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January 2009

 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Author Malcolm Gladwell talks to Bob about rapid cognition, the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye in his book Blink.

 

Friday, January 2, 2009

Frank Langella won the Best Actor Tony Award in 2007 for his performance in the acclaimed play Frost/Nixon. Bob talks to Langella about his film Starting Out in the Evening. He stars as Leonard Schiller, an out-of-print New York writer whose solitary existence is interrupted by a young, beautiful graduate student writing her thesis about his novels. The student is played by Lauren Ambrose, the redhead from Six Feet Under. Then, Bob talks to Philip Seymour Hoffman about his leading role in Capote which he won an Oscar for Best Actor in 2006. The actor has nailed some of the coolest roles Hollywood has had to offer...he's stolen scenes from Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights, Tom Cruise in Magnolia, and Ben Stiller in Along Came Polly. Capote covers the tumultuous period in Truman Capote's life leading up to the publication of his true-crime masterpiece In Cold Blood.

 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bob talks politics withDavid BroderofThe Washington Post.Then, as part of our ongoing series about education reform,Howard Gardnerdiscusses how students learn. Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the author of numerous books including,The Disciplined Mind: What All Students Should Understand.

 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bob talks with Jay Parini about Promised Land: Thirteen Books that Changed America.

 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

These days we hear about the imminent demise of the printed newspaper, but in 1835, when most Americans were not daily readers, the fledgling New York Sun printed a remarkable story that made newspapers a must read for millions. Author Matthew Goodman's new book is The Sun and The Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York. Then, Bob talks with legendary performer Boz Scaggs about his expansive career and his new CD Speak Low.

 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

About 68-percent of newspaper articles, TV shows, blogs and radio programs can't get through a topic without quoting a few statistics. Joel Best, professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware, has created a guide for seeing through faulty stats, with his book Stat-Spotting: A Field Guide to Identifying Dubious Data. Then, Bob talks to Edward Zwick, director of the new film Defiance.

 

Friday, January 9, 2009

David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob live with the latest from the capital and beyond. Then, there is a new six-part television series and book about the history of comedy in America. Laurence Maslon and Michael Kantor are two of the people behindMake 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America.The book is out now and the PBS series premieres January 14th. Both feature stories, interviews and jokes with this country's funniest people. Malson and Kantor help us get to the bottom of the question: "What makes us laugh and why?"

 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fourteen years ago in Washington, DC, Paul Griffin founded City at Peace in response to the racial division that was "destroying youth and communities in our nation's capital." Today, the theater program has expanded to seven major cities, helping youth across the country improve academically and socially. As part of our ongoing series on education reform, Griffin talks about his students and how changes to education have affected them. Then, Bob talks with writer Alex Beam about his new book A Good Idea at the Time. The idea in question is using classic works instead of standard text books in the classroom – a method also known as the great books curriculum.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In her 2003 best-seller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, Azar Nafisi wrote about the lives of women in Iran. Now she tells her own life story in Things I’ve Been Silent About. Nafisi's new memoir is a historical portrait of a family and country leading up to the Islamic Revolution which turned Iran into a religious dictatorship.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bob talks with author and historian H.W. Brands about his latest book Traitor to His Class which is a look at the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt. Then, Bob talks with pop band Sister Hazel about their latest release, Before the Amplifiers: Live Acoustic.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

First, in honor of the 200th anniversary of poet and writer Edgar Allen Poe's birthday, writer Peter Ackroyd talks with Bob about his new book Poe: A Life Cut Short. Then, Bernhard Schlink's 1995 novel The Reader told the haunting story of a teenage boy and an older woman in post-war Berlin. It has remained one of the most-read novels in modern history, having been translated into 40 languages. Part mystery, part love story, part historical confession, The Reader asks the question, "How far would you go to protect a secret?" The book now comes to the big screen, directed by Stephen Daldry and starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes. It has been nominated for 4 Golden Globes and is expected to rack up a slew of Oscar nominations as well.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Officially moving over from his Monday slot, David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob live with the latest from the capital and beyond. Next, Bob talks with King Kaufman about the NFL playoffs, the NBA, and college basketball. Then, Jesse Winchester went to Canada in 1967 to avoid being drafted into military service during the Vietnam War. While in Montreal, he wrote songs that were covered by various artists, but Winchester’s career as a performer suffered because he couldn’t tour in the United States. Only after President Carter’s amnesty in 1977 could Winchester return to the U.S. to perform for his American fans. Today, based in Charlottesville, VA, Winchester is recording and touring once again.


