Monday, March 1, 2010:
Politico’s White House correspondent Eamon Javers went deep into the world of corporate spies and found a hidden battlefield growing in size and importance for the rest of us. In “Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy” we meet Chinese spies stealing trade secrets from Western high tech firms, ex-KGB in American law firms and CIA agents moonlighting for private firms while still on the federal payroll. Then, Cuba’s “Grand Diva of Song,” Omara Portuondo is in the United States on a special visa. She was featured in the Buena Vista Social Club, but that’s just a small fraction of her long career in dance and music. Portuondo tells stories about her life and discusses her most recent album, called “Gracias.”
Tuesday, March 2, 2010:
Henry Strongin Goldberg was diagnosed with a rare, almost-always fatal illness soon after he was born. His parents tried a controversial procedure to try to save his life; they attempted to make a new baby without the disease who could be a stem cell donor for Henry. Some denounced the process, saying it amounted to “harvesting” children. Henry’s parents underwent nine failed courses of in-vitro fertilization before giving up. Their son died in December of 2002 when he was just 7-years-old. Henry’s mother, Laurie Strongin, tells her very personal story in a new book called Saving Henry: A Mother’s Journey. Strongin has become an advocate for stem cell research since losing her son.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010:
Phillip Hoare’s book “The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Deep” won the UK’s 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize for nonfiction last year. And it also won rave reviews including this one from the Guardian newspaper: “A magnificent monster of a book, combining a huge wealth of whale lore, zoology, literature, history and personal account. Written with great elegance, enthusiasm and insight, it takes us on an enthralling voyage into the underwater world of the whale and to the heart of an obsession.” Then, Patsy Cline defined the “Nashville Sound” of the 1960s. Transport her a few thousand miles to the northeast, and a few decades into the future, and you get Lovisa Elisabet Sigrunardottir. Sigrunardottir grew up in Reykjavik, learning to play piano and guitar at an early age. Under the stage name “Lay Low,” she has captured the attention of everyone from Sufjan Stevens to Lucinda Williams with music that mixes folk, blues, and country twang. Lay Low’s new album is titled, “Farewell Good Night’s Sleep.”
Thursday, March 4, 2010:
Architect and urban planner Barbara Heller doesn’t want us to forget about the erosion of the nation’s infrastructure. She talks bridges, dams, and pipes – what shape they’re in and what shape they should be in. Then, for the first time, the best essays of three time Pulitzer Prize winner David Maraniss have been collected into a single volume. “Into the Story” brings together essays about Bill Clinton’s childhood in Little Rock, Barack Obama’s rise through the dreams of his mother, Jesse Jackson’s fraught relationship with Martin Luther King and many other stories of the triumphs, tragedies and tradition lived in the last quarter century of American life.
Friday, March 5, 2010:
David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics. Next, Peter Hessler, former Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, spent seven years driving through China’s vast and seemingly impenetrable landscape. He writes about the migrant workers, farmers, and peasants he met far from China’s big cities, just as their lives began to be affected by the modern world. Hessler’s book “Country Driving; A Journey Through China From Farm to Factory” is the final installment of his trilogy, which includes “River Town” and “Oracle Bones.” Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series “This I Believe,” Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Robert B. Powers. He entered police work after serving as a cavalryman in World War I. He was a deputy sheriff in New Mexico and Arizona, and was chief of police for Bakersfield, California. Powers co-authored “A Guide to Race Relations for Police Officers.”