Monday, April 4, 2011: In the new book Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States, Chicago-based civil rights attorney Joey Mogul reevaluates American’s justice and criminal legal systems through the eyes of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered people. She shares true stories of victimization including Jeremy Burke’s, a white transgendered man who was beaten, forcibly strip-searched, made to wear a dress and expose his genitalia while in a San Francisco holding cell. Then, filmmaker Tom Shadyac flourished in Hollywood with the hit comedies Ace Ventura, Liar Liar and Bruce Almighty under his belt. Then a near-fatal bike accident broke his fairytale spell, and when he recovered from his coma, he set out to rediscover life and sort out “what’s wrong with the world.” Shadyac’s documentary is called I Am, and in it, he interviews great thinkers such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (none of whom, it seems, had ever seen his fiction films).
Tuesday, April 5, 2011: Child prodigy, chess world champion and international fugitive, Bobby Fischer’s life has fascinated the American public for years. Frank Brady is widely recognized as the person who knows most about the life and career of the man who became a notorious recluse. The two met as children and their lives intersected personally and professionally over the years. Now Brady traces of the tragic narrative of his friend’s life in Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall – from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011: Political journalist Jeff Greenfield wonders how the United States would have fared if certain events had happened differently. Looking back, he says minor changes such as a cancelled meeting, a chance encounter, or a shift in the weather could have given us different leaders with different beliefs. Greenfield’s book is Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan. Then, for 50 years, the male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo has kept alive the sounds of traditional South Africa. This three-time Grammy awards winning group was South Africa’s first black musicians to receive gold record status. Their most recent album is a collection of traditional childhood Zulu tunes called Songs From a Zulu Farm.
Thursday, April 7, 2011: In celebration of 40 years on the air, the PBS series Masterpiece presents a new Upstairs Downstairs, a continuation of the popular original series from the 1970s. Dame Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh, who were part of the original cast, return to their roles as Lady Maud and her housekeeper Rose Buck, in addition to a new group of actors for this updated version. Bob talks with executive producer Rebecca Eaton about the return of this PBS classic. It airs Sunday, April 10th. Then, Egyptologist and award winning historian Toby Wilkinson’s new book The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt takes readers through 3,000 years of the one of the greatest civilizations in history.
Friday, April 8, 2011: Doyle McManus, Washington Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to talk about politics and other news. Next, actor Jeffrey Wright has starred in Broadway shows and feature films such as Basquiat, Syriana and Cadillac Records. His performance in HBO’s Angels in America earned him an Emmy and Golden Globe Award. Now he’s spinning that celebrity credibility into a positive social movement with his organization, the Taia Peace Foundation, which is dedicated to the ongoing progress in Sierra Leone. Wright sits with Bob to discuss the African nation, its ups and downs, and will reflect a bit on his acting career. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Mary Plouffe, a clinical psychologist in Maine. In a way, she’s paid to be a serial conversationalist, chopping up her interactions into hour-long segments. Plouffe believes in the power of talk therapy, of course, but she says the silent moments she shares with her patients are just as important.