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October 2012


Monday, October 1, 2012

Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, celebrated writer Michael Chabon turns his attention to San Francisco’s bay area, centering his new book Telegraph Avenue around a vinyl record store.


 Tuesday, October 2, 2012

 Investigative journalist Andrew Nikiforuk writes about the ongoing development of the Keystone XL pipeline in Canada which will cross hundreds of salmon rivers and other protected lands.  His article on the subject appears in the Fall edition of OnEarth Magazine.  Nikiforuk will also discuss his new book, The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude.  Then, Voice of Witness is a nonprofit book series founded by author Dave Eggers and physician/human rights scholar Lola Vollen that focuses on human rights crises around the world. Bob speaks with journalist Sibylla Bzodinsky and Human Rights Watch researcher Max Schoening about the latest title in the series, Throwing Stones at the Moon: Narratives from Colombians Displaced By Violence.


 Wednesday, October 3, 2012

 Bob talks with filmmaker Eugene Jarecki about his latest documentary The House I Live In. The film explores every level of the “War on Drugs” – from the dealer, the narcotics officer, the inmate, the prison guard to the federal judge and offers a sobering view of our criminal justice system.  Then, nine years ago, 462 people went to see a small rock concert in Rhode Island. In less than 10 minutes, an on-stage pyrotechnic stunt went terribly wrong and claimed 100 lives; 96 burned alive in the club. John Barylick was one of the lead attorneys representing the victims and their families. He writes about the lessons to be learned from the tragedy in his new book Killer Show: The Station Nightclub Fire: America’s Deadliest Rock Concert.


 Thursday, October 4, 2012

 We’re celebrating our eighth anniversary by replaying some of Bob’s best conversations with big-name guests.  First, Bob talks with, “The CEO of Hip Hop,” Russell Simmons.  He has helped create such ground breaking ventures as Def Jam Records, Phat Farm and Def Comedy Jam.  Simmons talks about his book titled Do You!: 12 Laws To Access The Power In You To Achieve Happiness And Success.  Next, Robert Duvall’s filmography features some of the greatest movies to come out of Hollywood: To Kill A Mockingbird, The Godfather I & II, Apocalypse Now, Lonesome Dove, and Tender Mercies, for which he earned an Oscar.  In his film Get Low, Duvall portrays the town recluse who stages his own “living funeral.” Duvall chats about his fifty-plus-year-career in-studio with Bob.  Then, in his memoir, Open: An Autobiography, Andre Agassi goes well beyond his on-court wins and losses to reveal some big secrets, like how much he hated tennis during the early years of his career. Agassi won eight Grand Slam titles before retiring in 2006.


Friday, October 5, 2012

First, Los Angeles times columnist Doyle McManus breaks down the first debate between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Then, then celebration of our eighth anniversary rolls on with author, humanitarian and 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter. He has appeared on this program four times; we’ll discuss his mother Lillian, his early life, political career and the peacemaking efforts president Carter has undertaken since leaving office.


Monday, October 8, 2012

All this week, we’re celebrating our 8th anniversary by bringing back some of Bob’s best conversations.  We kick off our celebrations with Bob’s conversation with Jim Lehrer and his former co-host Robert MacNeil.  MacNeil began the nightly news report in 1975 with Lehrer as the Washington correspondent. It evolved into the NewsHour with both men hosting until MacNeil retired in 1995.  Jim Lehrer retired last year after 36 years.  Then, Bob talks to public radio treasure and host of “A Prairie Home Companion” Garrison Keillor.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Our 8th anniversary celebration continues.  This time we replay Bob’s interview with singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett.  Like a pied piper, but with a guitar, Buffett leads his Coral Reefer Band and his legion of fans known as Parrot Heads. Bob visits with Buffett in the state of mind called Margaritaville to talk about the song with the same title, his many commercial enterprises, the SiriusXM satellite radio channel and about his connection to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


To mark our anniversary, we dip into the archive to bring back Bob’s interview with Dame Helen Mirren, known as “the Queen” thanks to her Oscar winning role playing Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.  Mirren’s autobiography In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures chronicles her remarkable career on the stage and in film.  Then, Bob talks with director Kenneth Branagh and actor Michael Caine about their film “Sleuth.” It’s a remake of the 1972 thriller in which Caine played the younger of the only two characters in the movie opposite Sir Laurence Olivier.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

