Monday, January 25, 2010
A few years ago, cultural reporter Peter Ames Carlin wrote an extensive biography of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. Bob had Carlin on the program for an interview packed with great stories set to a great soundtrack. Now Carlin has turned his attention to Paul McCartney, whom he argues was always the Beatles’ musical director – even teaching Lennon how to play guitar chords and tune his instrument properly. Paul McCartney: A Life is based on years of research and presents a textured portrait of one of music’s living icons.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Social thinker and author Jeremy Rifkin’s book The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis looks at emerging scientific studies that show humans are not naturally aggressive and self-interested, but fundamentally empathetic. Rifkin’s book is a new interpretation of the history of civilization, focusing on the development of human empathy through the present time. Then, folklorists Nancy Groce and Steve Winick from the Library of Congress have chosen the theme “Sickness & Health” to showcase songs from the collection about the 1918 influenza, childbirth, folk cures and a malady known as jake-leg.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Barack Obama made history by being the first African American elected to the nation’s highest post – a feat no woman has yet accomplished. Journalist Anne Kornblut covered the last Presidential election for the Washington Post and she discusses the gender issue in Notes from the Cracked Ceiling: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and What It Will Take for a Woman to Win. Then, former Vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro talks about the advances women have made and the obstacles that still remain. Bob spends the rest of the hour with Wall Street Journal reporter Susan Davis and women’s studies professor Bonnie Morris who share their observations on the role of women in politics.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
In his book The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy, writer, activist and academic Raj Patel raises the question: if economics is about choices, who gets to make them? Patel writes about economics, but also about the social and ecological effects of the global market. Then, sea life around the world is suffering under the strain of insatiable fishing by humans, and scientists predict that most of our known fish species could be extinct by the middle of this century. Barton Seaver is a Washington DC-based chef who supports sustainable seafood and puts those beliefs into action at his restaurant, Blue Ridge. Charles Clover is an environmental journalist, an author and a protagonist of the film The End of the Line which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. The film warns of the potential devastation of our known sea creatures if we don’t address overfishing. Seaver and Clover are part of a global effort to raise awareness of overfishing, to pressure politicians to take action, and to encourage a responsible relationship between consumers and the sea creatures that we love to eat.
Friday, January 29, 2010
David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics. Next, this month, The Library of Congress named young adult novelist Katherine Paterson the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. She is this position’s second appointee, and has chosen the theme “Read for Your Life” for her two year tenure. Paterson is a two-time Newbery Award winner, for Bridget to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved and two-time winner of the National Book Award for The Great Gilly Hopkins and The Master Puppeteer. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Ahmad Zaki Abu Shadi. He was born in Cairo, studied medicine in London, and returned to Egypt to research bacteriology and teach. Also an accomplished artist, Shadi published several collections of poetry, wrote scripts for operas and painted. He immigrated to the United States in 1946.