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The Bob Edwards Show

June 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bob’s out of the office all week so we’re visiting our archives. First it’s Bob’s conversation with TIME magazine senior correspondent Michael Weisskopf.  He was covering the war in Iraq when a grenade cost him one of his hands. Weisskopf met and bonded with several military service members through that experience and his subsequent recovery at Walter Reed Medical Center.  Weisskopf recounts his story in Blood Brothers: Among the Soldiers of Ward 57.  Then, Jon Ronson talks about his book titled The Men Who Stare at Goats.  It’s all about the US military’s research into unusual and unorthodox weapons systems – like extra-sensory perception, telepathy and the alleged ability to kill barnyard animals by staring at them for prolonged periods of time.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008 

We revisit two interviews from our archives- first, Bob talks to political scientists and twin brothers Earl and Merle Black about Divided America: The Ferocious Power Struggle in American Politics. In their book, the Blacks take a revolutionary approach to understanding why Americans vote the way they do. Then, Pulitzer Prize-winning Historian David McCullough talks about 1776, his book on the American Revolution. It's written as a companion work to John Adams, his celebrated biography of the second president, and includes research from hundreds of letters and several diaries kept by people on both sides of the conflict


Wednesday, June 4, 2008 

Today we replay Bob’s conversation with historian Thurston Clarke.  He wrote an entire book centering on the events of January 20, 1961 – it’s called Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech that Changed America.  This interview features several snippets of that famous oration and concludes with the speech in its entirety.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bob’s still out of the office so we’re visiting our archives again. In this encore, Bob talks with Camille Paglia about her book titled Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-three of the World's Best Poems. Then, poet Paul Zarzyski reads some of his own prose.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Bob’s away so we’ll revisit his interview with author Allan Gurganus who welcomed Bob into his North Carolina home for an hour-long visit.  Gurganus lives in the writer-rich town of Hillsborough, North Carolina and he’s turned the ground floor of his Victorian house into equal parts writing parlor, art museum and library.  Gurganus is the author of the best-selling novel Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Bob talks politics with David Broder of The Washington Post. Then, writer Simon Winchester has turned his attention to yet another little known but fascinating character. His most recent book The Man Who Loved China follows English scientist Joseph Needham's passion for China, and the woman who inspired it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Roger Mudd covered the Congress for CBS News in the glory days of network TV. His anchorman, Walter Cronkite, was partial to Washington stories, so the CBS bureau in the nation’s capital was The Place To Be, and that’s the title of his memoir.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The divisions among Americans run beyond red states and blue states and they can be measured down to the neighborhood. Religion, race, social values, education -- all of these have an effect on whether you choose to live downtown or in the suburbs, in Dallas or in Portland. Journalist Bill Bishop has spent several years studying the increasing social self-segregation within the United States, and his new book on the subject is The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart. Then, Jewel’s debut album "Pieces of You" sold over 12 million copies – now she’s just released her first album of new songs in more than three years titled “Perfectly Clear.” In the years between albums, Jewel, who was once homeless herself, has been working to raise the awareness of the organization Homeless Youth Among Us.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

For the millions of fan who didn't get to see the Beatles, there's 1964: The Tribute, The Grateful Dead were honored with the Dark Star Orchestra; and for the Rolling Stones, there's Sticky Fingers, who bill themselves as the "leading international Rolling Stones tribute show." Writer Steven Kurutz explores the odd world of tribute bands by focusing on Sticky Fingers and their fans in his book, Like A Rolling Stone: The Strange Life of a Tribute Band. Then, Bonnie Bramlett made musical history by being the first white Ikette for Ike and Tina Turner. She was also the only "Allman Sister" to the Southern rock group. And then there was her own career, first as half of the husband-and-wife duo Delany and Bonnie, and then as a solo artist. Her new album is called "Beautiful."

