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Bob Edwards Weekend

May 2008

May 3-4, 2008


  • The dialogue in Glengarry,Glen Ross is classic David Mamet - fast, cynical, sharp. Mamet won the Pulitzer for the play in 1984, and he made his directorial debut three years later with a movie he also wrote called House of Games. That film, and two of his others, The Spanish Prisoner and Heist, are about con artists.  Mamet's newest, Redbelt, is an action movie about a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner.
  • Magician, actor, and writer Ricky Jay is believed to be one of the greatest sleight of hand masters in the US. He talks with Bob about his passion for cards and magic, as well as his recent work with director David Mamet.



  • If you’re a fan of horse racing, you already know that the first Saturday in May is when twenty thoroughbreds race for the sport’s holy grail, the Kentucky Derby. The First Saturday In May is the title of a new film about six horses and their hopeful trainers, on the road to the starting gate of the 2006 Derby. Bob talks to the directors, brothers John and Brad Hennegan.
  • Her first book was Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Next she wrote Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife. Her latest is Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. Mary Roach discusses scientific research and facts about human reproduction unknown to many.


May 10-11, 2008




  • Bob talks with Quil Lawrence, a correspondent for the BBC and The World, about the history of Iraqi Kurds, a group that bore the brunt of Saddam Hussein's violence. Lawrence has spent almost 10 years reporting on Kurdistan, and his new book is Invisible Nation: How the Kurds' Quest for Statehood is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East.
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid talks with Bob about politics and about his formative years spent in tiny Searchlight, Nevada. Reid's new biography is called The Good Fight: Hard Lessons from Searchlight to Washington.
  • To mark this Mother’s Day, former president Jimmy Carter shares some of his favorite memories about his unique mother. Miss Lillian joined the Peace Corps at the age of 70. She was also a registered nurse, a nursing home administrator, a civil rights activist and she was there to keep our 39th president humble at his inauguration. Carter’s book is called A Remarkable Mother.


  • Deep in the heart of Dixie, just down the road from William Faulkner’s house, there sits a little independent book store. Square Books has been a fixture in the small college town of Oxford, Mississippi for almost thirty years. Bob talks with Square Books founder Richard Howorth about fending off challenges from the chain retailers, and nurturing the talent of local writers.
  • Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis talks with Bob about two new CDs -- Flying Upside Down by Griffin House and the latest album from Langhorne Slim.


May 17-18, 2008



  • Bob spends the hour with Victor Wooten perhaps the most important bassist of his generation. He was raised in a musical family and best known for his work with Bela Fleck, but Wooten has also released six albums of his own, including the latest Palmystery. Wooten is also now an author. His first book, The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music, prompts readers to reconsider traditional notions of music, instruments and knowledge.



  • Reporter Matt Taibbi attended an “Encounter Weekend" at pastor John Hagee’s San Antonio-based mega church. Taibbi spent several months at Cornerstone Church and witnessed exorcisms, spiritual and political indoctrination, and he almost learned to speak in tongues. Taibbi writes about that experience and others in his book The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire.
  • Amy Goodman anchors the foremost progressive daily news program in the country, Democracy Now! Goodman along with her brother, investigative reporter David Goodman, recently wrote a new book which tells the stories of courageous citizens who have challenged government policies. It’s called Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times.


May 24-25, 2008




  • It's been forty years since many Americans were shipped to and died in the jungles of Vietnam. For this Memorial Day weekend, we pay tribute to our service men and women with stories of the Navy's Third Medical Battalion, which served alongside the Third Marine Division. They were based near the Demilitarized Zone, closest to the enemy in North Vietnam. Four decades later, the doctors and medics recount the horror (and humor) they can never forget, and reflect on the forces that drive men to war in the first place.


  • Since the death penalty was re-instated in 1976, only 11 women have been executed. Mary Atwell is a professor of criminal justice at Radford University and in her book, Wretched Sisters: Examining Gender and Capital Punishment, Atwell examines the stories of the 11 condemned women and what they reveal about how the death penalty is applied in this country.
  • For fifteen years, Carroll Pickett served as the death house chaplain for the prison in Huntsville, Texas. Over that time, Pickett witnessed 95 executions, staying with the condemned inmate from cell block to grave. After each execution, Pickett made an audio tape recording about what he witnessed. Pickett's story is told in a new documentary called 'At the Death House Door.'
  • Two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey stars as Ron Klain, former chief of staff for vice president Al Gore in the upcoming HBO movie 'Recount,' about the contested 2000 U.S. presidential election. The movie debuts this Sunday at 9pm.


May 31-June 1, 2008



  • Sharon Olds has earned literary respect with her raw and intense poetry. She earned the respect of activists by denouncing the war in Iraq. Bob talks to the New York University professor about her writing, her teaching, and her refusal to dine with First Lady Laura Bush.
  • Jazz pianist Henry Butler is a virtuoso of many different styles and techniques. Although Butler was blinded by glaucoma at birth, he performs and records all over the world, and is also a noted photographer. Known as "The Pride of New Orleans," Henry Butler plays some songs for Bob and discusses his life and career.



  • Our resident folklorists Nancy Groce and Steve Winick from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress share some politically-themed songs from the past.
  • Andrew Blechman was shocked when his older New England neighbors moved to The Villages in central Florida. It's the world's largest gated retirement community, takes up more space than Manhattan and includes a golf course for every day of the month. Blechman explores this rapidly growing trend and its ramifications in his new book titled Leisureville: Adventures in America's Retirement Utopias.
  • Through the 1960s, 70s and 80s, Dr. Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz and his wife Juliette raised their nine children in a 24-foot camper - living wherever the surfing was good. The new documentary "Surfwise" examines the results of the Paskowitz family’s extraordinary upbringing. Bob talks with director Doug Pray and the still feisty Doc Paskowitz about his experiences.