This Week



Monday, July 19, 2010  

 “Only after covering it for years did I understand that the war on terror never really existed.”  So says journalist Megan Stack in the prologue to Every Man in This Village Is a Liar: an Education in War.  In that book, she chronicles her experience covering Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon for the Los Angeles Times and describes how in war countries around the globe that you can “survive and not survive, both at the same time.”  Then, The Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates the American ideal with a new exhibit of artist Norman Rockwell’s iconic paintings and drawings.  The exhibit is Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010  

Filmmaker Natalia Almada turned to her own family’s past for her documentary El General, winner of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Directing Award.  Almada’s great-grandfather, Plutarco Elias Calles, was the notorious Mexican revolutionary general who became president of Mexico in 1924.  Almada used 1978 recorded memories from her grandmother Alicia Calles to give both a familial perspective and historical look at this man who helped found Mexico’s modern political system.  El General airs on July 20th as part of PBS’s documentary series POV.  Then, Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound celebrates today’s best audio documentary work by bringing together some of best-known and most influential radio producers of our generation.  In these nineteen essays, documentary artists tell—and demonstrate, through stories and transcripts—how they make radio the way they do, and why.  John Biewen, audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, talks about his collection and why the radio documentary has developed into a vibrant form of creative expression.  


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Patrick Jeffries is a superintendant for EPIC Divers & Marine, which provides commercial diving and marine services world-wide, including gas and oil platform and pipeline service, well repair, and underwater inspection and construction.  Jeffries discusses life as a commercial diver, his current work in the Gulf of Mexico and the ongoing recovery effort since the explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Then, as part of our ongoing series of interviews with musicians in New Orleans, we’ll feature someone who was passing through during this year’s Jazz and Heritage Festival. Keely Smith got her musical and matrimonial debut from Louis Prima back in the 1950s. They set up shop in Las Vegas, performing big band numbers mixed with entertaining banter. Bob talks with Smith about her successful life after Louis, both in love and music.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

50 years ago, Alabama native Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird hit bookstores across America, becoming an immediate bestseller and an American literary classic. In celebration of the book’s anniversary writer and filmmaker Mary McDonagh Murphy compiled interviews with over two dozen contemporary writers, historians, journalists and artists for her book Scout, Atticus, & Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird.


Friday, July 23, 2010  

David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics.  Next, compassion, kindness, selflessness – none make logical sense biologically. And yet, examples of biological altruism are found throughout the animal kingdom.   Darwin never successfully explained the kindness gene, but a relatively unknown, eccentric scientist named George Price did.  Oren Harman is a professor of the history of science at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv and the author of a new book, The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness.  Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, Bob talks with curator Dan Gediman about the essay of Muhammad Zafrulla Khan.  He was the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, president of the All-India Muslim League in 1931, leader of the Indian delegation to the League of Nations Assembly in 1939 and leader of the Pakistan Delegation to the United Nations. In later years, Khan was a judge for and president of the International Court of Justice.