The Bob Edwards Show, February 17-21, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014: Anyone who believes President Lincoln did not intend to free slaves has not met historian and City University of New York professor James Oakes. Oakes’ latest book “shatters the widespread conviction that for Lincoln and the Republicans the Civil War was first and foremost a war to restore the Union and only gradually, when it became a military necessity, a war to end slavery.” He talks to Bob about the debate and his book Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865. Then, neutrinos are super tiny, barely detectable particles responsible for some of the galaxy’s biggest explosions. Trillions of them pass through our bodies every second. They are also the subject of astrophysicist Ray Jayawardhana’s new book, Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014: After graduating from Harvard in 2001, BJ Novak moved to Los Angeles to begin a comedy career. Things worked out for him. Novak played Ryan Howard in the NBC comedy The Office for its entire eight-year run, and he also had a hand in writing, directing and producing the show. In April 2013, Knopf announced a seven-figure, two-book deal with Novak. The first is out now. It’s a collection of “Woody Allen”-like stories titled One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories. Then, when Michael Hainey was a small boy, his father died suddenly, leaving a stunned and broken family. There was never any talk in the household about Hainey’s father or how he died, a hole that Hainey filled with obsessive imaginings. When Hainey grew older than his father had been at the time of his death, he decided to investigate the circumstances, and the result is the memoir, After Visiting Friends and it’s now available in paperback.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014: More than twenty years after his debut novel, The Commitments, Roddy Doyle returns to the band of working class Irish youths who brought soul music to Dublin in the 1980s. In The Guts, front man Jimmy Rabbitte is now forty-seven, married with four children, and has bowel cancer. Then, Ransom Riggs is a writer and filmmaker whose 2011 book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children landed on the New York Times best-seller list and stayed there for the next 63 weeks. Inspired by his collection of mysterious 19th century photographs – think children levitating — Riggs created a single story out of his eclectic pictures. The tale continues in his new sequel Hollow City.
Thursday, February 20, 2014: A 2004 research study concluded that child care ranked sixteen out of nineteen in activities that gave working women the most pleasure. Housework beat out parenting. In the last few decades, there have been hundreds of ways that the experience of parenting has changed. Jennifer Senior writes about them in a new book, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood. Then, four-time Grammy award-winning jazz singer Dianne Reeves is back with her first studio album in 5 years. Guest artists Esperanza Spalding, Lalah Hathaway, Gregory Porter and others join Reeves’ powerful vocal on Beautiful Life, a soul-jazz recording of covers and new tunes.
Friday, February 21, 2014: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Then, Bob talks to Betty Medsger about her new book, The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI. It’s about the historic l971 break-in to the FBI’s office in Media, Pennsylvania. The burglars stole all of the files in the office, which revealed that the FBI was engaged in secret and illegal spying and dirty tricks operations against anti-war activists, civil rights groups, and other American dissidents. Despite a massive manhunt, the FBI never found the culprits. In her book, Medsger reveals the identity of some of the burglars for the first time. Bob also talks to two of the burglars, John and Bonnie Raines. In l971, John Raines was a professor of religion at Temple University; Bonnie Raines, his wife, was raising their three small children. Betty Medsger was a Washington Post reporter who received some of the purloined documents, and broke the story.