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Bob Edwards Weekend

May 2010


May 1-2, 2010 




Alex de Campi is the author of a 24-epsiode graphic novel titled Valentine.  It’s published every month in 14 languages to ereaders, smartphones, and shortly the web. Valentine is a creative commons work that allows its readers to pay what they can, which has helped build a global fanbase over the comic’s first four episodes. As part of our series on the publishing industry Bob talks with de Campi about her work, her approach to digital platforms, and how she plans to make enough money to quit her day job some day.


Richard Russo is a Pulitzer-prize winning novelist and screenwriter. His career has stretched over twenty-five years, and as part of our series on the publishing industry, Bob talks with Russo about changes he’s encountered in the past quarter Century and expectations on authors for the future. Russo’s latest novel, That Old Cape Magic, is available in paperback in June.


In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Walter Lanier “Red” Barber.   Red Barber was a play-by-play announcer from 1933 – 1966, working for the Cincinnati Reds, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees. In retirement, he wrote seven books and appeared in weekly conversations with Bob Edwards on NPR. Barber was among the first broadcasters honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame.



Director Anne Henderson’s documentary Battle of Wills is a historical mystery about the legitimacy of a portrait that its owners claim to be the only picture of William Shakespeare painted during his lifetime.

Master novelist Ian McEwan’s new book Solar tells the story of a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who, at this mid-point in his career, is happy to coast along on his famous name, even while his personal life falls apart around him.  McEwan is the Booker Prize winning author of the novelsAtonementSaturday, and Amsterdam


May 8-9, 2010


We conclude our series on the future of the publishing industry with Cathy Langer, lead buyer for Denver’s Tattered Cover bookstore. She talks with Bob about bookseller’s response to the current state of publishing.  Langer sits on the board for the American Bookseller’s Association and is a former president of the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association. book critic Laura Miller talks with Bob about how the state of publishing is affecting readers. 


This week, an encore installment of our ongoing series This I Believe 




Bob talks with Alex Gibney about his latest documentary, Casino Jack and the United States of Money.  It follows the rise and fall of super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. 


Carol Burnett hosted The Carol Burnett Show for 11 years, winning a 25 Emmys along the way.  Burnett’s book This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection recounts some of her most memorable stories and hilarious character throughout her 55 year career.


May 15-16, 2010



Journalist and author Judith Warner tackles the complicated debate about the overmedication of children in her book We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication.  Warner interviewed doctors, parents, researchers and family experts to explain what drives the medication of children and what it’s doing to today’s younger generation.  





Bob talks with Iqbal Quadir founder of the mobile phone company GrameenPhone in Bangladesh, a partnership with the Nobel Prize winning micro-loan pioneer Mohammed Yunus.  GrameenPhone created a massive, decentralized communication system, affordable to the masses of poor Bangladeshis.  Improved communications improved lives, reduced time wasted on simple tasks and created thousands of new businesses.



We dip into the archives once again of our ongoing series This I Believe.  Bob talks with executive director Dan Gediman about the essay of James A. Michener.  He wrote his Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Tales of the South Pacific, during his naval service in World War II after winning a transfer from a desk job in Washington to the Pacific theater. Michener’s literary career spanned 50 years and 40 books. 







It’s been four years since Isabel Allende published a novel. She returns to the world of historical fiction with Island Beneath the Sea, the story of a slave girl in 19th Century Haiti.  Allende immersed herself in the complicated cultural history of Haiti, researching the period when slaves rebelled, overthrowing their French masters. Bob talks with Allende about the new novel, the history of Haiti, and the crippling legacy of governmental oppression.




Yisrael Campbell was born in Philadelphia and grew up in a Catholic household. He was known as Christopher back then. As a teenager, he got hooked on drugs, and recovery led him not just to sobriety, but also to Judaism. Campbell became an actor and stand-up comic, touring with the Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour, which seeks to reduce tensions in the Holy Land. Campbell currently has a one-man show off-Broadway titled Circumcise Me.




May 22-23, 2010 



National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore has spent the last two decades taking pictures of North America’s endangered animals and plants. His new book titled, Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species is intended to inform, caution, and inspire people to stem the decline of Earth’s biodiversity. An exhibit of Sartore’s photographs is on display at National Geographic Museum through October. 


Why do we still root for Superman?  He is stronger than any of us.  He didn’t earn his powers.  He always wins and is a more than a little sanctimonious.  In his new book Our Hero: Superman on Earth professor Tom DeHaven argues Superman continues to demand our devotion because he exemplifies the classic American immigrant success story.


In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Maria von Trapp.  She was the mother of seven girls and three boys, known as the world famous Trapp Family Singers. The story of their flight from Austria during Nazi occupation became the basis for “The Sound of Music.” Trapp and her family settled in Vermont where they operated a lodge and music camp.




Gabriel Thompson spent a year working alongside day laborers across the U.S. for his book Working In The Shadows: A Year Of Doing The Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do. His personal narratives about lettuce harvesting and processing chicken parts have themes of social activism, advocating immigration reform, stricter labor laws, a higher minimum wage, and unionizing.


Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent had already gained acclaim in the bluegrass world long before teaming up to record their first album as a duo.  In 2008 they released their debut album, Dailey & Vincent, which was named album of the year, one of seven awards the group took home in an unprecedented feat at the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show. The duo latest release is a collection of cover songs titled Dailey & Vincent Sing The Statler Brothers.



MAY 29-30, 2010



Some worry the US Supreme Court has shifted too far to the right and see the recent nomination of Elena Kagan as perpetuating that trend.  Bob hosts a roundtable discussion to talk about how the Roberts court is shaping up ideologically.  Our guests are Dahlia Lithwick, a contributing editor at Newsweek and senior editor at Slate where she covers the Supreme Court; Georgetown University Law Center professor Randy Barnett, author of Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty; and Geoffrey Stone, professor at the University of Chicago Law School and author of Top Secret: When Our Government Keeps Us in the Dark.

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Oscar Hammerstein II.  He wrote the book and lyrics for many operettas and musical comedies. He also wrote Show Boat with composer Jerome Kern. Later, with composer Richard Rodgers, Hammerstein wrote some of his greatest musicals, includingOklahoma!South PacificThe King and I, and The Sound of Music.



On April 20th, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing eleven workers and threatening wildlife throughout the Gulf of Mexico.  Richard Charter is a Senior Policy Advisor for the Marine Programs at Defenders of Wildlife and he has more than 25 years of experience working on offshore drilling issues and oil spill crises.  Jacqueline Savitz is a Senior Marine Scientist for Oceana where she focuses on toxicology.  They’ll discuss the rules and regulations for maintaining an offshore oil rig, the ongoing recovery effort, and the impact of the leak on the environment.


Last month, Bob went to New Orleans for the first weekend of the city’s annual Jazz and Heritage Festival. Today, we offer a sampling of the 12 interviews which range from up and coming locals like Stanton Moore and Trombone Shorty to established New Orleans royalty like Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas to foreign musicians who came to visit and never left like Jon Cleary, Anders Osborne and Theresa Andersson.  We’ll bring you those interviews from now until the end of July - starting with Bob’s conversation with New Orleans native Dr. John - backstage at the Jazz Fest’s Blues Tent.