The Bob Edwards Show, May 12-16, 2014
Monday, May 12, 2014: On May 13, 1985, a bomb was dropped on a house in West Philadelphia, starting a fire that would destroy three city blocks and kill 11 people, 5 of them children. It was the culmination of a botched attempt by city leaders to root a controversial radical group called MOVE out of their urban compound. Jason Osder revisits the tragic story in a new documentary, Let the Fire Burn, premiering on PBS’s Independent Lens, Monday, May 12, 2014 (check local listings). Then, best-selling writer Francine Prose found inspiration for her most recent novel, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, in the well-known Brassai photograph “Lesbian Couple at Le Monocle, 1932.”
Tuesday, May 13, 2014: 75 years ago today, the MS St. Louis set sail for Cuba and freedom with some 900 Jewish refugees aboard. Dubbed “the saddest ship afloat” by the New York Times, the St. Louis was denied entrance by Cuba, the United States, and Canada before returning to Europe. Martin Goldsmith, the author of Alex’s Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance, shares with Bob the tragic tale of St. Louis. Next, Bob talks to award-winning journalist Caroline Clarke, the long-lost granddaughter of legendary singer Nat King Cole, about her memoir Postcards from Cookie: A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles, and a Whole Lot of Mail. Then, with graduation season in full swing, Bob looks at commencement addresses that have become subjects in their own right. To end today’s show, he talks with Wellesley High School English teacher David McCullough Jr. (son of the famous historian) about his 2012 commencement speech titled “You are not Special.” McCullough Jr. expanded it into his new book You are Not Special: … and Other Encouragements.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014: Continuing our look at notable commencement addresses, Bob talks with best-selling writer George Saunders about his new book, Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness. It’s an expanded version of Saunders’ 2013 Syracuse University speech that went viral. Then, writer David Foster Wallace’s 2005 speech at Kenyon College has been called the best commencement address ever. It might have been all but forgotten, but after he took his own life in 2008, the text surfaced on the internet. It was later published as a book, called This is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life.
Thursday, May 15, 2014: A Short History of Decay is the first feature film written and directed by long-time journalist Michael Maren. Starring Bryan Greenberg, Linda Lavin, and Harris Yulin, story follows a struggling Brooklyn writer who goes to Florida to visits his ailing parents. Bob talks with Maren and Lavin about the film, which opens May 16th. Then, Bob sits down with Tony award-winning actress Linda Lavin to discuss her long career. And finally, Bob talks with award-winning novelist Brian Doyle about his book, The Plover, a harrowing tale of a man stranded on the high seas with only ghosts for company.
Friday, May 16, 2014: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Then, it’s been twenty years since the Rwandan genocide. Bob talks to survivor Edward Kayihura and co-writer Kerry Zukus about their book, Inside the Hotel Rwanda: The Surprising True Story…and Why It Matters Today.