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Bob Edwards Weekend - August 2013

August 3-4

HOUR ONE: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.

After the government of Indonesia was overtaken by a military regime in 1965, more than one million people were executed by gangsters and paramilitary forces.  Many of those killers are still alive today.  In the new documentary The Act of Killing, they describe and reenact their gruesome mass-murders with pride.  Josh Oppenheimer is the filmmaker who captured the incredible footage.  Now too risky for him to return, he says, “Indonesia is a country where the military is still overwhelmingly powerful; where the government and big Western corporations use thugs to enforce oppressive labor conditions or to seize people’s land or to break strikes; and where there’s still political censorship.”

Then, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe.  


Michael Cera is known to film and television audiences as a lovable, if overly awkward young man.  In the new film, Crystal Fairy, Cera plays against type as an American visitor to Chile whose main interest is sampling the local offerings in the drug world. Bob talks with Cera and director Sebastian Silvaabout the film, and it’s unlikely path to existence.

It was 40 years ago that readers first met the fearless adventurer, marine engineer, and government agent Dirk Pitt in author Clive Cussler’s The Mediterranean Caper.  A copy writer by day, Cussler started writing at night to keep himself company while his wife worked a nightshift.  This best-selling author’s most recent book is Zero Hour, the 9th installment of his Numa Files series.

In the late 1950s and early 60s, Nat King Cole released three ground-breaking Spanish language albums and became instantly beloved by many Latin Americans for helping to bring their language and beats to an American audience. Now his daughter is following in his footsteps with Natalie Cole en Espanol.  Cole felt inspired to make this album not only because of her father’s connection with the music but also because her life-saving kidney donor was Latino. Natalie Cole speaks with Bob about the experience of undergoing a kidney transplant and her special relationship with the donor’s family, as well as her family’s long commitment to bilingual music.


August 10-11


Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.

Paula Coughlin was a Lieutenant in the United States Navy who became a whistleblower in 1992, launching the investigation into what is known as the “Tailhook Scandal.”  Now a board member for Protect Our Defenders, she’ll discuss the ongoing problems of sexual assault in the military as an update to our award-winning documentary, “An ‘Occupational Hazard’: Rape in the Military.”  Next, Bob talks with Dr. Stephen Hanks.  In November 2012, Lt. Col James Wilkerson was convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a civilian contractor, Dr. Hanks’s sister.  Wilkerson was dismissed from the Air Force and sentenced to one year in jail, but his commander overturned the conviction and freed the star pilot, reinstating him back into service.  Dr. Hanks discusses the case and the ongoing humiliation of his family.  Then, Bob visits again with Ariana and Ben Klay who were officers in the U.S. Marine Corps when Ariana was sexually assaulted in her home by two men, one a fellow Marine officer.  Ariana attempted suicide before both husband and wife resigned from the Marines.  The Klays give their insights following the recent events related to sexual assault in the military.

Then, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe.


In his newest book, Hallucinations, neuroscientist Oliver Sacks tells stories of his patients and of his own mind-altering experiences to explain what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains. He argues that hallucinations have influenced every culture’s folklore and art, and the potential to experience them is present in us all.

Listening to musician Pokey LaFarge is a little like stepping back in time.  With slicked back hair and a natty pin stripped suit, LaFarge and his band play a blend of old timey blues, ragtime and Americana roots music—all of it written in the last 10 years.  LaFarge and his band mates join Bob in our performance studio to play and discuss their latest album, Pokey LaFarge. 


August 17-18

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.
Dan Balz is a political reporter for The Washington Post and in his new book, Collision 2012, he shares behind the scenes details from our most recent presidential campaign. Balz joins Bob to discuss what 2016 might hold for both parties and what we can learn from last year’s race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
Then, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe
In his latest book, astrophysicist Mario Livio reports on colossal mistakes made by great scientists that led to profound changes in our understanding of life on Earth and the formation and structure of the universe.  Livio’s book is titled Brilliant Blunders.
Bob talks with Reggie Pace and Lance Koehler about founding No BS! Brass.  With four trombones, three trumpets, a sax, a tuba and drums, the band can really make some noise. They’ve been rocking fans in the Richmond, Virginia area for years, now the band is hoping to introduce its sound to the rest of the country. They will start by blowing the windows out of our performance studio.  The No BS Brass Band has two new CDs out now, RVA All Day and Fight Song: A Tribute to Charles Mingus.


August 24-25


Political Junkie Ken Rudin reunites with Bob to discuss their favorite political stories of the week.

Clarence B. Jones is the former adviser, speech writer and close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Jones is also the author of Behind The Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nationand Scholar in Residence at the MLK, Jr. Institute at Stanford University.  Bob talks to Jones about his relationship with King and the writing of the famous speech.

Then, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe.


Beloved writer Judy Blume has been the voice of young people’s literature for over 40 years.  The author of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, the Fudge books, and many others, Blume can now add screenwriter to her resume.  Based on her 1981 novel, Tiger Eyes follows a young woman forced to cope with the aftermath of her father’s murder.  Tiger Eyes was directed by Blume’s son, Lawrence, and is available through Video on Demand.

We remember Marian McPartland, jazz pianist and longtime host of NPR’s Piano Jazz.  In 2008, Bob visited McPartland in her Long Island home to reminisce about her life and career. McPartland died Tuesday at age 95.


August 31 - September 1


Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.

In the turbulent summer of 1964, Martha and the Vandellas sang: “Callin’ out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?”   Writer Mark Kurlansky looks at the impact of that invitation in his new book Ready for a Brand New Beat: How “Dancing in the Street” Became the Anthem for a Changing America.

This week marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and during our coverage, Bob talked with professors, musicians, pastors and politicians about the anniversary, about current affairs and about the future of civil rights in America.  We offer a small sampling of those interviews.

Then, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe.  This week, we hear from Bonita Porter, who attended the March on Washington when she was 11 years old and heard Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech.  Porter’s essay is about the power of words.


In 2010, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi put their individual groups on hold to form a family band that would allow them to take their two kids on the road with them.  Trucks was a slide guitar prodigy who began touring with some of blues and rock music’s biggest names before his tenth birthday.  Likewise, Tedeschi has been playing in bands since she was 13, but has come a long way since her first all-original group The Smokin’ Section. The husband and wife bandleaders take a break from their extensive tour to talk with Bob about family life on the road and their second studio album, Made Up Mind.

The team behind the cult favorites Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007) return with the last of the so-called “Cornetto Trilogy.” The World’s End follows a group of old school chums as they begin a pub crawl like the old days, but they discover that their hometown and the residents they remember have undergone certain otherworldly changes.  Bob talks with director Edgar Wright and actors Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.