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Bob Edwards Weekend

September 2010

September 3-4, 2010


Bob talks with James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic.  In his wide-ranging blog at, he comments on everything from the rise of China to the President’s grammar.

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Elizabeth Deutsch. When she was 16, she won a This I Believe essay contest in theCleveland Press newspaper. Her prize was a trip to New York City to record her essay for broadcast on the original series. Deutsch went on to become a professor of plant breeding at Cornell University.



We continue No Place Like Home, our series of interviews gathered in coastal Louisiana, with a look at the past, present and future of New Orleans as the city marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  Tulane University professor Lawrence Powell provides some historical perspective. Next we join former New Orleans mayor Maurice “Moon” Landrieu for a driving tour of the destruction caused by the flooding, damage which still cuts across social and economic boundaries five years later. Then we meet recent Tulane graduate Kerry Mitchell Kraft. She was an incoming freshman in August 2005, on campus for orientation as Katrina approached. She evacuated, but then returned to finish school and plans to make her home in New Orleans.


September 11-12, 2010


Inspired by the events of September 11th, 2001, NFL player Pat Tillman left his football career to serve his country as an Army Ranger.  Two years after he joined, Tillman was killed in Afghanistan.  When the government tried to use his death as war propaganda, the Tillman family fought back, not only to preserve the true memory of their son, brother and husband, but also to uncover the truth of his death.  Bob talks with director Amir Bar-Lev’s about his latest documentary The Tillman Story. It’s now out in theaters.


In desperate situations, fear can give us the adrenaline we need for survival, or drive us to total terror and impede our ability to think clearly.   Science writer Jeff Wise, columnist for Popular Mechanics, examines how and why we respond to fear in his book Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger.


To begin our new series of contemporary This I Believe essays, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the beliefs of Karin Round.  She is the office manager for her family’s hardware store in Stoneham, Mass. She has studied non-fiction writing in a post-graduate program at Goucher College. Round continues to help travelers stranded on her doorstep. 



This week in our series No Place Like Home, we examine the struggles of two different families as they return to their homes in hard-hit St. Bernard Parish. First we visit Errol Perez. He evacuated to northern Louisiana before Katrina, and he and his family moved back into their rebuilt home just a few months ago. Next, Bob talks with cultural anthropologist and documentary filmmaker Kate Browne about what she learned by following the journey of an extended Creole family for the past five years. The documentary is titled, Still Waiting. Finally, a conversation with Dr. Ben Springgate about the psychological toll of successive disasters in the past five years and the limited healthcare options in post-Katrina New Orleans.


September 18-19, 2010


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas French spent six years at the zoo, getting to know the cast of characters inside — and outside — of the cages. In his book Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives,French questions the morality of zoos through the stories that he tells of the animals and their keepers.

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear a contemporary essay from Andrew Brodsky.  He’s a policy analyst for an educational consulting firm in Denver. Brodsky and his wife also run two websites selling handmade wedding invitations. They now have a daughter, Nina, who they plan to raise in both the Christian and Jewish faith traditions.



We conclude our series No Place Like Home with a look at the future of New Orleans.  Bob talks with Tim Williamson, co-founder and CEO of The Idea Village about their mission to help identify and support local entrepreneurs like Kenneth Purcell and Jennifer Schnidman. Then we visit with Paul Baricos of the Hollygrove Market and Farm and meet two of the farmers working there to help rebuild the roots of their neighborhood. Ronald Terry is a mentor farmer specializing in miniature fruit trees and Michael Beauchamp is a community gardener who grows his own vegetables and flowers in plots at the urban farm.


September 25-26, 2010


Esperanza Spalding is a 25 year-old bassist and singer who approaches jazz less traditionally and less formally than most of her predecessors, and her record sales are very healthy. President Barack Obama is a huge fan and has had Spalding perform for him three times now. Esperanza Spalding’s new release is called “Chamber Music Society.”

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the contemporary essay of freelance writer Carla Saulter, then she talks with Bob about her beliefs.  Also known as the Bus Chick, Saulter blogs about transit riding for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website. Saulter also serves on King County’s Transit Advisory Committee and Regional Transit Task Force.



Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen’s latest novel is a satirical look at the cult of celebrity so popular in this country and the cottage industries surrounding the stars that take turns building them up, then tearing them down. Hiaasen’s novel is called Star Island and it’s set in the glitzy south Florida world of Miami. 

Josh Russell’s second novel My Bright Midnight tells the story of survival, friendship and love from the point of view of a German immigrant living in New Orleans in the 1940’s. Russell is also a creative writing professor and talks with Bob about teaching the next generation of writers and what they can expect from the future of the publishing industry.