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Bob Edwards Weekend

January 2011 


January 8-9, 2011



Last week, DNA evidence exonerated yet another man who had served decades in prison for a crime he did not commit. In recent years, that story has become so common that it’s almost heartbreakingly unsurprising. Ten years ago, Illinois governor George Ryan declared a moratorium on the death penalty in his state, saying the criminal justice system was flawed and that too many innocent people were in danger of being executed. That’s the perspective of The Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University Law School. We’ll spend the hour talking with the Center’s Executive Director Rob Warden, who gave up his job as an investigative reporter to fight for innocent inmates. We’ll also talk with a former inmate who helps others plead their cases, and someone who has found a half-measure of justice — released but not yet exonerated.


In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow.  She is the founding general manager of public television station WYCC, and a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Wright College in Chicago. She has three sisters. One of them, Ivy, died in a plane crash decades ago, but the remaining sisters keep her memory alive to this day, seeking guidance from her charitable personality and thinking of themselves as an unbroken circle of four. 




First time novelist Tom Rachman’s debut The Imperfectionists was a critical success and a New York Timesbestseller.  Drawing from his own experiences as a newspaper foreign correspondent in Rome, Rachman’s novel follows a group of reporters trying to survive the collapses of the print world.  The book is now out in paperback.


Bob talks with Robin Nagle, who has one of the more interesting jobs out there. She’s the anthropologist-in-residence at New York City’s Department of Sanitation, a position she’s held since 2006. When she’s not studying the city’s trash, Nagle directs the John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Humanities and Social Thought at NYU.


January 22-23, 2011



Gary Noesner worked for 30 years at the FBI. For 23 of those years he was a hostage negotiator and he retired as the chief of the Bureau’s Crisis Negotiation Unit, Critical Incident Response Group.  Noesner has written about his former high-stress job in the book Stalling For Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator.


In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Mary Anne Mrugalski, an award-winning radio reporter in Chicago. When adversity creeps into her life, Mrugalski camps out in her kitchen, making loaves of whole wheat bread. She says the activity of making hearty food from scratch clears her mind, and her problems no longer seem insurmountable. 





Thomas McGuane is the author of nine novels including The Sporting ClubThe Bushwhacked Piano, andNinety-two in the Shade. He talks with Bob about his first novel in eight years. Driving on the Rim is about a small-town Montana doctor and his many relationships.  


The members of The Turtle Island Quartet talk with Bob and perform the music of Jimi Hendrix in our studio.  The group’s latest CD is an homage to the rock guitar legend called Have Your Ever Been…? The Quartet won a Grammy for their previous release, a tribute to John Coltrane’s music. 


January 29-30, 2011




“A novel is a great act of passion and intellect, carpentry and largess,” writes Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides, The Great SantiniThe Lords of Discipline and other best-sellers. Now, in his new book titled My Reading Life, Conroy writes about the books that shaped him, the books in which he found solace and the books that made him want to become a writer.


In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of John Samuel Tieman.  He believes in God, and he believes in love. Tieman says both God and love are present everyday in his life, expressed simply and profoundly through the hands of everyone he meets. 





Actress Rosamund Pike discusses her career and her role in the new film Barney’s Version.  Based on bestselling author Mordecai Richler’s final novel, the movie tells the skewed but hilarious story of the title character’s ups and downs.  Pike stars as Paul Giamatti’s third wife and true love, Miriam.


Photographer Danny Clinch has spent his career connecting the realms of visual and sonic art. Through collaborations with musicians such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and James Brown, Clinch explores the intrinsic link between music and images.