Monday, January 11, 2010
We bring back Bob’s 2005 conversation with music biographer, Peter Guralnick. He has written extensively about American music, including biographies of Robert Johnson, Elvis Presley and the most thorough account ever written of the life of R&B legend Sam Cooke. It’s titled Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
American culture influences what the world eats, wears, listens to, and watches on TV. But in a new book, science writer Ethan Watters argues that Western culture is also changing the way the world deals with mental illness. For example, anorexia rates have risen in Hong Kong over the last 20 years because we exported the idea of the illness itself. And in Japan, Watters tells the story of drug companies selling the idea of depression to create a new market for a new drug. Watters’s new book is titled Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche. Then, when critics first noticed Lissy Trullie, they wrote about her alluring androgynous looks and used terms such as artsy, chic, former model, New York downtown, super-cool hipster. Now they’re beginning to appreciate her distinctive husky voice, her musicianship and her immense promise as songwriter. Self-Taught Learner, released last year as an EP, has been expanded to become Lissy’s first, full-length cd.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
700,000 people are expected to attend the North American International Auto Show when it opens in Detroit on January 16th. In addition to the more than 700 new cars on display, attendees will see an industry transformed. Since last year’s show, General Motors and Chrysler have gone in and out of bankruptcy; Chrysler is now run by Fiat; and Toyota announced its first loss in almost 60 years. Paul Ingrassia spent 31 years with The Wall Street Journal, eight of those as the Detroit Bureau Chief. He won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of GM and has written a number of books about the auto industry. His newest is called Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry’s Road from Glory to Disaster. Then, Americans spend an average of 18 ½ hours a week in their cars. That means that out of the waking hours, we spend almost two months of the year in our vehicles. Catherine Lutz teamed up with her sister to write Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile & Its Effect on Our Lives. The authors pair statistics with stories to explore what Americans’ love affair with the car gets us and what it costs us.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Pop artist James Rosenquist arrived in New York City as a young art student of great promise in 1955. Over his 50 year career, the now-world renowned Rosenquist surpassed his early expectations to become one of the most important pop artists of his generation. Painting Below Zero: Notes on a Life in Art is his firsthand account of the highs and lows of his remarkable career. Then, entertainment critic David Kipen tells Bob what’s new in theaters.
Friday, January 15, 2010
David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics. Next, when Vince Lombardi became coach of the Green Bay Packers, the franchise was in a tail spin. It was the laughingstock of the National Football League – community owned, cheaply run, and outclassed on the field. When coaches and owners of other teams wanted to scare a little hard work into their own players, they threatened to ship the miscreants to Green Bay. In Lombardi’s first season with the Packers, he returned the team to respectability and began to lay the groundwork for his now legendary coaching ability. John Eisenberg talks with Bob about Lombardi, coaching philosophies, and this season’s NFL teams that could use a Lombardi of their own. Eisenberg’s book is titled, That First Season. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of actress Phyllis Kirk. She starred with Vincent Price in the horror film House of Wax, and with Peter Lawford in The Thin Man television series. She later worked in public relations at CBS. Throughout her career, Kirk was active in various social and civil liberties causes.