Writer Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest novel, Into The Beautiful North, tells the epic journey of 19 year old Nayeli, as she sets out from her native Mexico to find her own “Magnificent Seven” to save her village from the drug dealers who have taken over the town. Inspired by the 1960 film, Nayeli travels to America in search of protection. Urrea was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and has won an American Book Award, among many other honors; his previous books include The Hummingbird’s Daughter and The Devil’s Highway.
In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with executive director Dan Gediman about the essay from director Maximilian Hodder who worked in the movie industries of Eastern Europe before World War Two. Then, while serving in the Polish Army, he was captured by the Soviets but managed to escape and joined the Royal Air Force. Hodder came to the United States in 1949 to work in Hollywood and greatly appreciated the freedoms and the promise of his newly adopted country.
For the past 30 years, travel guru Rick Steves has advocated for thoughtful and informed traveling in his public television series, his radio show, and of course his best selling travel guide books. His new book, Travel As a Political Act, is about why we travel and how being a good traveler creates positive ties with the citizens of other nations.
Peter Carlson isn’t sure which anecdote it was that turned him into a self-described Khrushchev-in-America buff. It could have been the one about the irascible Soviet leader throwing a fit because he wasn’t allowed to go to Disneyland. Or it could have been Khrushchev’s suspicion that Camp David was really a leper colony. Or it could have been Khrushchev arguing with Nixon over which kind of animal dung smelled the worst. Carlson includes those stories and many more in K Blows Top, a book about Nikita Khrushchev’s great American road trip of 1959.