The Bob Edwards Show, August 27-31, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012: This month marks a gruesome anniversary: the first spraying of Agent Orange over Vietnam and its people fifty-one years ago. Fred Wilcox has spent more than thirty years studying the aftereffects of the dioxin, both physical and psychological. He is the author of Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam and Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange. Then, for 15 years, Dr. Eric Manheimer was the medical director for this nation’s oldest and most infamous public hospitals, Bellevue Hospital in New York City. In a new book, Dr. Manheimer recounts stories from his time there that he says illustrate the real-life consequences behind the healthcare debate. One of the stories he tells in Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital is his own: Dr. Manheimer underwent radiation treatment for throat cancer and it caused him to identify with his patients in a whole new way.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012: Betty Mekdeci founded the Birth Defect Research for Children (BDRC) after her son was born with inexplicable birth defects. Mekdeci learned from whistleblowers at the FDA that a drug called Bendectin was responsible for her son’s special needs. Bendectin was removed from the worldwide market in 1982 thanks to Mekdeci. Today, the BDRC researches and investigates all preventable causes of birth defects in children, including Agent Orange and other culprits. Bob talks to Mekdeci about her activism, research, and the National Birth Defect Registry. Then, “All the world’s a stage…” said the notorious bard of western literature, and crisis management expert Judy Smith just might agree. Smith is the inspiration behind the Olivia Pope character in the hit television drama Scandal and her career is the impetus for the show. Smith is also the show’s co-creator/executive producer, and the author of the book Good Self/Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Biggest Assets. Bob talks to Judy about her success.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012: Native Virginian Matt Bondurant turned no further than the lives of his grandfather and two granduncles for the topic of his 2009 book The Wettest County in the World. Now adapted for the big screen as Lawless, the film tells the story of the Bondurant family’s criminal ways during Prohibition. The movie stars actors Jason Clarke, Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf as the notorious Bondurant Boys; Gary Oldman and Jessica Chastain co-star. Then, our resident folklorists Steve Winick and Nancy Groce dig through the folklife archive at the Library of Congress to share songs of secular praise.
Thursday, August 30, 2012: This month marks the 70th Anniversary of the opening of Heart Mountain internment camp. In 1942, Bill Manbo and his family were forced from their Hollywood home into a Japanese American internment camp at Heart Mountain in Wyoming. While there, Manbo documented his experiences and his family’s struggle to maintain a normal life under the harsh conditions of racial imprisonment. Manbo captured these images by using Kodachrome film. Bob talks with Eric L. Muller about his new book Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II. Then, Bob talks sports with John Feinstein, Washington Post columnist and co-host of SiriusXM’s “Beyond the Brink” (Mad Dog Radio, channel 86).
Friday, August 31, 2012: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Next, one of the most famous photographs to come out of the Civil Rights era is of a black high school girl, dressed in white, walking stoically in front of Little Rock Central High School, while behind her stands a white girl screaming racial epithets, her face twisted in rage. The two girls are now grown women. In 1962, Hazel Bryan Massery tracked down Elizabeth Eckford and apologized, and the two had a public reconciliation in 1997. Journalist David Margolick tells the history of their lives and complicated relationship in his book, Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock and it’s now out in paperback. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Nora Lupi. We say that every vote counts, come election time. But often, the voices behind those votes are ignored, unless politicians think they represent a powerful constituency. Our youngest voters sometimes feel invisible, but Lupi is twenty-something and politically opinionated – and she’s ready to be heard. Lupi says elected representatives should remember that she and her peers represent the future of the country.