The Bob Edwards Show, February 13-17, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012: With the end of the Civil War and the passage of the 13th Amendment, 4 million former slaves embarked on new lives with the promise of freedom. But labor laws and practices that arose during the post-Emancipation era effectively created new forms of slavery in the South that persisted well into the 20th century. A new documentary based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas A. Blackmon explores this little-known history of forced labor. Slavery By Another Name premieres tonight at 9:00 PM ET on PBS stations nationwide. Bob speaks with the film’s director, Sam Pollard. Next, we revisit music and conversation with the American Spiritual Ensemble. The group was founded by Dr. Everett McCorvey in 1995 and is based in Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. McCorvey and twenty-five members of the Ensemble discuss and perform examples of the American Negro spiritual — music created by slaves with African roots and biblical text.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012: The Interrupters is a documentary that tells the story of three people who work to protect their neighborhoods from the violence they themselves were once a part of. Their job titles are “violence interrupters” and that’s exactly what they do —- step into escalating situations to try to stop the violence before it starts. The film has been praised by critics and it won many awards on the festival circuit. Now The Interrupters has its national television premiere today on the PBS program Frontline. Bob speaks with the film’s director, Steve James, whose earlier work includes the Peabody award-winning documentary Hoop Dreams. Then, for many, those heavy and sometimes dull books dubbed “the classics” are an annoyance that one must put up with in high school and college English classes. But for journalists Jack Murnighan and Maura Kelly, the classics are a rich source of dating and romance advice. They share their findings in Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not-So-Great Gatsbys and Love in the Time of Internet Personals.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012: Andre Dubus III grew up poor in Massachusetts mill towns, the oldest of four children of the renowned short-story writer Andre Dubus. The younger Dubus’s life didn’t start out impoverished. As a well-paid and much-admired college professor, Dubus the father had set up a bucolic existence for his family in the New England countryside. But after he abandoned them in 1968 for a young student, his son’s life became marked with the violence and rage that often accompany poverty and abandonment. Now a celebrated writer himself, Andre Dubus III tells his candid life story in a new memoir, Townie. Then, if it weren’t for love gone well and, maybe more importantly, love got bad, a lot of music simply would not exist. Our resident folklorists Steve Winick and Nancy Groce dig through the folklife archive at the Library of Congress to share some early examples of songs and music about bad relationships.
Thursday, February 16, 2012: “Extraordinary rendition,” “enhanced interrogation,” and “waterboarding” seem like modern products of the War on Terror, but Vanity Fair editor Cullen Murphy makes the argument that all sprung “directly from the practices of the medieval Roman Catholic Church.” He explores the idea in his new book, God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World. Then, actor Max Von Sydow has portrayed priests, doctors, dads, a James Bond villain, Jesus Christ, the devil, an assassin, a soccer loving Nazi and Ming the Merciless in a Flash Gordon remake, to name just a few of his many roles. Bob talks with the Swedish-born actor about his long career and about his latest role. Von Sydow received his second Oscar nomination for his part as “the renter” in the new film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Friday, February 17, 2012: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Next, Agnieszka Holland gained international acclaim for her 1991 film Europa Europa which earned a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. The Polish filmmaker’s most recent film is also set during the Holocaust. In Darkness depicts the true story of a low-wage worker who helps hide a group of Jews in the sewer system beneath their city. Holland discusses the making of the film, the themes of trust and betrayal, and her personal connection to the war. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Emily Walshe. Most of us are so busy, we wish for more hours in the day. Between work and family obligations — and time spent driving between the two — there’s very little time left for repose. This time of year puts Walshe in mind of hibernation. She says time for rest should be a part of everyone’s life, and looks to the rhythm of nature for inspiration.