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Bob Edwards Weekend - July 2013


July 6-7


Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for The Los Angeles Times, joins Bob for a political discussion.

Marc Maron began his standup career as a contemporary of the late Sam Kinison, and though he’s toured extensively, recorded comedy CDs, appeared on talk shows dozens of times and held prominent jobs in media, personal problems including addiction laid Maron low by 2005. He began recording conversations with his friends and fellow comedians for a podcast called “WTF,” which today stands as a cornerstone of the medium. The success of the podcast has sparked a career renaissance for Maron, who now stars in his own eponymous show on the Independent Film Channel. He’s also written a new book titled Attempting Normal.

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


Bruce Katz is a vice president at the Brookings Institution and co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution.  Katz says that while the federal government is gridlocked by partisan politics and abstractions, in city governments across the country, local politicians are able to work together and accomplish concrete goals.   He talks with Bob about this power inversion and details what’s happening in cities such as New York, Denver, Chicago, Houston and Portland.

Bob talks with bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld about her new novel.  Sisterhood tells the story of identical twin sisters with psychic abilities.  It sounds like Stephen King’s latest idea, but Sittenfeld doesn’t go for creepy thrills, instead the ESP seems perfectly normal.  Sittenfeld’s previous novels include Prep, The Man of My Dreams and American Wife.

Musician Luke Winslow King came to New Orleans by way of Northern Michigan, but hearing him play you know that the Crescent City is in his musical genes.  Playing a rich blend of ‘50s rockabilly, gospel, and New Orleans jazz, Winslow King’s latest album is The Coming Tide.  He plays a few songs from the CD in our performance studio.


July 13-14


Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for The Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to share his reading list for the summer.
Military journalist and author Stephen Harding has uncovered an unlikely but true story from World War II. During the last few days of fighting in Europe, a few German officers and soldiers joined forces with American troops to protect a group of French prisoners being held by the Nazis.  Harding’s book is titledThe Last Battle.
Then, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe
Two-time Man Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel may seem like an overnight success to her recently acquired fans on this side of the Atlantic, but she’s been a working novelist for over 25 years.  Bob talks with Mantel about her career and the success she’s found by telling the story of Henry VIII’s England in Wolf Hall and her latest Bring Up the Bodies.
Last August, Tig Notaro began her stand-up comedy set with this line: “Good evening! Hello. I have cancer! How are you?” What came next “was one of the greatest standup performances I ever saw,” wrote Louis C.K., who then posted the set on his website and brought immediate fame to comedy’s now it-girl. Notaro turned a string of horrors – cancer, double mastectomy, death of her mother, bad break-up – into a gut-wrenching but still very funny comedy routine.  It’s now being released on a cd, “Live,” for the first time this summer.


July 20-21 

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob from his vacation in Italy to discuss the latest political news.
Christopher Rufo is the director of a new documentary film Age of Champions, which highlights a few senior citizens who are competitors at the National Senior Olympics. These senior athletes — a 100 year old tennis player, 86 year old pole vaulter, his 89 year old arch-rival, a pair of swimming brothers and a baby boomer basketball team of grandmothers – are all challenging what it means to be old.  This year’s National Senior Olympics are being held in Cleveland, Ohio July 19th - August 1st. 
Jon Mooallem traveled all over North America to study the plight of three endangered species – polar bears, whooping cranes and Lange’s metalmark butterflies.  Mooallem’s book is titled Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America.
Then, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe

The music industry has changed over the last few decades.  The struggling, independent artist now has an even smaller chance of being discovered by a major label and rewarded with a career-changing contract.  But these days, bands can record their own studio-quality music, put their video on YouTube and work all of the social media sites to build a fan base.  Another part of that equation is often direct funding from that growing fan base.  Paul Schomer runs a new music discovery blog called and he talks with Bob about the new landscape of the music industry and about some of the bands he has helped fans discover.
Bob talks with Sally Ellyson and Dan Messe of the band Hem about their latest CD. The tunes on Departure and Farewell are not much of a departure from their previous work – still a mix of light airiness and layered density.  The full band will also play a few of their new songs in our performance studio.

July 27-28

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.
Rafe Esquith has taught at Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles for more than 25 years and is the only teacher to have been awarded the president’s National Medal of the Arts.  Almost all of his students live below the poverty line and are from immigrant families, with none speaking English as a first language.  However, his fifth-grade students consistently score in the top 10 percent of the country in standardized tests.  Esquith’s latest book is titled Real Talk for Real Teachers: Advice for Teachers from Rookies to Veterans: “No Retreat, No Surrender!”
Then, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe

Early in the morning of January 1, 2009, Oscar Grant was shot and killed by a transit officer on the subway system in Oakland.  The incident triggered riots throughout the city.  Filmmaker Ryan Coogler made a feature film about Grant, called Fruitvale Station, which chronicles his last days alive and shows the good and bad sides of the young man. Coogler, who’s also from the bay area and was born the same year as Grant, wanted to portray the young man as a person and not just a mere statistic.
In 2010, Bob spoke with singer-songwriter Meg Hutchinson about her album The Living Side.  On the album is a song called ‘Gatekeeper’ about Sergeant Kevin Briggs of the California Highway Patrol.  For years, Briggs has worked on the Golden Gate Bridge, talking hundreds of people out of jumping to their deaths.  Bob talks with both Meg and Kevin about the song, Kevin’s work and depression.