Middlebury College professor JAY PARINI is well-known for his poetry, biographies, and fiction. Parini tells Bob about his latest book called Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America. Some of the titles include The Journals of Lewis and Clark, Uncle Tom's Cabin, On the Road and The Feminine Mystique.
More than 97-percent of newspaper articles, TV shows, blogs and radio programs can't get through a topic without quoting a few statistics, and if you believe that tidbit, then you really need to listen to Bob's interview with JOEL BEST. He's a professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware and has created a guide for seeing through faulty statistics, with his book Stat-Spotting: A Field Guide to Identifying Dubious Data.
There's a six-part television series about the history of comedy in America premiering on PBS Wednesday night. LAURENCE MASLON and MICHAEL KANTOR are two of the people behind Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America. They have also written a book with the same title. Both the book and the PBS series feature stories, interviews and jokes with some of our funniest comedians.
Traditionally, it's the A-list films that get all the attention, but film critic DAVID STERRITT is here to highlight some of cinema's less appreciated movies. Sterritt is the co-author of The B List: The National Society of Film Critics on the Low-Budget Beauties, Genre-Bending Mavericks, and Cult Classics We Love.
These days we hear about the imminent demise of newspapers, but in 1835, when most Americans were not daily readers, the fledgling New York Sun printed a remarkable story that made newspapers a must read for millions. Author MATTHEW GOODMAN explores how and why that happened in his new book titled The Sun and The Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York.