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Bob Elsewhere

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August 25 - September 5, 2014 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Journalist Helen Thorpe takes us inside the minds of three women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan for twelve years. Thorpe talks with Bob about these women and her book Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women At Home And At War.  Then, Wall Street Journal music critic Will Friedwald calls French vocalist Cyrille Aimée “one of the most promising jazz singers of her generation.” The inventive songstress joins Bob to discuss her latest album It’s A Good Day.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Best-selling author and master storyteller Ben Macintyre (Operation Mincemeat) focuses his most recent book on Britain’s, and possibly the world’s, most notorious spy.  Charming and brilliant, MI6 agent Kim Philby rose to the top of Britain’s counterintelligence agency all the while passing information on to Russia.  Macintyre’s book is A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Greatest Betrayal.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Three-quarters of Americans’ eyes never switch to night vision because most of us never experience true darkness. In fact, there are only a handful of places in the United States where total darkness can exist. In his new book, The End of Night, Paul Bogard explores the deleterious effect of dark deprivation upon our world.   Then, with the Cold War long over, there seems little threat of an all-out nuclear war.  But, as investigative journalist Eric Schlosser points out in his book, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, most of those weapons are not only still out there, they are on hair-trigger alert.  Drawing recently declassified government documents and his own interviews with military personnel and nuclear scientists, Schlosser illuminates our illusion of nuclear safety. Command and Control is now available in paperback.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

In the new film, Love Is Strange, award-winning actor Alfred Molina plays George, a Catholic school teacher, who, after 39 years, marries his partner Ben, played by John Lithgow.  When George’s employer learns of his marriage, they fire him, sending the newlyweds on a difficult journey.  Love Is Strange opens wide August 29th.  Then, over fifty years ago, writer Michael Harrington’s book, The Other America, predicted that unless American society addressed it’s widespread poverty problem, another journalist decades later would write about the exact same conditions that he had chronicled.  Journalist Sasha Abramsky has done just that.  His book, The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives, tells the stories of people around the country who are struggling to make it.  The American Way of Poverty is available in paperback.  And finally, we hear a new commentary from children’s book writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Next, in 2000, DJ John Peel called country singer-songwriter Laura Cantrell’s debut album, Not the Tremblin’ Kind, “my favorite record of the last ten years and possibly my life.”  Cantrell joins Bob in our performance studio to talk about her work and play a few tunes off her new album No Way There From Here.  Then, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Bob talks to Wired magazine columnist Clive Thompson about his book Smarter than You Think.  It’s about the different ways technology and the internet is changing the way we think and process information.  Then, “Oriental” became a derogatory classification for people when cultural studies scholar Edward Said educated us on its divisive implications.  Bob talks to his daughter Najla Said about her relationship with the unconventional thinker and her memoir Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused In An Arab-American Family.  Both books are now available in paperback.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

If you’re looking for the perfect walking partner, look no further than writer and cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz… or if she’s unavailable, you can take along her book, On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation.  Here Horowitz teaches readers what it means to be an expert observer.  On Looking is now available in paperback.  Then, Bob talks to author and journalist Joshua Wolf Shenk about his latest book Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 

In 1920, James Howard “Billy” Williams took a job in the teak business so he could work with elephants. He believed that just living with them made him a better man. Over time, Williams developed a rapport with the elephants that earned him the nickname Elephant Bill.  During World War II, Elephant Bill built a company of elephants that helped build bridges and evacuate refugees.  Vicki Croke tells his remarkable story in a new book, Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II. Then, Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance is the latest work from Northwestern University scholar Carla Kaplan.  She joins Bob to discuss her book on these unconventional women and her interest in cultural studies.  Kaplan’s book is now available in paperback.
Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bob talks to novelist Julie Schumacher about her new book, Dear Committee Members.  It’s about a year in the life of a beleaguered, misanthropic English professor, told in the form of letters of recommendation he writes for his students and colleagues.  Schumacher teaches creative writing at the University of Minnesota.  Then, Bob talks to William Deresiewicz about why people shouldn’t send their kids to Ivy League schools.  His new book is Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life.  
Friday, September 5, 2014
Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Next,  Bob talks anew with country music legend and five time GRAMMY-winner Marty Stuart on the eve of the release of his new double album Saturday Night & Sunday Morning (out 9.30).  Marty started his career as a teenager backing Lester Flatt and played in Johnny Cash’s band for six years before launching his solo career.  It was during his time with Flatt that Stuart began photographing country musicians.  An exhibit of his photographs, including the last known photograph of Johnny Cash, is currently on display at Nashville’s Frist Center for the Visual Arts.   Finally, we hear a new commentary from children’s book writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.