Monday, June 6, 2011: “Not all pioneers went west,” writes historian David McCullough. For his newest book, this two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize focuses his attention on the Americans who headed across the Atlantic to Paris. McCullough tells the stories of the ambitious men and women who lived, studied and worked in Paris between 1830 and 1900 and had serious influence on American literature, medicine, art, architecture, and history. Some of the characters are well known — James Fenimore Cooper, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., and Harriet Beecher Stowe. McCullough’s book is titled The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris. Then, after 36 years, veteran newsman Jim Lehrer retired Friday as the anchor of PBS NewsHour. We bring back Bob’s 2005 conversation with Lehrer and his former co-host Robert MacNeil. MacNeil began the nightly news report in 1975 with Lehrer as the Washington correspondent. It evolved into the NewsHour with both men hosting until MacNeil retired in 1995.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011: In May of 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and women boarded a plane for a sightseeing trip over “Shangri-La,” a mysterious valley on the island of New Guinea. It was supposed to be a pleasure tour but it became something entirely different when the plane crashed killing all but three. Badly injured and unequipped for the jungle, the survivors set out to try to find help and instead found a primitive tribe who had never seen a white person. Mitchell Zuckoff tells this true story of survival, adventure and rescue in his new book Lost in Shangri-La. Then, Bob talks with 20-year-old multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Sarah Jarosz. She signed a recording contract as a senior in high school and her first album earned a Grammy nomination for Best Country Instrumental. Jarosz left Texas to study music at The New England Conservatory in Boston and has just released her second album called Follow Me Down.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011: John Prendergast is a human rights activist. Publically, he’s co-founder of the Enough Project and Strategic Advisor to Not On Our Watch, the advocacy group founded by George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Brad Pitt. Not so publically, he’s Big Brother to Michael Mattocks, the inner city youth who grew up on the streets of Washington, D.C. Prendergast and Mattocks join Bob in studio to discuss the evolution of their twenty-five year friendship as told in Unlikely Brothers: Our Story of Adventure, Loss, and Redemption.
Thursday, June 9, 2011: Roy Blount, Jr. is back with more funny stories derived from his love of words. Alphabetter Juice is the sequel to his 2008 book Alphabet Juice. Then, Bob talks with Ricky McKinnie, Joey Williams and founding member of The Blind Boys of Alabama Jimmy Carter about the group’s career and brand new CD of country gospel songs. Take the High Road features guest appearances by The Oak Ridge Boys, Hank Williams Jr., Vince Gill and Willie Nelson.
Friday, June 10, 2011: Best-selling writer Ann Patchett takes her remarkable imagination and gift for storytelling into the heart of the Amazon with her new novel State of Wonder. Here, Patchett tells the story of Marina Singh, a 42 year old doctor who travels the jungles of Brazil to investigate the suspicious death of a colleague. The author of Bel Canto, The Magician’s Assistant and others, Patchett is the recipient of the PEN/Faulker, the Orange Prize, and a number of other writing awards. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Johnnie Barmore. She is a therapist at an orphanage in Cincinnati and her biggest challenge is getting abused children to trust her enough to talk. Barmore’s favorite method is to take them fishing. It reminds her of the countless hours she spent with her father on the banks of a pond or a river, playing while he fished, and letting the comfort of their connection grow.