This Weekend's Program

Bob Edwards Weekend, February 11-12, 2012

HOUR ONE:

Los Angeles Times columnist Doyle McManus joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.

When Pastor Robert Jeffress called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints a cult on national television last year, Mormons and even some non-Mormons took offense.   But the incident proved that although the LDS church continues to grow in numbers, there are still many people who don’t understand the religion.  With Mormon presidential hopeful Mitt Romney campaigning fiercely for the Republican nomination, Matthew Bowman’s book The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith offers context and explanation for this sometimes mysterious religion.

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Kathy Heffernan.  Every parent knows the early morning wail of small children — “I don’t want to go to school!” Heffernan’s son Sam was part of the protesting chorus, until he met his sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Hogan. Heffernan says other teachers had seen a boy who refused to pay attention, but Mrs. Hogan recognized Sam as a knowledgeable, capable student who loves to read. Her reward was a Valentine’s Day box of chocolates.

HOUR TWO:

Until the early 20th century, borrowing money for personal use was done at the fringes of the economy because lending was not profitable then and borrowing was considered shameful. But by the 1920s, personal debt began to be a mainstream part of American life. Now we are a nation deep in debt. The average American has $15,000 in credit card debt - and then there are mortgages, car notes and student loans. In Borrow: The American Way of Debt, economist Louis Hyman explains how personal credit created the middle class and almost bankrupted the nation.

This week marked the 200th anniversary of writer Charles Dickens’s birth.  The author of A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities and others, Dickens was the Victorian era’s most beloved writer.  Biographer Claire Tomalin’s new book Charles Dickens sheds light on the life of this famous writer. Click here for a link to plans to celebrate the Charles Dickens bicentennial.

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