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Bob Edwards Weekend

February 2010

February 6-7, 2010



With concerns about mounting national debt so intense now that President Obama has called for a partial spending freeze, Bob turns to David Walker for fiscal opinion and analysis.  Walker is a former comptroller general of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office and he has just written Comeback America:  Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility.


The Berlin Airlift has been called the first battle of the cold war. For almost a year, young men flew old planes over Berlin dropping food, fuel, medicine — even candy — to the two million people below. In his new book Daring Young Men, historian Richard Reeves tells the stories of the civilian airmen who carried out one of history’s largest humanitarian campaigns.


In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Ben Lucien Burman.  Author, journalist, and World War I veteran Burman wrote 22 books, including the bestselling Catfish Bend series about life in a fictitious Louisiana river town. Several of his books became movies, including Steamboat Round the Bend, which starred Will Rogers.




Edge of Sports host Dave Zirin gives Bob a preview of Super Bowl XLIV. Then, Bob talks with Keith Campbell, older brother of producer Chad Campbell, and life-long New Orleans resident about the Super Bowl. The Saints are appearing in that contest for the first time, and Bob talks with Campbell about what a win might mean for the city.


When Vince Lombardi became coach of the Green Bay Packers, the franchise was in a tail spin. It was the laughingstock of the National Football League – community owned, cheaply run, and outclassed on the field. When coaches and owners of other teams wanted to scare a little hard work into their own players, they threatened to ship the miscreants to Green Bay. In Lombardi’s first season with the Packers, he returned the team to respectability and began to lay the groundwork for his now legendary coaching ability. John Eisenbergtalks with Bob about Lombardi, coaching philosophies, and current NFL teams that could use a Lombardi of their own. Eisenberg’s book is titled, That First Season.


Entertainment critic and former NEA Director of Literature David Kipen talks about the Oscar nominations, what’s new in theaters, and J. D. Salinger.


February 13-14, 2010



In 1971, Daniel Ellsburg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, leaked 7,000 pages of top secret documents about the war to the press. It was a Defense Department study never meant to be seen by the public. Its publication in the New York Times proved the war was based on lies and eventually led to president Richard Nixon’s resignation and the end of America’s involvement in Vietnam. Bob talks with Ellsburg about his decision to release the “Pentagon Papers” and with filmmakers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith about their new documentary called The Most Dangerous Man in America.


In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Harry S. Truman.  He was the 33rd President of the United States, serving from 1945 to 1953. Born and raised in Missouri, Truman was a farmer, businessman, World War I veteran and U. S. senator. As President, his order to drop atomic bombs on Japan helped end World War II.




David Rose is the author of Sexually, I’m More of a Switzerland: More Personal Ads from the London Review of Books.  He edited 2006’s They Call Me Naughty Lola and is an editor for the London Review of Books.


Bach’s Cello Suites are one of the most recognizable pieces of music ever composed. The melodies are ubiquitous in movies, television, commercials — and they have been played at major world events: the fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11 memorial services, Ted Kennedy’s memorial service most recently. But the Cello Suites were almost never heard.  For centuries after Bach died, the music was lost, discovered accidentally and then popularized by the Spanish cellist Pablo Casals. Eric Siblin tells the story in a book called The Cello Suites: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece.



February 20-21, 2010



Almost 60 years ago, doctors took cells from a cancer patient in Baltimore. She died soon afterward, forgotten by everyone but her family. The woman’s cells, however, became immortal and famous - known as HeLa. HeLa cells were the first to grow reliably in a laboratory, and they’re still the most widely used today. They’re responsible for everything from the Polio vaccine to gene mapping. They’ve ridden into space and into oblivion on atomic weapons. In a new book, Rebecca Skloot tells the story of the woman from whom HeLa cells were taken without permission, and what happened to her family after she died. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is part biography and part investigation into racial politics and medical ethics.


In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Genevieve B. Earle.  She was a social worker and head of the Brooklyn branch of the League of Women Voters. In 1937, she became the first woman to be elected to the New York City Council, where she served as minority leader.




Writer Ralph Ellison is best known for his book Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953 and is considered one of the most important books of the 20th century.  When Ellison passed away in 1994 he left behind thousands of pages of a second, unfinished novel.  Editors and Ellison scholars John Callahan and Adam Bradley have compiled and edited Ellison’s work into the bookThree Days Before the Shooting and discuss the book and the man.


For 15 years, Dr. Danielle Ofri has been an attending physician at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. In her book Medicine in Translation: Journeys with My Patients, Ofri shares the stories of the hundreds of immigrants, documented and undocumented, who have ended up in her care.


February 27-28, 2010


If the American people collectively will suffer when independent journalism disappears, should Federal money be spent to save it?  John Nichols of The Nation magazine and media critic Robert McChesney lay out their multi-billion dollar plan to resuscitate the American press in their new book The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again.


In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Albert Guerard. He came to America in 1906 and served as an Army intelligence officer in World War I. He later taught French and comparative literature at more than a dozen colleges and universities, including Stanford and UCLA, and he wrote twenty-eight books.




Preservation Hall is located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter and was founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe.  The Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed with the pioneers who invented jazz including Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, pianist Sweet Emma Barrett, and others.  Over time, Ben Jaffe assumed his late father’s role as director of Preservation Hall.  He talks about the band’s history, post-Katrina New Orleans, and their latest CD which features Pete Seeger, Tom Waits, Steve Earle and more.


Justin Townes Earle is the son of acclaimed singer & songwriter Steve Earle, but he’s quickly establishing his own name in the music business.  He’s released his second album called Midnight at the Movies and recently won the Americana Music Association’s award for New & Emerging Artist of the Year.