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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.


This Weekend's Program (June 21-22, 2014)

Bob Edwards Weekend, June 21-22, 2014


Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.

Bob talks with two Academy Award winners, actor Adrien Brody and director Paul Haggis, about their new film, Third Person. It opens this weekend and follows three couples in three cities and to tell three interlocking love stories.  It also stars James Franco, Kim Basinger, Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis and Olivia Wilde.

Bob talks with music blogger Paul Schomer about his latest discoveries. This time, we’ll hear new music from James Tillman, Invisible Homes, Led to Sea, Dogheart and Crocodile.

Then, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe


China is changing at a pace ten times the speed and one hundred times the scale of the first Industrial Revolution. That one created modern Britain and the world we know today.  New Yorker correspondent Evan Osnos writes about what this very old county feels and looks like now in his new book The Age Of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China.

Internationally recognized illustrator and designer James McMullan was born in 1934 to British national parents living in China.  His new book uses words and paintings to tell the dramatic story of his family’s journey from China.  The book is titled Leaving China: An Artist Paints His World War II Childhood.

Bob Edwards Weekend airs on Sirius XM Public Radio (XM 121, Sirius 205) Saturdays from 8-10 AM ET. 

Visit Bob Edwards Weekend on PRI’s website to find local stations that air the program.


Documentary: Point and Shoot

by Dan Bloom, producer 

Today marks the opening of AFI Docs 2014, a documentary film festival in Washington DC run by the American Film Institute. Our guests are Matthew VanDyke and Marshall Curry whose collaborative film, Point and Shoot is one of the most intriguing on the dockett of AFI Docs.

It’s a story about shaping one’s own identity by walking the line between bravery and foolishness. Point and Shoot is intimate yet expansive, taking you inside VanDyke’s world while providing a stark first-person view of war.

For more about AFI Docs, visit here.

Point and Shoot website | AFI Docs entry for Point and Shoot

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Matthew VanDyke website | Marshall Curry website



This Week on The Bob Edwards Show (June 16-20, 2014)

The Bob Edwards Show, June 16-20, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014:  In his latest thriller, The Director, best-selling author and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius takes readers into the illusive world of contemporary cyber-espionage.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014:  Paul Williams is a well-known actor from television shows and movies of the past three decades. He also written a range of hits for The Carpenters, Three Dog Night, Helen Reddy - and Kermit the Frog.  Bob talks with Williams about those aspects of his career – as well as his job as the president of ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.   Then, over a five year period beginning in 1968, airplane hijackings were astonishingly common. Commercial jets were seized once a week on average.  One of the most famous occurred in 1972 when Army veteran Roger Holder and his beautiful girlfriend Cathy Kerkow commandeered Western Airlines flight 701 from Los Angeles to Seattle as a vague protest against the Vietnam War.  Brendan Koerner chronicles the bizarre story in a book titled The Skies Belong to Us and it’s available in paperback.  Finally, we hear a new commentary from children’s book writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014:  Matthew VanDyke was a timid young man who struggled with obsessive compulsive disorder. He earned a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Security Studies but hadn’t ever visited the region, so in 2007, VanDyke bought a motorcycle and set out to banish his sheltered life forever. Embarking on a journey to film—and find himself in the Arab World, VanDyke embedded with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan before joining the Libyan Civil War. After his disastrous capture and 166-day-long detention, VanDyke escaped and rejoined the rebels in time for their victory. Using a vast cache of footage filmed by VanDyke and collaborator Daniel Britt, filmmaker Marshall Curry crafted a gripping documentary called Point and Shoot about VanDyke’s experiences and personal transformation.  Point and Shoot is an official selection at this year’s AFI DOCS Festival.

Thursday, June 19, 2014:  Famed director John Waters—the man behind Hairspray, Pecker, and many other films—made a cardboard sign that read “I’m Not Psycho” and hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco.  His book Carsick is his account of what happened during his unforgettable and unconventional “vacation.” Then, Bob talks with two Academy Award winners, actor Adrien Brody and director Paul Haggis, about their new film, Third Person, which opens tomorrow.

Friday, June 20, 2014:  Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Then, “If you smoked Colombian weed in the 1970s and 1980s,” writes NBC News writer Tony Dokoupil, “you paid for my swim lessons, bought me my first baseball glove and kept me in the best private school in south Florida, alongside President George H.W. Bush’s grandkids, at least for a little while.” Dokoupil’s “old man” smuggled tons of marijuana into the country before his eventual self-destruction. Bob talks to Dokoupil about his memoir, The Last Pirate: A Father, His Son, and the Golden Age of Marijuana.  Finally, Bob talks to award-winning science journalist Rebecca Coffey about her latest literary endeavor — a novel that unravels the history of psychoanalysis, same-sex desire, and the Freud family.  It’s called Hysterical: Anna Freud’s Story.  Coffey is a regular contributor to Scientific American and Discover magazines.


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.