The Bob Edwards Show, April 30 - May 2, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012: For a relatively young country, Israel and its supporters wield immense power in shaping United States government policy. Peter Beinart is a former editor of the New Republic who lays out his criticism of the Jewish State in a new work, The Crisis of Zionism. Among Beinart’s more controversial ideas is a proposed boycott on products made in Israeli settlements. Then, John D’Agata is a journalist and author. Jim Fingal is a fact-checker. In 2003, Fingal was assigned to check D’Agata’s magazine story about a suicide in Las Vegas. Now, they’ve compiled their exchange into the book The Lifespan of a Fact, a re-telling of their back-and-forth as they debated what is truth and what happens when it gets in the way of good story.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012: On the brink of the Second World War, the eyes of the world turned to Berlin for the 1936 Summer Games. Infuriating Hitler and the Nazis, track and field star Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals, toppling Hitler’s plan for the Games to show-case the Aryan race. Director and producer Laurens Grant’s documentary Jesse Owens airs today on the PBS series “American Experience,” and Owens’ daughter Marlene Owens Rankin joins Bob and Grants to discuss the life and legacy of her father.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012: J. Edgar Hoover’s 37 year tenure as the nation’s first Director of the FBI was filled with controversy and secrets, and is not a likely topic for a young person’s history book. But historian and writer Marc Aronson wrote his new book Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies with teenagers in mind. Combining old photographs, cartoons, movie posters and FBI transcripts, Aronson’s book presents a dark aspect of America’s history in an engaging and thoughtful way. Then, Eric Hutchinson was a signed artist preparing his debut album for Maverick Records. He was living his dream; and then, the label collapsed. With no more corporate patron, Hutchinson wagered on himself by purchasing his master recordings and releasing the album Sounds Like This independently. Hutchinson’s bet paid off and the album succeeded, earning him a devoted fan base and a new contract with Warner Brothers. His latest cd is titled Moving Up Living Down.
Thursday, May 3, 2012: There’s an old adage that only two things in life are certain: taxes and death. But modern medicine has made the latter less certain. These days, dead people can live for a long time on life support. For instance, stroke victims are regularly kept alive long enough to donate their organs, and brain-dead pregnant women are sometimes kept alive long enough to deliver their babies. Dick Teresi details the long, complicated history of the changing definition of death in his new book, The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice-Water Test, Beating-Heart Cadavers – How Medicine Is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death.
Friday, May 4, 2012: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Next, writer Julie Otsuka won this year’s PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her slim, poetic novel The Buddha in the Attic. Here, the California-native tells of a group of young Japanese women brought to San Francisco as mail-order-brides nearly a century ago. Otsuka will be honored at an awards ceremony at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC on May 5th. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Jeana Lee Tahnk. Parents, and people who will soon be parents, are one of the biggest markets for the publishing industry. You could fill a bookstore with all of the manuals addressing everything from thumbsucking to bedwetting to discipline. And many of the authors offer contradictory advice. It’s hard for modern parents to feel they’re raising their kids the “right” way. Tahnk thinks of herself as the CEO of her household, but she also has a career outside the home. She says the decisions she makes at home are always with the best interests of her children in mind, and the “right decisions” could actually be many different things at many different times.