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The Bob Edwards Show

February 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bob talks politics with regular Monday guest David Broder of The Washington Post . Then, the United States has the worst infant and mother mortality rate in the developed world. Bob talks to filmmaker Abby Epstein about the choices parents and doctors make about childbirth and her documentary -- The Business of Being Born -- which exposes the back office decisions being made at hospitals across America.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Most people think the five-string banjo originated in the South actually started as an African instrument. Bob talks to banjo great Otis Taylor about his new album Recapturing the Banjo , which features African sounds and fellow musicians Guy Davis, Keb' Mo', and others. Then, Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis is back to review two new CDs titled Just A Little Lovin' by Shelby Lynne and Tim's House by Kate Walsh.

Wednesday , February 6, 2008

From 1995 to 2000 Russian "diplomat" Sergei Tretyakov was in fact the deputy resident in New York City for the SVR, the post-Cold War successor to the KGB. But unknown to his superiors, for at least 3 of those years, Tretyakov worked for US intelligence as a spy. Bob talks with Tretyakov and writer Pete Earley , who chronicled Tretyakov's experiences in his book Comrade J . Then, our resident folklorists Nancy Groce and Stephen Winick from the Library of Congress dip into the Folk life archive and bring along songs, poems, and stories about critters.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bob talks with author Nancy Kriplen about her new book, The Eccentric Billionaire. For her biography of John D. MacArthur, Kriplen interviewed his relatives and former associates -- and used recently found recorded interviews of the reluctant philanthropist. MacArthur's money is behind the "genius awards" and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Then, Rosetta Tharpe started singing at the Pentecostal church with her preacher mother. But soon Tharpe crossed over to rock-and-roll and was filling up DC's Griffith Stadium with 20,000 fans. She was Americas first female "stadium rocker." Bob talks to Gayle Wald, author of the first biography on Tharpe called Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. It’s now out in paperback.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny has won a stunning 17 Grammys -- in nine different categories. He sits down with Bob to recount his thirty-year career and to discuss his latest CD -- Day Trip . All ten tracks are Metheny's original compositions and were recorded in a single day between tour stops.

Monday, February 11, 2008

To celebrate black history month, we bring back two interviews with African-American poets. First, Frank X. Walker talks to Bob about his collection of poetry called Black Box . Then, poet Carl Hancock Rux who is also an author, a playwright, an actor and a singer-songwriter. He talks with Bob about his latest CD "Good Bread Alley."


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

For the first and possibly last time, the surviving astronauts from the Apollo missions came together to share their stories for the documentary “In the Shadow of the Moon.” Bob talks with director David Sington about making the film which is released today on DVD. Then, the area around Concord, Massachusetts was the center of the literary universe in the 1850's. Some of America's finest writers were contemporaries and neighbors, who loved, fought, appreciated, and challenged each other. Susan Cheever wrote about their lives together in her book, American Bloomsbury.


Wednesday , February 13, 2008

On the day after the "Potomac" primaries -- Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia -- Bob gets a political update from Bob Edwards Show regular David Broder. Then, Peter Chapman recounts the rise and fall of one of the most controversial global corporations ever in his new book Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World .


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bob talks to author Charles E. Cobb Jr. about his new book On The Road to Freedom: A Guided Tour of the Civil Rights Trail. Cobb takes us to places where pioneers of the movement marched, gathered, spoke, taught, where they were arrested, and where they lost their lives. Then, when Egypt's Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra arrives in Israel to play at the opening of an Arab cultural center, the musicians know that this event could determine the future of their band. The Band's Visit is written and directed by Eran Kolirin and was an official entry at both the Cannes and Telluride film festivals.


Friday, February 15, 2008

New Orleans' exotic background makes it seem more like a foreign port than an American city. Bob talks with writer Ned Sublette about his book The World That Made New Orleans , which chronicles the people who shaped the Crescent City and how it has evolved since its colonial beginnings . Then, February 17th is the 100th anniversary of Red Barber’s birth. To mark the occasion, Bob revisits their old conversations and highlights what he learned about broadcasting and life from “the old redhead.”


