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The Bob Edwards Show

July 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Peter, Paul & Mary sounded better than Peter, Noel & Mary. But Noel or Paul, it's the same guy. Noel Paul Stookey talks about being in the middle of the 60’s folk music movement and brings along recordings of the ten finalists from last month’s MUSIC TO LIFE 2008 songwriting contest.

Wednesday , July 2, 2008

To celebrate Willie Nelson’s recent 75th birthday, there's a massive new box set called One Hell of a Ride and a new biography called Willie Nelson: An Epic Life. Its author, Joe Nick Patoski, has spent nearly his entire career covering the Red Headed Stranger and getting some really good stories along the way.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Since this is an election year, we are inundated with pundits and politicians talking about "real" Americans and what they want out of life. The question is, what is an American, really? What makes us different from people in other countries? How has our culture been shaped by our history and the continent we conquered? The novelist Russell Banks ponders those questions in his first work of nonfiction, titled Dreaming Up America. Then, filmmaker Alex Gibney makes his fourth appearance on this program. The latest documentary for the Peabody and Oscar Award-winner is called "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson."

Friday, July 4, 2008

In honor of winning the 2008 Edward R. Murrow award for our documentary, "The Invisible: Children Without Homes," we present this special rebroadcast of this hour long report that vividly describes the growing problem of homeless families and children.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bob talks politics with David Broder of The Washington Post. Then, New York Times best-selling author and investigative reporter Rick Shenkman says the problem with politics today does not lie in the scheming of politicians, but in the blatant ignorance of millions of ordinary voters. Shenkman’s most recent book is called Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth of the American Voter.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mexico City is the largest city in the western hemisphere and one of the most dynamic cities in the world. Writer David Lida moved there 20 years ago in search of the spontaneity and energy he felt was missing from his native New York City.  His book First Stop in the New World: Mexico City, the Capital of the 21st Century sets out to prove that this massive megalopolis is on the brink of becoming the world’s most important urban center. Then, "Exile in Guyville" was Liz Phair's debut album.  She said at the time that it was a song-by-song reply to the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street. Fifteen years later, Phair reissued the ground-breaking album with a few never-before-released songs from the original recording sessions.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Investigative journalist David Sirota spent a year criss-crossing the country and documenting what he says is a new populist revolt on the Right and Left. From union halls to the Minutemen's headquarters on the border, Sirota writes about growing unrest in The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington. Then, British soul musician James Hunter followed his 2006 U.S. debut album "People Gonna Talk" with "The Hard Way."  Hunter has been called an "over-night success that's taken 20 years" and critics believe he will become a fast favorite for anyone who loves classic R&B and soul music.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Brandon Mayfield was an American-born lawyer and family man living in Oregon when, out of the blue he was mistaken for a terrorist involved in the bombings in Madrid.  Mayfield was arrested after his fingerprint had been incorrectly identified. Steve Wax was Mayfield's public defender and he's now the author of Kafka Comes to America: Fighting for Justice in the War on Terror.  Wax argues that the story of what happened to his client is proof that everyone's civil liberties are in jeopardy in today's political climate.

Friday, July 11, 2008

David Simon's HBO series, "The Wire," dealt with politics, crime, journalism and everyday life in inner-city Baltimore.  And it did all of that in layers and nuance usually reserved for novels.  "Generation Kill" is the name of Simon’s new mini-series. It premieres July 13th on HBO.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bob talks politics with David Broder of The Washington Post. Then, even though he was a United States Congressman for two terms, Ben Jones is known first and foremost as "Crazy Cooter" for his role on The Dukes of Hazzard.  Jones' road to the halls of Congress was an unlikely one – starting in a shack with no electricity or plumbing. Jones tells his story in his memoir: Redneck Boy in the Promised Land.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Few knew Winston Churchill as well as his granddaughter Celia Sandys. The author of numerous books on her grandfather, Sandys recently traveled all over the world to make the upcoming PBS documentary Chasing Churchill, about Churchill private life and interests. Then, our resident folklorists Nancy Groce and Steven Winick from the Library of Congress dip into the archive of the American Folklife Center and bring along songs, poems, and stories about food.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ry Cooder's eclectic and celebrated career qualifies him to stand among America’s most accomplished guitarists.  In 1963, Cooder was 16 years old when he joined a blues band with Jackie DeShannon.  Since then, he has relentlessly pursued new challenges, working as a session musician, a songwriter, a film music composer and a producer.  Rooted in American styles early in his career, Cooder has branched out to play music from around the world.  His unique collaborations have earned Cooder three Grammys, including his most recent for 1998's worldwide smash Buena Vista Social Club. Cooder's latest album is titled: "I, Flathead: The Songs of Kash Buk and the Klowns," its being released simultaneously with a novella of the same title.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bob talks with author Richard Bausch about his 11th novel titled, Peace. It tells the story of a company of American soldiers scrabbling up an Italian mountainside in the closing days of World War II. The Germans are retreating, and Bausch's crew has been sent on a thankless reconnaissance mission: to confirm the retreat without being killed. Then, curator and archaeologist Dr. Fredrik Hiebert walks Bob through the National Gallery of Art's latest exhibit "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul."  This remarkable collection survived wars and looting only through the courage and ingenuity of Kabul's National Museum director and curators.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bob talks with our movie critic, David Kipen.  And then, singer Marie Daulne founded the world renowned music group Zap Mama in 1989 as a bridge between European and African music.  Daulne's own background reflects this cultural mix, having been born to a Belgium father and a Bantu mother in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Zap Mama's most recent album is Supermoon.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bob talks politics with David Broder of The Washington Post . Then, the story of a mediocre artist who's real talent lay not in painting, but in psychological manipulation. Bob talks with Edgar Award-winning writer Edward Dolnick about his new book The Forger's Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century. It exposes one of western art's greatest forgery stories.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The collapse of the sub prime mortgage industry has cost many people their homes, worsened the credit crisis and shaken up Wall Street financial firms. In their new book, Chain of Blame, authors Paul Muolo and Mathew Padilla detail the growth of sub prime lenders and how mortgages turned into a Wall Street bubble. Then, after 23 years with the British Security Service Dame Stella Rimington was named first female director of Britain's MI5 in 1992. Now retired, Rimington pulls from her experiences to write…spy novels. She talks with Bob about her latest book Illegal Action.