Monday, January 19, 2009:

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday we bring back Bob's conversation with several Memphis residents who knew King and were active during the civil rights struggle of the 1960's. All three guests touch on the city's sanitation workers' strike which brought Dr. King to Memphis. Maxine Smith led the city's chapter of the NAACP from 1962 until 1996. Frank McRae was a local white minister who supported the sanitation workers marching for their rights and dignity. Benjamin Hooks was a close friend of King's and went on to serve as executive director of the NAACP.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009:

Today, we take a look back and a look forward at the U.S. economy. In the eight years since George W. Bush took office, almost every sector of the U.S. economy has worsened: the deficit has hit a record high, consumer debt has close to doubled, the unemployment rate is at a 16-year high and Iraq's price tag is expected to be at least $3 trillion. Bob talks with Harvard economist Linda Bilmes about "The $10 Trillon Hangover," an article she co-authored for the January issue of Harper's magazine. Then, David Sanger is chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times. He talks about the foreign policy challenges and covert programs that President-elect Barack Obama will inherit from President Bush.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009:


Rafe Esquith
is a fifth grade teacher at a public school in Los Angeles. His students voluntarily come to school at 6:30am and stay well past the bell nearly every day. Bob last talked to Esquith about his book, Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire. As part of our ongoing series on education reform, we touch base with the only teacher in history to receive the National Medal of the Arts to find out how he motivates his students and what he thinks about No Child Left Behind and other reform efforts. Then, Eighteenth-century scientist and philosopher Joseph Priestley was one of the world's most prominent religious thinkers, as well as one of England's most hated men. Writer Steven Johnson's book The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America uses Priestley's life to look at how new ideas emerge and spread.


Thursday, January 22, 2009:

Dave Zirin writes the weekly online column Edge of Sports and hosts a show with the same name on Sirius XM Channel 167 Saturdays at noon EST. He's also authored several books including What's My Name, Fool? and Welcome to the Terrordrome. In his newest book, Zirin tracks an alternative history of our country as seen through the sports and games Americans have played. The book is called A People's History of Sports in the United States. It is part of the New Press People's History series, edited by historian Howard Zinn.

Friday, January 23, 2009:


David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob live with the latest from the capital and beyond. Then, Eugene Jarecki's 2005 documentary Why We Fight was about the causes and inner-workings of what outgoing president Dwight Eisenhower dubbed the military-industrial complex. Jarecki has spent the last three years building on the ideas in the film and now has a book, American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril. Bob talks with Jarecki about the military and economic challenges facing the new administration.

 

Friday, January 23, 2009:

David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob live with the latest from the capital and beyond. Then, Eugene Jarecki's 2005 documentary Why We Fight was about the causes and inner-workings of what outgoing president Dwight Eisenhower dubbed the military-industrial complex. Jarecki has spent the last three years building on the ideas in the film and now has a book, American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril. Bob talks with Jarecki about the military and economic challenges facing the new administration.

 

Monday, January 26, 2009:

In 1955, Swiss photographer Robert Frank received a Guggenheim grant to document American society as he saw it. Five years later, Frank published his essay. "The Americans" established Frank as one of the most important photographers of the 20th century. The work was embraced by young artists and critics but was generally loathed by the public as a cruel and unsympathetic look at the country. The National Gallery of Art is hosting a 50th anniversary exhibit to honor Frank's accomplishments. Then, Bob takes a tour of Robert Frank's The Americans, with National Gallery of Art Curator of Photography Sarah Greenough.



Tuesday, January 27, 2009:

Bob talks with writer Mark Harris about his book, Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, which compares and contrasts the five Oscar nominees for best picture of 1967. In the Heat of the Night beat out fellow nominees Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and Doctor Dolittle. 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." The three-CD set is released in the week between Barack Obama's inauguration and the start of Black History Month.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009:

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed into law in 1993 to protect the rights of workers to take time off for medical reasons, but currently almost half of Americans do not qualify for that leave and of those who do qualify, most (nearly 80-percent) opt not to take it because they simply can’t afford it. Bob investigates the challenges of how workers maintain their households when they or a family member get sick -- and how legal changes implemented this month actually make those challenges even more difficult. We’ll hear from advocates for workers, the business community, and workers themselves as a part of this special feature.


Thursday, January 29, 2009:

E.J. Graff has spent the past year investigating the global baby trade for the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. Graff's investigation reveals that an increasing number of international adoption networks have become baby-brokers --- buying, kidnapping, or coercing infants from their families for delivery to first-world countries . Next, the thirty-ninth President of the United States calls for a re-engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. For more than three decades, Jimmy Carter has focused his personal and political attention on the Middle-East, but he says the present moment is a unique time for action. President Carter offers what he calls “a plan that will work.” Then, a look at the world of film with our resident entertainment critic David Kipen.

Friday, January 30, 2009:

David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob live with the latest from the capital and beyond. Next, its Salon.com sports columnist King Kaufman with a preview of Super Bowl XLIII. Then, we remember writer John Updike, who died earlier this week.