This Week on The Bob Edwards Show (August 18-22, 2014)

The Bob Edwards Show, August 18-22, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014:  Bob talks to Daniel Lieberman, author of The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease.  Lieberman is the Chair of the Department of Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.  His book explains how millions of years of evolution have led our bodies to a paradoxical position.  People in developed countries are living longer than ever, having vanquished diseases that used to kill people by the millions:  smallpox, measles, polio and the plague. But we are also afflicted with more chronic, preventable illnesses and ailments, such as diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, strokes, dementia, depression and anxiety.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014:  A few years ago, this program aired a documentary about “The Human Terrain System,” an audacious military social science experiment that operates on the premise that soldiers need to understand the enemy and its culture. But it’s proven brutally difficult to implement in Afghanistan as Vanessa Gezari documents in her book, The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice and it’s available in paperback.  Then, Neko Case takes a break mid-way through her grueling tour to talk with Bob about her latest album with the impossibly long title, The Worse Things get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You.  This is the 42-year-old Indy musician’s sixth studio album, and it comes from a three-year period she describes as full of “grief and mourning.” Both of her parents, a grandparent, and several close friends all passed away in the space of just a few years.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014:  Thirteen days before he was scheduled to leave Vietnam, the vehicle Robert Timberg was traveling in struck a land mine. He survived, barely, but was left permanently disfigured with third-degree burns over his face and body. After the war, he became a journalist and covered the Iran-Contra scandal which involved three of his fellow Naval Academy graduates, Oliver North, Bud McFarlane, and John Poindexter.  Now the author of The Nightingale’s Song looks back on his struggle to reclaim his life in a new memoir, Blue Eyed Boy.

Thursday, August 21, 2014:   Google maps and contemporary exploration have given us access—at least remotely—of some of the most far flung places on the Earth, so much so that it seems as though there is little left to discover.  Not so, says social geographer, Alastair Bonnett, in his book Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies.  Then, Bob talks with Jake Shimabukuro about his music and his chosen instrument. The native Hawaiian has been called “the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele” and Shimabukuro’s CD is titled Peace Love Ukulele. He’ll perform several new and old songs for us in our studio.

Friday, August 22, 2014:  Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Then, Joshua Horwitz’s new book has been described as a non-fiction eco-thriller.  In War of the Whales we meet a marine researcher who teamed up with an environmental lawyer to prove that the mass strandings of whales occurring around the globe were being caused by high-intensity sonar used by the U.S. Navy.  The investigation culminated in a landmark 2008 Supreme Court case that ruled for the Navy, but the battle to save whale habitats continues.  And finally, we hear a new commentary from children’s book writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.