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 February 2010

 

Monday, February 1, 2010 

In Alabama, Lynne Goebbell was fired from her job at an insulation company because she refused to remove a “Kerry for President” bumper sticker from her car.  In Indiana, Daniel Wynn was let go after eight years as a machinist because he had a few beers after work. The company’s owner believed that drinking was a sin. And Christine DeMark was fired from her job as a sales rep because her employer found out that she carried a gene linked to Huntington’s disease. In each case, the workers had no legal rights. What their employers did was entirely legal. Lewis Maltby is the president and founder of the National Workrights Institute and an expert in employment law.  He writes about these and many other examples of employer abuses in his new book, Can They Do That? Retaking Our Fundamental Rights in the Workplace.  Then, for 15 years, Dr. Danielle Ofri has been an attending physician at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital Center, America’s oldest public hospital, where often her patients only commonality is their need for health.  In her book Medicine in Translation: Journeys with My Patients, Ofri shares the stories of the hundreds of immigrants, documented and undocumented, who have ended up in her care.

 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, leaked 7,000 pages of top secret documents about the war to the press. It was a Defense Department study never meant to be seen by the public. Its publication in the New York Times proved the war was based on lies and eventually led to president Richard Nixon’s resignation and the end of America’s involvement in Vietnam. Bob talks with Ellsburg about his decision to release the “Pentagon Papers” and with filmmakers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmithabout their new documentary called The Most Dangerous Man in America.

 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 

With concerns about mounting national debt so intense now that President Obama has called for a partial spending freeze, Bob turns to David Walker for fiscal opinion and analysis.  Walker is a former comptroller general of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office and he has just writtenComeback America:  Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility.  Then, the Berlin Airlift has been called the first battle of the cold war. For almost a year, young men flew old planes over Berlin dropping food, fuel, medicine — even candy — to the two million people below. In his new book Daring Young Men, historian Richard Reeves tells the stories of the civilian airmen who carried out one of history’s largest humanitarian campaigns.

 

Thursday, February 4, 2010 

Bach’s Cello Suites are one of the most recognizable pieces of music ever composed. The melodies are ubiquitous in movies, television, commercials — and they have been played at major world events: the fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11 memorial services, Ted Kennedy’s memorial service most recently. But the Cello Suites were almost never heard.  For centuries after Bach died, the music was lost, discovered accidentally and then popularized by the Spanish cellist Pablo Casals. Eric Siblin tells the story in a book called The Cello Suites: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece. Finally, Bob looks ahead to this weekend’s Super Bowl with our regular sports analyst Dave Zirin and Keith Campbell, older brother of producer Chad Campbell, and life-long New Orleans resident. The Saints are appearing in football’s championship game for the first time, and Bob talks with Campbell about what a win might mean for the city.

 

Friday, February 5, 2010

David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics. Then, entertainment critic David Kipen joins Bob to talk about this week’s Oscar nominations and the passing of J.D. Salinger. And, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Ben Lucien Burman.  Author, journalist, and World War I veteran Burman wrote 22 books, including the bestselling Catfish Bend series about life in a fictitious Louisiana river town. Several of his books became movies, includingSteamboat Round the Bend, which starred Will Rogers.

 

Monday, February 8, 2010 

Almost 60 years ago, doctors took cells from a cancer patient in Baltimore. She died soon afterward, forgotten to everyone except her family. But her cells became immortal and famous – known as HeLa. HeLa cells were the first to grow reliably in a laboratory, and they’re still the most widely used today. They’re responsible for everything from the Polio vaccine to gene mapping. They’ve ridden into space and into oblivion on atomic weapons. In a new book, Rebecca Skloot tells the story of the woman from whom HeLa cells were taken without permission, and what happened to her family after she died. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is part biography and part investigation into racial politics and medical ethics.

 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010  

Writer Ralph Ellison is best known for his book Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953 and is considered one of the most important books of the 20th century.  When Ellison passed away in 1994 he left behind thousands of pages of a second, unfinished novel.  Editors and Ellison scholars John Callahan and Adam Bradley have compiled and edited Ellison’s work into the book Three Days Before the Shooting, published by Modern Library.

 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 

In honor of Black History Month we bring back Bob’s 2005 interview with late historian John Hope Franklinabout his autobiography titled, Mirror to America.  The nonagenarian was involved in some of the most important events in American civil rights history. He’s worked with Thurgood Marshall, served as the first black department chairperson of an American all-white college, and marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Franklin died in 2009 at the age of 93. Then, we replay Bob’s 2006 conversation with filmmaker Bill Jersey about his documentary. A Time for Burning explores the civil rights issue from one of the least likely of vantage points—a white, middle-class congregation in Nebraska—and reveals some of the more powerful observations about race and equality to come out of the ’60s. His documentary was named to the National Film Registry.

 

Thursday, February 11, 2010 

We continue to celebrate Black History Month with Bob’s 2006 conversation with Clarence Jones.  He served as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s lieutenant for eight years and helped Dr. King to craft some of his most beloved speeches.  Then, Bob talks with our music reviewer Anthony DeCurtis about a new collection of CDs titled Let Freedom Sing: The Music of the Civil Rights Movement. 