Friday, June 13, 2008

On the award-winning Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Lewis Black exercises his quick wit and ability to highlight inconsistencies in politics and culture.  In a new collection of essays, Me of Little Faith, Black has turned his critical eye towards religion.  He talks -- in a way most of the rest of us can't -- about violence committed in the name of God and his smart rants on Comedy Central. Then, the New Deal was dedicated to reviving the economy and the national life in all its sectors, including culture and the arts. As part of that effort, several of the New Deal agencies collected folklore. And a lot of that material made it back to the Library of Congress. On the 75th anniversary of the launch of Roosevelt's New Deal programs, folklorists Catherine Hiebert Kerst and Stephen Winick from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress share some of those treasures.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Bob talks politics with David Broder of The Washington Post. Then, we revisit Bob’s conversation from 2006 with Tim Russert, host and moderator of NBC's “Meet the Press.” Russert died on Friday at the age of 58. Bob and Tim talk about his news career, his highly-successful and influential Sunday morning political talk show, and about his last book, “Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Ahn Trio is a group of three Korean-born sisters, classically trained at Julliard. Angella plays violin, Lucia plays piano and Maria plays cello. The Ahn sisters will discuss their career with Bob and play a few songs from their latest CD titled "Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac." Then, on this day in 1965, the first B-52 raids were launched against Viet Cong targets in South Vietnam. Months later, Porter Halyburton was a Navy jet pilot shot down and taken prisoner of war. He was presumed dead, his wife was notified, and they conducted a memorial service for him. Meanwhile, he was held captive in the Hanoi Hilton and other North Vietnamese prisons for seven and a half years before his release. He describes how he survived that torture.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bob talks with book critic Laura Miller about books for the summer and recommends new books of fiction for your library. Then, Gregory Levey was a 25 year old bored law student who, on a whim, applied for an internship with the Israeli Mission to the United Nations.  He was hired instead as head speech writer, and was soon transferred to Jerusalem as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's English speech writer. Levey's memoir: Shut Up, I'm Talking-- And Other Diplomacy Lessons I Learned in the Israeli Government charts his three years working in the Israeli government.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The U.S. national debt is now well above 9 trillion dollars -- more than 30 thousand dollars for every person in the country. As the total debt grows, so do the interest payments. And if Congress and the White House do nothing to reign in spending, those interest payments will someday eat up the entire federal budget. Andrew Yarrow is director of the Washington, D.C. office of the nonpartisan group Public Agenda. He advocates for bipartisan cooperation to pay down the debt. Yarrow's new book is Forgive Us Our Debts: The Intergenerational Dangers of Fiscal Irresponsibility. Then, Singer-song writer James McMurtry is a self-proclaimed misanthrope who often uses his music to declare his views on the state of the Union. His album "Childish Things" was named Best Album of 2006 at the American Music Awards, and his most recent release is "Just Us Kids."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Movie reviewer David Kipen previews the weekend’s cinema options. Then, David Ngaruri Kenney was a Kenyan farmer who led a boycott to protest his country's farming policies. Kenney was quickly arrested and taken to the forest to be executed. After a harrowing escape to the US, Kenney and his lawyer, Philip Schrag, thought they'd have a clear-cut asylum case. Together they tell their story in Asylum Denied.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Bob talks politics with David Broder of The Washington Post . Then, California artist Emile Norman is now 89 years old, and still as curious about life, art, and nature as he was when he started seven decades ago. Husband and wife team Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker produced the upcoming PBS documentary Emile Norman: By His Own Design.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Historian and author Thurston Clarke talks with Bob about the lessons we can learn from Robert Kennedy's presidential bid in 1968. Clarke's latest book is titled The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America. Then, Bob talks with our music reviewer Anthony DeCurtis about two new CDs. Jessie Baylin's major label debut is called Firesight and the latest from Amos Lee is Last Days at the Lodge .

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bangladesh is a hot spot -- literally and figuratively. The coastal country is small -- the size of Iowa -- but is home to 150 million people. Journalist George Black reports on the country squeezed between India and Myanmar and describes what will happen when this poor, Muslim nation loses even more landmass as sea levels rise. Then, more than 40 world leaders gathered in Rome this month to discuss soaring food prices that threaten nearly 1 billion people with starvation which could lead to violence around the globe. Paul Roberts, the author of the best-selling The End of Oil , now investigates the modern food system with his new book, The End of Food.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Holcombe Rucker Park, Harlem, New York. This court is known worldwide as the epicenter of street basketball, and it gets the first starring credit in the new film 'Gunnin' for that #1 Spot.' Directed and produced by Adam Yauch, the film chronicles the first 'Elite 24' high school all-star game and profiles some of the players involved. Held at Rucker Park in 2006, that game featured many of basketball's brightest young stars, some of whom, like Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, and Jerryd Bayless, will playing in the NBA next year. Adam Yauch is best known as a member of the legendary hip hop group the Beastie Boys, but he's no stranger to film...under the alias 'Nathaniel Hornblower,' he directed many of the group's music videos. Then, John Hiatt stops by the studio to talk with Bob about his new CD called Same Old Man. It's Hiatt's first release since 2005. Later this year, Hiatt will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting by the Americana Music Association.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Anthony Lewis' first book, Gideon's Trumpet, told the story behind the Supreme Court case that ruled that a defendant has a right to an attorney even if he cannot afford one. The book had the unintended side effect of inspiring many people to become lawyers. Lewis' new book is about the evolution of the First Amendment. It's called Freedom for the Thought That We Hate. Then, Dalton Trumbo was one of Hollywood's most respected screenwriters when he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. Because he refused to comment on his political affiliations, he became one of the "Hollywood Ten" and was blacklisted from Hollywood. His son, screenwriter Christopher Trumbo and documentary director Peter Askin discuss making the new documentary called Trumbo.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Bob talks politics with David Broder of The Washington Post. Next, in his new book, A Government Ill Executed, Paul Light sounds the alarm on the collapse of the federal agency system. He challenges the presidential candidates to address the issue as part of transition planning. One of Light's radical proposals calls for drastically trimming the number of presidential appointees.