We celebrate our 8th anniversary by replaying some of Bob’s favorite music interviews. First, actor, comedian, writer and musician Steve Martin talks with Bob about his second album Rare Bird Alert, a follow-up to 2009’s Grammy-winning The Crow. Martin is joined on the album by his backing band The Steep Canyon Rangers, with special guests The Dixie Chicks and Paul McCartney singing a couple of Martin’s original tunes.  Then, Bob talks to country outlaw Merle Haggard about his 45 years in the music business and how he hasn’t let himself become a prisoner of success. From doing a 180 on his most famous song, “Okie from Muskogee,” to walking out on Ed Sullivan, to admitting he dyes his hair and wears dentures, Haggard’s life is about refusing to submit. At the2006 Grammy’s, Haggard received the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Today we conclude our show’s 8th anniversary celebration.  We start with Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Doyle joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Next, Yo Yo Ma is perhaps the world’s most famous classical musician. Bob talks with him about his celebrity, his favorite parts of the classical repertoire, and why he’s expanded into world music in recent years. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Scott Saalman.  As children, our blueprints for love come from our parents. We watch how they show their love to us and each other, and those experiences shape our expectations of marriage. As a child, Saalman watched his parents’ kiss goodbye as his father left for work every day. He was a swing shift worker at a factory, and so the kiss happened at different times, depending on his work assignment. But it always happened. Saalman still holds that clockwork show of devotion as an ideal of love.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Today we conclude our 8th Anniversary celebration with a living legend of Jazz, Dave Brubeck. The icon talks about his life, career, and his CD titled London Flat, London Sharp.  Then, Bob talks with William F. Buckley Jr., the father of the modern conservative movement and founder of the National Review magazine about his book Miles Gone By. 


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Amy Krouse Rosenthal likes to make things: books for small people and big, short videos, and “connections with the universe.”  Her collection of videos is charming and addictive – in “Life is a Marathon,” she greets commuters exiting the train station with posters, high fives, and water.  Rosenthal talks to Bob about creativity, getting something out of nothing, and why she does what she does.  Then, we hear from This I Believe essayist Leslie Guttman.  Sometimes, the letter of the law is wrong. No policy is appropriate for every situation in life, which is why people have to make judgment calls.  When Guttman encountered a would-be shoplifter in her bookstore, she realized the woman was more than a thief. Guttman put herself in the woman’s place, and their encounter altered her perspective.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Marty Makary is a surgeon at Johns Hopkins and author of Unaccountable:  What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Healthcare.  He tells Bob that if medical errors were a disease, they would be the sixth leading cause of death in the US, just behind accidents and Alzheimer’s.  Then, Bob talks with best-selling writer Ken Follett.  Follett’s books have sold more than 100 million copies, and tonight his novel World Without End debuts on the small screen.  A historical epic set in medieval England, this ReelzTV miniseries stars Cynthia Nixon, Miranda Richardson and Charlotte Riley.  Bob also talks with Follett about his most recent novel Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

It’s hard to believe that Penny Marshall, the actress who played the tough talking tomboy in the sitcom “Laverne and Shirley” is pushing 70.  And when Hollywood-types enter their sunset years, they write their memoirs —- telling funny stories about their famous friends. Penny Marshall’s is titled My Mother Was Nuts.  Marshall was the first female director to make a movie that grossed over $100 million (Big, starring Tom Hanks) but Marshall calls her successful Hollywood career a “happy accident.”  Then, Bob talks sports with John Feinstein, Washington Post columnist and co-host of SiriusXM’s “Beyond the Brink” (Mad Dog Radio, channel 86).


Friday, October 19, 2012

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Next, Andrea Seabrook was a reporter for NPR for eleven years before leaving this summer to produce a new program called DecodeDC.  In this series, she aims to lift the curtain on national politics to dissect how it works - or doesn’t.  Seabrook will discuss DecodeDC, the current presidential election, and the debates.  Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Greg Gatjanis.  We know that life is precious, and that it can be gone in an instant. Gatjanis was forced to face the death of his father unexpectedly, and the moment became more significant than he expected. In the hospital room, Gatjanis shared one last moment with his father, and he says it was both his deepest heartbreak and his greatest blessing.


