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Bob Edwards Weekend - September 2011

September 3-4


Oscar nominated director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) directs an all-star cast that includes Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, and Sam Worthington in his new film The Debt. Based on the 2007 Israeli film of the same name, the story follows three secret agents who revisit an old mission.

We remember folklorist, author and investigative historian Stetson Kennedy. In the 1940s, Kennedy infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, funneling information about the group to the FBI and the writers of the Superman radio program. The result was a four-episode series in which Superman took on the Klan. Details of Klan rituals, code words and secret handshakes were written into the Superman scripts. Kennedy went on to write a number of books dealing with human rights. Stetson Kennedy died last week at the age of 94.   

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Jeff Nixa. Everybody told him not to buy a house in a bad neighborhood. But he moved in anyway, and the neighbors welcomed his family. They broke bread, shared stories and became friends. In his “bad” neighborhood, Nixa says he found a real community, full of diversity and energy. 


New Yorker Executive editor Dorothy Wickenden didn’t have to look far for the subject of her book Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West. In it, she charts the tale of her grandmother Dorothy Woodruff, who, along with her best friend Rosamond Underwood, traveled from the society world of Auburn, New York, to the disappearing frontier in northwestern Colorado to teach school.

English musician Dave Stewart says he’s more of a collaborator than a producer, even though that’s his title on numerous albums.  After a romantic split with Annie Lennox, the two formed the Eurythmics and since then, he created Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Project, and worked with Mick Jagger, Bono, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton and many more.  His most recent album is The Blackbird Diaries and features duets with Stevie Nicks, Martina McBride, and Colbie Caillat.



September 10-11


Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to talk about 9/11, then and now.

Shortly after the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001 writer Joan Murray read her poem, “Survivors Found,” on NPR’s Morning Edition, the program Bob hosted at the time. Ten years later, she’s back to reflect on that poem, and how it helped people heal from the tragedy.

After years of controversy and debate over how to commemorate the victims of 9/11, the National September 11 Memorial is opening at the site of the Twin Towers in New York on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Over 5,000 proposals from 63 nations were considered for the memorial. The one finally accepted is titled “Reflecting Absence” by New York architect Michael Arad and Californian landscape architect Peter Walker.  Arad joins Bob to discuss the memorial which covers eight acres and includes two pools with 30-foot waterfalls that flow into the footprints of the towers, surrounded by a plaza of almost 400 oak trees. The names of the 2,982 victims are also on display.

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Helena Marie Carnes-Jeffries.  A few days after the attacks, Carnes-Jeffries attended an interfaith prayer vigil in Chicago. And now, even after a decade of war and increasing religious tensions, her faith tells her that peace remains the ultimate goal.


During the Global War on Terror, former CIA agent Glenn Carle was assigned to interrogate a man the US believed to be a key member of Osama bin Laden’s inner circle.  But as their sessions progressed, Carle began to doubt if they had the right man.  In his book The Interrogator, Carle tells his story as a covert operative in one of our country’s darkest moments and why he refused to employ the “enhanced interrogation techniques” sanctioned by his government.

Matt Taibbi’s writing makes the powerful squirm. In one of his Rolling Stone articles he compared Goldman Sachs to a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.” In his book, Griftopia, Taibbi argues it’s a new, powerful grifter class that is creating a redistribution of wealth in this country — taking it out of the hands of the working class and putting it into the coffers of the super rich. His book is now out in paperback.


September 17 - 18


Dr. Nassir Ghaemi, the director of the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts Medical Center, argues in his book A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness that when the world is in crisis, mentally ill leaders are our best hope.

Neurobiologist Dean Buonomano gives Bob a tour of our mental glitches —- like why our memory is unreliable, why we can’t do complicated math in our heads and why we prefer instant gratification. His new book is titled Brain Bugs: How the Brain’s Flaws Shape Our Lives. Buonomano is a professor in the Departments of Neurobiology and Psychology at UCLA where he also is an investigator at the school’s Brain Research Institute.

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Andrew Flewelling.  He grew up outside of Boston, the son of a mixed race couple. Even his father’s role as a minister couldn’t protect Flewelling from feeling marginalized. He says that as he grew older, he learned to shut out the preconceived notions of society and listen to his inner voice.


Everyone knows Independence Day is July 4th, but Constitution Day, September 17th, gets little notice.  Authors Denise Kiernan & Joseph D’Agnese’s book Signing Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men who Signed The United States Constitution tells the individual stories of the 39 men who helped create a future for their country.

Richard Buckner makes beautifully haunting music, but it’s been five years since his last CD. He does have an excuse for the creative delay – actually several excuses. There were technical glitches with a crucial bit of equipment, a stolen laptop and a suspicious murder. Finally, Buckner has released Our Blood and his fans won’t be disappointed. He talks with Bob about the new music, about choosing better neighborhoods and about his day jobs he’s taken to support his musical career.


September 24 - 25


Two years ago, Dan Baum, wrote a book called Nine Lives about what happened in New Orleans between the twin catastrophes of Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Baum covered those 40 years by telling the stories of nine citizens. Coleman deKay and Paul Sanchez took those stories and set them to music. Their CD is titled Nine Lives: A Musical Adaptation and features New Orleans musicians and singers. They will perform the songs live at a concert in Los Angeles this weekend and hope to turn the project into a Broadway musical someday soon.

In this week’s installment of our series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Leah Ollman.  Every Friday, Ollman bakes challah, the bread eaten on the Jewish Sabbath. The weekly ritual takes a lot of time, and it reminds her to step out of the hectic pace of life, slow down, and savor the process of creating something meaningful for her family.


Jane Goodall is largely responsible for changing our perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. Now 77-years-old, and still on the road 300 days of the year, the famed chimpanzee researcher will appear in theaters nationwide via satellite on Tuesday, September 27, presenting Jane Goodall Live. This one-night-only cinematic event commemorates the half century that has passed since Goodall first traveled to Africa to study wild chimps, and it will include never-before-seen footage shot during those first years that she recently discovered in her attic.

Best-selling author Lev Grossman returns to the fictional land of Fillroy in The Magician King, the sequel to his 2009 hit novel The Magicians.  The story picks up with Quentin Coldwater as now king of the magical land he discovered in The Magicians, in this dark and modern mash-up of Narnia, Oz, Hogwarts and beyond.

Bob Edwards Weekend is heard on Sirius XM Public Radio (XM 121, Sirius 205) on Saturdays from 8-10 AM EST.

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