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Bob Edwards Weekend - October 2011

October 1-2

HOUR ONE:

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted in December 1791 yet to this day, it can spark a controversial debate.  Adam Winkler is a law professor at UCLA and his most recent book is Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America.  Winkler discusses this country’s past, present and future of gun rights and gun control.

Calvin Trillin has been on the program to talk about his last four books and he still manages to make Bob laugh out loud.  Now Trillin is back to talk about his latest title, a compendium of funny stuff he’s written over the last forty years. It’s called Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin.

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Allan Barger.  He is uncertain about many things — and he thinks more people should admit that their views might not be correct. Barger was an Evangelical pastor with hard-and-fast beliefs. He also happened to be gay. Eventually, Barger let go of his religious certainties and learned to become more humble and more willing to question his own beliefs.

HOUR TWO:

Jeff Tweedy founded the band Wilco in the mid-‘90s. And for the past 15 years, the group has been either recording albums or touring virtually non-stop.  Their new album is titled The Whole Love. But before the band began work on this eighth record, they tried something new – they took a long vacation.  Tweedy joins Bob to talk about those news songs from the Loft, the group’s Chicago recording studio.

Artist and children’s book illustrator Allen Say won the Caldecott medal for The Boy of the Three-Year Nap (1987) and Grandfather’s Journey (1994).  The latter is about his grandfather’s voyage from Japan to the U.S. and back again.  Say’s latest book is Drawing from Memory, an autobiographical account of his own journey as an artist.

 

October 8-9

HOUR ONE:

You’ve most likely heard of Natalee Holloway, Laci Peterson and Chandra Levy but have you ever heard the names Pamela Butler, Ashley Porter or Santasia Scarborough? All are missing… and all are black. Natalie Wilson and Derrica Wilson are the co-founders of Black and Missing, an organization that tries to bring attention to the missing person cases that go unnoticed by mainstream media.

Caldecott award winning illustrator Brian Selznick is the author of 2007’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which will be out in movie form this Thanksgiving from director Martin Scorsese.  Selznick’s most recent book, Wonderstruck, tells two congruent tales, one in illustrations and the other in words.

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Dani Weathers.  After Weathers’ father died in a car accident, she struggled with severe depression that eventually led to self-destructive behavior. She spent so many years in emotional darkness that she began to fear that without her depression, she would have no personality at all. Now Weathers has a renewed feeling of happiness. Her depression is still with her, but it no longer rules her life.

HOUR TWO:

Vocalist John Boutte is a seventh-generation Creole and a native of New Orleans. He sits down with Bob to discuss growing up in the musical stew of the city’s Seventh Ward, which was home to jazz men Jelly Roll Morton, Lee Dorsey and several rappers. Boutte is also the voice you hear singing the theme song for the HBO series Treme.

Then, more Louisiana music with Michael Doucet. He’s one of the founding members of the Cajun band, BeauSoleil. When he was young, Doucet says Cajun music was marginalized, but during his lifetime, the genre has become more accepted. BeuSoleil has played all over the world, earning countless accolades from other musicians and fans.

 

October 15-16

HOUR ONE:

The conflict in the Eastern Congo is one of the worst in history, where more than five million have perished and it’s reported to be the most dangerous place in the world for women and children.  While “blood diamonds” became infamous in other parts of Africa, in the Congo, it’s “conflict minerals” which are mined and used in the production of cell phones, laptops and other electronics.  Actress Robin Wright is an advocate for the victims in the region and she joins Fidel Bafilemba of the Enough Project to discuss their recent trip.

Sweet Honey in the Rock, the internationally renowned all-female vocal ensemble, brings its powerhouse sound to our performance studio for a conversation with Bob and to share a few of their songs.  The Grammy nominated group was founded in 1973 and took their name from Psalm 81:16.

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Catherine McDowall.  When McDowall was in middle school, she threw a party for her classmates, and her mother made her invite everyone — popular and unpopular alike. Since then, the motto “everyone is included” has guided McDowall’s life. She strives to treat everyone equally, reaching out to provide a helping hand and a friendly smile.

HOUR TWO:

One of the most famous photographs to come out of the Civil Rights era is of a black high school girl, dressed in white, walking stoically in front of Little Rock Central High School, while behind her stands a white girl screaming racial epithets, her face twisted in rage.  The two girls are now grown women.  In 1962, Hazel Bryan Massery tracked down Elizabeth Eckford and apologized, and the two had a public reconciliation in 1997. Journalist David Margolick tells the history of their lives and complicated relationship in a new book, Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock.

John Carlos won bronze in the 200 meter dash at the 1968 Olympics, but it was his raised-fist salute alongside gold medalist Tommie Smith that etched him into the lasting iconography of sports. His autobiography, co-written with progressive sports journalist Dave Zirin, is titled The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World.

 

October 22-23

HOUR ONE:

Cameron Todd Willingham was charged for the 1991 arson murders of his three daughters.  He maintained his innocence until his execution in 2004.  Filmmakers Joe Bailey, Jr. and Steve Mims discuss the mystery, the forensic evidence, and the politics surrounding this controversial case. Their documentary is titled Incendiary.

Decision fatigue can affect everyone from a judge on a long day of hearing cases, to a quarterback late in the game, to a shopper at IKEA trying to pick out wall mounts. But what people don’t realize is that making decisions uses the very same willpower that you use to say no to doughnuts, drugs or illicit sex. New York Times science writer John Tierney investigates the connection in a new book titled Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength.

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Andrew Paradis.  In the Marines, Paradis learned to put others before himself, always faithful to the mission and the group. The idea of semper fidelis — always faithful — was put to the test in his personal life when his wife developed serious health issues and attempted suicide several times. Paradis did not shrink from the challenge, but stood by his wife and his children, remaining faithful to the group.

HOUR TWO:

In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Justice Stephen Breyer as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  One of the nation’s leading scholars and voices of constitutional law, Justice Breyer’s most recent book is Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View.  He joins Bob to examine the American public’s relationship with Supreme Court decisions, addressing how the Court can maintain the public’s faith even in the face of unpopular rulings.

Irish writer Eoin Colfer is famous as the author of the highly popular Artemis Fowl books for young people.  Now he’s giving adults a taste of his fast paced and often very funny prose with Plugged, a noir crime caper set in New Jersey.

 

October 29-30

HOUR ONE:

In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Stephen Breyer as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Breyer is one of the nation’s leading scholars and voices on constitutional law. His most recent book is Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View.  Breyer joins Bob to examine the American public’s relationship with Supreme Court decisions, addressing how the Court can maintain the public’s faith even in the face of unpopular rulings.  His book is now out in paperback.

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Bhavani Murugesan.  She is a college graduate and an attorney. Murugesan also lives with her parents. What started out as a matter of necessity has blossomed into a matter of choice.  Murugesan says that knowing her parents as adults, and participating in their daily lives, has made the family closer.

HOUR TWO:

In his new novel, Lost Memory of Skin, Russell Banks explores the aftermath of crime and punishment. The book follows a nameless young man as he does his best to survive a modern-day limbo. The Kid is a convicted sex offender, and he lives with others who share his fate under a causeway in south Florida – the only location available that is simultaneously close enough to parole officers and far enough from children. The Kid eventually meets the Professor, who also lives on the margins of society, and their friendship provides the Kid enough confidence to begin to take control of his life. 

Bob talks about Mark Twain with Cindy Lovell, the Executive Director of The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri. Lovell is also the executive producer for a new double CD called Mark Twain: Words & Music. It features readings by Jimmy Buffett, Clint Eastwood and Garrison Keillor and songs by Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley and Ricky Skaggs.