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This Week on The Bob Edwards Show (August 18-22, 2014)

The Bob Edwards Show, August 18-22, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014:  Bob talks to Daniel Lieberman, author of The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease.  Lieberman is the Chair of the Department of Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.  His book explains how millions of years of evolution have led our bodies to a paradoxical position.  People in developed countries are living longer than ever, having vanquished diseases that used to kill people by the millions:  smallpox, measles, polio and the plague. But we are also afflicted with more chronic, preventable illnesses and ailments, such as diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, strokes, dementia, depression and anxiety.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014:  A few years ago, this program aired a documentary about “The Human Terrain System,” an audacious military social science experiment that operates on the premise that soldiers need to understand the enemy and its culture. But it’s proven brutally difficult to implement in Afghanistan as Vanessa Gezari documents in her book, The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice and it’s available in paperback.  Then, Neko Case takes a break mid-way through her grueling tour to talk with Bob about her latest album with the impossibly long title, The Worse Things get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You.  This is the 42-year-old Indy musician’s sixth studio album, and it comes from a three-year period she describes as full of “grief and mourning.” Both of her parents, a grandparent, and several close friends all passed away in the space of just a few years.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014:  Thirteen days before he was scheduled to leave Vietnam, the vehicle Robert Timberg was traveling in struck a land mine. He survived, barely, but was left permanently disfigured with third-degree burns over his face and body. After the war, he became a journalist and covered the Iran-Contra scandal which involved three of his fellow Naval Academy graduates, Oliver North, Bud McFarlane, and John Poindexter.  Now the author of The Nightingale’s Song looks back on his struggle to reclaim his life in a new memoir, Blue Eyed Boy.

Thursday, August 21, 2014:   Google maps and contemporary exploration have given us access—at least remotely—of some of the most far flung places on the Earth, so much so that it seems as though there is little left to discover.  Not so, says social geographer, Alastair Bonnett, in his book Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies.  Then, Bob talks with Jake Shimabukuro about his music and his chosen instrument. The native Hawaiian has been called “the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele” and Shimabukuro’s CD is titled Peace Love Ukulele. He’ll perform several new and old songs for us in our studio.

Friday, August 22, 2014:  Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Then, Joshua Horwitz’s new book has been described as a non-fiction eco-thriller.  In War of the Whales we meet a marine researcher who teamed up with an environmental lawyer to prove that the mass strandings of whales occurring around the globe were being caused by high-intensity sonar used by the U.S. Navy.  The investigation culminated in a landmark 2008 Supreme Court case that ruled for the Navy, but the battle to save whale habitats continues.  And finally, we hear a new commentary from children’s book writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.


Summer Book Recomendations

Here are senior book critic Laura Miller’s recomendation for the end of summer:

Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Year of Pilgrimage

David Shafer’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot  

Deborah Halber’s The Skeleton Crew

Joanna Rakoff’s My Salinger Year

Rachel Hope Cleve’s Charity and Sylvia: A Same Sex Marriage in Early America

Garret Keizer Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an American Teacher



Hear Bob Edwards Weekend From August 9-10, 2014


This Week on The Bob Edwards Show (August 11-15, 2014)

The Bob Edwards Show, August 11-15, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014:  Bob talks to Ernest Hemingway’s grandson, Sean Hemingway, about a new edition of Hemingway’s first novel, The Sun Also Rises.  Sean Hemingway compiled and edited this new edition, which includes deleted chapters and rare archival material.  Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in l954, and died in l961.  Then, Bob revisits Ben Eldridge (founding member/banjo) and Dudley Connell (lead vocal/guitar) of the iconic bluegrass band The Seldom Scene.  Smithsonian Folkways just released their new record, Long Time. .  .Seldom Scene, and it features newly recorded staples from their catalog, live show favorites, one previously unreleased song, and a collaboration with longtime friend Emmylou Harris on a cover of The Byrd’s tune, “Hickory Wind.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2014:   Today, Bob talks with two authors about the challenges of writing the third volume of their trilogies.  The Magician’s Land is the final installment of best-selling author and Time magazine book critic Lev Grossman’s Fillory books.  Then, Bob welcomes back famed author Margaret Atwood to discuss MaddAddam, the conclusion to her trilogy which started with her Booker Prize shortlisted novel Oryx and CrakeMaddAddam is now available in paperback.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014:  Bob talks with Ken Turan, a film critic for the Los Angeles Times, about his new book.  Not To Be Missed blends cultural criticism with historical anecdote, and charts Turan’s fifty-four favorites from a lifetime of film.  Then, the Berlin Airlift has been called the first battle of the Cold War. For almost a year, young men flew old planes over Berlin dropping food, fuel, medicine — even candy — to the two million people below. In his book, Daring Young Men, historian Richard Reeves tells the stories of the civilian airmen who carried out one of history’s largest humanitarian campaigns.

Thursday, August 14, 2014:   Oceanographer Sylvia Earle has spent thousands of hours underwater studying our planet’s marine life and is alarmed by what she’s seen.  After witnessing the glaring effects of pollution, overfishing and climate change, Earle says we must get past the mindset that our oceans are too big to fail.  Bob talks with Earle and with co-director Robert Nixon about their new documentary Mission Blue.  Mission Blue will be available tomorrow on Netflix.  Then, senior book critic Laura Miller shares with Bob books to help us through the final dog days of summer, and she offers a preview of this year’s best fall books.

Friday, August 15, 2014:  Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Then, one of the most legendary moments in rock & roll history started with an ad placed in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal: “Young men with unlimited capital looking for interesting, legitimate investment opportunities and business propositions.”  To mark the 45th anniversary of what was billed as “An Aquarian Exposition,” Bob talks with Greg Walter, who worked Woodstock backstage and came away with more than his share of stories.  They feature in his book, Woodstock: A New Look, along with photographs he shot during the festival.  And finally, we hear a new commentary from children’s book writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.


This Weekend's Program (August 9-10, 2014)

Bob Edwards Weekend, August 9-10, 2014


Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. 

Late summer is a perfect time to talk to the authors of The Songs of Insects. Naturalists Lang Elliottand Wil Hershberger join Bob to talk about the chirps, trills and buzzes made by the bugs found in your own backyard. 

The title of science writer Marc Abrahams’ new book says it all: This Is Improbable Too: Synchronized Cows, Speedy Brain Extractors, and More WTF Research.  Abrahams is the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and in his new book shares with readers his odd collection of strange scientific findings. Then, the latest essay from children’s author and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.


Bob talks to actor Brendan Gleeson and John McDonagh who wrote and directed their new film,Calvary. Both men were raised Catholic and Gleeson stars as a beloved but besieged priest in a small Irish village who offers to sacrifice himself for the sins of others.

Bob talks with Roger Blevins Jr. about the music of his oddly named soul band, Mingo Fishtrap.  They combine the sounds of Memphis and New Orleans, with a little north Texas thrown in, to create a funky sound all their own. The group’s latest album is titled On Time.

Bob Edwards Weekend airs on Sirius XM Public Radio (Channel 121) Saturdays from 8-10 AM ET. 

Visit Bob Edwards Weekend on PRI’s website to find local stations that air the program.