Wednesday , July 23, 2008

Michael Massing writes on media and foreign affairs for the New York Review of Books. Massing recently went to Iraq for the magazine to report not just on the situation there, but also on how the embedding program for journalists has evolved over the past five years. Then, Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs' most recent book is One Minute To Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War. Dobbs spent years carefully researching the Cuban missile crisis, unearthing new material for an hour-by-hour account of the Cold War’s apex.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

First, a look at the world of film with our resident entertainment critic David Kipen. Then, independent filmmaker Nanette Burstein retreated back to high school to document five seemingly stereotypical teens during their senior year. The group reads like a John Hughes' casting call: the jock, the geek, the princess, the artsy girl, and the heartthrob. But American Teen doesn't shove this group into their neat, Hollywood-ized boxes; instead it captures the real-life pressures of growing up in America. Then, Ray Benson, legendary front man of western swing group Asleep at the Wheel, joins Bob in studio for a talk about the ever-changing line-up of the band and what they’re planning next.

Friday, July 25, 2008 

'Whatever happened to my flying car?' and other questions about promised technologies are answered by Nick Sagan in the book, You Call This the Future? Nick is the son of the late astronomer Carl Sagan and our next guest, Linda Salzman Sagan. She was the co-producer of the phonographic time capsule that was launched aboard the Voyager Spacecraft in 1977. The capsule has left the solar system and is drifting through space, waiting to be found by intelligent life forms. Salzman-Sagan talks about the sounds and images she selected to represent all of humanity.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bob talks politics with David Broder of The Washington Post . Then, when he began poking around America's workplaces as the labor correspondent for the New York Times, Steven Greenhouse says he was taken aback by what he found --- "squalid treatment, humbling indignities, relentless penny pinching." Greenhouse examines the decline in the status and treatment of American workers in his new book, The Big Squeeze.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bruce Hornsby has sold more than 11 million records, drawing from a wide-range of American musical traditions. He was schooled in bluegrass, folk, rock, pop, country, blues and jazz, although the "adult-contemporary" label has plagued him ever since his hit, “The Way It Is,” became the most-played song on American radio in 1987. This year, Hornsby created the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program at his Alma Mater, the University of Miami.

Wednesday , July 30, 2008

On August, 7, 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit pulled off the "artistic crime of the century." After eight months of planning, Petit, aided by a band of co-conspirators, rigged a high wire between the Twin Towers and then spent nearly an hour dancing between the two. The cops were waiting for him when he finally came off the wire. Unsure of what crime he had committed, the NYPD charged him with "Man on Wire." That's the name of a new documentary about Petit and his heist. It's directed by James Marsh . Then, Inside/Out…voices from the disability community , a performance piece about disability in America, explores the issues of culture and identity through personal histories and performed by the participants themselves. Christopher Imbrosciano is a young actor with cerebral palsy. Vivian Cary Jenkins is a former healthcare administrator who became legally blind later in life. Blair Wing was paralyzed in a car accident at the age of 18.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bob talks with sports columnist King Kaufman about the baseball season and previews the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Next, Bob talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning editor for the Washington Post and best-selling author David Maraniss about his latest book Rome 1960. Cassius Clay, Rafer Johnson and Wilma Rudolph were some of the most prominent American athletes competing then – and their performances helped change perceptions of racial and gender equality in the US. To tell the story of this Olympic Games that changed the world, Maraniss had to combine his three favorite subjects -- history, politics and sports. Then, XM’s own Robert Aubrey Davis reviews an unlikely best-selling album recorded by the Cistercian Monks of the Abbey of Stift Heiligenkreuz.

Friday, August 1, 2008

First, Bob sits down with Mel Karmazin, our new boss and the CEO of the recently merged Sirius XM Radio. Then, Michele Perchonok of the Space Food Systems Lab joins Bob to chat about how foods are prepared for space travel. Bob will also be taste-testing some of NASA’s astro-delicacies. Then, Associate Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra Emil du Cou discusses his work with NASA to celebrate the space agency’s 50th anniversary. He recently conducted a performance of “The Planets” by Gustav Holst for the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.