Monday, February 18, 2008

To mark President’s Day this year we bring back Bob’s interview with historian Michael Beschloss. His book is Presidential Courage: Brave New Leaders and How They Changed America.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bob visits with Gay Talese to talk about his memoir, A Writer’s Life . Talese wrote for the New York Times in the early 1960s and pioneered literary journalism or “New Journalism.” Then, Oliver Trager was the first to write a book about Lord Buckley's life and career and the enormous following he developed in the entertainment community. Bob talks with Trager about the comedy and the lasting influences of Lord Buckley.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bob spends the hour with Neil deGrasse Tyson - an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History and director of the Hayden Planetarium. Tyson’s latest book is a collection of essays entitled, Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pete Seeger was banned from American commercial television for more than 17 years, after topping both the pop charts and the blacklist. Seeger wrote or co-wrote many of our most iconic folk songs. Now almost 90, Seeger is still performing and still writing. He's publishing a new songbook this year. And the PBS program American Masters pays tribute on February 27th with Peter Seeger: The Power of Song.


Friday, February 22, 2008 

Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan is back to preview the 2008 Academy Awards. He tells Bob which actors, actresses, directors and movies should expect to bring home Oscars this year. Then, Bob talks with composer James Newton Howard about his career and about his Oscar-nominated score for “Michael Clayton.”


Monday, February 25, 2008

Bob talks politics with regular Monday guest David Broder of The Washington Post . Then, we spend the rest of the hour with Lester Brown. The Washington Post called Brown "one of the world's most influential thinkers." The Telegraph of Calcutta refers to him as “the guru of the environmental movement.” Brown talks about how the quickly the earth is changing and what can and should be done to sustain the growing global population. His most recent book is Plan B, 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization .

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

With his groundbreaking 1968 film, Night of the Living Dead, George Romero began a new era in American horror films. Now, forty years later, he’s released the fifth in his “living dead” series. Romero will talk about using horror as a political allegory, working with Stephen King, and why the guys who make the scariest movies are so often the most happy-go-lucky in person. Then, folklorists Nancy Groce and Stephen Winick from the Library of Congress dip into the Folklife archive and bring along songs, poems, and stories about critters.

Wednesday , February 27, 2008

Wallace Stegner is one of our nation's most lyrical and passionate writers of the American West. The Spectator Bird , Crossing to Safety , and his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Angle of Repose exposed readers to both the beauty and the environmental issues of the West. Bob talks with writer Philip Fradkin about his biography Wallace Stegner and the American West . Then, musician Tift Merritt is a North Carolina native who lives in New York City and longs for Paris. An extended stay in France inspired her to write and record the songs on her new CD, “Another Country.” Merritt talks with Bob about playing piano and writing songs in Paris and about her new second job as a public radio host.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thomas "Three-Finger" Brown, Sammy the Bull, Gaspipe Casso (named for his weapon of choice), and Jimmy "The Clam" Eppolito are some of the characters you'll meet in Jimmy Breslin's new book, The Good Rat: A True Story. They were all mobsters and Breslin covered them as an investigative journalist for Newsday. Then, Bob talks with writer MT Anderson about his book The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Volume One, The Pox Party , in celebration of Black History Month. This novel follows the story of a young Revolutionary-era slave, living in Boston, who discovers that his life isn't all that it seems. It is now released in paperback.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Brett Morgen is the writer & director of the new film 'Chicago 10,' an innovative cinematic postcard from the protests surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the subsequent conspiracy trial of eight anti-war activists. Then, our music critic Anthony DeCurtis reviews "Vagabonds," the first solo cd from Jayhawks founder Gary Louris. And the Cowboy Junkies re-imagining of their 1988 recording "The Trinity Sessions." On "Trinity Revisited" -- the Junkies are joined by fellow musicians like Ryan Adams, Vic Chestnutt and Natalie Merchant.