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Bob Edwards Weekend - November 2012

November 3-4



Los Angeles Times columnist Doyle McManus joins Bob to discuss the latest political news on the final weekend before election day.


 Like so many children in Uganda’s capitol city, Phiona Mutesi was poor, had little education, and was often hungry.  In 2005 a local missionary taught her how to play chess.  Within a few short years, Mutesi became Uganda’s national junior chess champion and just this summer competed in the World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul.  Writer Tim Crothers, a former senior editor at Sports Illustrated, tells Mutesi’s remarkable story in his book The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster.


In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Susie Green.  After they have children, some parents decide they have even more love to give. Green was divorced, with two birth children, when she adopted a two-year-old boy who had been living in homeless shelters and foster homes. He needed lots of attention and love, and Green says that as he grew physically, she grew spiritually and emotionally. Green says that when considering adoption, many people do not fear whether the child will love them, but whether they have the capacity to understand and to love the child.




When Lynn Povich joined the staff of Newsweek in 1965 as a secretary, there were no women reporters.  “If you want to be a writer, go somewhere else —- women don’t write at Newsweek,” she and her colleagues were told. But Povich and forty-five of her female colleagues including Ellen Goodman, Jane Bryant Quinn and Nora Ephron stayed and filed an EEOC complaint charging their employer with “systematic discrimination.” She tells the story in a new book titled, The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace.


Bob Balaban is an instantly recognizable actor, with roles in Seinfeld on TV and in so many movies, including those hilariously improvised movies from Christopher Guest - Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind. Balaban also writes children’s books.  He’s here to discuss some of his movie roles as well as his most recent book titled The Creature from the Seventh Grade.


November 10-11



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


In the summer of 1962, recording devices were installed at several locations in the White House. They were put there at the request of President Kennedy who likely wanted to use the tapes when it came time to write his memoir, but instead they have been a rich resource for historians. Recently, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation released a collection of those secret recordings. Historian Ted Widmer curated some of the most compelling excerpts for Listening In, a book that includes two CDs and 2.5 hours of audio.


In our latest This I Believe essay, we’ll begin a month-long series focusing on the sacrifices made by US military families.




The end of World War II brought a flood of optimism and dreams of great aspiration, both for the country and for many individuals. This is the back drop of Mark Helprin’s new novel, In Sunlight and in Shadow.  It’s a complicated love story that pairs a former paratrooper with an heiress in Manhattan. Helprin is also the author of Winter’s Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, and many other books.


Singer-songwriter Ben Taylor chats with Bob and performs songs from his latest album titled Listening.  He’ll also discuss growing up in the talented shadow of his famous parents, James Taylor and Carly Simon. 




November 17-18


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

 Academy Award-winning actress Sally Field joins Bob to discuss her career which has spanned roles from Gidget, The Flying Nun, Norma Rae to Mary Todd.  Field’s most recent part is as the first lady opposite Daniel Day Lewis in Steven Spielberg’s epic, Lincoln. That film opens this weekend.

 Then, in our latest This I Believe essay, we’ll continue our series this month focusing on sacrifices made by military families. 


 Filmmaker Joe Wright has brought famous books by Jane Austen and Ian McEwan to the big screen, now it’s Leo Tolstoy’s turn. After directing Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, Wright has adapted one of literature’s most enduring classics. Anna Karenina stars Keira Knightley as the passionate and tragic Anna, Jude Law as her husband, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as her feckless lover Count Vronsky.

Bob goes backstage at The Birchmere Music Hall to talk with singer-songwriter Aimee Mann about her career, her soundtrack for the movie Magnolia and the music on Charmer, her eighth studio album and Mann’s first since 2008.

November 24-25



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

The idea for author and illustrator William Joyce’s series of books titled The Guardians of Childhoodsprang from a single question his daughter asked him years ago: “do Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy know each other?”  Joyce decided they must and invented elaborate origin stories for those two, plus the Easter Bunny, the Boogeyman and many others.  Now you can see the stories on the big screen in the new movie inspired by Joyce.  The Oscar-winning director talks about Rise of the Guardians, the new film starring the voices of Alex Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law. 

Then, in our latest This I Believe essay, we’ll continue our series this month focusing on sacrifices made by military service members and their families.  This time we hear from Iraq veteran Michael Whitehead who served in the Army and Army Reserves for 30 years. Now he’s an emergency manager for the state of Florida.



British writer Zadie Smith burst onto the literary scene in 2000 with the publication of her debut novelWhite Teeth.  Instantly hailed as a classic, White Teeth became a best-seller and won a trove of literary awards.  Smith’s most recent book, NW, follows a cast of characters living in the northwest corner of London. 

In the opening chapter of Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel, Flight Behavior, the central character climbs to the top of a mountain and has a vision that puts the rest of the book in motion. Set in present-day Appalachia, the book tackles many modern political dilemmas: climate change, strip mining, religious fervency and rural poverty. This is Kingsolver’s fourteenth book in a pantheon that includes best-sellers, The Poisonwood BibleProdigal Summer, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle