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Bob Edwards Weekend - June 2012

June 2-3

HOUR ONE:

Los Angeles Times columnist Doyle McManus joins Bob to discuss the latest political news and how the economy and the health care debate are shaping the presidential race.

We pay tribute to bluegrass legend Doc Watson who Bob spoke with in 2004.  The multiple Grammy winner was known for his flat-picking guitar style which influenced countless musicians and impressed countless fans.  Watson died on Tuesday at the age of 89.

Bob talks about the NBA playoffs, Major League Baseball and the French Open with John Feinstein, Washington Post sports columnist and co-host of Sirius XM’s “Beyond the Brink.”

Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of John Dyben.  Parents have a strong impulse to protect their children from harm, and to soothe their fears and worries.  But the world can be a scary place, and a little reality must sometimes creep past the sugar coating.  Dyben is a therapist, educator, and pastor.  His daughter’s bedtime fears about bogeymen encouraged him to think more deeply about the reassurances he offered her.  And eventually, he found himself admitting that though his love for her is strong, his protection of her is not absolute.

HOUR TWO:

His father bought him his first guitar, a “worn-in instrument with two strings,” for $4.35.  Since then, Buddy Guy says life “ain’t never been the same.”  Bob talks to Guy about his music and journey from Lettsworth, Louisiana to Chicago and beyond.  Guy’s new book is When I Left Home: My Story.

 

June 9-10

HOUR ONE:

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

Bob talks with banjo player Bela Fleck and the Original Flecktones, who have reunited for their latest tour and CD called Rocket Science. Howard Levy is back on piano and harmonica, joining bandleader Fleck, bassist Victor Wooten and his brother Futureman on percussion.

Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Andrew Riutta. Raised to be tough, Riutta’s ancestors were farmers, miners and lumberjacks – and he followed them into that work force. Riutta believed he could muscle his way out of any problem and around any obstacle, until he learned he would be a father. Riutta says fatherhood is the hardest job he’s had, and that it has softened his disposition and rounded his rough edges.

HOUR TWO:

There’s an old adage that only two things in life are certain: taxes and death. But modern medicine has made the latter less certain. These days, dead people can live for a long time on life support. For instance, stroke victims are regularly kept alive long enough to donate their organs, and brain-dead pregnant women are sometimes kept alive long enough to deliver their babies. Dick Teresi details the long, complicated history of the changing definition of death in his new book titled The Undead.

Geneticist Bryan Sykes has provided a groundbreaking examination of this country through the genes of its citizens. His book is titled DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America.

 

June 16-17

HOUR ONE:

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

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz worked in the Clinton administration as the chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, then at the World Bank as Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. Now, he’s a professor at Columbia University and his newest book is The Price of Inequality. Bob talks with Stiglitz about how most Americans are worse off now than they were a decade ago and why he thinks that endangers our democracy.

Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Mary Curran Hacket. When Curran Hacket was a child, her father’s never-give-up lectures were heard often by his eight children. She never did anything to challenge his fortitude until she became pregnant in her early twenties out of wedlock. Curran Hacket says her father didn’t lecture her – but he didn’t give up on her. And that inspired her not to give up on her own child.

HOUR TWO:

Looking back at last year’s Libyan civil war, award-winning journalist Lindsey Hilsum’s new book Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution gives readers a ground-floor view of the tumultuous Arab Spring.  Hilsum is the international editor for Britain’s Channel 4 News. 

Nashville singer-songwriter Darrell Scott talks with Bob about his album Long Ride Home and about working to record the music of his father, Wayne Scott.

 

June 23-24

HOUR ONE:

Los Angeles Times columnist Doyle McManus joins Bob to discuss the latest political news, with a focus this time on some of the more contentious US House and Senate races.

Grammy award-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is one of the few living composers who has topped the classical charts.  Best-known for his “Virtual Choir” projects on YouTube, Whitacre is a musician who pushes the boundaries of music and still finds popular acclaim.  His most recent album is Water Night.

Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Jeffrey Hollender.  Like many of us, Hollender lived his life on autopilot.  Instead of enjoying the present, he was always considering the past or the future.  Then, Hollender’s brother died.  That emotional shock persuaded Hollender to begin living his life more fully by living in the here-and-now.

HOUR TWO:

Derek Jacobi is one of Britain’s most celebrated and respected actors. At the invitation of Laurence Olivier, Jacobi became a founding member of the Royal National Theater. Jacobi has played most of Shakespeare’s major roles, but it was his performance as a stammering Roman emperor in the epic BBC series I, Claudius that brought him international attention. Acorn Media has just released a 35th anniversary edition of that series on DVD. And last year the company released Discovering Hamlet, a 1990 documentary about Jacobi’s directorial debut on stage with Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet.

Salon.com book critic and writer Laura Miller shares what’s on her reading list this summer.

 

June 30 - July 1

HOUR ONE:

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

Rajiv Chandrasekaran is senior correspondent and associate editor of The Washington Post.  In his new book, Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan, Chadrasekaran describes how President Obama’s 2009 surge in Afghanistan was bungled by Afghans, Pakistanis, military leaders, diplomats, and top national security aides.  Chandrasekaran will also discuss with Bob how the war against Al Qaeda has been affected elsewhere.

Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Juliet Frerking.  Children are told they can be anything when they grow up, and many believe that means they can be anything extraordinary.  The “Guinness Book of World Records” fascinated Frerking when she was a child.  But beyond the unusual accomplishments it listed, the book inspired Frerking to attempt the extraordinary in her own life – things she otherwise might have thought impossible.

HOUR TWO:

Every momentous turn in human history is tied to a place — Italy during the Renaissance, France during the Enlightenment and England during the Industrial Revolution. David Talbot is the founder and CEO of the online magazine Salon, and he tells the story of San Francisco during the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 70s in the new book, Season of the Witch. Talbot’s narrative encompasses everyone from Harvey Milk to Jerry Garcia, Charles Manson to Jim Jones, and the events and movements they came to represent – all building blocks in what has come to be known as “San Francisco values.”

John Philip Sousa was the best known musician in the world in 1900; in some cities, his name was more widely known than even the President’s.  The composer’s great grandson, John Philip Sousa IV, joins Bob to swap stories and to discuss Sousa’s musical legacy.  Sousa has recently co-authored a book about his great grandfather called John Philip Sousa’s America: The Patriot’s Life in Images and Words.