This Week on The Bob Edwards Show (June 23-27, 2014)

The Bob Edwards Show, June 23-27, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014:  In This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible, award-winning civil rights scholar Charles Cobb Jr. describes how the Second Amendment  became an integral part of survival and liberation for blacks in America — from the troublesome years of Reconstruction through the civil rights movement.  Then, in 1994, Steve Wright retired from a 13-year career in the National Football League.  Wright became an entrepreneur and developed the first mist cooling system used on NFL sidelines.  Now Wright has come up with other ideas to keep players safe on the field.  The NFL has added dozens of rules to protect the players, but Wright believes that there is enough technology today to improve the safety features of the equipment, which would allow the players to play “football” again.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014:   Bob talks with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton about her participation in Freedom Summer.   Our interview will also feature clips from filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s documentary Freedom Summer.  The film highlights an essential element of the civil rights movement: the patient and long-term efforts by outside activists and local citizens in Mississippi to organize communities and register black voters — even in the face of intimidation, physical violence and death.  Freedom Summer premieres tonight on PBS. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014:   With the Blasters, Dave and Phil came up with bands like X, Black Flag, and The Cramps. The brothers parted ways in 1985, but after a health scare almost took Phil’s life in 2012 (he literally died for a couple minutes in the hospital), they decided to reunite. Their new album is titled Common Ground.   Then, Orson Welles was one of the 20th century’s greatest film directors, actors, writers, and producers.  He was also one of the last century’s true raconteurs: a storyteller and wit who could expound on almost any subject.  Proof of his ability – and his sharp tongue— is found in the book My Lunches with Orson: Conversations between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles.  Film historian Peter Biskind edited this collection of transcripts and it’s available in paperback.

Thursday, June 26, 2014:   In November of 1942 five brothers were killed when the battle ship they were serving on was hit by two Japanese torpedoes.  Their mother, Alleta Sullivan, wrote a moving letter to the Bureau of Naval Personnel seeking the truth of what happened to her sons. She soon received a reply, not from the Bureau, but from President Franklin D. Roosevelt who wrote in part, “I realize full well there is little I can say to assuage your grief.”  Both letters are included in a collection culled by Shaun Usher titled Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience.   Then, Military journalist and author Stephen Harding tells an unlikely but true story in his book The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe and it’s available in paperback.

Friday, June 27, 2014:  Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Then, Rafe Esquith has taught at Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles for more than 25 years and is the only teacher to have been awarded the president’s National Medal of the Arts.  Almost all of his students live below the poverty line and are from immigrant families, with none speaking English as a first language.  However, his fifth-grade students consistently score in the top 5 to 10-percent of the country in standardized tests.  Esquith’s book is titled Real Talk for Real Teachers: Advice for Teachers from Rookies to Veterans: “No Retreat, No Surrender!” and it’s now available in paperback. Finally, we hear a new commentary from children’s book writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.