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December 2008


Monday, December 1, 2008

Bob talks politics with David Broder of The Washington Post. Then, it’s an encore edition from June 2007 of Bob’s talk with author, essayist, editor, and teacher, Anne Fadiman. Her book, At Large and at Small is Fadiman’s attempt to ensure the survival of the "familiar essay."


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bob spends the hour with veteran reporter Daniel Schorr, the last of Edward R. Murrow's legendary CBS team still fully active in journalism. In an interview that originally aired this past January, Schorr talks about his legendary career interviewing the likes of Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro and tells the tale about how he ended up on President Nixon’s enemies list.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bob talks with Bill Siemering, one of the founding fathers of public radio. He wrote NPR’s mission statement and launched the network’s first signature program “All Things Considered.” Siemering is now the President of Developing Radio Partners, an organization dedicated to supporting independent radio stations in young, developing democracies. Their conversation first aired in September of 2007.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

For 25 years Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s Chief International Correspondent, has been giving viewers an inside look at issues around the world. She talks with Bob about her new documentary, Scream Bloody Murder, about the nightmare of the ‘unchecked evil’ of genocide from Armenia to Darfur and the largely unknown struggles of heroes who tried to get the international community to stop it. Then, Bob talks to a couple of actors Adrien Brody and Jeffrey Wright who star in Cadillac Records, which chronicles the rise of Chess Records and its recording artists. Brody stars as Leonard Chess alongside Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters.


Friday, December 5, 2008

For years, Ron Howard was known as Opie from "The Andy Griffith Show" and Richie from "Happy Days" but now he is known as one of Hollywood's most renowned directors. Howard has directed and produced more than 20 films and won an Academy Award for 2001's A Beautiful Mind. His newest film, Frost/Nixon, chronicles the interviews between British television host David Frost, played by Michael Sheen and President Richard Nixon, played by Frank Langella. Bob talks with Howard about his career and new film.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bob talks politics with David Broder of The Washington Post. Then, author Katherine Batemantells Bob about her new book. In Kentucky Clay, Bateman provides a sweeping view of American history from the first settlers to present day, through the eyes of her family, the Clays.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008:

Bob talks with Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison.It's been twenty-one years since Morrison published the Pulitzer Prize-winning Beloved,a story about slavery set in 1855 Cincinnati. Now Morrison offers a prequel toBelovedwith her new book A Mercywhich takes place in Virginia around 1690. Morrison said she wrote the book because she was "wondering was what it must have felt like to be a slave before racism."


Wednesday, December 10, 2008:

Gary Myers is a former attorney who works to protect the civil rights of US troops. Bob talks with Myers about his experience working on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder cases and how PTSD affects families and those serving in all of our military branches. Then, the latest installment of our ongoing series on education reform. Joel Klein was an Assistant Attorney General with the Justice Department, but since 2002, he's been the chancellor of New York City's public school system. Klein talks with Bob about the sweeping reform measures he's instituted in New York - which haven't all been welcomed by teachers and parents. With help from the Gates Foundation, Klein created 43 new, smaller schools and improved the graduation rate by 20-percent.


Thursday, December 11, 2008:

Bob talks with Salon sports columnist King Kaufman about the NFL, NBA, and college sports. Then, as part of our ongoing series on education reform, Bob talks with Diane Ravitch, a former Assistant Secretary of Education who is now a research professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education. She has criticized many of the changes being made in the public school systems of New York and Washington, DC. Ravitch offers her own suggestions for improving inner city schools and discusses her book titledLeft Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms.


Friday, December 12, 2008:

Bob spends the hour with author and humorist Roy Blount, Jr. For years Blount has been intrigued with the sounds of certain words and why people use them the way they do. So, he did some research and wrote a book about them called Alphabet Juice.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Bob talks politics with David Broder of The Washington Post. Then, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham discusses his latest book which chronicles the life of Andrew Jackson. American Lion sheds light on the myth surrounding America's seventh President and examines Jackson's personal struggles and political philosophies.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bob spends the hour with Annie Leibovitz one of the world's best known photographers. She's been the featured portrait photographer for Vanity Fair magazine since 1983, and her images of celebrities and public figures have reached an iconic status. Washington DC's Corcoran Gallery is exhibiting images from Leibovitz's latest book Annie Leibovitz At Work.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

