This Week on The Bob Edwards Show (June 9-13, 2014)

The Bob Edwards Show, June 9-13, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014:  Bob talks to Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Ron Suskind, and his wife, Cornelia Kennedy, about the challenges of raising their autistic son, as detailed in Suskind’s new book, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism.  Just before his third birthday, Suskind and Kennedy’s chatty, cheerful son suddenly stopped talking or making eye contact.  He eventually re-learned how to express himself by watching, memorizing, and impersonating characters from Disney animated films.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014:   Inspired by her own experiences caring for her parents at the end of their lives, science writer Katy Butler’s book, Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death, is an in-depth look at our medical community’s end-of-life care.  Butler’s book in available in paperback.  Then, in 1743, Ben Franklin made the case that it was time for colonists to give more thought to improving the lot of all of humankind through collaborative inquiry.  From that call-to-action came the American Philosophical Society.  Jonathan Lyons tells it’s story in his book, The Society For Useful Knowledge: How Benjamin Franklin and Friends Brought the Enlightenment to America, and it’s now available in paperback.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014:   China is changing at a pace ten times the speed and one hundred times the scale of the first Industrial Revolution, which created modern Britain.  New Yorker correspondent Evan Osnos writes about what that feels and looks like on the ground in his new big book The Age Of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China.

Thursday, June 12, 2014:  The 2014 World Cup kicks off today in Brazil, in the midst of massive protests by Brazilians.  The protesters say the cost of the World Cup, the most expensive ever at $11 billion and rising, is coming at the expense of new funding for basic necessities like schools, hospitals, and public transport. Thousands of people have also been displaced to make room for construction related to the World Cup and the upcoming Olympics in 2016.  Sports writer and host of SiriusXM’s Edge of Sports Dave Zirin traveled to Brazil and he joins Bob to discuss the growing unrest there.  Zirin’s new book it titled, Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, The Olympics, and The Fight for Democracy. Then, playgrounds were conceived as a way to mold kids into solid citizens: to make them healthy, improve their teamwork skills, and help them become aware of social customs.  But playgrounds have changed over the years, largely due to the Consumer Product Safety Commission of 1972. Photographer Brenda Biondo documented the remnants of playgrounds-past for her beautiful coffee table book Once Upon a Playground.

Friday, June 13, 2014:  Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Then, internationally recognized illustrator and designer James McMullan was born in 1934 to British national parents living in China.  His new book, Leaving China: An Artist Paints His World War II Childhood, tells, through words and pictures, the dramatic story of his family’s journey from China.  Finally, more than seventy-five percent of Americans eat peanut butter (our own Chad Campbell not being among them until his mid-30s).  Jon Krampner explains how and why it became everyone’s favorite sandwich spread in his book Creamy & Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food. It is now available in paperback.