This Week on the Show



Monday, May 30, 2011:   Bob talks with filmmaker Jonathan Fein, who visited Ground Zero, the site of the Oklahoma City bombing and the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial to explore the power and poignancy of objects retrieved from and left at those sites.  His documentary is called Objects and Memory. Then, Bach’s Cello Suites are one of the most recognizable pieces of music ever composed. The melodies are ubiquitous in movies, television, commercials — and they have been played at major world events: the fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11 memorial services, Ted Kennedy’s memorial service. But the Cello Suites were almost never heard.  For decades after Bach died, the music was lost, discovered accidentally and then popularized by the Spanish cellist Pablo Casals. Eric Siblin tells the story in a book called The Cello Suites: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011:  Melissa Fay Greene was last on this program to talk about a middle-class Ethiopian widow whose home became a refuge for hundreds of AIDS-orphaned children whose story she told in There Is No Me Without You. In the years since the book, Greene and her husband adopted four children from Ethiopia. Those kids joined another son adopted from Bulgaria as well as Greene’s four other children by birth. When the number of children hit nine, Greene turned her reporter’s eye to events at home and has now written, No Biking in the House Without a Helmet. She titled the book after one of the dumbest things she says she ever said to her children. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011:  The number of African American baseball players in the major leagues has plummeted by two thirds since its peak in 1975.  And while it’s increasingly difficult to find black players on the field, the opposite holds true for Latinos. They are playing the game in record numbers and represent a full quarter of big-league rosters.  Sports historian Rob Ruck examines why blacks, who led the fight to integrate baseball, have now largely left the game. His new book is titled Raceball: How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game. Then, comedian and writer Paul Reiser’s knack for detailing the funny side of day-to-day life made bestsellers of his first two books Couplehood and Babyhood.  Now back with Familyhood, Reiser applies his wit to raising a family and watching kids grow up.  Reiser is an Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor and the star of the TV series Mad About You.

Thursday, June 2, 2011:  The Last Mountain is a new documentary featuring Robert Kennedy, Jr. and other community activists who are dedicated to stopping coal corporations from the destructive practice known as Mountain Top Removal.  Bob talks to Kennedy and the filmmakers, Clara Bingham and Bill Haney, about the continued health and environmental challenges of mining coal.

Friday, June 3, 2011:  Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to talk about politics and other news.  Next, Bob talks with funny man Harry Shearer about his deadly serious documentary titled The Big Uneasy. It tells the story of the 2005 flooding of New Orleans, the unnatural disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina. The focus is on three scientists who tried to warn of the danger or investigate the aftermath of the flooding and the many obstacles they faced. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of David Lintvedt.   As a young man, Lintvedt had dreams of adventure in far off lands. But then he became a father, and found himself raising his daughter alone. He says his life is full of adventures, but they’re based on ordinary life — and much more rewarding than any he dreamed of in his childhood.