According to a recent Gallup poll, four out of ten Americans say they dislike Muslims -- but they might not know just how much influence Arabic culture has had on our nation. San Francisco Chronicle journalist Jonathan Curiel explains how The Doors, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the French Quarter were influenced by Muslims. Curiel's book is titled Al' America: Travels Through America's Arab and Islamic Roots.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Iranian-born photographer Reza has spent his professional life viewing the beauty of humanity and the horror of war through his camera lens. These days, he takes pictures for National Geographic and a retrospective of his career has recently been published in the form of a stunning new book, it's titled Reza War + Peace. Then, book critic Laura Miller recommends books for holiday gift giving.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Bob talks with writer Kate DiCamillo who has written just four young adult novels. Her works have been honored by some of the genres most prestigious awards, including the Newberry Award. DiCamillo's third novel, The Tale of Despereaux, is being released as an animated film this December. Then, Bob talks with SIRIUS XM's Mike Abrams and Randi Martin about this year's Radio Hannukah.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bob talks politics with David Broder of The Washington Post. Next, CBS reporter Don Hollenbeck was a colleague of Edward R. Murrow and created contemporary media criticism. Hollenbeck was attacked by Hearst columnist Jack O'Brien as a Communist---which he most assuredly was not. Hollenbeck couldn't take the accusations and gassed himself in his kitchen. Bob talks with author Loren Ghiglione about his biography, CBS's Don Hollenbeck. Then, etymologist Michael Quinion returns to share his insight of English words and phrases.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dan O'Keefe was a writer on Seinfeld when he decided to incorporate some O'Keefe family traditions into the show's plot-less plot. And that's how America found out about Festivus (FES-tih-vus). O'Keefe reminisces about his unique upbringing and the vision his father, who founded the holiday for “the rest-of-us," had for it. Then, Bob speaks with the man who personified Festivus, Jerry Stiller. Stiller is half of the legendary comedy duo Stiller & Meara and he's joined by his wife, Anne Meara.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Traditionally, it's the A-list films that get all the attention. But here, national movie critic David Sterritt highlights cinema's best of the B-list. Next, Entertainment critic David Kipen talks about new movies and holiday favorites. Then, Sirius XM classical music host Martin Goldsmith explains some of George Frideric Handel's musical trickery in his masterpiece "The Messiah."


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bob talks to historian Michael Kazin about his book, A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan. It explores Bryan's role as a leader of the Christian left in the United States, and asks why that movement has all but disappeared from the political scene. Then, Bob talks to Karen Armstrong, one of the worlds most highly regarded authors on religion about her book The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bob speaks with etiquette expert Judith Martin about her book Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior. Then, Bob speaks with Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer in front of a live audience at The Smithsonian Institution. Feiffer is a member of the Comic Book Hall of Fame and has written respected screenplays, books and plays. In 2006, Feiffer received the Benjamin Franklin Creativity Award.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Rarely does the public get a glimpse inside the United States Supreme Court. However, Jeffrey Toobin was granted access to interviews and insiders of the nation's highest court. He explains to Bob the politics and cliques that dominate many of the court's decisions. His most recent book is The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. Then, James Patterson is the author of Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush V. Gore. Politics are well represented here, but Patterson doesn't skimp on the cultural and social events that defined that span. Madonna and Ice-T share pages with the Moral Majority and Timothy McVeigh.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Author Michael Lewis talks about his book The Blind Side: The Evolution of a Game. Lewis looks at the business of football by following the career of Michael Oher who just completed his senior season at the University of Mississippi as a first team All American and will likely be a first round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Then, Bob travels to Fort Missoula, Montana to talk with Bert Benedetti and Alfredo Chipolato. Both men were detained during World War Two for the crime of being Italian.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bob visits with cowboy poet, rancher, late-life environmentalist Wally McRae about his work and life at his ranch outside of Forsyth, Montana. McRae's family has been raising cattle near Little Big Horn for four generations. McRae is also the founding member of the Northern Plains Research Council, an advocacy group whose work led to the passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. In 1990, McRae became the first Montanan and the first cowboy poet to receive a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship.