & Sirius 205 on Saturdays from 7-9 AM EST.

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