 

Friday, February 12, 2010  

David Rose is the advertising director of Sexually, I’m More of a Switzerland: More Personal Ads from the London Review of Books, the second compilation of personal ads from the LRB.  He edited 2006’s They Call Me Naughty Lola and is an editor for the London Review of Books.  Next, photographer Jennifer Greenburg spent the past 8 years traveling the U.S. documenting the Rockabillies, a small subculture celebrating the style and sound of post-war 1950s America.  Her book, The Rockabillies, is published by The University of Chicago Press. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gedimanabout the essay of Harry S. Truman.  He was the 33rd President of the United States, serving from 1945 to 1953. Born and raised in Missouri, Truman was a farmer, businessman, World War I veteran and U. S. senator. As President, his order to drop atomic bombs on Japan helped end World War II.

 

Monday, February 15, 2010  
Today we honor President’s Day by replaying Bob’s interview with Pulitzer Prize-winner Joseph J. Ellis about his book, His Excellency: George Washington.
 
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
President’s Week continues. First, Bob talks with Doris Kearns Goodwin about her book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln  – it’s an exploration of the men and women who worked with the 16th President. Then, Bob talks to David Mark, former editor-in-chief of Campaigns and Elections magazine about his book Getting Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning.
                                                                                                                                                                                          
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
 
We bring back Bob’s 2004 interview with authors W. Marvin Watson and Sherwin Markman about their book Chief of Staff: Lyndon Johnson and His Presidency. Then, Bob talks with Bob Greene about his goal in the 1980’s and 90’s to meet and chat with everyone in the world’s most exclusive boys’ club. The result is his book, Fraternity: A Journey in Search of Five Presidents.
 
Thursday, February 18, 2010  
Our week of honoring US Presidents (and candidates) continues with Senator and presidential candidate Bill Bradley. He believes that Americans are being told a false story about this country.  He offers a different one in his book, The New American Story.  Then, before radio and television, presidential candidates used song to convey messages and influence voters.  And just like today, tapping into fear was a popular tactic. Our resident folklorists Nancy Groce and Steve Winick from the Library of Congress share campaign songs from the past and present.
 
Friday, February 19, 2010  
 
David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob live to talk politics. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Genevieve B. Earle.  She was a social worker and head of the Brooklyn branch of the League of Women Voters. In 1937, she became the first woman to be elected to the New York City Counsel, where she served as minority leader of the body.

 

Monday, February 22, 2010   

In 1940, Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany and few Americans believed the U.S. should intervene.   There were some notable exceptions.   In Citizens of London, Lynn Olson details the roles played by three Americans who helped Winston Churchill’s government obtain help from Washington before and after America finally entered the war at the end of 1941.  They were U.S. Ambassador John Gilbert Winant, FDR’s envoy Averell Harriman and CBS news correspondent Edward R. Murrow.  Then, in novelist Sarah Blake’s book The Postmistress, American radio reporter Frankie Bard is the first woman to broadcast from the Blitz in London during World War II.  Her reports from 1940 bring war into the living rooms of millions of Americans, including two women from a small Cape Cod town who soon find their lives caught up in this foreign conflict.

 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010  

How is the war in Iraq different for the women who live through it? In her new book Sisters in War: A Story of Love, Family, and Survival in the New Iraq veteran journalist Christina Asquith gives voice to four women, two Iraqis, one American soldier and one American aid worker.  Then, Bob talks with Martin Goldsmith, host of Sirius XM’s Symphony Hall, about Benjamin Britton’s monumental War Requiem.

 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010  

If the American people collectively will suffer when independent journalism disappears, should Federal money be spent to save it?  John Nichols of The Nation magazine and media critic Robert McChesney lay out their multi-billion dollar plan to resuscitate the American press in their new book The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again. Then, entertainment critic David Kipen tells Bob what’s new in theaters.

 

Thursday, February 25, 2010  

Preservation Hall is located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter and was founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe.  The Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed with the pioneers who invented jazz including Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, pianist Sweet Emma Barrett, and others.  Over time, Ben Jaffe assumed his late father’s role as director of Preservation Hall.  He talks about the band’s history, post-Katrina New Orleans, and their latest CD which features Pete Seeger, Tom Waits, Steve Earle and more. Then, we’ll check in on the 21st Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada with Boston Globe sports columnist and frequent ESPN commentator Bob Ryan.

 

Friday, February 26, 2010  

David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics. Next, photographer-turned-filmmaker Harvey Wang’s film The Last New Yorker tells the story of two dyed-in-the-wool New Yorkers who, now in their 70s, realize that the city they grew up in has all but disappeared.  Bob talks with the two lead actors, Dominic Chianese and Dick Latessa, about this story of love and friendship in the final season of life.  Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Albert Guerard. He came to America in 1906 and served as an Army intelligence officer in World War I. He later taught French and comparative literature at more than a dozen colleges and universities, including Stanford and UCLA, and he wrote twenty-eight books.