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Bob Edwards Weekend - January 2012

January 7-8

HOUR ONE:

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

Eric Weiner was solidly agnostic until a health scare landed him in the hospital and a well-meaning nurse asked him an unexpected question: “Have you found your God yet?”   The nurse’s question set him on a journey to try to come up with an answer. He recounts his experience in a new book, Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine.

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Brian Schoeni.   He and his wife knew they would have kids some day. They also knew those children would be adopted. For Schoeni and his wife, adoption was a first choice, not a last resort. Schoeni says adoption affirms the best in humanity, proving that people can love each other unconditionally, no matter their genetic makeup.

HOUR TWO:

Internationally renowned pianist Lang Lang is one of the world’s leading interpreters of Franz Liszt.  To honor Liszt’s 200th birthday, Lang Lang recorded a collection of his favorite compositions for his album Liszt: My Piano Hero.

The scandals and drama continue in the second season of the award-winning PBS Masterpiece Classic series Downton Abbey.  Actors Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville play the Countess and Earl of Grantham and they’ll discuss the series and the plot as their privileged world is turned upside down as World War I rages across the Channel.

 

January 14-15

HOUR ONE:

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

While most of the nation was still in shock following the death of Martin Luther King Jr., a Jesuit priest canvassed the East Coast in search of promising African American students who would help turn King’s dream into reality. Rev. John Brooks convinced 20 young men to come back to the College of the Holy Cross with him, where he was a professor of theology. Diane Brady’s book Fraternity tells the story from the perspective of five of the students who would later become defense attorneys and activists, a Supreme Court Justice, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Literature.

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Dave Stewart.  After Stewart grew tired of his career in manufacturing, he bought a farm in New Hampshire. He grows vegetables and raises, chickens, sheep, pigs, and cows. Stewart’s grandfather was a dairy farmer, and now he has found the same pleasure in the simple routines of farming.

HOUR TWO:

Verlon Thompson is Guy Clark’s longtime songwriting and touring partner, but he’s a performer in his own right. Thompson’s latest solo CD is called Works. Thompson shares his story and plays a few of his “literate story songs” in a performance chat with Bob.

Tamara Saviano is the producer of This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark. The double CD contains 30 songs written by Clark and here by such greats as Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Kris Kristofferson, Patty Griffin and our previous guest Verlon Thompson.

 

January 21-22

HOUR ONE:

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

In the new film Joyful Noise, Dolly Parton plays a Georgia choir member who is trying to lead her group to victory at the “How Sweet the Sound” competition in Los Angeles. The Queen of Country Music talks with Bob about working on the movie, her long musical career and her philanthropic work in her home state of Tennessee. 

Bob talks with Mervyn Warren, the music producer, composer and arranger behind Parton’s new film Joyful Noise.

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Tim Wilson, a sergeant in the California Highway Patrol. A few years ago, Wilson wrote a letter to his children, offering advice about life. It sits in an envelope in his locker at work, to be opened only in the event that he does not make it through the day. Wilson says he’s seen life snuffed out many times during his career, and seeing the letter every morning in his locker reminds him to be careful out on the highway.

HOUR TWO:

Actress Angelina Jolie is now something she swore she would never be: a director.  Bob talks to Jolie about the making of her directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey. Jolie also wrote the script for the film, which stars local actors and is set in the former Yugoslavia as war tears the country and its ethnically diverse residents apart.

Alan Bennett is the playwright and author behind The Madness of King George and The History Boys.  His latest book is titled Smut: Two Unseemly Stories. He discusses the new stories and his long career with Bob.

 

January 28-29

HOUR ONE:

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

Television news and prime time police dramas make us feel like the world is an extremely dangerous place. Steven Pinker says the world is actually safer than it’s ever been before. Murder rates are down, and warfare causes fewer casualties than in the past. Pinker’s latest book is titled, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Cande Iveson. With the approaching presidential election, political news is heating up. Iveson will not be choosing sides, though. In politics, as in religion and just about every other issue with extreme and opposing viewpoints, Iveson finds herself squarely in the middle. She says being in the middle is not just a non-position, but has its own, legitimate, truth.

HOUR TWO:

Bob speaks with Thomas Frank, author of the bestseller What’s the Matter with Kansas? and now,  Pity the Billionaire.  His latest book chronicles the story of how the American Right has been reinvigorated by the recession.

Meshell Ndegeocello has built a devoted audience by pairing deeply funky grooves with liltingly beautiful lyricism. She visits with Bob to discuss her career in music and perform a few songs from her latest album titled Weather.