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The Bob Edwards Show

July 2007



Monday, July 2, 2007

Bob talks politics with regular Monday guest David Broder of The Washington Post . Then, 75 years ago today, Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced his “New Deal for America” to millions on the radio. Now FDR and his “fireside chats” are being inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. Bob talks with Curt Smith, former Presidential speechwriter and curator of the Museum of Broadcast Communications about Roosevelt and radio.


Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Biographer Meryle Secrest has written about Salvador Dali, Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Rodgers, and others. The recipient of the 2006 National Humanities Medal, Ms. Secrest turns her biographer’s pen to her own adventures chronicling the lives of her famous subjects. Bob talks with Secrest about “Shoot the Widow,” a fascinating account of a life spent in sometimes arduous, sometimes comical, always exciting pursuit of the truth about others lives.


Bob talks to author Nancy Isenberg about her new book Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

We revisit two interviews from our archives. First Bob’s conversation with historian Garry Wills about his book Henry Adams and the Making of America . Adams has been called this country’s first true historian. Next, Bob talks with Library of Congress audio archivist Larry Appelbaum. Two years ago, he found a poorly-labeled tape which turned out to be a long-forgotten concert recording from 1957. Appelbaum’s discovery made jazz historians and millions of music fans very happy. The tape included a rare pairing of two jazz legends — Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane.


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Bob talks to Jeffrey Wasserstrom about the misconceptions Americans have about China and its evolving role in the world. Wasserstrom is Professor of History at University of California, Irvine and the author of China’s Brave New World: And Other Tales for Global Times. Then we hear from Bernie Krause, a soundscape producer whose recordings of the natural world have recently been integrated into Google Earth and Google Maps. Now, as you zoom in on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from your computer screen, you can also hear the polar bears, icebergs and penguins.


Friday, July 6, 2007

Farmer John is a quirky character who runs a community supported enterprise dedicated to growing organic foods in Northern Illinois. He’s chronicled his life – the discrimination, harassment, and newfound success – in a documentary called “The Real Dirt on Farmer John.” Bob catches up with Farmer John Peterson at an organic restaurant in New York City.


Monday, July 9, 2007

Bob talks politics with regular Monday guest David Broder of The Washington Post. Then Bob talks to Juliet Nicolson, author of “The Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the Storm,” a history of Great Britain on the brink of The Great War. What was happening in England before the war that changed British life for decades to come?


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

 Bob talks with poet and essayist David Kirby.  By day, Kirby is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University.  He is also a brilliant wordsmith whose work can reflect the beautiful and the absurd in a single poem.  Through his position at Florida State, Kirby has been able to travel and teach in places like Italy and England, and these experiences have profoundly inspired his poetry.  Kirby has two new books out, “The House on Boulevard St., New and Selected Poems” and “Ultra-talk: Johnny Cash, The Mafia, Shakespeare, Drum Music, St. Teresa of Avila and 17 Other Colossal Topics of Conversation.“  You can learn more about Kirby and his work at his website,


Wednesday , July 11, 2007

 Bob talks to Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins about her recently released book “The Real All Americans.” Then Bob talks to British actress Brenda Blethyn who has starred in Little Voice , Saving Grace , and Pride & Prejudice . In her latest, Introducing the Dwights , she portrays a mother struggling with her son’s coming of age.


Thursday, July 12, 2007 

 Jerome Groopman is a cancer specialist who writes for The New Yorker . In his book How Doctors Think, Groopman uses patients’ stories, interviews with doctors, research evidence, and his own personal experiences to examine modern medicine’s flaws Then, in 2005, Don Cheadle earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a real-life hotel manager in Hotel Rwanda. He’s taken on another biographical role, this time as the ex-con turned television and radio talk show host, Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene Jr. Bob talks with actor Don Cheadle and director Kasi Lemmons about the activist central to the film Talk to Me and their own lives as activists and filmmakers.


Friday, July 13, 2007

 Today we bring back Bob’s interview with David Bottoms . Then Bob talks with Yo-Yo Ma about his celebrity, his favorite parts of the classical repertoire, and why he’s expanded into world music in recent years. His latest cd is titled “The Essential Yo Yo Ma.”


Monday, July 16, 2007

Today we accept the Robert L. Kozik Environmental Reporting Award from the National Press Club for our documentary “Exploding Heritage.” Bob takes up the controversial issue of mountaintop removal coal mining in the south-central Appalachian Mountains – which is leaving the landscape, the local economy and the local culture ravaged.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Imagine the music landscape without the recordings of Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. These were among the many, many artists discovered by visionary record producer John Hammond. Dunstan Prial (PRY-uhl) has written a biography of Hammond — it’s called The Producer: John Hammond and the Soul of American Music. It’s now out in paperback.


Wednesday , July 18, 2007

Bob chats with England’s “one-man, punk-folk ambassador,” Billy Bragg. Bragg has spent the last two decades writing and performing music that is witty, passionate and often political. Yep Roc Records re-issued Bragg’s first four releases individually and as a 7-CD box set last year.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Environmental scientist James Lovelock was one of the pioneers of the theory of global warming. His latest book, The Revenge of Gaia, has been compared to such ground-breaking works as “Silent Spring” and “The Diversity of Life.” Then Bob talks with writer T.C. Boyle about his eleventh novel Talk Talk — which addresses the contemporary concern of identity theft and the deep theme of identity itself. They also discuss Boyle’s long writing career. Both books are now available in paperback.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Bob talks with his regular Monday morning guest, Washington Post political columnist David Broder. Then, Bob talks to author Sally Denton about John and Jessie Fremont. They were key figures in the Western expansion of the United States. Together they were one of the nation’s first power couples. Denton is the author of Passion and Principle: John and Jessie Fremont: The Couple Whose Power, Politics, and Love Shaped Nineteenth Century America . And, finally, Bob speaks with singer, songwriter and activist Adrienne Young . Young is such an ardent supporter of sustainable agriculture that she bundled seed packets into the liner notes of her Grammy-nominated first album, Room to Grow .


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bob talks with actor and director Steve Buscemi. His latest film is called “Interview.” Then, it’s a conversation with John Linnell and John Flansburgh from They Might Be Giants . The band’s new album is called “The Else.”


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bob spends an hour with Nobel Peace Prize winner, author, activist and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bob talks to Nicholas Fox Weber, author of the book The Clarks of Cooperstown about Sterling and Stephen Clark—two of America’s greatest art collectors, heirs to the Singer sewing machine fortune, and for decades enemies of each other.


Friday, July 27, 2007

We travel to Cooperstown, New York – the mythical birthplace of America’s pastime – and the very real home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Bob gets a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum with chief curator Ted Spencer, and chats with president Dale Petroskey about the Hall’s mission, its history and its future. This weekend, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn will become the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame .


July 28, 2007

 Bob talks to actor and film maker Steve Buscemi about some of his most notable roles and his working-class upbringing, including a stint as a New York City firefighter . Buscemi’s latest film is titled “Interview” — a remake that he rewrote, directed and stars in.

Bob talks to John Linnell and John Flansburgh from the band They Might Be Giants . The two friends have been making “quirky” music for children and adults for the past two decades. Their latest album is called “The Else.”

This weekend — Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn become the newest members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. To mark the occasion, we travel to the mythical birthplace of America’s pastime to talk with president Dale Petroskey (peh-TRAW-skee) about the Hall’s mission, its history and its future. Next, we follow the path of a record-breaking ball as it becomes an honored artifact in the museum’s collection. Then Ted Spencer , the Baseball Hall of Fame’s chief curator, leads Bob on a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum.