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Bob Edwards Weekend - January 2014

January 4-5


Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, looks back on the most memorable news stories of 2013.

Bob talks to StoryCorps founder and public radio producer Dave Isay about his book Ties that Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First 10 Years of StoryCorps.


Award-winning investigative cartoonist Joe Sacco’s new book is The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme.  This illustrated timeline explains the events of the first great battle of World War I.  Sacco talks with Bob about how and why he made the book.

Last year, Masterpiece’s hit show Downton Abbey stunned viewers by ending the season with tragedy.  Bob talks about what’s in store this season with actresses Phyllis Logan and Lesley Nicol, who play Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore.  Season 4 starts Sunday, January 5th on PBS.


January 11-12


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

Bob talks to novelist Pat Conroy about his newest book. Conroy’s memoir is titled The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son.


Filmmaker and writer Tim Cope traveled 6,000 miles on horseback from Mongolia to the Danube River in Hungary. It was a three-year odyssey that had not been completed successfully since Genghis Khan’s time.  Cope recounts his journey, which he describes as a celebration of the nomadic way of life, in his book On The Trail of Ghengis Khan.

The muddy Mississippi splits the United States in two, but it also helped make the country what it is today. From its role in the fur trade, to the French and Indian War to the Louisiana Purchase and beyond, the Mississippi, and the rivers that feed into it, have had an undeniable effect on our commerce and culture. Paul Schneider details the history of the Mississippi in the new book, Old Man River.


January 18-19


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

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Bill Ayers was dubbed a “domestic terrorist” and his relationship with candidate Barack Obama was extensively studied under the right-wing talk show microscope.  In his new memoir, the co-founder of the Weather Underground presents himself as an activist committed to social justice and education. His book is titled Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident.

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


Bob talks to Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim about her newest documentary, The Square.  It’s about the Egyptian revolution that began with the overthrow of dictator Hosni Mubarak in January of 2011, through the military coup against the country’s first elected President, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, last June.  Noujaim and her crew survived arrests, multiple beatings by police and the army to make the film.  It’s told from the perspective of several protesters who became friends, including a young, unemployed college graduate, the Egyptian-Scottish actor who starred in the Kite Runner, and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.  The Square has been shortlisted for an Oscar, and will premiere on Netflix January 19th.

LeVar Burton is back. The beloved host of Reading Rainbow, the children’s program that made books friendly for television audiences, has produced the Reading Rainbow app for kids of the digital age.  Within 36 hours of its release, Reading Rainbow was the #1 educational app in the country.  Burton will also discuss his pre-Reading Rainbow television career, starring in iconic roles on Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation.


January 25-26


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

The first time Sue Monk Kidd heard about Sarah Grimke she was intrigued.  In an act of rebellion against her wealthy, slave-owning family, Sarah traveled the country speaking out against slavery in the years before the Civil War.  A fictionalized Sarah is at the heart of Kidd’s new novel, The Invention of Wings.  Her first-person narrative is weaved together with that of Hetty “Handful” Grimke’, an enslaved girl given to Sarah for her 11th birthday.  This is Susan Monk Kidd’s third book. Her first novel, The Secret Life of Bees, was a huge best-seller and, like this new one, an Oprah Book Club pick.


Dave Eggers calls Ishmael Beah “arguably the most read African writer in contemporary literature.”  Beah’s 2007 best-selling memoir, A Long Way Gone, was an account of his life as a boy soldier during the civil war in Sierra Leone.  Now he’s written a novel that explores the war’s aftermath and the world he left behind.  The core story in Radiance of Tomorrow revolves around two friends, Benjamin and Bockarie, who encounter a heap of obstacles as they try to retake their posts as teachers in their hometown after a devastating civil war. 

Bob talks to violinist Hilary Hahn about her new CD, In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores.  Hahn spent more than a decade commissioning new works by contemporary composers to play at the end of her concerts.  Encores, which are the performer’s way of rewarding an enthusiastic audience at the end of a concert, are short, intimate pieces between 2 and 5 minutes long.  Hahn wasn’t satisfied with the standard encore repertoire, and wondered what contemporary composers would do with the form.   She contacted composers from all over the world.  The result is a dazzling 2-CD collection of brand new encores, which she has been performing at her concerts.