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Bob Edwards Weekend - July 2012

July 7-8

HOUR ONE:

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

When Barack Obama was campaigning for president, he pledged to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and to follow the rule of law in fighting terror groups. Nearing the end of his first term, there are still prisoners at Gitmo, and covert drone air strikes, in which the U.S. military and the CIA act as judge, jury, and executioner, are at an all-time high. Daniel Klaidman, a reporter for Newsweek, examines the president’s foreign policy decisions in the new book, Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency.

Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Lisa Sandin.  Society’s standard of beauty is difficult for all but a few of us to achieve.  Sandin knows she is not one of those precious few.  But instead of allowing herself to be defined by a birth defect, Sandin believes her brain and soul as well as her words and actions determine the person she truly is.

HOUR TWO:

Director Benh Zeitlin’s film Beasts of the Southern Wild is a combination of tall tale, heartbreaking reality, and southern charm.  Winner of this year’s Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and three top awards at Cannes, the film features break-out performances from new-comers Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry.

Paul Theroux spent four years after college in Malawi as a Peace Corps volunteer. Now, the prolific author of nearly 30 fiction novels and 15 travel books returns there in the tale of a retiree who goes back to the village where he spent his own best years … only to find himself trapped by the people he came to help.

 

July 14-15

HOUR ONE:

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

Working in the tradition of Graham Greene and John le Carre, writer Alan Furst is the best-selling author of historical espionage thrillers.  His most recent book, Mission to Paris, follows a Hollywood actor-turned-secret-agent as he navigates the political intrigue of Paris in 1938.

Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Tina Boscha.  Being a stepmother is a tough job, and the portrayals in countless books and movies have not made it any easier. Boscha is doing her best to change the stereotype.  She loves her stepkids and experiences all the joys and frustrations of being a parent.

HOUR TWO:

Robert Santelli is the former CEO of the Experience Music Project in Seattle, and he currently heads the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. Santelli has also written several books about popular music. His latest is titled, This Land is Your Land: Woody Guthrie and the Journey of an American Folksong. The Grammy museum is partnering with the Woody Guthrie Foundation to observe Woody’s 100th birthday this year.  Guthrie was born on July 14, 1912.

For many years, Woody Guthrie’s daughter Nora has offered her father’s unpublished lyrics to musicians with an interest in setting his words to their music. The latest album in that effort is New Multitudes.  It’s a collaboration between four longtime friends with separate bands, working together for the first time. They are Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, and Jim James. Bob talks with Jay Farrar and Anders Parker about the project.

 

July 21-22

HOUR ONE:

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

Approval ratings for Congress are at record lows. Voters look at their Senators and Representatives and see wealthy adults who squabble like children over partisan issues without seeming to get much work done. It wasn’t always this way. Not so long ago, the Senate was full of dedicated, hard-working people who put service to the nation ahead of loyalty to party bosses and campaign contributors. Ira Shapiro writes about the end of that era in the new book, The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis.

Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Susan Chang.  The digital revolution has fully transformed life in America.  Our eyes and ears feast on delights from “the cloud” and just about any piece of information you’d ever want to know is a Google search away.  Chang was an early adopter of digital devices, and rode the bandwagon for more than two decades.  But now, she has chosen an analog life, progressing at a slower pace, and making room in her life for reflection and enjoyment – not just entertainment.

HOUR TWO:

Bob talks with Grammy-winning musician Rodney Crowell and best-selling author Mary Karr about their new musical collaboration. The two artists grew up a few years and a few dozen miles apart in east Texas, but when Crowell and Karr met in person a decade ago, they learned that their childhoods were very similar. Their CD is called Kin which explains how they feel about each other and signals that these songs are about “their people.” Bob also talks with Crowell about his memoir – Chinaberry Sidewalks – which is now available in paperback.

 

July 28-29

HOUR ONE:

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

Harvey Weinstein is the co-founder of Miramax Films and co-chairman of The Weinstein Company.  He joins Bob to discuss their latest releases and some Miramax classics.

Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of John Warner.  Science has created many wonderful things for us.  Plastics, medicine, and many synthesized chemicals have made modern life possible.  But sometimes, our bodies react to these newly created chemicals in tragic ways.  Warner is a chemist, and the death of his son from a birth defect left him asking for the first time, why do we need so many new chemical compounds?  Warner says chemists need to take a look at their relationship with the community they serve, focusing on the cumulative effects of the compounds they release into the environment.

HOUR TWO:

We remember Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. Ride inspired a generation of young girls to cultivate and maintain their interest in science.  In 2001, the astronaut founded Sally Ride Science, a company that creates entertaining programs and books for kids, with a particular focus on girls.  Sally Ride died this week at the age of 61.

Playwright and writer Craig Taylor spent five years interviewing scores of Londoners, compiling their stories and words in his book Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now—As Told By Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long For It.  With the city hosting the 2012 summer Olympics, Taylor’s book reveals the true face of the world’s most cosmopolitan city.

John Feinstein previews the Olympics, and discusses his new book, Rush for the Gold, which is set at the summer games.