This Week on The Bob Edwards Show (July 7-11, 2014)

The Bob Edwards Show, July 7-11, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014:  Today, T.E. Lawrence is as much myth as he was man, but the conflict in which he was involved is still relevant in our modern times.  Journalist and author Scott Anderson’s best-selling book Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East looks at the historical impact of Lawrence’s military role.  It is now available in paperback.  Then, the film Dangerous Acts chronicles an underground theater troupe, the Belarus Free Theatre, which performs despite being barred from working for pay within the last surviving Communist dictatorship in Eastern Europe. Madeleine Sackler relied on a very brave camera person who smuggled footage out of the country and onto a plane for her.  Dangerous Acts airs today on HBO.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014:   Bob talks to Serhii Plokhy, director of Harvard University’s Ukrainian Research Institute about his new book, The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union.  Professor Plokhy grew up in Russia, and was educated in Ukraine and the United States.  He says, contrary to the conventional wisdom in the U.S., the collapse of the Soviet Union was triggered by internal political and economic factors, not American pressure.  Then, we hear a new commentary from children’s book writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014:  Brian Conaghan was an unlikely high school teacher.  Diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome as an adult, Conaghan spent years trying to deal with and even hide his disorder.  His new YA novel, When Mr. Dog Bites, is a funny and honest look at this misunderstood disorder.  Then, musician Glen Philips is best-known as the front man for the popular 1990s alt rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket.  After a solo career through the 2000s, Philips has reunited with Toad and they are touring this summer.  Philips talks with Bob about his work and the band’s latest album New Constellation.

Thursday, July 10, 2014:  Ted Olson is an unlikely champion of gay marriage. He built his career as a very conservative jurist, serving two republican presidents and successfully arguing the 2000 election case that put George W. Bush in the White House. But it was Olson who led the charge to overturn Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Olson tells the story of his work on the case in a new book titled Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality.

Friday, July11, 2014:  Ken Vogel is an investigative reporter for POLITICO who covers, among other things, the intersection between money and politics. His new book is titled Big Money: 2.5 Billion Dollars, One Suspicious Vehicle, and a Pimp – on the Trail of the Ultra-Rich Hijacking American Politics.  Then, in the turbulent summer of 1964, Martha and the Vandellas sang: “Callin’ out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?”   Writer Mark Kurlansky looks at the impact of that invitation in his book Ready for a Brand New Beat: How “Dancing in the Street” Became the Anthem for a Changing America and it’s available in paperback.