Monday, October 22, 2012

In his new book, Who Stole the American Dream?, journalist Hedrick Smith answers the question he’s posed by naming names, giving dates and analyzing why and how the wealth disparity in this country continues to expand.  Then, commentary from children’s book writer Daniel Pinkwater.  Pinkwater’s most recent book is Bushman Lives!.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Professor James Blight was part of the research team behind the documentary Fog of War. His latest project is The Armageddon Letters, a transmedia storytelling project about the lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Then, we remember George McGovern, who for decades was one of this country’s strongest and loudest voices for liberal causes.  In 1972, Senator McGovern won the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, but lost badly to incumbent Richard Nixon. McGovern campaigned for an immediate end to the Vietnam War, and for a broad program of progressive social and economic reforms at home. George McGovern died over the weekend at age 90.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

When Lynn Povich joined the staff of Newsweek in 1965 as a secretary, there were no women reporters.  “If you want to be a writer, go somewhere else —- women don’t write at Newsweek,” she and her colleagues were told. But Povich and forty-five of her female colleagues including Ellen Goodman, Jane Bryant Quinn and Nora Ephron stayed and filed an EEOC complaint charging their employer with “systematic discrimination.” She tells the story in a new book titled, The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace.  Then, Bob Balaban is an actor (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind), director (The Exonerated), and author of children’s books.  His most recent is The Creature from the Seventh Grade.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Like so many children in Uganda’s capitol city, Phiona Mutesi was poor, had little education, and was often hungry.  In 2005 a local missionary taught her how to play chess.  Within a few short years, Mutesi became Uganda’s national junior chess champion and just this summer competed in the World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul.  Writer Tim Crothers, a former senior editor at Sports Illustrated, tells Mutesi’s remarkable story in his book The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster.  Then, Bob talks sports with John Feinstein, Washington Post columnist and co-host of SiriusXM’s “Beyond the Brink” (Mad Dog Radio, channel 86).


Friday, October 26, 2012

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Next, 20 years ago, Scholastic introduced young readers to a new series called Goosebumps.  These creepy stories soon became one of the best-selling children’s series of all times, with over 300 million books sold.  Often called the “Stephen King of children’s literature,” author R.L. Stine talks with Bob about the trick of scaring kids and about his writing Red Rain, his latest novel for adults. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Christine Kingery.  While growing up, Kingery heard stories of World War II from her grandmother, who was captured twice by the Nazis. She also escaped twice by receiving help from German civilians. Kingery’s grandmother always said the German people were her friends. From her, Kingery realized that peace is possible through compassion.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Published in 1993, writer Lois Lowry’s book The Giver won the Newbery Medal and became one of the 20th century’s most important young adult novels.  Now, Lowry’s book Son concludes the story The Giver started 19 years ago.  Then, Sandra Cisneros, the much-loved award winning writer of The House on Mango Street and Caramelo, shares with Bob her thoughts from her new book Have You Seen Marie?.  This fable about death and longing was written in the wake of Cisneros’ mother’s death.   Internationally acclaimed visual artists Ester Hernandez provides illustrations.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

There’s brain drain, reverse brain drain, and something immigration reform and public policy expert Vivek Wadhwa describes as a “halt in [America’s] high-growth, immigrant founded start-ups.”  Wadhwa is Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization for Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering; he’s also a columnist for the Washington Post and Bloomberg Businessweek.  Bob and Wadhwa discuss this and more from his book The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing The Global Race To Capture Entrepreneurial Talent.  Then, at the end of World War II, 12 to 14 million German-speaking people, overwhelmingly women and children, were forced from Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and other East European countries—and sent to bombed-out Germany which had no means to sustain them.  Many were loaded onto rail cars just as Germans had done to the Jews.   Indeed, Auschwitz was one of the places used as a refugee camp.   At least 500,000 and possibly three times that number died as a result of this ethnic cleansing. The U.S. and Britain supported it.  R.M. Douglas tells the story and the fall-out from it that is still going on in his book, Orderly and Humane.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Man Booker Prize recipient John Banville talks with Bob about his career and new novel.  In Ancient Light, Banville addresses memory through the story of an elderly actor looking back at an affair that changed his life. Then, Ben Taylor, son of James Taylor and Carly Simon, chats with Bob and performs songs from his new album, Listening.