In 2007, Bob talked with director Kenneth Branagh and actor Michael Caine about their film Sleuth. It was a remake of the 1972 thriller which starred Caine. But really the interview was just an excuse for Caine to tell hilariously charming stories to entertain Bob and Branagh. Then, 80-year-old Leonard Cohen has a new CD out now titled Popular Problems, but back when he visited with Bob in 2006, they discussed Cohen’s collection of poetry called Book of Longing and a documentary titled Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man. Cohen has been a monk, a songwriter and a poet.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, where he is director of the Hayden Planetarium. These days he is best known as the host of the first season of Cosmos on Fox. Bob spoke with Tyson back in 2007 about his collection of essays titled, Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries.
Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges was a foreign correspondent for The New York Times for fifteen years until he was reprimanded for denouncing President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Now he’s a columnist, senior fellow at The Nation Institute, and has taught at Columbia, New York and Princeton universities.
Long before the era of the news anchor, the pundit, and the mini-cam, one man blazed a trail that thousands would follow. Reporting live from the streets and rooftops of London as Nazi war planes rained terror from the skies during the Battle of Britain, Edward R. Murrow brought the stark horror of war and the shock of breaking news events directly into American living rooms for the first time, and that was just the beginning.
"Very interesting book, easy-listening"
More than six decades ago, doctors took cells from a cancer patient in Baltimore. She died soon afterward, forgotten to everyone except her family. But her cells became immortal and famous – known as HeLa. HeLa cells were the first to grow reliably in a laboratory, and they’re still the most widely used today. HeLa cells are responsible for everything from the Polio vaccine to gene mapping. They've ridden into space and into oblivion on atomic weapons. In a new book, Rebecca Skloot tells the story of the woman from whom HeLa cells were taken without permission, and what happened to her family after she died. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is part biography and part investigation into racial politics and medical ethics.
New Yorker staff writer Dana Goodyear’s new book, Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture, tracks the history and impact of America’s extreme eating and foodie culture.
Finally, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe.
Greg Palast is best known as the investigative journalist who uncovered how Katherine Harris kept thousands of African Americans in Florida off the voter rolls in the 2000 presidential election. The Chicago Tribune has called Palast’s work “doggedly independent, undaunted by power… They’re so relevant they threaten to alter history.”
Bob speaks with singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. He's been a monk, a songwriter, and a poet. Now he treats us to a new book of poetry called Book of Longing and a new documentary, Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, coming to theaters in June. Cohen also talks about his newest collaboration with his one-time backup singer and now lover, Anjani. The album is called Blue Alert.
First, Bob speaks with author and activist Wendell Berry about his recent protest in Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s office over coal industry regulation. Then, KFC is as an iconic American company, but Colonel Sanders generates more revenue from the Chinese than Americans. And because of their collective buying power, the chicken-eating decisions those Chinese consumers make influences the menu at the KFC on Main Street, USA. Karl Gerth is an Oxford historian who studies the implications of Chinese consumerism.
Shin Dong-hyuk’s first memory was an execution. Ten years later, Shin watched his mother be hanged and his brother shot, both executed for attempting to escape. Now 29 years old, Shin’s life is documented in Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West. Author Blaine Harden is a reporter for PBS Frontline and a contributor to The Economist. He joins Bob to discuss Shin, the only person known to be born, raised and escaped from a North Korean prison camp.
Today we conclude our 8th Anniversary celebration with a living legend of Jazz, Dave Brubeck. The icon talks about his life, career, and his CD titled London Flat, London Sharp. Then, Bob talks with William F. Buckley Jr., the father of the modern conservative movement and founder of the National Review magazine about his book Miles Gone By.
In 2007, photojournalist Tim Hetherington and writer Sebastian Junger traveled with an American platoon to Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, a strategic passage wanted by the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and one of the deadliest pieces of terrain in the world for U.S. forces. Restrepo, a chronicle of their experiences, is nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary.
We conclude our week of musical performance chats with Arlo Guthrie who today celebrates his 68th birthday. Bob talks with the folk singer about the 50 year anniversary of Alice's Restaurant Massacree, his epic 18 minute song detailing all sorts of real life indignities suffered by the draft-age Arlo in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Arlo only performs the song every ten years, saying that's how it stays fresh.
In 1887 a medical doctor named Arthur Conan Doyle published four stories about a brilliant and eccentric detective named Sherlock Holmes. Thus began the public’s obsession with Holmes, spawning stories, movies, games, and more. Award-winning Sherlockians Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger are editors of A Study in Sherlock: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon, a new collection of Holmes stories from contemporary authors.
Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, celebrated writer Michael Chabon turns his attention to San Francisco’s bay area, centering his new book Telegraph Avenue around a vinyl record store.
David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics. Next, The Obama administration has just presented a new blueprint for education reform - an issue of great concern to Diane Ravitch. She's Research Professor of Education at New York University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Ravitch will discuss the proposed changes and her latest book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.
Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to talk about politics and other news. Next, if the American people collectively will suffer when independent journalism disappears, should Federal money be spent to save it? John Nichols of The Nation magazine and media critic Robert McChesney lay out their multi-billion dollar plan to resuscitate the American press.
If the American people collectively will suffer when independent journalism disappears, should Federal money be spent to save it? John Nichols of The Nation magazine and media critic Robert McChesney lay out their multi-billion dollar plan to resuscitate the American press in their new book The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again.
Photographer Danny Clinch has spent his career connecting the realms of visual and sonic art. Through collaborations with musicians like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and James Brown, Clinch explores the intrinsic link between music and images. Filmmaker Tom Shadyac flourished in Hollywood with the hit comedies Ace Ventura, Liar Liar and Bruce Almighty under his belt.
Berlin was divided on this date in 1961. Two days later, work began on The Berlin Wall, the famous symbol of division between East and West…The Iron Curtain. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is the director and screenwriter of the political thriller, The Lives of Others. The Oscar-winning film begins in East Berlin in 1984, ends in 1991 and focuses on the Stasi, the German Democratic Republic's vast network of informers that at one time numbered 200,000 people.