The Bob Edwards Show, January 9-13, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012: Greg Palast is best known as the investigative journalist who uncovered how Katherine Harris kept thousands of African Americans in Florida off the voter rolls in the 2000 presidential election. The Chicago Tribune has called Palast’s work “doggedly independent, undaunted by power… They’re so relevant they threaten to alter history.” For his new book, Palast took a closer look at the BP oil disaster. It’s called Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores. Then, we’ll take a closer look at the unlikely life of Stanley Ann Dunham, who was born in Wichita, Kansas, yet married a man from Kenya and ultimately raised a future President of the United States. New York Times reporter Janny Scott interviewed nearly 200 people to complete A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother. Bob chats with Scott about the President’s mother and how she didn’t live to see her son’s political success. Scott’s book is now out in paperback.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012: The Doors were only together for five years before the death of their lead singer, Jim Morrison. But the band and its music have remained intriguing and popular, even as the era it represented slipped into history. In a new book, Greil Marcus considers the band in performance, using bootleg recordings, and analyzes how its music reflected the mood of the nation from 1966 to 1971. The book is titled The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012: Steven Pinker discusses his new book, The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined. Then, a Mexican custom called la cuarentena holds that a new mother gets 40 days of rest during which she is taken care of and allowed to bond with her baby. And in Vietnam, money clubs help members plan for vacations, taxes, even weddings and college tuition. These are just two of the customs that Claudia Kolker writes about in her new book, The Immigrant Advantage: What We Can Learn from Newcomers to American about Health, Happiness, and Hope. Kolker talks about many other customs that have been brought to the United States by immigrant groups, and adapted to American life by the second generation.
Thursday, January 12, 2012: Meshell Ndegeocello has built a devoted audience by pairing deeply funky grooves with liltingly beautiful lyricism. Her latest album Weather is a finely crafted work of artistry and honesty. Ndegeocello plays a few songs from Weather and discusses her career in music, from a chart-topping duet with John Mellencamp to soul-searching ballads and funky jams.
Friday, January 13, 2012: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Next, while most of the nation was shocked at the death of Martin Luther King Jr., Jesuit priest and professor of theology at the College of the Holy Cross canvassed the East Coast in search of African American students to admit to the university, students who would play their part in America’s racial integration. Diane Brady’s book Fraternity tells this story from the perspective of the students who would later become defense attorneys and activists, a Supreme Court Justice, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Literature. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Dave Stewart. After Stewart grew tired of his career in manufacturing, he bought a farm in New Hampshire. He grows vegetables and raises, chickens, sheep, pigs, and cows. Stewart’s grandfather was a dairy farmer, and now he has found the same pleasure in the simple routines of milking and grazing.