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Bob Edwards Weekend - May 2014

May 3-4

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.
In a memorable episode of the hit TV show Seinfeld, a frustrated Elaine tracks down The New Yorker’scartoon editor to get him to explain a particularly perplexing cartoon. Turns out, he didn’t get it either – he just “liked the kitty.” Elaine is not alone. In their annual Cartoon issue, The New Yorker runs a feature titled “I Don’t Get It” where the year’s most confounding cartoons are explained. Many of those cartoons were likely drawn or edited by Bob Mankoff. He published his first cartoon in The New Yorker in 1977 and is now that magazine’s cartoon editor. His new memoir is titled How About Never – Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons.
Paul Schomer of the blog shares some new music discoveries with Bob. This time we’ll hear songs from Old Hours, Land Lines, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, Will Phalen and Holy Wave.
Bob talks with Jessie Austrian and Noah Brody, actors from Fiasco Theater. They’ll discuss their production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona and why William Shakespeare’s work is still relevant today - nearly 400 years after his death.
For ten months, Kevin Spacey toured the world performing Richard III in a production directed by Sam Mendes. Cameras went along for the ride and the result is a film that feels like the Shakespeare version of a behind-the-scenes concert tour video, minus the groupies. NOW: In the Wings on a World Stagewill be released Friday in theaters and will be available for download. Spacey joins Bob to talk about the film, the experience, and his acting career.
May 10-11


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

75 years ago today, the MS St. Louis set sail for Cuba and freedom with some the 900 Jewish refugees aboard.  Dubbed “the saddest ship afloat” by the New York Times, the St. Louis was denied entrance by Cuba, the United States, and Canada before returning to Europe.  Martin Goldsmith, author of Alex’s Wake: a Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance, shares with Bob the tragic tale of the St. Louis.


Tigers are beautiful, powerful and revered by many animal lovers around the world, but they’re also endangered by illegal poaching and loss of habitat. Steve Winter has been taking photographs for National Geographic since 1991, and his latest book is entitled Tigers Forever: Saving The World’s Most Endangered Big Cats.  His stunning images are accompanied by the writing of Sharon Guynup, who illuminates the people and organizations fighting to defend this noble creature.


May 17-18

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.
A Short History of Decay is the first feature film written and directed by long-time journalist Michael Maren. The story follows a struggling Brooklyn writer who goes to Florida to visits his ailing parents. Bob talks with Maren - and with Tony Award-winning actress Linda Lavin who stars in the film. It opens in theaters this weekend. 
With graduation season in full swing, Bob looks at commencement speeches that have become subjects in their own right. First, Bob talks with best-selling writer George Saunders about his new book, Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness. It’s an expanded version of the address Saunders gave in 2013 at Syracuse University.
Then, Bob talks with Wellesley High School English teacher David McCullough Jr., son of the famous historian, about his 2012 commencement speech titled “You are not Special.”  McCullough expanded it into a new book called You are Not Special: … and Other Encouragements.
We conclude our look at notable commencement addresses with audio of writer David Foster Wallace’s 2005 speech at Kenyon College, which has been called the best commencement address ever. It might have been all but forgotten, but after Wallace took his own life in 2008, the text surfaced on the internet. It was later published as a book, called This is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life.

May 24-25


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

Andrew Carroll is a man on a mission.  After discovering that there are thousands of historical landmarks that are not just unmarked but in danger of being forgotten, or worse, destroyed, he founded Here Is Where.  This volunteer initiative encourages people to find and mark unmarked historical sites across the country.  Carroll’s book, Here is Where: Discovering America’s Great Forgotten History, is now available in paperback.


Nearly 70 years ago, a British bomber was shot down and crashed in The Netherlands…one of more than six-thousand planes lost over the tiny country during World War Two. Last fall, local authorities finally decided to excavate the crash site. Bob talks with Dutch journalist Sandrina Hadderingh about the documentary she produced called Forever 21.  It features interviews with family members of the Australian and British crew.

Following World War II, the United States secretly smuggled former Nazi scientists into the country, notwithstanding their crimes against humanity.  Best-selling author Annie Jacobsen details this covert plan in her book Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America.


May 31-June 1


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

Bob talks with new author Alena Graedon about her debut novel titled The Word Exchange.  The story takes place in the near future, after our smart phones become even smarter, leaving us perhaps a little dumber.  The printed word is finally dead – bookstores, libraries, newspapers and magazines are things of the past.  The “word nerd dreamscape” created by Graedon mixes mystery and love stories with a dystopian thriller.


Bob remembers renowned poet, author, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, who died this week at the age of 86.  Angelou is known best for her award-winning writing, including her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  In 2010, President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our highest civilian honor.  Bob spoke to Maya Angelou in 2006 and we share their conversation on writing, aging, and being an American.

Singer and songwriter Rodney Crowell stops by our performance studio to visit with Bob and to play a few songs from his new album titled Tarpaper Sky.