This Week on The Bob Edwards Show


Monday, July 11, 2011: The 1980s conjure happy nostalgia for some, while others remember it as a low point in American history. For the good and the bad, author David Sirota claims that the decade of Ronald Reagan and Bill Cosby has an outsized influence on our national perspective today. His book is titled Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now – Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything. Then, over the centuries, poets have looked to love, beauty, and the mysteries of life for inspiration.  But poet Brian McGackin felt it was time to give some of life’s lesser, but still poignant pleasures their due in verse.  He is the author of Broetry, which includes the poems “Ode to That Girl I Dated for, Like, a Month Sophomore Year” and “My Friends Who Don’t Have Student Loans.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2011: Brooke Gladstone is the editor and host of the public radio program On the Media. Her new book, The Influencing Machine, is a guide through the complexities of modern media in comic book form. Then, book critic and Bob Edwards Show regular Laura Miller returns to recommend some of the best books of the summer for the long hot days ahead.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011: Actor Rufus Sewell is the title character in the new Masterpiece Mystery series Zen.  He plays Italian detective Aurelio Zen, whose honesty often gets him in trouble as he tracks down murderers and mysteries in Rome and the nearby Italian countryside.  The series airs Sunday evenings starting July 17th through the 31st on PBS channels across the country. Then, Texas bluesman Johnny Nicholas joins Bob to talk about his new record of blues, Texas soul and roots.  Future Blues is out today and Nichols recorded it at the roadhouse/restaurant he’s been running with his wife since 1980.

Thursday, July 14, 2011: In the US, we celebrate Independence Day every year on July 4th to commemorate our nation’s independence from Great Britain.  On July 14th, the French celebrate Bastille Day, not to mark independence from another country, but to from their own sovereign.  Writer Ina Caro takes readers into French history via rail in her new historical travelogue Paris to the Past: Traveling Through French History by Train.  Then, thirty years before Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan, there was Joyce McKinney, a beauty queen whose antics often landed her on the front page of the gossip rags. Unlike most of today’s celebs du jour McKinney had an IQ of 168, but her behavior was just as bad and often much more bizarre. In his new film, Tabloid, director Errol Morris tells the story of McKinney’s strange odyssey in pursuit of a love interest – cloned dogs, magic underwear, and celestial sex included. Roger Ebert says, “If Tabloid is a love story, it is one only Errol Morris could film.” Morris’ previous films include The Fog of War, Fast, Cheap & Out of Control and Standard Operating Procedure.

Friday, July 15, 2011: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to talk about politics and other news. Next, director Chris Weitz (About a Boy) talks with Bob about his latest film A Better Life.  This unsentimental drama focuses on a Mexican illegal immigrant living in L.A. struggling to give his son the opportunities he never had.  Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Reverend Dr. John M. Buchanan.  He is the pastor of Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church. Buchanan has found new meaning in the biblical assertion that God created humankind in His image as he has observed his granddaughter, who has Down syndrome. She participates in sports, theater and the church. For Buchanan, her success in life is proof that every person deserves respect and has something of the sacred within them.