Monday, March 28, 2011: When his wife became the Wall Street Journal’s Beijing bureau chief, music journalist Alan Paul saw their relocation from New Jersey as the perfect opportunity to rediscover his passion for writing and brush up on his music skills. During their time aboard, Paul wrote “The Expat life” for the Wall Street Journal Online, and his Beijing-based bluegrass band Woodie Alan found unexpected success, earning the title “Best Band in Beijing” and taking Paul on a nation-wide tour. He wrote about his experiences in Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues, and Becoming a Star in Beijing.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011: Frontline correspondent Lowell Bergman investigates the multi-billion dollar business of the NCAA. Money and March Madness airs tonight on PBS. Then, David Kirp is an early childhood education and development expert who served on President Obama’s transition team. He joins Bob to talk about Obama’s proposed funding boost for early education and his new book, Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children’s Lives and America’s Future. In the book, Kirp writes about five specific programs that have proven to be successful and do not cost much money to implement.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011: Today, PBS presents PLAN B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. Based on the book by environmentalist Lester Brown and hosted by Matt Damon, the documentary presents an ostensibly simple choice; accept the reality of climate change or suffer the consequences of lost civilizations and failed states. Lester Brown joins Bob to talk about the program. Brown has written dozens of books and is the founder of Worldwatch Institute, the first research institute devoted to the analysis of global environmental issues. Then, thirty years ago today, John Hinckley Jr. opened fire outside of a Washington hotel wounding Ronald Reagan and three others. The president lost half of his blood and came closer to dying than most realize. In Rawhide Down, Del Quentin Wilbur lays out the minute-by-minute account of the assassination attempt. “Rawhide” was Reagan’s Secret Service code name.
Thursday, March 31, 2011: Bill Ayres founded the nonprofit organization, WhyHunger, with folk legend Harry Chapin in 1975. Their mission is to partner with grassroots campaigns around the country to make sure they have the resources, education and support they need to succeed. Bill talks about National Hunger Month, childhood hunger and new efforts to help end poverty. Then, musicians Eric Brace, Peter Cooper join Bob in our performance studio to play a few tunes and to talk about their latest CD titled Master Sessions.
Friday, April 1, 2011: Doyle McManus, Washington Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to talk about politics and other news. Next, master novelist Ian McEwan’s book Solar tells the story of a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who, at this mid-point in his career, is happy to coast along on his famous name, even while his personal life falls apart around him. McEwan is the Booker Prize winning author of the novels Atonement, Saturday, and Amsterdam. His book is now out in paperback. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Nicholas Capo. This time of year, sports fans are in the grip of college basketball tournaments. We idolize the players, but few of us ever witness the hard work behind the excellence. Nicholas Capo learned those habits from his father, who excelled at high school basketball. As an English professor, Capo passes on his father’s lessons of discipline and devotion to budding writers.